Review: The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle

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What’s It About?

When Naomi is kidnapped, naturally she is terrified.  However, the more she gets to know her captors, the more she begins to feel that perhaps she would rather be there with them, than back at home.  For the first time in her life, Naomi feels that she finally belongs and is surrounded by the love that has always been missing from her life.  As time goes on, she begins to face her past but ultimately must make the choice to either stay or escape and turn in the people she has begun to see as her true family.

My Thoughts:

One of the things I love about Michelle’s work is that I never know what to expect.  Every book from her is a new adventure, a different genre with different themes running through it.  (You can read my reviews of Michelle’s previous books here and here.)

I am not sure what genre The Breakaway actually falls into as it is far more complex than a tick in a box, which is what I loved about this book.  I was kept questioning and wondering throughout the entire story, which of course meant that at times, I had difficulty putting the book down (which is something that every writer should aim for in my opinion).  However, I found that the questioning didn’t stop when I reached the end of the book.  While it was relatively tied up, there was just so much that wasn’t answered (and I’m not talking about a cliff-hanger, I’m talking about motives of the characters) that left me feeling a little unsettled and annoyed.  I’m hoping that the sequel (which Michelle talks about here) will shine light into those answers.

The other main issue I had with this book was the point of view.  Almost the entire story is told through Naomi’s point of view – which makes sense as she is the protagonist.  However there were a few chapters in Karen’s (Naomi’s mother) point of view.  And I really loved reading about her thoughts and actions so my issue was that there was so little of this in the book.  I feel that if you are going to have multiple points of view, you should include both/all throughout the entire book.  As Karen’s points of view were so sparse I felt cheated as this point of view was introduced quite close to the beginning, and then wasn’t explored again until quite a substantial way through the book, and even then, only barely.

These were the only issues I really had with The Breakaway.  I enjoyed the story and was glad that it wasn’t predictable.  The character of Naomi is not a stereotype, and is so fully formed that I felt as though she was a real person with her own issues and quirks. This of course meant that I could never fully understand her, even though it is in her point of view, so part of the reason I kept reading was because I wanted to get to know her.  I wouldn’t say that Naomi is a person I would want to be friends with but that didn’t stop me from being intrigued in her and her situation.

The other characters were all ‘real’, which made reading much more interesting as it feels much more real and believable.  However, most of them I never got to really understand (part of the questioning motives which I mentioned earlier) but I don’t think this was necessarily a bad thing as it meant I was led along the confused and unpredictable path that Naomi is living.  I only got to see and know what she saw and knew about the kidnappers, so was never pulled out of her point of view.  As for Karen, while I got to know her from both Naomi’s and her own point of view, she is still shrouded in mystery for me.  I never understood her and I really wanted to.  The short parts in her point of view just made me want to delve deeper into her character but was only able to through Naomi’s very subjective point of view.

Overall I enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something a little different than mainstream predictable storylines.  I am definitely going to read the sequel when it is released.

Overall rating: 4/5

[Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.]

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