Broken Dolls by Tyrolin Puxty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary: Ella doesn't remember
what it's like to be human; after all, she's lived as a doll for thirty
years. She forgets what it's like to taste, to breathe...to love.
watches the professor create other dolls, but they don't seem to hang
around for long. His most recent creation is Lisa, a sly goth. Ella
doesn't like Lisa. How could she, when Lisa keeps trying to destroy her?
likes the professor's granddaughter though, even if she is dying. It's
too bad the professor wants to turn Gabby into a doll, depriving her of
an education...depriving her of life.
With time running out and
mad dolls on the rampage, Ella questions her very existence as she
unearths the secrets buried in her past; secrets that will decide
whether Gabby will befall the same fate...
What a unique little book.
Broken Dolls is a fairly quick read, coming in at only around 150 pages, but it still packs quite a bit in to a short space.
We're introduced to Ella in the midst of her excitement over getting a new friend - another doll to join her, and share the little space that the Professor has carved out for her to live her life in. She's not a perfect doll, but she can dance, and that's all that matters... At least, that's what she had always thought, until Lisa comes into her life and everything starts to change.
This book seems to skew a little younger than most YA, both in length and subject matter, but I still really enjoyed it. The concept is original and fascinating - the idea of a doll who used to be human, but who has forgotten what that was like... The struggle that she faces as she wavers between wanting to remember and not, wanting more and being terrified of it.
Woven into this is the mystery of her past, and that of Lisa, and the mysterious Professor. Who is she? Who is the Professor? How did she come to be a little dancer doll, living out her life in a dusty little attic, never seeing the outside? Is the Professor just a mad collector, wanting more and more dolls, or is there something more to it?
All of this makes this an intriguing little book, especially as the ending unfolds and we start to learn some of the truths that Ella discovers - and remembers - along the way. It's a mystery with a hint of dystopia, with a little foray into what it means to be human, as well. I see that there's to be a sequel, and I would definitely check it out.
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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