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All booksYoung adultThe Boy and Girl Who Broke the World
The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World by Amy Reed
Young adult

The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World

by Amy Reed

Quick take

An unlikely friendship between a girl who always sees the glass as half empty and a boy who sees it as half full.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Quirky


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical


Why I love it

Siobhan Jones
BOTM Editorial Team

Summer means kicking back and taking a chance on something new. If you’re the kind of person who mostly enjoys romance or contemporary fiction, take a risk on this madcap story that brings the best of both worlds, with a dash of fantasy thrown in.

Billy isn’t exactly the most popular kid in school. He’s literally from the wrong side of the tracks, basically doesn’t have parents, and always says exactly what he’s thinking (awkward). When he strikes up an unlikely friendship with the new girl in town, Lydia, the common ground they discover in the liminal space between his quirky personality and her offbeat pessimism is almost enough to make high school worth it. But nothing comes easy, and soon the pair have two hands' worth of challenges to deal with, including an ex-celebrity rocker, an onslaught of impossible meteorological phenomena, and, oh yeah, the apocalypse.

The bottom line: This book is bizarre, in all the best ways. Billy and Lydia are renegade weirdos in a small town that demands normality, and their conversations are by turns poignant, funny, and deep. Even if this book was 400 pages of freewheeling dialogue, I probably would’ve enjoyed it. But it’s the plot, and all its “didn’t-see-it-coming” twists, that really steals the show. Take a chance on this book. I promise it’ll suck you in.

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Billy Sloat and Lydia Lemon don’t have much in common, unless you count growing up on the same (wrong) side of the tracks, the lack of a mother, and a persistent loneliness that has inspired creative coping mechanisms.

When the lives of these two loners are thrust together, Lydia’s cynicism is met with Billy’s sincere optimism, and both begin to question their own outlook on life. On top of that, weird happenings including an impossible tornado and an all-consuming fog are cropping up around them—maybe even because of them. And as the two grow closer and confront bigger truths about their pasts, they must also deal with such inconveniences as a narcissistic rock star, a war between unicorns and dragons, and eventually, of course, the apocalypse.

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Check out a preview of The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World.

Member thoughts

All (66)
All (66)
Love (18)
Like (35)
Dislike (13)
76 ratings
  • 24% Love
  • 46% Like
  • 17% Dislike
  • Mebane, NC

    I loved the sci fi / fantasy elements of this book. The friendship was complex and I read this book in one day. Great young adult read!

  • Tupelo, MS

    Quick read and really cute story

  • Bullhead city , AZ

  • Somersworth, NH

  • Ball Ground, GA

  • San Antonio, TX

  • Mesa, AZ

  • Salem, OR

  • Oshkosh , WI

  • Kelso, WA

  • Gloucester city, NJ

  • Belgrade, MT

    A pretty wonderful work of magical realism that address serious real world issues. It's a story about love and acceptance, and an exploration of what family and home can mean to different people.

  • Salinas, CA

    A good story about lonely young people learning how to be friends with others and what caring about others means. I wanted to adopt Billy and keep him safe the entire book. He was the best.

  • camas, WA

    The story ended up being totally different than what I expected. I was expecting some actual unicorns(there wasn’t lol) but it still ended up being a pleasant read!

  • Cranston, RI

    Loved Amy Reed's "Nowhere Girls" but this felt like a book from a different author. Some genuine moments but the overall plot felt all over the place.

  • West Chester, PA

    It was good. I found myself confused a bit while reading but as I got closer to the end I couldn’t put it down.

  • Oviedo, FL

    Interesting read with realistic characters. Hard to tell what's real and what's not sometimes. A little bleak.

  • Eastland, TX

    Definitely unique! A very deep book about friendship.

  • Pine Mountain Club, CA

    This one was charmingly depressing.

  • Bella Vista, AR

    All the feels!

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