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Breaking Good Paperback – October 3, 2016
"From the very start, I found this an absorbing, entertaining and often emotional read. The characters are nicely developed, the relationships are difficult and interesting and complicated and the whole thing was pure enjoyment, with bonus beach loveliness."
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The book wasn't without flaws, obviously. No book is. What kept this from being a five-star read for me wasn't really plot related, per se.
**possible mild spoilers**
I don't know if the writer has children or has spent any time with them, but going off the portrayal of Zach I would assume not on both counts. First off, no - and I mean no - 7-year-old boy behaves like that. I don't care how precocious he is. I could see 12 or 13, possibly, but not 7. He was too adult and too articulate in both speech and explaining his actions. The other issue I had with him was that he was a proper brat. He controlled his mother, not the other way around, and that resulted in me having a problem with the heroine.
I have just finished this book and it is telling that I cannot recall her name. The way she let her child dictate her life and happiness made me see her as a very weak person, when the intent - I believe - was to portray her as a resilient woman with strength. And she was in so many areas. But I'm a mother myself and there is no way I'd let my kid run roughshod over my personal life and I don't respect mothers that allow it in their own lives. I understand putting your kid first and wanting them to be happy. I understand insuring their feelings of security and making sure they know how much they matter. But you don't walk away from a burgeoning, loving relationship like she had with Ethan - the kid's father, incidentally - just because your kid throws a tantrum. In real life, if you always put everyone first and deny your own happiness, you will not only wind up alone, but bitter and resentful. That's how it works. Stevie (remembered her name!) had many positive qualities. But instead of being a parent and making it clear to her son that he had no right to dictate her life and making the decision herself, she let the kid call the shots. If he hadn't 'given permission' she would have walked away and taken EVERYTHING from poor, sweet Ethan. He loved her and his son so much and had never felt like he was worthy of anyone, and she was willing to lay waste to his life because that kid didn't want them together. Uh, how about no? She needed to quit being the brat's friend and be a proper parent, and for this reason I couldn't like her.
Despite the above issues, I still very much enjoyed the story. It was all about Ethan for me, the 'bad boy' who was so misunderstood, who didn't actually have a bad bone in him. He really pulled at the heartstrings. The secondary characters were well-developed and remained mostly on the fringes, which I appreciated.
I rate Breaking Good 3.5 stars and definitely recommend it. Very satisfying read.
Zach's character does not fit a 7 year old child. his language, his level of understanding and analyzing the situation is not reasonable, also he practically calls the shots for their lives, and you cant put that level of responsibility and burden on a 7 year old. for that resaon I had a huge problem with the ending.
Another issue I had was with the focus on ADHD, yes Ethan has it and it has a huge impact on his life and life style but for someone who overcome this so impressively and built a business it just doesn't seemed believable for him to claim he is not good enough to be a father due to his ADHD, and that's true even for someone who is still straggling with it. it was interesting and different to read his train of thoughts.
Their dialogues were really intense and deep I wouldn't expect people with their level of familiarity to talk like this to one another.
As far as the characters....I loved them all. I felt their pain and their fears of not ever feeling like they were good enough, or feeling like they don't belong. I've always had those same fears; so it was so easy for me to relate to all of them. This was a very well written story, one that deeply intense that will stick with you long after the story ends.
I was so impressed, that I fully intend to check out this author's other works in the near future.