Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: One Broken Day by Melissa MacVicar


One Broken Day by Melissa MacVicar
Release Date: May 18, 2017
Genre: Teen & YA; Contemporary Romance

After a notorious school shooting leaves, her a shadow of the girl she once was, seventeen-year-old Lizzie Beringer moves to Nantucket Island. There, Lizzie vows to hide her identity as the shooter’s sister. All her efforts to fly under the radar, however, are complicated by her P.T.S.D. and the attention she receives from two competing boys. While fending off the not-so-subtle advances of popular athlete Michael Wickersham, she must also deal with her growing feelings for her shy lab partner Gage Pike. Gage may act like he’s all wrong for her, but the pull between them is undeniable. 

Under the threat of discovery and the possibility of testifying in a televised trial, Lizzie fights to keep her secrets and start her life over.

One Broken Day is a brilliantly imagined story exploring the ways we are all broken and at the same time, offered redemption in the most unexpected of places.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved this book! It was definitely a very sensitive topic to read about, but It’s something that needs to be talked about more often.
Melissa did a wonderful job with the flow of the characters (I wish the story didn’t end). The storyline is well thought out as well. However, I did find some errors as I was reading along, but they were minor and it’s something that can be fixed. In the end, I do recommend Melissa’s book and I give it four stars.


