I received the ARC for Breakaway by Kat Spears from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is September 15, 2015.
This is kind of a hard review to write because I didn't actually feel any emotion for the main character until the last ten percent of the book. Up until that point, I was more apathetic about it than anything.
The book opens with the funeral of Jason's sister. With the book being told from a male POV, I can almost forgive the fact that he didn't really show that much grief. When people brought it up, he would either ignore it or pass it off as a joke. Listening to his internal monologue, I was able to tell that he was grieving. I just couldn't connect with him enough to feel it. It also bothered me that no one ever tells how his sister died. They did kind of allude to it. But when Jason's mom blamed herself for her death, I really wanted more of an explanation.
I thought this was a book about friendship and the fact that his friends drifted away from him. But that was actually a subplot. The main part of the story was about the romance, which kind of bored me a little. First of all, there were a lot of issues his other friends were dealing with and Jason wasn't helpful with any of them. I would like to think it was a reaction to grief, but he didn't actually stop having anything to do with his friends until he started going out with Raine. I don't get why he was friends with those guys at all. He had been friends with Mario forever and Mario had always dabbled in drugs, but when his drug use gets out of control, there is no explanation and Jason just starts ignoring it. Jordie was someone with more money and he started distancing himself from his "poor" friends when he started going out with a girl. Then there's Chick. He was always just . . . there. I felt sorry for him because he thought so highly of all those guys (for some crazy reason) and yet, none of them seemed to care about him.
Let's talk about the love interest, Raine. I didn't like her and didn't connect with her at all. She kept getting mad at Jason for every little thing. It drove me crazy the way they would snark at each other for nothing. And they kept arguing about money. Her family had it and his didn't. How many times did he make a snarky comment about her money? And how many times did she get defensive about it? The answer to both of those questions is: too many. She did state at one point that just because her family had money didn't mean she didn't have problems. I do agree with that, but the problem is that she never, ever said what those problems were. Throughout the entire book she would make these random and vague statements about her life or issues that she had, but nothing ever came of it. The author didn't allow us to get to know Raine.
Here was the problem with this book: there were a lot of issues and very few resolutions to them at the end. There was the death of Jason's sister, poverty, a grief-stricken mother, an absentee father, a friend struggling with drug addiction, depression and another issue that I don't want to say because it would give too much away. So there were all these issues that the author incorporated into the story, but all of those issues either had a) a too quick and too neat resolution or b) no resolution at all.
As I stated, I did have some connection with Jason at the end of the book but it just wasn't enough. I wanted so much more from this book.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.