Ice Queen. That’s what everyone calls Dafne at school. The girl with the striking looks of a Raven Princess but whose cold-steeled touch freezes everyone in her way. Her reputation works for her and she even likes it. People don’t mess with her—except for her sister’s infuriatingly handsome boyfriend, Ian, who loves pushing her subzero temper to its limits.
Life in Berryford is flowing exactly as she wants it—no drama, no boy trying to get into her pants—until she starts noticing odd, glazed-eyed students everywhere. Something weird is happening and, unusual enough for her, she needs to find out why. But when people start falling into a coma with no reason, among them Dafne’s sister, she decides to take the matter in her hands, because if her intuition is right, this isn’t something doctors or virologists can fight. This is something…more.
With frustration and guilt leading her way, and Ian forcing himself to her side, Dafne will step onto a road that’ll open her eyes to why ignorance is bliss, why hate is so close to love, and why our imagination might be the most dangerous weapon ever known.
I really wanted to like this book, but unfortunately, I had trouble connecting to Break Away. I had complaints about the characters, the story, and the writing. It was a little slow moving in the beginning and then when the mystery behind the comas starts to unravel the story became weird. In addition, I found the characters hard to relate to and generally unlikeable. Break Away has some redeemable qualities and is overall very different from it’s YA peers.
Daphne was moody, conflicted internally, and just plain mean. I also didn’t connect to her personality quirks. She had a lot of opinions, as teenagers often do, but they kind of wore on me after awhile. When you can’t relate to the main heroine, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the book.
I don’t have much to say about Buffy, Daphne’s sister, other than her name was a little hard for me to take seriously. Honestly, I kept picturing her with a stake in her hand. Other than that, Buffy is a likeable character but she has a very small part, or at least she does in Book 1.
I probably liked Ian the most out of all the characters but I still struggled with liking his character. I didn’t really understand him, his personality, or his goals. I understood the surfacey stuff about his character but not the person clearly hiding inside of him. At the end of the book, his character is still shrouded in some mystery and you are left wondering what he’s going to do. But I have to admit that’s also what makes him fun to read about.
I can’t give you too many details about the story without spoiling things. All I can really say is the resolution was, well, not for me. I had to really push myself to finish the book because it was a little far out there for my personal taste. The mystery behind the comas is not fully resolved and I take it we will learn more about it the next books.
Vila’s writing isn’t bad but I felt it could have been a little neater. I felt there were a few scenes that were a little long and drawn out. I would have preferred some of the scenes to be a little more concise and to the point. For example, there is a scene in the beginning where Daphne picks up sushi for dinner. It felt like there was about three pages dedicated solely to Daphne’s love for sushi. Don’t get me wrong, I love sushi as much as Daphne does but after three pages I was ready to stop eating the stuff for good. In other words, the lengthy writing turned a character’s cute personality quirk into an annoying obsession.
Overall, I felt a little more editing could have helped Vila deliver this book to the reader better.
I do have to give the author some credit for doing something completely different. The story is most original young adult book I’ve read to date. There are some paranormal elements in the book but it is far cry from the other young adult paranormal novels out there, and that’s a good thing. So points to Vila for ‘breaking away’ from the norm.
I don’t see myself reading the next book in the series but I always encourage readers to give books a try before discarding a book based on my review. Everybody’s tastes are different and you never know when you may find a favorite.