Wick and this Amber person were the last people on my mind. Seriously, I wished high school relationship drama was my biggest concern, but it wasn’t. Getting through the next ten minutes was my only goal. “ I wasn’t planning on it,”  I mumbled. “ Okay, good. Because trust me, you don’t want to get in the middle of that on your first day.” Alex pulled open the door, and the cacophony of voices inside seemed to hit me like a wall. Despite feeling as if my legs weighed two hundred pounds each, I still followed her through the doors. Right away, I noticed that it was different than Beaton—smaller and not as nice. Adrenaline flooded my system, and I had to fight the urge to turn and leave.  “ So this is the lunchroom,” Alex said. “ The other side, by the back door, is the middle school side so don’t go over there.” Ahead of me was the food service area. Lines formed at various places, but I only saw one cashier. Alex and I stood in a middle aisle with long tables extending in rows on either side. Many of the tables were already full. “ That’s where we usually sit,”  Alex pointed at a table on the left, all the way down by the windows. “ Did you bring your lunch or do you need to buy?” I exhaled the breath I was holding. “ Brought. Thanks,”  I said softly, glad the words were willing to come.  This meant I was coping. Coping was what Mom said we had to do. Before, I never had to cope with much of anything, but after, every minute revolved around doing just that. “ Okay, this way,”  Alex said.   We made the short journey to our designated table and stopped at the far end.  “ Hey, guys. This is Lainey. She’s new.”
I get various greetings and smiles from the girls. Alex introduced each of them, but there was no way I could remember all their names except for maybe the aforementioned Amber. She definitely would have stood out anyway. Clearly, these girls were cool. They wore American Eagle jeans and Patagonia jackets and Steve Madden boots. They all had long hair and well done makeup, and they were all examining me with that knowing look girls have when they recognize you’re pretty, and they try to decide if they can still like you or not. It happens very fast. First impressions really do matter. “ You can sit here,”  Alex said. I quickly dropped into place and busied myself retrieving my lunch from my bag—peanut butter and jelly on soft oatmeal bread. This was one of the only things I could choke down that didn’t cause me stomach spasms.  When I glanced up again, I met Amber’s deep blue eyes. “ Where in California did you live?”  She had long, stick-straight brown hair and a bitch-on-wheels pout.  “ San Francisco,”  I lied. “ Wow. Must be weird coming here.”  Her tone let me know I was boring her. My presence and the day and the whole entire world seemed a terrible bore to Amber. “ Yeah, my parents got divorced.”  In reality, my parents had been divorced for years. I don’t ever remember them together. Mom kept the Beverly Hills house, and Dad headed off to Malibu as per some secret script that ruled those matters in Hollywood.  “ So who dragged you here?”  a different girl asked. “ My mother. She used to summer here, and she wanted to get away.”
Another lie. My mother never set foot on this island before last week. One of Dad’s lawyers who grew up in Massachusetts recommended it to us. Beautiful place, good real estate investment.“ I guess this is getting away,”  Amber replied.  Wick appeared beside the table with a tray of food and another jacket clad boy I remembered from the morning, Perk 56 LB.  “ Hi ladies,”  Wick said.  He sat directly across from me. “ You being nice to the newbie?” “ Lainey,”  Alex told him. “ Her name is Lainey.” “ I remember,”  Wick answered. “ Did everyone have a good weekend?” Lunch proceeded as follows: everyone shared their weekend stories, Wick eyed me, Amber eyed Wick, and I eyed my peanut butter and jelly. If Amber could have killed Wick with just her eyes, he’d have died that day for sure. I, unfortunately, was familiar with this look—the look of both love and hate. It was all the more reason to stay away from the likes of Michael Wickersham. Wick and Amber. Amber and Wick. They were the stars of that show. They were the biggest sharks in that little pond.  “ So what do you think of our little island so far?”  Wick asked. He kept his voice low, trying to interact with just me.  “ It’s okay. The weather is kind of hard to get used to.” “ Yeah. Right now, for sure. It gets better though. Summer is amazing.” He held me fast in his gaze. I glanced away and back, and he hadn’t waivered. He licked his lips and lifted them in a smile that was probably intended to be sexy.  “ Did you have a boyfriend in California, Lainey?”  The blonde seated beside Amber asked loudly.  My face flushed with heat. “ Umm, no. Not really.”
