ARC Review: Breakable by Tammara Webber

ARC Review: Breakable by Tammara WebberBreakable by Tammara Webber

Series: #2 Contours of the Heart
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
Published by Berkley on May 6, 2014
Pages: 362
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars  

This is a book that I would have anticipated highly if I had known it was even in the works.  Breakable is the flip side of Easy in that now it’s Lucas, the heroes’ turn to tell the story.

This was my first time reading a follow-up book retelling the story from a different character’s perspective.  The idea both fascinated me, but also had me thinking it might be a bit of a let-down because, indeed, it would be the same story and I’d lose that feeling of reading something for the first time.  The redeeming factor is Lucas is doing the telling.  Once I got into this book, I realized that I did indeed feel that way.  But—

The author added a bit something extra- Lucas’ early years retold from the point of losing his mother and on through to the present.  While the recap story might have just been a curiosity piece to get Lucas’ take, the real gem for me was the other story tucked in with it.  I got the coming of age story of a lost soul who was left to find his own way until some one reached out to give him his anchor.  My heart just poured out for this youg guy that endured so much and yet got his second chance when a guardian angel in his life reached out to him.

The book is separated into Landon’s story and Lucas’ story with a bit of each in each chapter.  I found jumping back and forth between the two stories a bit distracting and even considered just reading them separately all the way through to avoid the distraction, but in the end I read it as it was formatted.

Landon’s story begins sometime after his mother’s rape and murder when his dad quits his job and moves him and Landon back to his home town- a small tourist and fishing attraction on the Gulf.  They move in to bach it with his grandfather who makes his living as a charter fishing boat captain.  It’s trial by fire because it’s a total upheaval for him.  He used to attend a private academy in Washington DC and now he attends public school in a forgettable little town with kids who treat him with suspicion at best, but definitely don’t embrace him with welcome.  Not that it matters because he just wants to be left alone to drift and not feel.  Unfortunately, the school isn’t that big and he soon gets into the crosshairs of the school bully, the popular guy and his girlfriend, and a principal who is convinced that he’s a troublemaker.  Landon’s life spirals ever lower as he loses yet another person who cared and is betrayed by another he thought cared.  Life teaches him some hard lessons, but he’s learned them well.

And what the young Landon learned carried through into his present when he has reinvented himself as Lucas, the hard-working engineering student who lives for work and school and occasionally working out with his Taekwondo.  His careful existence gets up-ended when he notices Jackie.  He doesn’t plan to ever let anyone near his heart again.  But he can watch and he can dream…until she is attacked and he plays her hero and then he pretends to be someone different when he becomes her on-line tutor.  His lie and his feelings all catch up to him and leave him with a big choice to make.

This was well-written and engaging from cover to cover.  I liked the story of the past best, but the present story was good too.  While the present story line was close to the same, it left me feeling differently about the heroine and their relationship.  The only thing that kept me from out and out dislike was that I had read the previous book with her story.

What changed?  Instead of getting her actions and words with her thoughts and feelings; I just had her actions and words.  I also now knew that Lucas wasn’t near as stable and impervious to heartbreak as he seemed now that I had his history.  Her little games to use him to get over her ex and drive Lucas crazy for her just seemed childish and harmful.  To be fair, her strong-willed friend pushed her to do it, but hello girl, you could have said no.  I was also less than impressed with her feeling of ownership to Lucas’ secrets and his past.  The whole ‘I really like you so you need to spill all even though we’ve only known each other for weeks’ just didn’t justify it for me.  Granted, her prying served to break open the flood gates and help him heal, but it was still wrong.  Just because we can doesn’t mean we should when it comes to invade people’s privacy and the temptation to get on our computers and dig.

This left me wondering if these two were right for each other.  She didn’t seem mature enough for someone like Lucas.  However, I finally concluded that she is what he needed because she was sort of innocent and normal.  She’s like his reward for turning his life around and becoming the sort of guy who should be with sweet Jacqueline the music teacher.  This book was both more romance and less romance than its counterpart.  It follows the progression of their relationship, but yet there is a whole lot more going on to take away from it too.  Maybe it was seeing the wild and hardened Landon in high school who really was night and day to the more mature, settled Lucas of college.

In the end, I was left enjoying this one in ways that I didn’t the first book and vice versa.  I totally recommend getting that one first, but in a pinch this one can be read alone.  This is an interesting combination of mature YA and NA Contemporary Romance because of the way Lucas’ story is told.  I’m left recommending this to just a general audience of readers who are okay with a coming of age story told alongside a college romance.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Hrm. Interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever read one that was a retelling of the first one from opposite sides. Other than the little freebies Illona Andrews does that are from Curran’s POV. I do like single books that are 1st person and switch back and forth between them. I think I would be worried in one like this that it would be too similar too. That’s great it had extras that really made it work for ya.

    • This was my first time reading books that were companions like this one and Easy. I think I must be a defective reader b/c it had a weird effect on me. I loved Easy to death when I was done with it. Then I read this one and my original impressions of the heroine shifted after getting the heroes perspective and I wasn’t so thrilled anymore leaving me with the likes instead of the loves for the girl. I’m pretty sure that’s not supposed to happen when these companions are written.

      • LOL I’m betting not. These seem to be gaining some popularity though. I may try them one day. I just don’t know. I think I’d probably have the same kind of reaction as you on it.

        • Yes! It’s like watching a movie over again with the director’s notes. Very cool, but not as impactive as watching it through for the first time. You pick up new things and nuances you didn’t notice the first time, but it has still lost that edginess of the unexpected. If that makes sense.

  • Team_Alice28

    I’m really afraid to read this for two reasons. 1 I’m scared it won’t be as magical as Easy was being retold from Lucas’ pov. And 2 I really don’t want to relive the nightmare he went through watching his mother violently killed. Your review was fantastic though!

    • I can reassure you totally about fear number two. He is in another room so the worst he lives through is the knowledge that it happened and he couldn’t stop it. As to fear one, there was a certain level of ‘I’ve read this before’ to it when I read the present day stuff. But he does have stuff going on apart from Jacqueline so that will be new, plus half the book is flashbacks to his past which will be all new. I’m pretty sure it will change your impression of Easy, but its probably still worth the read if you loved Lucas/Landon.