Sep 10, 2014

Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

Title: Kiss of Broken Glass
Author: Madeleine Kuderick
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 9.9.2014
Pages: 224
Genre: Young Adult, Poetry, Contemporary, Issues
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from ALA

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Madeleine Kuderick’s gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

Told in haunted, elegant verse, KISS OF BROKEN GLASS is a spectacular debut that will resonate with readers long after the last page is turned. It’s truly hard to believe this is the launching point of Madeleine Kuderick’s career because it reads like a seasoned pro. I love it when debut authors don’t shy away from touchy, tricky subjects. Kuderick took “Go big or go home” to a new level.

I’m honestly not that big a fan of books told through verse. I prefer fleshed out stories with lots of details that you can’t always get in poetry. But because of the subject matter, I can’t imagine this book being written any other way. Every word is precise and weighted, each moment fleeting and echoing through the rest of the book.

Kuderick doesn’t dance around the issues of cutting, but she handles in a vividly accessible way so many generations can—and will—be able to relate to it and Kenna. It should be a staple in school libraries and classrooms. I can’t wait to see what she does next!


  1. Yeah, I'm not usually a story-in-verse fan, though it can be done well. Definitely a challenging issue but one that needs to be explored.

  2. I haven't seen this one before. I've read a few books in verse and for the most part, I like them. The only book about cutting that I've read is Willow and I really enjoyed it :)

  3. Thanks for the lovely review! I can't wait to read it.


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