Dumb dumb dumb. I should have had a better answer planned. Amber chuckled. “ What exactly does not really mean when it comes to a boyfriend?” Perk almost spewed chocolate milk, his body shaking with laughter. Wick tried to hide his own smile with his hand, clearing his throat and shifting in his seat.  When Perk pulled himself together, he said, “ Oh I think you know exactly what that means, Amber.” “ Shut up, Tyler,”  the blonde snapped. She and Amber stood and stormed off, probably headed for the bathroom where they could refresh their lip gloss and vent about the boys.  For my part, I wanted to melt into my seat from embarrassment. Being the new girl was bad enough without coming between the it couple of the whole school. I spent the rest of lunch trying to avoid looking at anyone whileWick kept trying to give me some kind of knowing look that I refused to accept. When the bell rang, I jumped to my feet and went to throw out my trash. I found Alex again near the door despite the sea of other students leaving for class.  As we walked to physics, Alex explained Amber and Wick. “ She swears she’s over him but they always hook up at parties and stuff. It’s very dysfunctional.” “ It’s fine. I’m not interested in him.” “ Really?”  Alex wrinkled her forehead.  I should have been interested, I guess. Wick was the kind of boy that everyone was automatically interested in because of his looks and his status and his all around cocky attitude. “ Yeah. He’s not my type.”
Alex dropped her tone to low and conspiratorial. “ What’s your type?”  she asked.    “ Older. College boys. I only dated high school boys when I was a freshman.” This was not a lie although no one would have been able to tell from the way I behaved so far that I was ever confident and experienced enough to handle myself with guys. “ Oh,”  was all Alex said in response. She seemed to be pondering my revelation as we continued walking toward the science wing.   I just hoped she’d get the word out about me not being interested. Blending in was my goal and dating the most popular junior boy would only serve to draw attention to myself. This starting-over stuff was turning out to be more complicated than I anticipated. I was not the same person I was before, and I had no idea who to become. Maybe I should have spent more time figuring that out. School used to be so easy for me—the academics, the socializing, the tennis team. But in Nantucket, it all seemed kind of overwhelming.  Alex said, “ I don’t have this physics class with you. When it’s over, head down to the gym for P.E. and I’ll see you there. That’s our last class today.” “ Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.” “ No problem.”  Alex seemed to have good intentions towards me, and I felt truly grateful for her help.  Once alone, I tried to ground myself again. Two more classes. Two more classes. I can do this. Nantucket High School was better than the alternative—better than tutors and solitary confinement. I inhaled a deep breath and stepped over the threshold.
Chapter 3GageNew Girl walked in. As soon as I spied her in the doorway with her schedule clutched in her hand, I knew I’d get stuck with her. The odd number of students in physics had worked so well in my favor, but with her arrival, I’d be saddled with an unwanted partner. She approached Smithson. He leaned on his cane near the back table, counting supplies. Kids were always stealing his crap—pulleys and magnets and steel balls. Teenagers, in general, are kleptomaniacs.   As I watched her, I could see what all the excitement was about. Her face was smooth and blemish free. Cheekbones, lips, chin, eyebrows—all stunningly arranged. Her hair was kind of plain—brown and straight and to her chin, and she was a bit skinny for my taste. Like, someone needed to give her a cheeseburger and a cupcake, quick. From what I overheard in the locker room after P.E, though, her eyes were the kicker—pure green and sexy as hell. Wick said her eyes alone got him fired up. Smoke show he called her.  She stopped beside Smithson and cleared her throat.  “Hello, young lady, may I help you?”  he asked when he noticed her there. “Yes. I’m new, and I think I’m in this class.”  Her voice was soft and not too high. She even sounded pretty.  Smithson cocked his head to the side as he peered down at her. “Welcome. Schedule?” She handed it over, and he examined it about two inches from his reading glasses. I suspected he had a cataract, but I might have been wrong. He glanced back up at her. “I assume you were enrolled in honors physics at your previous school?”  Smithson had little tolerance for weak students.
She nodded.  “Fantastic!”  He thrust the schedule back at her. His quick motion and sudden excitement made her flinch.  “We’ll be performing a lab today. I have one student without a partner. Gage!” I blew out my breath loudly before answering. “Yeah?” “This young lady...”  He paused to read her name again. “Ms. Lainey Darwin will be your new lab partner. I am entrusting her to your care, and I am confident that you will be an excellent ambassador of our class and school.” “Yes sir.”  I gave him a lazy salute.  “Fantastic. Good luck Ms. Darwin. Mr. Pike will get you everything you need.” New Girl seemed a little panicked. She glanced between me and Smithson, opening her mouth like she might object. When nothing came out, however, Smithson hobbled his way back to his desk.  “Have you done a pendulum lab before?”  I asked her, figuring it was best to just jump right in. I stayed half straddling my stool, wanting to appear unfazed and uninterested in her presence. But when she looked at me (like I mean really looked at me) that’s when the trouble started. Her eyes. Wick was right; there was something about them. I could see the danger in looking at her for very long. I could already feel her clouding my judgment, giving me stupid thoughts like God she’s gorgeous and Wow, I hope she likes me. “No.”  Her answer was quiet and sort of emerged as a sigh. She set her backpack on the floor beside her stool while I tamped down the warm feeling of nervousness in my chest.  Meeting Lainey and talking to Lainey was disconcerting—her face a mix of attractiveness edged with some acute sadness she couldn’t hide. She was trying, of course, as anyone would, but it wasn’t working. 
