Click here to read reviewer Luan Gaines' take on Broken as Things Are.
Morgan-Lee and her brother, Ginx, have an unusual relationship. Ginx is obsessed with Morgan-Lee, emotionally dependent on his sister. Ginx has Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Morgan-Lee and Ginx have another sister named Dana, but Dana has a very small role in the book, almost to the extent that she is an afterthought, as she has moved in with her aunt and uncle next door.
Their father is busy with his job and their mother is emotionally distant, if not emotionally troubled. Therefore, Morgan-Lee and Ginx spend the majority of their time together and they even have a secret “language” and make-believe stories that they use to entertain themselves.
As Morgan-Lee reaches her teenage years, she begins to form friendships with others. Ginx is disturbed by these new developments; he feels like he is losing Morgan-Lee. Ginx acts out and pushes Morgan-Lee down one day, giving her a concussion. Morgan-Lee’s friendship with a boy named Billy turns to love, and she also befriends a brother-sister duo, Sweety-Boy and Jacob, further straining her relationship with Ginx.
The family ultimately switches into “crisis mode” as the relationships are wreaking havoc within the household. The reader learns the depth of Ginx’s emotions for Morgan-Lee and the difficulty that Morgan-Lee goes through amidst all the chaos as she tries to develop normal friendships.
Though this book is a slow starter, it picks up speed to become an engrossing story. The writing style is simple yet deep, and there are many poignant moments throughout.