Broken, by Elizabeth Pulford

My head is full of bubbles. Strange, floating words, bits of conversations, bits of people. Some I know. Some I don’t. Hundreds of contoured dots. I can’t see straight. Can’t think straight. I seem to be nowhere. I seem to be everywhere. If only the wretched thumping in my head would stop.

Zara lies broken, trapped in a coma after a terrible accident. She can’ts peak, buts he can hear – and her subconscious is taking her places she doesn’t wish to go. As she struggles to make sense of what’s happening to her now, she also deals with memories of a traumatic event in her childhood, and searches through a comic-book landscape for her brother, who was in the accident with her. She must make sense of it it all if she is to survive.

Told using a variety of forms – first person present tense, past tense, narration of dream-sequences as she adventures through a mixed up world based on her bother’s favourite comic strip, as well as graphic novel elements as some scenes are brought to life in comic book cells. Zara also has ‘conversations’ with her hospital room visitors, though they can’t hear her responses. This is a lot of different forms, but it works, and teen readers will enjoy the variety and the novelty it represents. The comic world is a novelty, but it is also the tool for Zara to confront her past and her borther’s fate and, as the novel progresses, the two become increasingly intertwined.

SUitable for teen readers, Broken is an intriguing read.


Broken, by Elizabeth Pulford
Walker Books, 2012
ISBN 9781921529887

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