Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow

GoodReads Summary:
Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star QB, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—but his brother does.
Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares, probably because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.
But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.
They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle.
They’re wrong.
Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.
Can love really exist if it’s all built on a lie?

Review:
I received this book through an awesome opportunity offered to me through Filles Vertes Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I love opportunities like these because I get made aware of books that I would necessarily choose for myself or hear about through the normal channels.
Meant to be Broken was a book I was excited to get once I read the synopsis. It definitely caught my interest and was the perfect change of pace that I needed. I’ve been on a fantasy kick for what feels like forever. I flew through this story. I started it last night because I couldn’t sleep and I can read my Kindle without the light bothering my husband trying to sleep.
I got so much more from this story than I expected. I expected a high school drama about a girl falling in love with her boyfriend’s brother. I got so much more. I got a bit of one of my favorite bookish tropes, forbidden love. It sort of alternates between forbidden love and a really dysfunctional love triangle, but I forgive the triangle because the forbidden love part is done so well. I was way more invested in these characters than I thought I would be. I may or may not have cried more than once (but it’s possible that’s just the pregnancy hormones).
I loved the setting that Meant to be Broken takes place in. A small town in the south while it doesn’t have a lot of physical descriptions, most of the things that take place just make it so realistic and believable, one example is the gossip that spreads like wildfire. There are little touches throughout the story, such as certain activities the kids do for fun, that make the setting authentic.
I loved the characters. Rayne was funny and mostly down to earth for a high school girl. She was the nice girl in the group of snotty cheerleaders. So when she hears that the popular boy in school, Preston, is interested in her, her first question is why? I liked that Rayne wasn’t a typical girl who had wicked self-esteem issues. She wondered why Preston liked her because she didn’t look like most of the girls he usually chose to date, not because she thought there was something wrong with her.
As for Preston, I almost felt bad for him. Everyone puts him up on a pedestal. He’s the golden boy, the good boy. But they all make him sounds so shallow and like his whole life is based on pleasing others, specifically his mother. I have many more thoughts on Preston but I’m not going to go into them so I avoid giving any spoilers.
This story is told from two points of view. We alternate chapters between Rayne and Gage. I really liked Gage. He’s definitely swoon-worthy. The boy in school that is indifferent to everything except football and his car. He becomes best friends with Rayne and acts as her number one defender. He sticks up for her when he feels that she’s being treated or talked about in a way that she doesn’t deserve. But he also knows when not to get involved, when to let Rayne learn for herself that she’s trusting the wrong people or making a mistake.
The relationship between Preston and Gage is one that I liked. It was a heartwarming relationship between two brothers that do their best to look out for one another, but not without making sure to poke fun back and forth when the opportunity arose.
So like I said, there was way more drama than I originally expected, way more, and I loved every page of it. I was given characters that I easily fell in love with and became way too invested in and plot twists that completely took me by surprise. This is something I love in a book. I really like being surprised. There’s nothing better than when I’m completely blindsided by the events in a book.
As a whole, I really don’t have anything bad to say about Meant to be Broken. I thought the characters were fabulous. They were likable and realistic and reacted to the situations in the story in ways that made sense. I loved the little town that this book took place. The story was more than I was expecting in every way. I would for sure recommend it to anyone looking for their next contemporary read.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Mash Ups

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Every week there’s a new topic where we get to choose our top ten and write about it. This week’s topic is top ten books I would mash together. I think this is a wicked interesting topic. I’m not sure how I’m going to go about it, so in no particular order, here goes!

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1. Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank & Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – These are books about an aspiring private investigator and books about a bond enforcement officer. I think Rose and Stephanie would make one hell of a hilarious pair.
2. Renegades by Marissa Meyer & Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti – Two different types of superhero books. Both with similar abilities, sort of. But the worlds they take place in are pretty different. I think it would be interesting to see these two worlds collide.
3. Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow & One Small Thing by Erin Watt – Both are novels involving girls who are struggling with their feelings about a guy. Both thinking that their feelings are wrong and should be stifled and ignored. I think the two female main characters would be great friends and would be able to help one another immensely by sharing their experiences.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson & The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – These are both murder mystery sort of books but with a ton of different subplots along the way. I think they would be interesting to see together. Seeing the characters with their hugely different personalities would be funny.
5. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson & Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson – This is a choice for similar reasons to above except these are young adult murder mysteries. Again, the personalities in these stories would make for an interesting read.
6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas & Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch – If the Sara(h)’s wrote a book together I would be able to die happy as soon as I finished it. These specific books would be so cool to see together. In ACOTAR, there’s Fae with seasonal courts and magical abilities and in Snow Like Ashes there are different kingdoms for the seasons with different sorts of magical abilities. I think they would mesh well together with the similarities in the stories.
7. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare & A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – Both of these series have a great variety of supernatural characters like vampires and werewolves and others unique to their books. Their also both full of headstrong characters that strive to do the ‘right’ thing at all costs. I would love to see these characters and worlds collide.
8. The Young Elites by Marie Lu & Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – These two came together in my head because of their magic systems. Both books have people with abilities that are not accepted in their worlds. Both have fantastic villains. Now that I’m typing this, I would LOVE to see the Darkling and Adelina join forces and run the world.
9. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins & Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – I really think that Charlie could have been another character in Impulse. She for sure could have been a fourth perspective in that story. These characters could all relate for sure.
10. The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead & A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands – I obviously had to throw my two favorite vampire worlds together. I think these worlds would be awesome to see together because of the different ways that vampires are created and the similarities that are already there.

This week’s topic was a hard one for me! I had a ton of fun looking at my shelves and thinking about all the different worlds I love colliding. I tried to pick bookish worlds that already had a little bit in common. I wanted my mashups to mostly make sense. Which bookish worlds would you want to see collide?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda-

ebook – Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to fly through this book. It feels like I’ve been reading it forever. I think it’s because it’s full of Japanese mythology which is a topic unfamiliar to me so I’m reading slowly so I don’t miss anything important.
audiobookAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman. This book has been super hard to get through. It’s such a long audiobook and I actually had to return it and then put another hold on it from my library. I’ve made it about halfway through and I’m making more progress on it later today. It’s interesting but a lot of detail so it requires more of my focus than other audiobooks.
physical book – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. When the final book in this series came out I knew I was going to have to reread the whole series (I like to reread but I also only remembered a few basic details from this series). I’ve finally made the attempt to start the series reread but I plan to read other things and not binge read these books.

Antonia-

I’m currently reading If I Should Die by Amy Plum. This series has exceeded my expectations and I’m really excited to see how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda-

audiobook – Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. It was fantastic and my review will be posting sometime in the next few weeks.
physical book – Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow. I just finished reading this last night. I have already written the review and it will also be posted in the next few weeks.

Antonia-

I just finished Until I Die by Amy Plum. I’m really enjoying this series so far. You’ll see a review for this one tomorrow.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda-

ebook – Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow. I received this in return for an honest review. I’ve heard good things about it and the description sounds super interesting.
audiobookThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. This has been on my TBR list forever so when I saw it was available to borrow from my library’s audiobook collection I made sure to grab it.
physical book – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. This has been on my TBR list for at least a year and I’m trying to make a conscious effort to knock off some of the books that have been on there for a while.

Antonia-

Next I think I’ll read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Amanda’s been yelling at me to read this series for forever and I’m excited to finally get around to it.

These are this week’s W’s! What’s your reading update for this week? Let us know your W’s in the comments and thanks for reading!