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Charlotte never thought she would have a perfect life. She wasn't that delusional. Her mom is a perfectionist and expects Charlotte to meet all of her impossibly high standards: Be intelligent. Be beautiful. Be athletic. Simply put, be the best at being perfect. Could you blame her for hating her mother and the world?

That is, until she meets Ariel and Devon --- her two best friends in the entire universe and the only people who understand.

She should have known it was too good to be true.

When Ariel committed suicide, Charlotte and Devon were devastated. When Devon committs suicide only a month later it is undeniable that something is wrong.

Suddenly Charlotte is left to figure out what “that” is. She has only weeks to crack the clues --- and her dead best friend’s ex’s inescapable attractiveness, a mother who seems to always be against her and a fiery roommate only make things more difficult. Apparently, life hasn't given her enough lemons.

"I absolutely loved the premise of [BREAKING]....Even though there were down points of the book, I look forward to Rollins’ next story and will hopefully be reading her previous works soon."

In all honesty, I absolutely loved the premise of this story. Who doesn't love a good mystery? It might not keep readers on edge but it is definitely a good read to pass time. There wasn't much romance but that's not a big downer. Unfortunately, the bits of romance that were present were disappointing. Although I could feel the tension between Charlotte and her love interest, there didn't seem to be any other reason for why they liked each other. Most of the time, it seemed that their love was physical with nothing deeper, unless the ability to joke around counts. In addition, Charlotte’s love interest is dull. There is no real backstory for him except that he's ---at best--- mediocre at track and field and has rich parents.

Another thing that was difficult to see was Charlotte’s love for her friends. Rollins made it clear that both Charlotte and Devon preferred Ariel but that love wavered throughout the story. The protagonist found herself in an odd space where she resented and adored Ariel. In addition, Devon is a component of the case yet is not mentioned for large intervals. Even though Charlotte and Devon were friends after her death and during the times Ariel was upset, Charlotte and Devon were still said to be best friends; this, however, was a difficult vibe to feel. Furthermore, there were periods of time where despite Charlotte's supposed near worship of Ariel, she felt utter hatred towards her. Is that how best friends work? Probably, but not for large periods of time ---- especially not when one of them is dead.

Other than that the book was good. I admit I was a bit confused at one point (telling you what confused me would be a big spoiler) but that was cleared up after a while. Beneath all of that scientific fiction (or nonfiction for conspiracy theorists), the underlying message is that everything is not what it seems. Perfection is not something that comes naturally. Of course, it probably doesn't come from what the book implies, either.

Even though there were down points of the book, I look forward to Rollins’ next story and will hopefully be reading her previous works soon.

Reviewed by Flor H., Teen Board Member on July 11, 2017

by Danielle Rollins

  • Publication Date: June 6, 2017
  • Genres: Thriller
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  • ISBN-10: 1619637405
  • ISBN-13: 9781619637405