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Break by Hannah Moskowitz

BreakSome teens play sports. Other drink and party. But Jonah breaks bones—his own. Sure, it hurts, but broken bones always grow back stronger, and that’s what’s important. Jonah’s on a mission to break every bone in his body, because he wants to be stronger. It’s not because of his younger brother, who’s severely allergic to practically every food and thus frequents the ER too many times. It’s not because of his parents, who can barely handle their own affairs, let along anyone else’s. It’s not because of his baby brother who never stops crying or his best friend’s obsession with filming his destructive behavior or anything else he has to deal with at school or anywhere else. At least that’s what Jonah tells himself. But as Jonah’s life gets even more out of control, he must ask himself if breaking all his bones is the right way to become strong—before everything falls apart along with his body.

Break is a very emotional story about how the stresses of everyday life can push people nearly to their breaking point. For a debut author, Moskowitz displays extraordinary adeptness at communicating the social and psychological friction within relationships, particularly the alienation that can result when that tension becomes too much. Jonah’s story is one raw with emotion and pain, and the reader will form a deep connection with his character because of all he goes through and how realistic he is. Many readers will be able to sympathize and empathize with Jonah’s feelings of powerlessness amidst external events he can’t control but desperately wants to fix and his subsequent attempts to take back control of his life. Jonah’s violent self destruction is somewhat difficult to read about, as are the deteriorating conditions around him, but it only makes Jonah’s pursuit of real strength all the more important. Moskowitz nearly perfectly captures the psychological and emotional struggles that many teens face in this powerful and ultimately hopeful novel. I did notice several scenes that could’ve been better articulated and designed, but overall, Break is a very impressive debut.

This novel will resonate with every teen, especially any who’s ever felt their life is spiraling out of control, and with those who liked Crash Into Me by Albert Borris, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott, and Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers. I greatly look forward to more novels from Moskowitz.

Rating: 4.25

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Dannie said...

This one was on my Best Of '09 list! I thought it was so intense for a YA.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I love intense YA books. I just picked this up the other day...finally. Been meaning too since it came out in August. Hannah is great though. It's amazing she's only like my age. LOL

-Lauren

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Michelle said...

I've been dying to read this book but haven't purchased it yet. It sounds so good though.

Krista/Tower of Books said...

This sounds great! I've just added it to my wishlist.

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