I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever read a story like this one! It was slightly steampunky, which is obviously cool, slightly sci-fi, a little bit dystopia, so in the nicest possible way, it's a bit of a mash-up.
The plot itself is told through Ella’s viewpoint and she watches as Lisa just goes around disrupting her previously placid life and making all sorts of discoveries that make Ella question what the Professor is really up to. There aren’t that many twists and turns – it’s more like a slow build towards the ultimate climax. I was glad we got a resolution to the story and I would be quite interested to read the sequel, Shattered Girls, to see where the story goes next.
The characters were the most interesting thing about the book, I found. My favourite was Lisa – she really seemed to have her wits about her and wasn’t about to just sit around and accept the way things were. Ella, by contrast, seemed very keen to preserve things exactly the way things were (although I don’t really know why – being a doll sounds pretty sucky), so the points where she and Ella clashed were pretty funny! I also really liked the author’s writing style. There was a really nice flow to it and Ella seemed to have a very definite voice.
There were points where I wondered how well it actually worked as a YA book. Ella doesn’t really have an age as such – she thinks she’s been a doll for a long time, but doesn’t really know – although the way she speaks and her view of the world comes across as fairly childlike and her friend Gabby is eleven, so in some ways this might work more as an MG book. But then, the themes the book deals with are better suited to a slightly older audience, so I don’t really know how else it could have been classified.
In some respects, I would have liked to have read the same story from Lisa’s viewpoint. I think it would have been really spooky and interesting to have read about her waking up as a doll and trying to solve the mystery of the Professor’s work while trying to contend with Ella, who is happy with the status quo.
Really that was the only mildly negative thing I picked up on. Other than that, this was a quick, fun read.
I received a copy of Broken Dolls in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Curiosity Quills and Netgalley.