A chilling medical suspense story — Lyons’ specialty — expertly entwines with teen-oriented family drama and the eye-rolling social hierarchy that is high school. Scarlet’s descriptive inner monologue puts readers right in the shoes of the observant 15-year-old girl with a debilitating heart condition. Not just for teens, Broken effectively addresses many modern issues, including bullying and the pediatric healthcare system.
It’s Monday, and Scarlet is starting her first day of high school. She has a week to prove to her mom, the school nurse, that she can be just-your-average student while living with Long QT, a genetic heart disorder that could kill her at any moment. She makes friends in her peer support group, but they’re teased relentlessly by everyone else. Scarlet’s only other allies are Tony, her eager lab partner, and, alas, her mom. An assignment sends her seeking the truth about her medical history. By Friday, Scarlet questions her family, her new friends and, with Tony’s help, her illness. (SOURCEBOOKS, Nov., 336 pp., $16.99, ISBN: 978402285455, HC, 12 & Up)