The Breakaway- Michelle Davidson Argyle

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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.

 

Naomi Jensen’s life was far from perfect. She had an abusive boyfriend and parents who seemed to not care about her at all. She grew up with nannies taking care of her and no one to turn to when she was upset. So, when she woke up to find herself in a strange bedroom, with her kidnappers lurking just around the corner, she saw no need to put up much of a fight.

As the months progressed, Naomi slowly started to adapt into her life with her kidnappers. She started to look upon them as the family she never had. She now had four consistent people in her life that she knew would never leave her. It was all mapped out for her; she was going to be with her kidnappers forever. And what was really the point in getting upset over it? There was nothing she could possibly do to free herself, and at least she now had a family who loved her.

What first attracted me to The Breakaway was the cover. It is absolutely gorgeous, and the color scheme of baby blue and white immediately caught my attention. As soon as I saw it, I realized one thing. It didn’t matter if the book was brilliant or if it sucked. I was going to read it simply because of the gorgeous cover.

This book was such an intense read, but, at the same time, it was brilliant. Michelle Davidson Argyle did such a great job capturing what life is like as a kidnapped victim. Throughout the whole story, I would feel my heart pounding, my palms sweating and my eyes as wide as jawbreakers, all in anticipation of what was going to happen next. I have no idea what it is truly like to be a victim in this sort of situation, but Argyle’s tale really gave me some insight and visuals on what it must be like.

One thing I really appreciated about this story was how intensely Argyle made me hate the kidnappers. From page one I was absolutely livid, which I believe was the desired reaction. Although I loved that I felt this way, it was also very hard to get through a lot of this book simply because of how realistic it was. Since I am extremely close with my own mother, I often found myself cramped up with fear, imagining myself in Naomi’s position.

I cannot express how much I hated the character of Jesse. With Eric, the leader of the kidnappers, I knew what to expect. He was tough, brutal and threatening. He made it clear from day one that he wanted to kill Naomi, and that he would do so if she stepped out of line. Jesse was a complete other story. While he was not the “leader” of the group, I often found him to be the worst at mentally abusing Naomi. To me, he appeared as a kidnapping rapist. It didn’t help that he started his advances while Naomi was still a minor. I also had a huge problem with how he forced Naomi to speak about her feelings and her family. I felt that this was none of his business, and it just seemed like a sick form of torture.

I was kind of disappointed by the ending of this book. I kept waiting for Naomi to lash out at her captors, which never happened. However, I also realized that that wouldn’t happen right away. The recovery that she would have had to go through would have been intense on its own. She probably wouldn’t be ready to confront her captors for several years, if ever. However, I did want a big hoorah moment, and I never received it.

Everyone knows I have a huge problem reading about parents in books. I know it’s because of my age, but I tend to always (99.999%) agree with the kids. Therefore, I always disagree with the parents and label them the worse parents ever. This is not something I can help. In fact, I am actually able to laugh at myself over it. However, while reading scenes with parents, it is not abnormal for me to get so mad that I see red. It could be the littlest thing, the parents could even be in the right, they will instantly be horrible people in my eyes. Yes, do feel free to laugh at me. So, naturally, when Naomi’s parents were first introduced, I hated them. Now, please do realize that I actually had a good reason to this time. I don’t want to give away any more spoilers than necessary, so I’m going to leave that for you guys to find out yourself. However, I do want to say that, by the end of the book, I absolutely loved them. I was so proud of them, and I felt that I was able to see more of their true colors.

As some of you may know, I am currently a Junior (almost Senior) at a University. For the past two quarters, one of the classes I have been taking is a feminist class. Keeping this in mind, I was often very angry at this book. I fidgeted a lot and had to force myself through a lot of the book. This wasn’t because I didn’t like the book, but I had a really hard time reading about such a weak female character. Don’t get me wrong, Naomi did nothing wrong. It would be perfectly normal for a male or female to act exactly like Naomi did if they were in her situation. However, I am a huge advocate for women, which makes it hard for me to read about them being abused in such a manner.

Before I get to my recommendation of this book, I have to spend a moment longer talking to you guys. I want to make it clear that there is no excuse for a man to abuse a woman. Vise versa, there is no excuse for a woman to abuse a man. If you feel like you are in a bad situation, get out of it. Relationships do not form your life; you can be perfectly content and successful on your own. While kidnapping is not something that happens in the average persons life, the relationship between Naomi and her boyfriend, Brad, is not uncommon. Don’t ever let someone make you feel that you have to do something you don’t want to do or make you feel small and defeated.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I think it gives a great message, and can help girls and women alike realize how bad some relationships can get. I do have to caution librarians and parents about this book. It is very intense. While I don’t have any children of my own, this book terrified me. In fact, I had a nightmare about it. While this book may be good for teenagers to read, it may scare the pants off of parents and adults in general. The truth is, this stuff happens. It does, and that’s the scary thing.

Pages: 303

Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing

Publication Date: May 1, 2012

Rating: [rating: 3]

Teaser Quote: “”How can someone so smart and beautiful be so lonely?”