Sunday, February 17, 2013

Novel Review: Break by Hannah Moskowitz

Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse)
Spoilers?: No.
Available at: Amazon.
Goodreads Synopsis: 

Jonah is on a mission to break every bone in his body. Everyone knows that broken bones grow back stronger than they were before. And Jonah wants to be stronger—needs to be stronger—because everything around him is falling apart. Breaking, and then healing, is Jonah’s only way to cope with the stresses of home, girls, and the world on his shoulders.
When Jonah's self-destructive spiral accelerates and he hits rock bottom, will he find true strength or surrender to his breaking point?


I was a little bit surprised by this book. I rather enjoyed it, but it wasn’t fully what I expected.
Jonah, the main character, is determined to break all of his bones. His parents are always fighting, he has a new baby brother who is always screaming and crying, and his one-year younger brother is allergic to everything, plus there are some girl problems added to the mix.
Before reading this, I hadn’t taken into account all of the casts and disabilities and hospital visits and actual breaking of the bones that go with what Jonah is doing. I don’t know why--it seems pretty obvious--but I didn’t think about it. But jesus, Jonah is constantly in a cast, and after only, like, a week or two, he’s ready to break another bone. He’s addicted to it, and it’s horrible. I was even wincing and wanting to skip ahead (I didn’t, but I wanted to) at one scene, when he was getting ready to slam a door on his hand (just thinking about it is making me grimace). It was horrible. But I’m squeamish, and there wasn’t even quite as much description of blood or anything, so other people could probably handle all of that better than me.
I felt bad for all three of the kids because of their parents. Their parents need some freakin’ counseling or to separate or something. They are not good together; I wouldn’t be able to stand it. I also felt bad for and because of the baby, what with it always screaming for no reason (that they can find).
I really liked Jesse, Jonah’s younger brother. Jesse was sweet, and I felt bad about all of his allergies. That would suck. And not only for him, but everyone around him. And it would suck having to have someone, like Jonah, to take care of things that he can’t be around when it’s constantly around him. I would have liked seeing more of Jesse, actually, and liked the stand he took at the end of the book.
A couple of things happened with Jonah that I wasn’t expecting. Some good, some not. I do feel like he had grown a bit by the end of the book, and that’s good. I like what happened with him and the girl by the end of the book.
I don’t feel like the ending was very good. There’s just… not enough closure or something. I feel like there should have been more with the parents, with what they’re doing next, with maybe them separating or trying to work through things. And then there’s the fact that Jonah broke out of this place, and I don’t understand how they wouldn’t be looking for him or wanting to send him back in. I feel like there are a couple of loose strings that I wanted finished.
I liked the writing style, and most of the chapters were rather short, which helped in making this a pretty fast read. There were a lot, and I mean a lot, of short sentences in a row all the time. It made the reading feel a little choppy, which is sometimes good, and it did grow on me, but it bothered me a bit at first.
Overall, I did quite enjoy this book, and am looking forward to reading Moskowitz’s other books.

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