“Fantastic,” I answered, imitating the elderly Mr. Smithson but with far less enthusiasm. “Let’s get started.” I hoped I could keep myself together and get through the lab without turning into a bumbling idiot in her presence.  LaineyGage Pike was a cruel joke. After what I had already endured my first day, I would have much preferred a normal, run of the mill lab partner. But when this boy stood and unfurled himself for me to behold, I could see that he was anything but run of the mill. Instead, he was six foot three, at least, with broad shoulders and a lanky frame. He wore Doc Marten boots, slim cut khakis, and a faded concert tee-shirt. A tousled head of spiky, blondish hair along with chiseled cheek bones and wide set blue eyes rounded out the picture making him really hot even though he exuded a bit too much of the skaterboy/musician/rebel attitude for my taste.  “This way,” he said.  And, like a good partner should, I followed him to a nearby supply closet. Inside, it smelled like freshly cut wood and mothballs. Gage began rifling around on the shelves looking for materials. The aisle was narrow and the shelving was deep, so he had to lean way in. I tried not to look at his back and arms and butt when he did it, but it wasn’t easy to avoid. Eventually, he found something he was looking for, and he extended his hand backward to me without turning around.  “Hold these,” he said, dropping two silver discs, two stopwatches, and some string into my hand. I struggled to take it all, but enjoyed how his fingertips felt warm when they grazed my chilly palm. After that, he bent way down to pull two wooden stands off a low shelf.  When he popped back up with his hands full, our eyes met, and I froze in place. He squinted down at me and seemed to wait for me to read his mind. And I tried. I really did. Unfortunately, I had nothing. 
Finally, he said.  “Okay, back to the table now,”  and bobbed his head in that direction. That’s when I realized he just wanted me to move. He wasn’t trying to have a little staring moment with me after all. Dear God! What was wrong with me! I mumbled, “Oh. Okay,” and backed out of the closet, my cheeks burning with the red-hot intensity of embarrassment.   Once we reached our table, Gage thankfully went about setting up the lab without another word except to direct me to a side table where I picked up all the hand-outs. The experiment itself required two pendulums with different lengths of string which we had to time and observe at intervals. Gage set everything up and pointed to a spot on my lab sheet for the data when he was done.  “You watch this one. Time and write down how many swings per thirty seconds.” “Got it.” As I watched, the swinging motion of the disk mesmerized me. My head buzzed and my eyes grew tired. I rested my elbow on the lab table, chin on my hand, and kept track of the swings. After a few minutes, Gage asked, “How’s your first day going?” I shrugged and jotted down a number. “Okay.” “Just okay?” “Yeah. But it’s not over yet.” “So it could still go either way, I guess,” he said.  “Fabulous or suckish. Or maybe it will stay just okay.” I focused on my pendulum and kept counting as a small smile lifted my lips. “Fabulous is doubtful,” I replied. Gage Pike grinned in my peripheral vision. “You never know, New Girl. Things could take a turn for the fabulous when you least expect it.”
“I guess there’s always hope,” I bantered in return. When we cleaned up at the end of class, Gage said, “We have to do the write up for this tonight. Did you get a school Google account?” “Yeah. I think it’s with the stuff guidance gave me.” Gage slid his phone out of his bag. “Give me your number so we can text and meet up in Google docs. Have you used it before?” “Yeah. It shouldn’t be a problem.” “What’s your number?” I recited it for him and heard my phone vibrate in my bag.  “You should have mine now. Can you carry these to the closet?”  Gage dropped the disks and string back into my palm. The contact only lasted a moment and really, it was no big deal, but I still liked it. Being with Gage and doing the lab with him, this was why I came. I wanted to be a normal teenager again doing normal teenage things. No one ever appreciated normal.   “I hope at least this class wasn’t suckish,” Gage said as the bell sounded. “No. This class was good.”  And my answer was definitely not a lie.


Melissa was born and mostly raised on Nantucket Island, and she currently lives there with her husband and two teenage children. When not being a wife and mother and teaching writing to seventh graders, she enjoys binge watching shows like Big Little Lies, House of Cards, and Outlander. Despite the rumors to the contrary, she does not actually wish she was a teenager again, nor does she see ghosts like the main character in her first novel, Ever Near. She does, however, love to hear from readers so send her a message on social media or at her email: melissa.macvicar@gmail.com Twitter: @MelissaMacVicar Facebook: Melissa MacVicar Instagram: melissa.macvicar


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