May 12, 2014

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Breakable (Contours of the Heart #2)

 The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Breakable (Contours of the Heart #2), by Tammara Webber
Published May 6, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: paperback, provided by the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) He was lost and alone. Then he found her.
And the future seemed more fragile than ever.

As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.

All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…

As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat.

Easy was one of the first new adult books I read and loved more than a year ago. I remember that it captured me in no way that any other book had to date. I had no idea that there was so much more that I wanted to know about Lucas and Landon and how he felt about Jacqueline before he consciously knew himself. 

We know the story of Lucas and Jacqueline - how they met under horrible circumstances. How they became friends under false pretenses. How they finally got together after several chance meetings. We know all this as it played out through Jacqueline's eyes in Easy. It's remarkable how different things looked when told from Lucas' POV. And, that was my second favorite part of Breakable - that the same story could seem so different when seen from the other side of things. 

I say it's my second favorite part, because my MOST favorite part of Breakable is the fact that it's sorta kinda told in dual POV - Lucas' and Landon's. We get Lucas' full story, dating back to when he was 13 and lost his mother in an unspeakable tragedy that is only touched upon in Easy, right up to events that occurred even after those that ended Easy. 

The parts of the story that were from "Landon's" POV were those told before he arrived at college under the watchful and loving eyes of the Heller family. We find out what really happened the night his mom died, and we see it all through Landon's young eyes. We read about his eventual rift with his father and their move to the beach to live with his grandfather. We see first hand the trouble he had at school and the descent into juvenile delinquency that Lucas only mentioned in passing in Easy. 

Landon's story is so utterly heartbreaking and inspiring. It made me so sad to see how his dad completely closed himself off from the world and his son after his wife died. I thought it was interesting when Landon found common ground with his arch enemy at his new school. And, I also had to laugh at myself when I felt a ton of irritation at the girl Landon fell in love with in high school because it felt to me like he was cheating on Jacqueline, even though he hadn't even met her yet. 

First and foremost, Breakable is a story about redemption. It's about remaking yourself after you lose everything you were to something completely out of your control. It's about "befores" and "afters." I knew I loved Lucas before reading Breakable. I was utterly, bookishly obsessed with him after reading Breakable. And, it makes his story with Jacqueline in Easy that much richer now that I know everything that was going on behind the scenes. 

So many times I see people say that they don't plan to read a story retelling because, well, it's essentially the same story. Right? Well, in this case, you get so much more than what was in Easy. At least half the book's events didn't show up in Easy. And much of the time before that fateful night when Lucas went to Jacqueline's dorm to draw her, they spent apart. It is NOT the same story - well, it is. But, it isn't too. Just... try it. Trust me on this one.

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