The Art of Breaking Things

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In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson and Sara Zarr, one girl embraces the power of her voice: rules are meant to be broken and she won't stay silent.

Weekends are for partying with friends while trying to survive the mindnumbingness that is high school. The countdown to graduation is on, and Skye has her sights set on escaping to art school and not looking back. 

But her party-first-ask-questions-later lifestyle starts to crumble when her mom rekindles her romance with the man who betrayed Skye's trust and boundaries when he was supposed to be protecting her. She was too young to understand what was happening at the time, but now she doesn't know whether to run as far away from him as possible or give up her dreams to save her little sister. The only problem is that no one knows what he did to her. How can she reveal the secret she's guarded for so long?

With the help of her best friend and the only boy she's ever trusted, Skye might just find the courage she needs to let her art speak for her when she's out of words. After years of hiding her past, she must become her own best ally.

the art of breaking things, laura sibson

Sibson’s debut is a total knockout. The Art of Breaking Things tackles sexual assault with all of the weight and nuance it deserves... A powerful novel about consent, creativity and the importance of trust... a must read for anyone who’s felt like she had to handle her trauma alone.
— BookPage, starred review
In this moving debut, Sibson has created a flawed and likable narrator who attempts to work through cause and effect, shame and secrecy, avoidance and obligation. With layered nuance, the novel brings to light the impact of sexual assault and the importance of consent.
— Kirkus Reviews

Beautiful debut… Heartrending … Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson.
— Booklist

Beautifully written... Sibson has tapped into the teenage perspective and language in a way that feels natural and authentic”
— School Library Journal

The next time you think you know all about the school slut, the druggie, the vandal — think again. People are more complex than their reputations, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Laura Sibson’s powerful novel about female empowerment.
— Leila Sales, author of This Song Will Save Your Life
The Art of Breaking Things is a precious and daring work. An ode to the healing powers of the creative spirit, Skye breaks your heart just before she mends it back together. From the beginning, readers will believe in Skye because of how deeply and empathetically Sibson depicts Skye’s artistic vision and genuine, searching soul.
— Cordelia Jensen, author of Skyscraping and The Way the Light Bends

This book is a battle cry for the silent, scared, and shattered places inside us. Unflinching and lionhearted, this powerful novel is going to change lives and heal hearts.
— Heather Demetrios, author of Bad Romance