Broken Knight by L.J. Shen
I loved this book. And hated it a bit too. It was just so overwhelming. An emotional roller-coaster of epic proportions. All the feelings, all the time. Exhausting in the very best way.
In other words, this is an awesome read!
Broken Knight tells the story of Luna Rexroth and Knight Cole. They’re neighbours, best friends and have loved each other as long as they can remember. But even though they both also feel love of the romantic variety towards each other, the universe – and their own self-destructive tendencies – seem intent on keeping them apart. Luna is the good, shy girl. A selective mute since early childhood, she’s struggles to find her place in the world. Knight is the high school heart throb, the star of the football team and Luna’s protector. He’s also trying to suppress his grief with pills and alcohol.
This is a story about growing up. About second chances, self-discovery and acceptance. It’s about two damaged and imperfect people, on the cusp of adulthood, trying to find their way back to each other while also finding themselves. There are so many layers to discover in this story, and so many depths to uncover. Frankly, it’s quite devastating in a way. In a bloody great way.
I adored the characters. Both Luna and Knight were instantly lovable. The fact that Knight could be such an insensitive douche and still so utterly endearing is a true testament to Shen’s talent. Because he was such an asshole! Over and over and over. But no matter what shit he said or did, Shen always counterbalanced that with his (often hilarious) inner monologue or some shitty circumstances that managed to keep Knight from tipping over into the totally unforgivable wanker-territory. In other words, pretty inspired writing.
So I loved this story, I really did. It sucked me right in and wouldn’t let go. I laughed and cried and felt with the characters. And I was irritated as all hell. There couldn’t be anyone else as hell-bent on sabotaging for themselves as Luna and Knight. The complete lack of communication and the level of misunderstanding those two managed to pull off was extremely annoying. But despite that and despite the ups and downs, this is a great, great story. This is my first read by L.J. Shen, but there will definitely be many more.