Kiss Of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Kiss Of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick | Book ReviewKiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-09-09
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Self-Mutilation, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 224
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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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.

I’m really into books written in free verse. I love that young adult authors are able to play with form, eliminate the BS and get right to the heart of a story with verse. To be honest, when Kiss Of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick crossed my threshold, I was not entirely sure about reading it because it’s about cutting and blood makes me a bit woozy. Then, I read the back cover and saw that it is a verse book and was like hold up, I NEED TO READ THIS because of my aforementioned love of verse. I actually whipped through Kiss Of Broken Glass in record time and really enjoyed it for what it was.

Kiss Of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick is about this girl named Kenna who is cutting herself in the girl’s bathroom at school with a pencil sharpener. Another girl, aptly called Two-Faced Tara walks in on Kenna, tattles on her, and then Kenna is Baker Act-ed which means she’s committed to a psych ward for 72 hours for observation and for crisis intervention. It means that they aren’t expected her to be fixed or on track or healthy at the end of the 72 hours but past crisis mode. While at the hospital, Kenna is skeptical at first and doesn’t really see cutting as a huge issue because everyone does it. Then, she begins to meet other teens who are like herself, Skylar who is tiny and fragile and who has a whole host of issues, Donya, her roommate, and Jag this super cute boy that she can’t stop staring at. Kuderick’s book examines Kenna’s 72 hours and what it means to emerge hopeful from a crisis.

I thought Kenna worked pretty well as a main character for Kiss Of Broken Glass. She’s someone who is relatable, in that she’s not super outstanding, she’s actual average. She’s the middle child. Her older sister is an overachiever and Kenna feels inadequate compared to her. What I like about Kenna is that she doesn’t begin cutting because she has a super tragic life, but because it’s what all the kids are doing. I guess she felt like a pretty real fifteen year old to me, because of her giving in so easily to peer pressure. I think we like to give lip service to this whole never give into peer pressure thing when you know, it’s hard to resist that jump off a bridge instinct.

As for the writing, Kiss Of Broken Glass is written in verse, as I mentioned above. All told, it took me about an hour to whip through this book. I mean, I read it really fast because it’s very compelling. The verse works well for the stark tone of the novel. I mean, yes it eventually transitions to hopeful. However, much of the book deals with a serious issue and I think that the format lent itself to the theme of cutting quite well. I really liked how this book was written. I thought that Kuderick’s writing was tight and focused without losing any emotion. I’ll admit some of the cutting made me squeamish, but that’s just my personality, not the way it’s written.

Who Should Read This Book:

  • Fans of Ellen Hopkins
  • Teens who struggle with cutting
  • People who enjoy serious issue books
  • Anyone who doesn’t understand why kids cut themselves
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’m really excited to read this book. One, because it’s told in verse and two, it deals with self-harm, something that I think is an issue today. It’s an interesting angle that the author took with having Kenna begin cutting because everyone else was doing it. I’m glad you enjoyed it, minus a bit of the actual self harm and blood of course. 🙂

  2. I think this sounds really great. I ALSO love verse novels AND I love love love Ellen Hopkins. And I love contemporary. I don’t mind the books that are issues contemps. Also I love that cover.

  3. Kiss of Broken Glass sounds quite intense! I actually don’t read a lot of novels in verse, but I feel like it does work to have a novel about a girl who cuts herself written in verse. I’m glad you found this one to be pretty darn good, and might consider looking into reading it after seeing your review!