Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Remember the places you touched me.Mira and Francesca Cillo were beautiful, overprotected by their father, and, frankly, odd. To the neighborhood boys they seemed untouchable. But one boy, Ben, touched seven parts of Mira: her palm, hair, chest, cheek, lips, throat, and heart. After the sisters drown themselves in the quarry lake, a post-mortem letter from Mira arrives in Ben's mailbox. The letter sends Ben on a quest to find notes in the places where they touched. Note by note, Ben discovers the mystical secret at the heart of Mira and Francesca's strange world, and he discovers that some things are better left untouched.
"Whey you touch things, they can break."
Beautiful Broken Girls, by author Kim Savage, is her follow up novel After the Woods. The story surrounds two sisters (Mira & Francesca Cillo) who commit suicide, and a next door neighbor (Benvenuto Lattanzi), who manages to find a way into one of the girls hearts before the girls choose to end their lives instead of facing their demons.
Ben receives a letter (8) days after the girls are found dead:
"Everyone wanted to touch us, including you. So, remember the (7) places you touched me. That's where you'll find the truth. Start at the beginning." Mira sends Ben on a hunt for clues to what really happened to her, and Francesca with each clue representing the (7) body parts that Mira allowed Ben to touch. Palm. Hair. Chest. Cheek. Lips. Throat. Heart. The author actually breaks the story up into (7) parts as well with each part representing a body part.
Ben is the boy next door who had something really horrible happen to him. So horrible, in fact, that people really believed that he's messed up, and therefore his decisions and actions are always being watched to ensure he doesn't flake out. Ben is curious as to why Mira sent him a letter. After all, Mira basically closed herself off from him prior to her death. As Ben slowly uncovers Mira's clues, he gets a broader idea what really caused the sisters to choose the path they did. Who can Ben really trust? His parents? The so called expert in Mr. Falso? Or, was what happened to the sister's so awful that nobody would ever believe him?
Mira & Francesca are the daughters of one of the more important people in town. Their father protects them not unlike princesses being forced to stay locked up in the castle without attention any parties, or dating, or meeting any would be suitors. It doesn't hurt that both girls are quite pretty, or that nobody dares mess with the girls for fear of ending up on the wrong end of facing the girls father in court, or worse. Francesca has some issues which won't be discussed ever. Mira is the solid sister who tries to guide her sister, and Connie, the cousin, is always on hand to do what the sisters do no matter what.
Let me say right off the bat that I was 100 percent wrong in my guess at what was happening to the girls, and why they chose such a hard core way to end their lives. I won't even bother giving away clues. I will say that miscommunication plays a huge role in the story, and perhaps the outcome of what happens as well. Suicide novels are hard for me as both an Italian and a Catholic. I don't agree with it, but I am not one of those who will rise up and start preaching about those who do commit suicide ending up with the Devil. Nope. This story flips back and forth between the now, and the then. There are so man things that just drove me nuts, including the miscommunication party that wasn't caused by either Ben, or Mira. Ben isn't as interesting as Mira nor Francesca. But, in the end, he's what the cards have dealt us.