Author: Kat Spears
Publication: September 15th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley
When Jason Marshall’s younger sister dies, he knows he can count on his three best friends and soccer teammates — Mario, Jordie, and Chick — to be there for him. With a grief-crippled mother and a father who’s not in the picture, he needs them more than ever. But when Mario starts hanging out with a rough group of friends and Jordie finally lands the girl of his dreams, Jason is left to fend for himself while maintaining a strained relationship with troubled and quiet Chick. Then Jason meets Raine, a girl he thinks is out of his league but who sees him for everything he wants to be, and he finds himself pulled between building a healthy and stable relationship with a girl he might be falling in love with, grieving for his sister, and trying to hold onto the friendships he has always relied on.
I received a digital ARC of this book from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
I instantly dove right into reading Breakaway without reading its synopsis. One reason is that I have always wanted to read Ms. Kat’s other book, Sway, but never got the chance to. Another is that I’m on an e-Reader so there really isn’t a synopsis to read. Anyway, I’m saying this because I really had no idea where the story was headed but I never really felt lost. It was as if I’m taking on an unknown road without any signs telling me where I am exactly but I didn’t mind because I was enjoying the scenery.
Breakaway is the kind of book that just surprises you in a subtle way. It’s a fresh read with a unique plot and characters. I especially love the character of Jason. He is a good friend and son. He’s somehow troubled given the fact that her half sister just died of cancer. He’s thinks he’s a disappointment and constantly reminds himself that he’s just an accident, an unwanted child and the reason why his father left her mother.
He could be living a difficult life, living in a small apartment and short of money but he has Mario, Jordie and Chick to count on. But then Jordie gets a girlfriend and Mario starts hanging out with someone else. He starts to believe that everybody leaves. So when Raine enters his life, he keeps pushing her away even if he can’t stop thinking about her.
Aside from Jason, I also felt for some of the characters like Chick. Jason was such a good friend to him but they drifted apart sometime in the book. I wanted to protect him and be there for him just like Jason do. But don’t get the impression that Jason is your typical YA nice boy. He isn’t. He’s messed up and he knows it. But what I mostly felt about Jason is that he feels alone.
I honestly enjoyed this book. At first I thought I wasn’t though, because I’m a self-proclaimed lover of romance and I figured that this book is more about friendship (but there is indeed some romance 😉 ). I’m glad to have spent my time reading this one. I found myself grinning at some of Jason’s clever lines and other times, my brows furrowed.
Breakaway is not a happy book and it’s okay. Yes, it deals with grief, self-pity and anger but it reminds us that it’s a part of life. Loss is part of life and we always have a choice to move on. This book also showed what matters most to people who feels alone.
The ending of this book is as close to being parallel to how it started and to me, it was very meaningful.
Narrative – Breakaway is among the few contemporaries I’ve read in the male POV that had a distinct voice. Jason is a sensible narrator. His thoughts and lines were very real and easy to understand. I truly felt like I’m inside a teenage boy’s head and that made me actually feel his grief, worries and everything else.
Realistic Characters – The characters in this book aren’t the superficially attractive type. They’re real; flaws and all. I got really annoyed with some, close to hating them even. But I love the rest of the characters, especially Jason and Chris.
Simple and Unique – I’ve never actually given thought that something can be simple and unique at the same time. But yes, Breakaway is a simple yet unique read.
Book description and cover image from Goodreads