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Blog Tour Review: What Unbreakable Looks Like

Kate McLaughlin - What Unbreakable Looks Like
Publication Date: June 23, 2020 by Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher
Pages: 336
Rating: 3.5/5

Lex was taken - trafficked - and now she's Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn't quite know how to be Lex again.

After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn't trust it. Doesn't trust her new home. Doesn't trust her new friend. Doesn't trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn't because that's what feels right. She doesn't deserve good things. 

But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn't mean it is okay. She's thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. 

But first, she'll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love.

Kate McLaughlin's What Unbreakable Looks Like is a gritty, ultimately hopeful novel about human trafficking through the lens of a girl who has escaped the life and learned to trust, not only others, but in herself. 
Reminiscent of Little Peach by Peggy Kern and Welcome To The Rileys, Kate McLaughlin tells the story of Lex, formerly Poppy, after being rescued from a motel with a group of girls in a similar situation. She has developed trust issues after being ruthlessly run through the system of human-trafficking after being introduced to the devastating "system" by her mother's callous boyfriend, Frank (and his friend, Mitch). After being rescued, she then taken in by her aunt and uncle, returning to their home in Connecticut. And when Lex looks back at her former life, she considers it to be dust. 

A debut YA, Lex has not had it easy and she often considers how she'll return to normal. If normal even exists. She was assaulted by her alleged boyfriend and his group of friends. She is forced to accept the reality of the situation: the abruptness of her young-adulthood being torn from her hands.

On Goodreads, I did see a couple of reviews, stereotyping the book, accusing it of PSA-vibes and stereotypes. However, the book deals with many intense themes and tropes: mental health, loss, abuse, alcoholism, and more. 

Like Little Peach, the story of Lex is no-holds-barred. At some points, it reads more like a New Adult novel rather than a young-adult novel with the maturity a. The story would've done better with more dialogue and not as many thought passages/silent questions. Otherwise, a great story and topic that demands to be told. 
Author Bio: 

Kate McLaughlin likes people, so much so she spends her days making up her own. She likes writing about characters who are bent, but not broken - people who find their internal strength through friends, strife, and humor. When she's not writing, she likes studying people, both real and fictional. She also likes playing board games with friends, talking and discovering new music. A proud Nova Scotian, she'll gladly tell you about the highest tides in the world, the magical creation known as a donair, and people who have sofas in their kitchens. Currently, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and four cats. She's the author of What Unbreakable Looks Like. 


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