Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Release Day Review: Breaking by Danielle Rollins - 4.5 stars

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 12:00 PM
Title: Breaking
Genre: YA Paranormal/Medical Thriller
Author: Danielle Rollins
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication: June 6th 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5

I went into Breaking having no idea what it was a companion novel for Burning. Yes, the covers were similar and so were the titles but some authors have books like that but they aren't connected, they just like things to match. I heard someone say it was a companion and I was like 'No, you're wrong'. Turns out, I was wrong and I didn't figure it out until there was a name mentioned of someone who died and then I ran over to my shelves and pulled Burning down and searched for the name and found it. So, yeah, it's a companion and I recommend reading Burning first. 

Plot:
First, I would like to say that there is suicide in this book. But it's not suicide the way you and I would conventionally think about it. It is a pivotal part of this book and there is no mental health issues surrounding it really. So, if you think you can handle that, then please pick this book up. 

Charlotte goes to an elite prep school that her elite mother got her accepted at. She made friends with Ariel and Devon, two very different yet similar girls. These girls form a family because their families leave a lot to be desired. Then Ariel is found dead from apparent suicide. Charlotte's world is turned upside down and Devon is all she has left. Then Devon goes missing and is found in a very different position but still an apparent suicide. 

Dr. Gruen comes to pick Charlotte up because she believes she doesn't need to be at this school any longer. Charlotte ends up leaving but coming back because before she left she found a clue one of her dead best friends had left for her. Charlotte needs to solve the mystery because with the clue there was a little vial that said 'drink me' and that is exactly what she did. Now she has to figure out WHY her best friends killed themselves and why she all of a sudden has the ability to pay attention in class and not suck at fencing. Then there is the matter of her new roommate and the weird symptoms both of them now share.

Then there is the little problem of Ariel's ex boyfriend, Jack. Something happened between him and Charlotte right before Ariel killed herself and Jack is now starting to show some signs of improving at school, too. 

This book is a HUGE mystery and I really enjoyed following it.

Characters:
Charlotte
Ariel
Devon
Jack
Dr. Gruen - Charlotte's Mother
A bunch of elite snobs

I liked Charlotte enough. She wasn't dreadful but she also wasn't A+. She was a very determined girl and I did appreciate that side of her but she was also pretty unstable and that was before she drank the stupid vial. 

Ariel and Devon were described in great detail since we didn't get to meet them for ourselves. Both of the girls had this very Pretty Little Liars personality. I can't really describe it any other way. They were mean girls but they were cold and calculated about it. 

Jack and his situation was weird and that is one of the things I really hope ends up being explained a bit more in the next book(there needs to be another book). He was a very obsessive person but he was also very mysterious, in a bad way. 

Dr. Gruen was just a horrible person trying to make some rich snobs dreams come true. That is all that can be said about her without spoilers, really.

World Building:
The world building was fantastic. You get this creepy, elite private school setting and then this creepy medical setting as well. I really loved how the author described one of the ending scenes. It was this weird room full of kids on gurneys and all I could think about was the one scene in Freddy Vs. Jason. So I really loved that! The author is amazing at setting thriller/horror backdrops and I am so glad us horror lovers have someone like her on our team.

Oh! The other thing, I am not sure if this is exactly world building but it was a big part of the plot, the author described fencing with such vigor that I am now wondering if she fences herself. And if she does, that is one lady I don't want to meet in a dark gym!

In the end, I found out the connection to the first book and I am hoping for a third book because that ending was NOT enough. Fingers crossed! And Charlotte's mom seriously got what was coming to her. I did feel bad at first but she probably would have done many more horrible things if she was allowed to continue.

As a little afterthought, even if you don't connect with the characters in these books the author makes it nearly impossible for you to care too much because her beautiful and vivid writing just draws your attention in. Sometimes the books aren't always about whether you like the characters. Just because you don't like them doesn't mean you can't enjoy their story and what is going on in the world around them. Just because you have a negative or neutral emotion towards something doesn't mean it's automatically a bad thing. 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.


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