Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
If you’ve been following my blog and my reviews for a while then you should know by now that I am a big fan of New Adult Contemporary Romance Novels. When I got the chance to review Jennifer Snyder’s Break You, I was all for it. It fits right in with the kind of books that I usually read. As I was reading it though, I found that it didn’t appeal to me as much as I hoped it would. I was tempted to put it down a few times and mark it as DNF, but I was determined to see it through to the end. After all, it did start out with a really exciting premise but it kind of fell short in the middle. It only picked up again during the last fifth of the book and then, to my disappointment, fell on a flat ending.
Blaire Hayes enjoys a quiet life, spending her days as a CNA at the local nursing home and nights studying for exams. She prefers things to be as uncomplicated as possible -- but when her friends drag her to a party and she bumps into her high school crush, the path of Blaire’s life veers in an entirely different direction than what she had planned for herself.
Jason Bryant created a nice life away from his hometown, putting distance between himself and the suffocating sadness of his father’s death. But when he finds out his grandfather’s health is deteriorating, he decides he must return home. Partying was not on his agenda while in town, but it’s how he bumps into Blaire Hayes—the girl he’d always thought of in high school as an unobtainable pass.
Together the two learn there are moments in life that hold within them all the power to break you...
(New Adult: Contains sexual situations, language, mature themes, and alcohol usage.)
Another thing is that I can see a bit of myself in Blaire Hayes. She’s a bit more focused in school than most college students. She’s got good friends but she doesn’t usually go out partying with them. She’d rather stay inside and study (in my case, read books). I can sort of relate to her with that. Blaire is a woman who has somewhat become a bit disillusioned by the idea of relationships. She’s had her fair share of them but she hasn’t really gotten much out of her past relationships. Finding a boyfriend isn’t really high on her list of priorities. She’s got her eyes set on graduating and getting her nursing license.
But Jason Bryant changed all that. Blaire and Jason has a history and it isn’t pretty. Jason used Blaire in high school to get with one of Blaire’s friends. He used to think that Blaire was so far out of his league that he did not even bother to pursue her. Little did he know that Blaire liked him that way as well. Fast-forward and they meet again at a college party. After Jason’s father died, he moved out to attend college at a Tennessee university. Now, Jason is back in town to help his mom take care of his sick grandfather. On his first weekend back, he gets invited to a party and was surprised to see Blaire Hayes again. One look at her and she’s already gotten under his skin. The same is true for Blaire.
What follows after that night is a series of events that leads Jason and Blaire on a ridiculously emotional rollercoaster ride. Neither of them planned on having any long-term serious relationships. Sure, they’ve got this wicked attraction to each other but they were both content to play it out by ear and see where it goes. After one night of heated passion, they suddenly find themselves being thrust into a situation neither of them expected. Life threw them a curveball and they had no idea what to do with it. Jason and Blaire needs to figure out how to make their budding relationship work… because the stakes just got higher than they could have possibly imagined.
Okay, so as much as I liked Blaire. I can’t help but seem to dislike Jason. I mean, I usually fall in love easily with book boyfies but this one is a bit of an asshole (and not in an endearing badboy way). I don’t understand how Blaire puts up with him sometimes. Jason Bryant is such a boy. All throughout the book, I was all but shouting at my e-reader, wanting to tell Jason to man up before he loses the girl.
I liked the beginning of the story, Blaire and Jason’s history, the sexual tension... I even liked that major plot twist (even though I was already kind of expecting something like that). But, I must admit that the majority of the book went far too agonizingly slow for me. It only held my interest long enough to get me started. About a quarter of the way in, I was dying for some more action and drama. I was beginning to get bored. And for a book, that’s not a good sign.
For me, Break You is not a flop, but it’s no page-turner either. The story could’ve been handled better. Its characters kind of lacked the emotional depth that the story needed. I found them a bit bland, particularly Blaire. Maybe it was because they could’ve used more character development. I appreciated the fact that we see another side to Jason: the vulnerable son/grandson that is a far-cry from they cocky asshole he makes himself out to be. I think that was a step in the right direction. If only the other characters were handled just as well, this would’ve been golden.
What I disliked most about the book was the resolution of Jason and Blaire’s predicament. I could not understand why it happened the way it did. I guess it could also have been presented better. I mean, the story was already gaining momentum but instead of going out with an emotionally-crippling bang, it felt like a balloon slowly letting out air. I’m no writer but as a reader, we’ve come to expect what works and what doesn’t, right? I don’t get the rationale as to why that would happen to Blaire and Jason. I felt as if the events in the latter part of the book simply gave Jason and Blaire an out without giving much chance for resolution.
I respect the author’s vision for Break You and even though it kind of fell flat for me, I still enjoyed reading it. It has a compelling premise and a storyline that as much as I wanted to put it down, I still felt as though I’d die if I didn't find out what happened to Blaire and Jason.
I don’t regret reading Break You but it’s not something that I’d read over and over again.