Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Review: The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Book: The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle
Genre: Contemporary (not sure if it's considered YA or not, I wouldn't say it was!)
For: Utah Book Month
From: Bought at an author signing event

This book has a very interesting premise, based on a phenomena  that we know as the Stockholm Syndrome. That's when someone who has been kidnapped suddenly becomes sympathetic to and identifies with their captor or captors. It's something hard to even imagine, yet after reading this book, you can totally see how it happens!

Our main character, Naomi, finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time one night and gets in the way of some jewelry thieves. In order to protect themselves, they just whisk her away with them, which they feel is pretty nice on their part. After all, they wanted to just kill her at first.

They take her to a house faraway where they end up treating her very nicely. Except for the fact that at first she can't leave the bedroom, and then she can't leave the house and then she can't leave the yard. And for the fact they they beat her up once in awhile. But, they fed her well, give her clothes and books and presents. ...let her watch movies with them and cook dinner and play games.

In fact, and here's the big thing, she is quite a bit more happy with them than she was at home with her neglectful mother and her abusive boyfriend.

So why would she NOT fall in love with one of the kidnappers? You know? I mean, he's awesome!

And then that's when you start feeling really weird about this story, because should you, as a reader, be rooting for these two to get together? Or should you be wanting Naomi to find courage to escape? And if so, do you even want her to succeed? What about the kidnapper? Is it okay to like him? Maybe you'll find out something about him to make it okay!

Wow, it all gets so muddled and gray and mixed up and the lines are all blurry! I loved that!

I had no idea how it would end and that definitely kept the pages turning. Mostly, it's a slow sort of book, with Naomi just sitting at the house, falling in love, and then there are a few chapters flipping to her mom's part of view, as she comes to terms with her daughter being gone and the not-so-good relationship they had. But like I said, even though there's not a lot that happens, the tension is unbelievably high. And I was anxiously waiting to find out how it would all be resolved.

And yes, I was okay with the ending, though it did for sure leave me wanting more. Good thing then, that there's another book! Pieces! Good thing too that I have it here on my shelf, just waiting its turn!

Bottom line: A fascinating look at a Stockholm syndrome type story that had me glued to the pages. Totally enjoyed it.

Other Reviews:

I had mixed feelings about every character from the beginning to the end of the book, which I’m hoping was something the author intended. From Basia's Bookshelf

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. From I'm Loving Books

This type of book is hard to give a concrete ending, but non the less I was not satisfied. I would certainly read more from this author. From Reader's Confessions

Very dramatic, even suspenseful at times and very heart wrenching. From Jenn Renee Read


  1. This sounds really interesting.

  2. I'm not sure yet if I like books where there aren't clear cut good guys and bad guys but it certainly seems like it would take a very good author to capture that complexity! Interesting review :)

  3. I have mixed feelings about this, but it sounds interesting.

  4. Oh, I hadn't heard of this one. I have a tiny obsession with Stockholm Syndrome, so I'd probably devour this one.

  5. I hadn't heard of this one either. I'll have to check it out.



Related Posts with Thumbnails