Thursday, February 21, 2013

REVIEW: The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Title:                       The Breakaway
Author:                   Michelle Davidson Argyle 
Release Date:      May 1/2012
Genre:                YA Psychological Contemporary
Publisher:           Rhemalda Publishing
Page Count:        303
Acquired:            Ebook provided by author 
Format:              Epub
Read From:         Feb 19-20/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Preorder:            Amazon/Indigo/The Book Depository

When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she's missing. Escape isn't high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she's part of a family-even if it is a family of criminals. But she's still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she's falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn't sure she wants to take it.


I have always been into the disturbing phenomena that is Stockholm Syndrome. I'm not sure sure if that places me in some very small margin of people who like weird things, but let's pretend it doesn't. It just fascinates me to no end, this human psyche of ours, and the extent it goes to to fold itself into it's surroundings, no matter how uncomfortable. I'm all too familiar with the real life accounts of such cases, but this was my first time experiencing it in fiction-which, by the way, can have so much more of an impact sometimes.

Oh and make it an impact it DID, which was a surprise all on it's own. A ridiculous amount of YA books these days seem to favour this line: "she/he was anything but your normal teenager," no matter the genre, or lack/abundance of supernatural, magical or superhuman powers. Very rarely does that line live up to it's hyped up, or played down, claim-I usually just end up having to endure a whiny, superficial, air-head of a character who blows their "horrible" past way out of proportion. Naomi Jensen came very close to being one of these characters. Though SOMETHING about her made me see past the naivety, and repetitive thinking, and brought me directly into her cheer squad-I became extremely invested in her character, and wanted to break a couple of necks when she felt pain, or sadness. She was humble, and introverted, even before the kidnapping, and I think I really related to that. She was an actual loner, and not because of some horrific incident, she just was, and though it stemmed from insecurities about herself, it didn't make me annoyed with her...which was SO.STRANGE.

I want to say things like "she was too weak!" "she was too gullible!", but despite it being the truth, the author provided us with a complete enough idea of why she would be either of those things. I see that a lot of people chided this book for not depicting the "true" nature of hostage/Stockholm Syndrome situations, but I appreciated the lack of graphic scenes in this book, especially as someone who was new to reading first-hand accounts. It was a good first stepping-stone book, and I think the author really took the time to create scenes that would render understanding, as opposed to disgust and rage. It needed to be believable that Naomi could and would fall for one of her captors, if there had been anything more than a push or slam here and there, I might have closed the book and never picked it up again.

The side characters were believable and, although I knew I was suppose to have a measure of hate for them, found myself growing attached them, right along with Naomi. It was one of the rare occasions where I didn't feel like I was seeing things the main character wasn't, I felt like she was right at par with my mind state, or I with hers. In that sense, she didn't experience extreme Stockholm Syndrome symptoms, as she knew very well how wrong her situation was, she just viewed it as the lesser of two evils. The other evil being her life back at home with an abusive boyfriend, and parents who don't seem to acknowledge her existence. It added a fascinating dynamic. 

I wish I could go on in detail about more of the story line, but it would be useless. This book was predominately emotions for me-I felt some of each, some at the very same time. I wasn't pondering past scenes, or trying to predict future ones as I sat alongside Naomi. I was in the very moment of every word I read, and at every new discovery she made. This was such a rare experience for me, and it's something I hope you can ALL feel when you read this book.

1 comment:

  1. I love your review! I haven't read the book yet. I really should read this one tho, because I really do love Psychological books, it just like you, fascinates me to read about human psyche. It looks like Breakaway is really good read.
    I once read a similar to this one which is Captive in the Dark but it was more of a 18+ book, with all the disturbing materials. But I honestly loved it.
    I am glad you liked this one, I will definitely have to read it(:


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