Sometimes we have to let go of who we are to embrace who we can become.
Mason Vance is the guy everybody wants to be, and he knows it. He’s the best high school quarterback in New York, a shoo-in for a football scholarship at any school he chooses, and he’s expected to land in the NFL one day. That is, until a broken wrist leaves him fearing whether he’ll ever play again.
Desperate to save his damaged ego, Mason sets his sights on Lace. No cheerleader or homecoming queen like his usual type, she’s too wrapped in her own misery to fall for his pickup lines. Even though she tries to shut him out, she’s surprised to find he’s there for her when no one else is. Slowly, she lets him into the sad workings of her mind and less-than-perfect life, and Mason finds himself caring about Lace more than he’d ever thought possible. That’s why neither of them sees his huge mistake coming—one that instantly fractures everything between them.
Will Mason confront the ugliest side of himself, and in the process see who he’s capable of becoming, or will he fall back into the life he knew before Lace and his injury?
For contemporary young adult fiction fans, comes a bold debut that is raw, relatable, and real. Fractured is a moving tribute to the fragility of human nature and its ability to destroy even the most powerful connections.
I went into this one expecting to read about difficult and problematic topics but somehow still ended up surprised by it. And I guess the main reason is because the narrator happens to be our male lead, Mason, and we get only his POV as the events of the book play out. This was…. interesting to say the least.
As we follow Mason, a 16 year old boy who is star quarterback and has, quote, ‘girls throw themselves at him’ we really get, what I felt like, an accurate representation of exactly what boys stereotyped like him would think. It was really interesting. Seeing the ‘alpha male’ and boys will be boys’ mentality play out in such a way was disturbing and definitely left a really bad feeling in my gut but that’s exactly why I appreciated it. The harsh reality is that not every teenage boy is perfect and understanding the way many young adult novels portray them and Fractured portraying Mason as a flawed and fractured individual is refreshing to see. I didn’t like it, and I definitely didn’t always like Mason but I think the author accurately represented in Mason what many young males are like.
In regards to sexual assault, although he is not the one who deals with it, the novel is from Mason’s POV and his thoughts were really depicting of toxic masculinity and the way boys might downgrade sexual assault as he learns about rape through Lace’s character. This was one of the instances where I disliked Mason the most. Even after Lace discusses with him her personal experience of sexual assault, he still doesn’t seem to understand the importance of it.
The heavy topics that the book deals with (mental health, depression, self harm, etc.) were, I felt, thrown in as more of a plot device than anything else. I would’ve liked to see them more fleshed out and discussed rather than seeing them from second hand experience or only in slight appearances. I felt like this book could’ve been a lot more important had it focused more on Mason’s and Lace’s mental health and not mainly his debasing thoughts on women. Granted, he is a 16 year old boy and I understand what the author was attempting by focusing on his relationships/thoughts but Fractured would’ve been a far more remarkable read to me had we seen a resolution in regards to mental health.
With that being said, I did see a slight change in Mason by the end but I was still left with a very bad taste in my mouth. Yet, I’m not mad about it. It was a very real look into exactly how reality is. Most of the time we don’t really get a resolution in life and the ending was an accurate representation of that. I would recommend this novel for readers who prefer a realistic ya novel and are ok with not getting a happy ending all the time.
Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange of an honest review.