Title: The Breakaway
Author: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Genres: Contemporary, Suspense, Young Adult
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Date Published: May 1st, 2012
Source: ARC (Provided by Author)
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.
The Breakaway is about Stockholm syndrome. If you haven’t heard of that I would be surprised, but just in case it is basically about a girl who becomes attached to her captors and even falls in love with one of them. If you’ve read Stolen by Lucy Christopher then that is another example.
As with Stolen, The Breakaway takes the reader into the mind of a girl who is gradually succumbing to Stockholm syndrome. With a book like this you can tell if it’s written well if by the end of it you want her to stay with her captors…and in this case I definitely did! While some of it was certainly dysfunctional, I wanted Naomi to stay with them because they were so nice and really felt like a family. I don’t know if this kind of kidnapping happens in real life though, but it’s really interesting nonetheless.
Now the book did keep me on my toes and turning the page, but I did have a few problems which brought my rating down a little bit. As far as the whole relationship with her and her captor I found myself softening towards the idea, but at the same time the person she “falls in love with” I felt was always hiding something, even up until the end. He just didn’t seem completely right. I mean, obviously he isn’t if he kidnapped her, but still. Their whole relationship and Naomi’s desperation for someone to love her never really seemed resolved in the end and I feel like although Naomi did change, she didn’t necessarily change for the better, she just re-focused her insecurities away from her parents and ex-boyfriend and onto other relationships that are just as dysfunctional, but in a different sort of way.
Which brings me to my other problem with the book, the ending. It just felt cut short. While the subject matter makes it really tough to end the book in any sort of happy way, that wasn’t even my issue. There was more story to be told and I didn’t feel any closure on really any aspect of the story and the relationships.
But don’t get me wrong, the book was really interesting and it sucked me in very quickly. Naomi is a different kind of protagonist in that she is very much in need of affection and almost the desire to be out of control of her life, which is very different from the usual heroines we get that are hot-headed and almost too independent. So it was interesting to see the world from her perspective.
Overall I definitely liked this and if you’re a fan of books about Stockholm syndrome I’d recommend it. But I’m almost wanting a follow-up novella or mini-epilogue to see where things went with Naomi and the other characters after the last page.
P.S. Check back soon for a chance to win my copy of the book that’s signed by Michelle!