Just a Little Broken
Page Publishing (2019)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (12/2021)
Rocker Morrigan Bloodchild faces a crisis when she loses her beloved grandmother. Feeling a loss of faith in her wiccan beliefs, she stops performing her special rituals and wearing her protective amulets. Suddenly, everything starts going wrong for her. Even business opportunities for the band seem to tank, and she finds herself on the verge of being evicted. Her on-and-off again older boyfriend also reappears around this time. While she is happy to have him back, his presence creates even more conflict regarding her band. It will take some time and some drama before she can decide if having him in her life is to her benefit or detriment.
Meanwhile, Morrigan finds herself being watched by a creepy older man. She soon learns that he is there to make a deal with her. She gets tricked into a contract that results in a strange, tattooed sleeve suddenly appearing on her arm—her prized guitar also experiences some changes. Unexpectedly, the band gets the opportunity to go on tour. Excited about this, Morrigan soon discovers that there is a heavy cost to becoming successful. People who she loves are suddenly in mortal danger. Determined to fight this “fallen angel” and cancel her contract, Morrigan has to step back into her power and old wiccan ways. Unfortunately, for some…it is too late.
I loved “Just a Little Broken.” The story took me back to my own days of being involved with a musician from a rock-and-roll band. The group frequently joked about ‘selling their souls’ for fame. While fictional, this story clearly highlights what can go wrong when you do just that. The protagonist in this story is clearly flawed, and a bit broken. She does not behave well through most of her story. This, in turn, makes it so much fun and entertaining to read! But she has to go through a lot of trials before she will be able to find herself and recover her goodness. She is also surrounded by supporting characters who are damaged and battling their own demons, but their demons are more reality-based—like sex, drugs, and alcohol—unlike hers which is actually a fallen angel out to destroy her.
This is a modern Faustian tale that carries a lot of gothic elements which help keep it mired in darkness. Readers who enjoy horror novels with depth, will love sinking their fangs into this one. If my Popular Fiction professor wasn’t long retired, I would have contacted him about adding this to the list of books for that course. I really think “Just a Little Broken” would be perfect for courses like that or for reader’s groups, in general. There are so many layers of depth to this story that I feel it would be extremely interesting to listen to other people’s perceptions of the plot. Thought-provoking, fascinating discussions would be sure to follow! The material is definitely for adults, so I do not recommend this for K-12 classes. Le’vian Dae did an amazing job creating this work of horror and it is well worth reading. I look forward to diving headfirst into more of her books!