Review: 'Breakaway' by Kat Spears

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kat Spears 

From Kat Spears, author of Sway, comes a new novel that asks the question: when a group of four best friends begin to drift apart, what will it take to bring them back together?

When Jason Marshall's younger sister passes away, 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.

A witty and emotionally moving tale of friendship, first love, and loss, Breakaway is Kat Spears at her finest.
I got this as an eARC from NetGalley. 

The Big Picture:

Don't be fooled by this cover. It's not a sweet romance. It's a book about the rough and gritty. It's about the poorer part of the city. The book is a complete flip of what you would think it's about. It's not cutesy. It's not about insta-love. It's well-developed characters who are snarky and human. It's a slow plot and a slow romance. It's taking things steady. It's, simply, a bunch of teenagers in high school.
I was surprised by this book. It really was good. It was well-written. The story and characters felt real. The plot was a little slow, though. The romance wasn't too bad. It wasn't insta-love which was great. The ending could have been better, but it wrapped things up.

The Dirty Details: 

The characters felt real. I felt like Jaz could be anyone I know. I felt like he was right there, talking to me. They felt like actual teenage boys. They drank beer. They teased each other. They had erections. (Which was...odd but it made the story real. Because dudes get erections a lot. My friend once said they get it around seven or eight times a day or something like that. I imagine it's like, 'Whelps. There it goes again.') They made out with girls. The guys acted the way teenagers act. I felt like that made the story more realistic.
This book had great humor. The guys made 'yo mama' jokes. They teased each other. It was lighthearted humor. I loved it. It made them feel real. They weren't uptight, stick-in-the-mud types. They joked. They teased. They made fun of each other. They didn't take each other seriously. People do that in real life as well.
The story felt real. I felt like it could be anyone's story. It felt so common. Dead sibling. Disappearing dad. Young mother. Etc etc etc. The reactions felt so common. I felt like I could go to NYC and ask someone, 'Tell me your story,' and this would be it.

The plot was actually quite dull. Not a lot happened. It was slow. The exciting things weren't too exciting. Finding Jaz's dad. Jaz being beat up by Brian. Etc etc etc. The twists weren't too shocking. It wasn't that you expected it or guessed it. They just weren't that shocking.
I was bored about halfway through. If you want the girl, get the girl. That's what I think. I wanted more about the friendship. I wanted more about the dynamics in the group or lack of dynamics. Give me more friendship! Less awkward flirting!

The romance was okay. I didn't mind it. I liked that it was slow and steady. It was cute seeing the two of them act so innocent around each other. I was like, 'Aw... Jaz is being so innocent and nice. Even when he's not innocent or nice at all!' It was definitely a change. Most romances are quick. The lovers have no chemistry. They have no reason to be together at all. The romance doesn't fit the book at all. The romance in this book was part of the story. It changed Jaz's personality. He lost his friends but found one in Raine. And then she wasn't his friend. (-wink wink-)
The future didn't matter. It was just the present. (Such a teenager-ish thing to say...)

The ending wrapped things up. The story ended nicely. There weren't anymore questions. There weren't anymore loose ends. It was a nice present wrapped up and tied with a tiny bow.
I'm not saying it was the best ending. I wanted things to be better. I wanted to undo what happened to Chick. I wanted to make things right between the friends. Smack them around a bit and put Mario in rehab, you know? But life isn't happy endings. Life takes you into its arms before kicking your butt and shoving you onto the street.



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