by Alexis Bass
Release Date: December 29th 2015
Alexis Bass’s heartbreakingly beautiful second novel is a tale of love, loss, and learning to forgive.
Look to the left, look to the right. We’re all going to die. But someone has to do it first. So who’s it going to be?
Tragedy struck Amanda Tart’s town a year and a half ago when a sophomore girl was killed in a car accident on graduation night.
Amanda’s brother, Jonathan, was behind the wheel and too drunk to drive. He’s spent the past year in prison and has cut off all ties. But now Jonathan is coming home. Just as Amanda’s trying to figure out what that means for her family and herself, she’s paired up for a school project with Henry Crane—a former crush, and brother of Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend, who survived the crash with horrible injuries.
Everyone is still incredibly damaged by the events of that night. Can Amanda and Henry finally begin to heal what’s broken and find some peace?
PINTEREST BOARD FOR WHAT'S BROKEN BETWEEN US (by Alexis Bass)
When I was a sophomore in high school, three junior girls from the student council were out in the morning of Homecoming to teepee the school. This was some kind of tradition. They were struck by a drunk driver at about 5a and all three were killed. Jennifer, Jennifer and Allison. I remember when it happened and how crazy it was. The aftermath of it, I remember one of the girls sisters would do talks about drunk driving. Also when I was in school a teacher was hit by a drunk driver. A young girl who just got a promotion and was celebrating. He left behind a wife and kids. His brother does a presentation for the schools that makes me cry every time I see it. Drunk Driving is a very ugly ugly thing and I like that What’s Broken Between Us keeps it ugly.
Jonathan is an interesting character because of how broken he is. He gets out of jail and he is still troubled. He is not instantly reformed and that’s what I like about the way his character is written. He killed someone and not just any someone but his best friend. A girl that was beyond special to him and now he has to live with it forever. Yes her death was an accident but sometimes that makes it worse. If she had been murdered by someone else you could blame that person, if it had been faulty brakes, blame the car, if it had been treacherous weather, blame the sky. Instead he has nobody to blame but himself. Then he gets out of jail and he is not only weighted down by that guilt but by everyone's expectations. He’s supposed to be sorry, he’s supposed to be reformed, he’s supposed to want to do community outreach, he’s supposed to be something. When really he just wants to disappear. I think the way Alexis shows us his character is important because it doesn’t always work out the way it should.
Amanda and Henry. Well they make some poor choices in the story. Relationship wise especially but I’m not a person that shies away from that. I wish I could say those sorts of things don’t happen but they do and they’ve happened to me. Besides that I really like the two of them and how much they care for the other. Despite what happened with their siblings. They kind of have to wade through all of that to get back to each other. I really like the flashback of how their story began and Grace’s wise words about them. We see Amanda really change and develop as she tries to cope. To be a good sister and to deal with how her brothers actions affect her. They do of course in more way than one. She tries to be strong and put on a brave face but she is also broken. Henry is angry and needs to find an outlet.
This book is dark, very dark. It’s also very good because like I said, it shows you the ugly. It doesn’t try to wrap everything in a neat bow. You won’t necessarily have the characters turn out the way you think they should. I really liked it for that.