Book Review: Broken Wings

Happy February everyone! I’ve decided to add my reviews to my blog because WHY NOT. If weren’t aware, I usually review books frequently on my bookstagram with the tag #watermelaniesreviews. I took a poll (of one person…okay, not statistically significant, but bear with me) and discovered that blog reviews are easier to read and such so here I am posting a review on my blog! LET ME KNOW IF YOU LIKE IT!


Title: Broken Wings
Series: Cruel and Beautiful World #1
Author: L. Stoddard Hancock
Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Genre: Adult Dystopian
Format: Physical Copy
Notes: Not for young readers, major TW for sexual assault and abuse

After an ancient war that left the outside air toxic, the shielded city of Utopia is the only safe place left in the world. Or so its citizens are taught to believe.

Many dismiss the lies fed to them by a familial line of crooked presidents and choose to live outside the city’s walls. But when a new president takes control, he wages a war on these Outsiders, and their leader’s daughter Deryn Leon is caught in the crossfire.

Five years later Deryn is a slave. Beaten and starved, she has little will to go on. But when a chance encounter leaves her with a means for escape, the forgotten fire inside of her ignites once more and she takes the opportunity with one swipe of a knife to her owner’s throat.

But escaping Utopia isn’t easy. While hiding in plain site, Deryn is discovered by Xander Ruby, the Utopian Guardian inadvertently responsible for her capture in the first place.

Xander, who is guilt-stricken by everything he has done as a Guardian, wants nothing more than to get Deryn home. He takes her in and they soon form a powerful bond that will not be broken, even when the reality of this cruel and beautiful world threatens to tear them apart.

You know a book is good when you can’t stop thinking about it. When it was so entirely not what you expected. When you wait for nearly a month to review it because you’re hoping words will come to describe your feelz.
That’s this book and I still have no words.
@lstoddardhancock has created a supremely interesting world with a great, funny, banter-y cast of characters. I finished it and then listened to “Cure” by Barcelona and I was like THIS SONG IS BROKEN WINGS IN A BOOK. Needless to say, I couldn’t stop thinking about Xander and Deryn for weeks. Their relationship was completely ****** up but the WORLD was ****** up so, in their circumstances, it worked. That’s something that I’ve never read before.
This started out as a jarring and attention-grabbing dystopian novel with a failed utopia that I just wanted to know everything about. Partway through, however, the story turned into a full-blown romance that disappointed me because I was hoping for more action/world understanding (although Ive heard the second book has plenty of that). I felt that the romance aspect of this book could have been captured in a few scenes instead of the entire middle of the novel, buuuut the ending was amazing!
The final thing I couldn’t quiiiiite get on board with was how in the world Deryn is a functioning human being after all she has been through. I just CANNOT imagine it. But I just went with it and accepted that somehow she is still functioning and appreciated the story for what it was.
All in all, I LOVED this book and cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of Sunken Eyes (book two!) EEEEEK I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!!! 4/5 stars!
Please note: This book is NOT for young readers. It contains explicit sexual content and allusions to extreme violence. Also, major TW for sexual assault and abuse.
@threeknockscandles has created a candle for a character in this series!! It’s fittingly called The Cupcake Girl AND IM TELLING YOU IT SMELLS EXACTLY LIKE SAFEWAY CUPCAKES! You can bet I burned this for days after finishing Broken Wings! Check out @threeknockscandles and Broken Wings by @lstoddardhancock!

*Huge thank you to L. Stoddard Hancock who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Here’s a handy link to “Cure” by Barcelona so that you can listen to it while you read and see what I mean:

You’re welcome.



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