Review: Breakable by Aimee L. Salter

Breakable by Aimee L. Salter

When seventeen-year-old Stacy looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been Stacy’s secret support through the ongoing battle with their neurotic mother, relentless bullying at school, and dealing with her hopeless love for her best friend, Mark.

Then Stacy discovers Older Me is a liar.

Still reeling from that betrayal, Stacy is targeted again by her most persistent tormentor. Only this time, he’s used her own artwork to humiliate her – and threaten her last chance with Mark.

She’s reached breaking point.

Literally.

I received Breakable from the author in exchange for an honest review.

So…awkward because I can’t say I liked Breakable very much. The first half was very slow. It took me about ten days to get through the first 55% of the book and only two days to finish it after that. Once I got to a certain point, I wanted to keep reading and find out how it ended. The pace definitely picked up as Stacy revealed more information to her doctor.

Breakable was set up as a series of flashbacks as Stacy told her story. There was an event (that wasn’t revealed until later in the book) that led to Stacy’s stay in a psych ward. Stacy wanted out of the hospital but the doctor wasn’t satisfied that she was ready to go home because she kept insisting that Older Me, the older version of herself that she saw in mirrors, was real.

My biggest problem with Breakable was the characters. I feel bad saying this, but I didn’t like Stacy any more than the characters who bullied her did. I know you’re supposed to sympathize with someone who’s bullied — because no one deserves to be put through any amount of bullying — but I still didn’t LIKE her. Stacy mades a lot of bad decisions throughout the book. She put herself in the line of fire on more than one occasion. The way she was treated wasn’t her fault, but even though she knew it was likely to happen, she didn’t always try to avoid it.

Stacy had it rough at home, too. Home should be a safe haven, but Stacy didn’t even have that. Her mother was as bad as the kids at school. Her words and actions weren’t always quite as cruel or as public, but the fact that they were coming from her mother, who should have been her first line of support, made them worse. Instead of supporting Stacy, her mother blamed Stacy for her own bullying. She was no better than Mark’s father, who was physically abusive.

Still, none of that made Stacy likable. It’s hard to like someone who doesn’t like herself. And if I don’t like the main character in a book, I usually don’t like the book.

I didn’t like Older Me either. She was vague and avoided directly answering Stacy’s questions, she didn’t always show up when Stacy called for her, and I kept wondering what her point in existing was if she wasn’t going to HELP Stacy. This part of the story both confused and intrigued me, especially the ending.

And then there’s Mark. I don’t know what Stacy saw in Mark other than he was her best friend from way back. He certainly didn’t treat her very well. He went out with girls who bullied her — and from what Stacy said, it’s clear that this was a pattern even though there was only one girlfriend in the book. He wasn’t aware of the extent of the bullying, but I have to wonder how he missed it. Did he choose to ignore it? Too busy with his own problems? He barely stood up for her against her bullies — HIS FRIENDS — and when he finally did, well, too late, dude. For me anyway. I wouldn’t consider him a very good best friend.

Breakable is well-written and has no more editing mistakes than you will see in a traditionally published book. (Sad, but true. I see them all the time.) After I finished the book, I spent some time on Salter’s website reading through the deleted scenes/extras, the playlist, and the inspiration behind the story. (Beware spoilers!) The story behind the book is interesting and I get what Salter was going for. It just didn’t work for me, however, I am clearly in the minority as the 4 and 5 star reviews are winning out on both Amazon and Goodreads.

2 1/2 stars
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Jenna