Fragile Like Us

by Sara Barnard

4 of 5 stars 1 rating • 1 review • 1 shelved
Book cover for Fragile Like Us

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Fragile Like Us

by Sara Barnard

4 of 5 stars 1 rating • 1 review • 1 shelved
  • ISBN10 1481486128
  • ISBN13 9781481486125
  • Publish Date 18 July 2017
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publisher Simon & Schuster
  • Imprint Simon Pulse
  • Format eBook
  • Pages 416
  • Language English


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Upon turning 16, Caddy set out to accomplish three "milestones" before her next birthday:

• I would get a boyfriend. A read one.
• I would lost my virginity.
• I would experience a Significant Life Event.

What she didn't expect was for Suzanne to enter the picture and change her whole world.

First and foremost, this was a story about friendship. In the author's note, Barnard talks about how this was a story about love without romance, and she definitely accomplished that. The bond shared between Caddy and Rosie ran deep. They had known each other since they were small, and have stood by each other for many years. They were the type of friends, who knew what you needed before you asked for it, and they were the type of friends, who could also weather a storm.

The storm came in the form of Suzanne. She was bright and shiny and new, and essentially, everything Caddy wasn't. But slowly, Caddy forms a bond with Suzanne, and their friendship begins to flourish. However, Suzanne was struggling with and trying to outrun her past, and she sort of sucked Caddy into it. This all resulted in a lot of growth and change for Caddy.

There were a few really interesting things explored in this book. First, the fragile nature of a friendship. Rosie and Caddy seemed to have a really solid one, but introduce a new element, Suzanne, and they hit a few bumps in the road. Then, there was Suzanne's abuse. I got a good idea about how it affected Suzanne, but Barnard also examined how it affected her loved ones. Caddy, Rosie, Suzanne's aunt, and her brother were all impacted in some way, because they all cared for and loved Suzanne.

As far as the characters are concerned, I found Caddy relatable and, I loved Rosie from the beginning. It took me a while to embrace Suzanne, because her antics and destructive nature were had to swallow. I understood why she was the way she was, and I was sympathetic to what she had suffered, but watching her spiral out, and take others with her, was tough.

While Rosie had a very loving family, and Caddy was lucky enough to have a great sister, Suzanne was surrounded by adults, and also Caddy, who enabled her self destructive behaviors. I know they were acting out of love, but I couldn't understand how she was left in her home for as long as she was or how she was not under a doctor's care. She had suffered a very traumatic experience, and they thought it would all go away by her moving to a new town? One of the messages in this book was that love sometimes meant saying no, when it was what was best for that person. It just took some of the characters a longer time than others to realize that.

So, that was sort of rant, but don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this book. It was emotional, messy, and at times, quite heartwarming. There were a lot of bright spots mixed in with all the chaos and sadness, and I was really pleased with how the characters grew over the course of the book.

And, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by the not tidy ending. There were some high points, but also a few ends left untied. BUT GUESS WHAT? There is a sequel coming out this year, which catches up with the girls two years after this book ends. I know I really want to read the book, and make sure that everyone is doing well.