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23 Jan 2012

Review: Break by Hannah Moskowitz


Jonah is on a mission to break every bone in his body. Everyone knows that broken bones grow back stronger than they were before. And Jonah wants to be stronger—needs to be stronger—because everything around him is falling apart. Breaking, and then healing, is Jonah’s only way to cope with the stresses of home, girls, and the world on his shoulders.
When Jonah's self-destructive spiral accelerates and he hits rock bottom, will he find true strength or surrender to his breaking point?

The one thing that sucks here in the UK is being unable to find books that are being raved about in America.  The minute I read this blurb I wanted to read it.  Unfortunately every Waterstones around Yorkshire aren't selling it.  Thank god for Kindle. 

Let's start with Jonah.  The author's strength is definitely characterisation.  I loved Jonah and reading in first person only strengthened him.  I felt every emotion he was feeling - anger, desperation, worry - and I could see him spiralling out of control even before he knew it himself.  I thought he was a perfectly balanced character.  His strengths and virtues revolved around his devotion to his brother and desperation to see Jesse have a normal life.  He wanted to take charge and be there for him.  He always had his brother in mind to the point where he worried about every single thing.  He had flaws, taking his frustration out on Naomi and messing around with Charlotte's feelings.  There I saw a normal teenage boy who was probably not ready to do the whole relationship thing but the character had his douche bag moments.  Jonah had strengths and weaknesses which made him real and rounded.  I actually understood why he believed breaking his bones would make him stronger.  It was still extreme and dangerous but I saw the motivation.  His best relationship was with his brother.  Jesse and Jonah were strong together despite the health problems in both characters.  Jonah was fiercely protective over Jesse and vice versa.  They were there for each other all the way, putting up with each others actions when they thought it was too dangerous. 

The plot kept me reading.  I zoomed through the story, wanting to know where it was leading to.  When we first enter the story we're immediately sucked into the issues.  Jonah's problems have been going on for a while now so you wonder where it will lead to.  He's already going to the extreme of breaking his bones... so what's next? You just know it's going to get worse and you can't stop reading.  The plot is a roller coaster, starting slowly until it takes the final plunge and BAM! Everything is chaotic and Jonah is losing control of the situation and his mind more and more.  I did feel like the plot suddenly got moving towards the end rather than straight away.  The beginning and middle moved gradually at a calm pace and then the end came where there was drama after drama after drama until we came to an abrupt ending.  While Jonah says he is healing I'm not convinced that everything is immediately alright.  Apart from his own health problems that are revealed to us the ending felt like all the issues that have occurred are better now.  Jonah was also damaged psychologically, even if he denies it and is going to need help for a while after the events of the book.  Health-wise, yes he's been dealt with but the character has been really affected by his family. 

I probably could have done without Naomi.  Out of all the characters she was the weakest, feeling like she had been placed there to fill in a gap.  She didn't seem to add to the plot, just being there for Jonah to unleash his anger on.  I understand Jonah would have needed help to the hospital but maybe another character like Jesse or his fellow employees would have been best to replace her.  As a character I didn't take to her or feel that she was rounded.  Just taking the role of quirky best friend/side kick. 

But I knew I was going to be satisfied with this book overall and I was right.  I love psychology and reading about people who are damaged is fascinating.  I'm just generally interested in what makes a person act they way they do.  And to get inside Jonah's mind was intriguing.  Scary but understandable.  It's definitely a good read so if you have the opportunity to buy it I would recommend it.  It's a nice, fast read with some powerful characters.

3 comments:

  1. I have read reviews about this book before and it´s on my TBR list...I might move it to a higher spot on my list. I think it´s the type of book which will suck me in. Thanks for sharing Robin!

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  2. I really like this book too! Awesome review :)

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  3. It sucked me in straight away! Couldn't put it down so if you have it on your TBR I recommend it being your next read.

    Linda, thanks! Was a great read :)

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