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Breakaway: A Novel by Kat Spears
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Breakaway: A Novel

by Kat Spears

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Review to come closer to release day ( )
  Rubys.books | Oct 15, 2016 |
Jason (Jaz) is dealing with the recent death of his younger sister, Sylvia and his mother's withdrawal. At the same time, he's dealing with the dissolution of his group of friends: Mario hanging with the stoners and Jordan hanging with his girlfriend Cheryl, leaving him and Chick, who is socially awkward, sickly and more of a hanger on.

When he is set up with Raine on a double date with Jordan and Cheryl, the date turns into a disaster. One reason is the chip on Jaz's shoulder regarding the economic inequality between himself and Raine, he being poor and she being rich. However, as any astute reader will predict, attraction will soon follow, with all its complications.

Breakaway was an interesting read. I liked the characters. Kat Spears left the ending open ended, to some extent. However, me being the skeptic that I am, I can't see Jaz and Raine living happily ever after. ( )
  EdGoldberg | Mar 25, 2016 |
Breakaway by Kat Spears is contemporary young adult fiction for an empathetic and perceptive reader.

In the wake of his younger sister’s death, Jason Marshall is sad, angry and lost. As his single mother sinks into depression, Jaz should be able to rely on his best mates, but Mario is too busy getting high, Jordan is distracted by his new girlfriend, and Chick has his own problems.

Written in the first person, Jason doesn’t really have insight into much of what motivates him, nor Spears other characters, so the underlying pathos that unravels his story has to be pieced together from the context and subtle leads in the narrative.

Struggling with his past and present, Jason is a sympathetic protagonist. Desperate to protect himself from further pain related to his father’s desertion, his mother’s emotional absence, and his sisters death, he retreats into himself, often taking refuge in an abrupt, defensive and sarcastic attitude.

While previously the linchpin for his group of best friends, Jason simply doesn’t have the emotional strength to confront either Mario or Jordan, or cope with Chick’s distress at the relationship drift. It’s easier for him to just let it go and pretend it doesn’t matter, or to blame circumstances outside his control, especially as his experience has taught him that everybody leaves.

Raine proves to be an excellent distraction for Jason. Convinced she couldn’t be interested in him, he feels in control of their interactions, and most importantly to him, there is no risk of the rejection he fears. Raine in turn is good for Jason, calling him out on his worst behaviours and attitudes, and eventually offering him hope that things can be different.

An edgy, poignant coming of age novel exploring the themes of friendship, loss and love, Breakaway reflects the ordinary, often messy, complicated and dark, reality of adolescence. ( )
  shelleyraec | Sep 22, 2015 |
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"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" --… (more)

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