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Solid, Broken, Changing


Loved it! 😍

Rich and robust, this expertly crafted sci fi/dystopian novel will have you turning pages until the very end.

“Trust nothing you thought you knew. Expect only the unexpected.”

That adage ably sums up this wonderfully rich and inventive Young Adult novel.

It’s summer off the coast of Maine. Kally and her father David, an emergency management professional, are sailing aboard Home, their stalwart vessel of many memoires. The weather forecast says “perfect.” An artist, Kally is trying to figure out her figure and is about to begin her college tour. Dad is about to tell Kally Something Important – Something Big – when Home is hit by a titanic rogue wave and capsizes. Kally and her father are rescued by the Hart family. They’re enjoying a vacation on a nearby lighthouse island before plunging into the fall season.

It’s not long before Kally starts feeling she’s in a “summer Disney movie going very, very wrong.” Did a freak storm bring Kally and her dad to the island – or is something else going on? What is making that “sound-feeling”? Are Kally’s drawings “abstract art” or something else?

“All the falling apart of what used to be real? All the erupting of new facts of existence that never before existed on Earth? It all starts now.”

Then the families are hit by three whacked out weather seasons in one night. Then a swarm of “ghost birds.” St. Elmo’s fire. A Home-wrecking downburst. A ferocious whirlwind that knocks out all power and satellite service on the island and thrashes the entire East Coast. Enter “family-busting secrets.” A missing mother – Kally’s. Foothold and handholds. Freezing-tagging. A bellowing foghorn. Wayfinding. A “human antenna.” And Stuart Hart, a champion freerunner and surprising ally who dreams of becoming a NASA flight controller.

What in the world is going on?

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this book at first. Turning pages, however, I discovered a highly engaging blend of dystopian fiction, futuristic sci fi and “family forever.”

Featuring rich, full-bodied characters and robust writing, Solid, Broken, Changing is a page turner from chapter one. (That’s a really unfortunate title. A story as solid as this one deserves something better.) Nimble, agile, and briskly paced, Solid is an expertly crafted story that’s highly readable. It’s an exceptional achievement, especially for a first-time Young Adult novel.

Readers looking for something fresh and new in the YA genre will enjoy Solid, Broken, Changing. This one’s a winner!

Reviewed by

Kristine earned her Bachelor's degree in Communication/Print Media from Biola University. Her background is in marketing and public relations. Kristine serves on the Board of her local library. A frank but fair reviewer, she reads an average of 350 books a year thru a wide variety of genres.


About the author

Elizabeth Ellsworth is a writer, educator, and collaborative artist. With Jamie Kruse, she co-directs smudge studio (, based in Brooklyn, NY and Provincetown, MA. The story of Solid, Broken, Changing grew out of their work as artists living in the Anthropocene. view profile

Published on January 11, 2022

50000 words

Genre: Young Adult

Reviewed by