Too Shattered for Mending

Reviewed by Melanie on October 27, 2017


Too Shattered for Mending is an incredible story about a boy, called Little, trying to survive a dysfunctional and abusive family and childhood.

Set in Pierce, Idaho, a small town with a high poverty rate, Little, unlike most people his age, doesn’t want out. He wants to buy some land, and start his own business. The only thing standing in his way, other than money of course, is his grandfather’s disappearance.

Written in the present, and small glimpses of memories, the reader gets small glimpses of how Little has grown up. More than anything, you realize how difficult Little has had it. The book is one that makes you think. In a town where meth apparently rules, staying clean and in school is a huge deal. Little’s dyslexia makes it a struggle, but he doesn’t give up.

His character is beautifully written. He’s complex, and emotionally stronger than he realizes. His love for Willa shines in every interaction between him. Speaking of Willa, I loved her jokes and shared every one of them with my husband.

The other characters in the book aren’t as strong as Little. JT is predictable, especially for a small town football star. I didn’t care for Rowan, but hated the the end of her storyline. Zaylie was different, but not in a bad way, and I enjoyed watching her and Little’s relationship grow.

Overall, the descriptions of the Idaho landscape set a beautifully setting to a story that will keep you guessing until the last chapter.

Too Shattered for Mending Book Cover Too Shattered for Mending
Peter Brown Hoffmeister
Young Adult, Mystery, Teen, Fiction, Family
Knopf Books for Young Readers
September 12, 2017
Kindle eBook

A gripping—and gritty—literary mystery that shines a light on rural poverty.

“Little” McCardell is doing all he can just to keep it together after the disappearance of his grandfather “Big” and the arrest of his older brother, JT. He’s looking out for his younger cousin, hunting and fishing to keep food on the table, and staying in school—barely.

When the cops turn up asking questions about Big, Little doesn’t want to get involved in the investigation. He half cooperates, but his mind is elsewhere, pining after Rowan, the girl JT was dating until he got locked up.

Soon Little finds himself drowning in secrets, beholden to the sheriff, to JT, to Rowan, and to Big’s memory, with no clear way out that doesn’t betray at least one of them. And when Little’s deepest secret is revealed, there’s no telling how it could shatter their lives.

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