REVIEW: If I Break

What happens when happily ever after is the hard part…

Lauren Brooks wants to do three things: Escape the small town she grew
up in, get accepted to her dream school in Chicago, and graduate
without drowning in debt. Now she’s working her ass off to do just
that.

With a full course load and a waitressing job at one of the hottest
night clubs in Chicago, she does not have time for distractions;namely
ones who only want to get into her pants. She’s been burned before.
Only a fool goes for a second round.. With just two semesters left
until graduation, everything’s on track.

Until she meets Cal. Enter distraction.

At six-foot-two, with ebony hair, deep grey eyes, and a smile that
could only hide an agenda, she knows he’s trouble. And for the first
time in her life, a little trouble might be just what she needs.

No what she wants.

It isn’t like she’d ever marry the guy.
Until she does.

What she thinks will be her happily ever after, is only the beginning.
Cal has a secret. One that makes loving him come with a price, and
being his wife cost more than she bargained for.

Author: Portia Moore

Series: N/A

Genre: New Adult

Published: June 6th, 2014

Source: Goodreads

Thoughts:
I doubt I’ll be able to fully articulate my feelings for this book, but I’m going to try. Bear with me.

* If I Break was given to me in exchange for an honest review. I’ve never read anything by Portia Moore before and for my first time this book was and wasn’t a good introduction into her writing.

Despite its failings the writing is well done and that in itself is enough for me to pick up another book by her, and give her another shot.
The execution of said writing however, is poorly done. There are flashback sequences when if done correctly can greatly effect the readers reading experience; flashbacks generally enhance the current story line. This did not.

Now with that being said, let’s get into the root of the story and my problems with it. a)What this book has to offer is the mundane dissatisfaction of entering a marriage not knowing who it is you’re marrying and failing to see the signs and ignoring the warnings of those around you.

“There’s going to be times where you won’t know what his problem is, but gor there to be any hope for you two to have a meaningful relationship, you need to have full acceptance of this. You’re going to have to accept him for who he is –all of him – even the part that may never know…”
If that’s not a warning I don’t know what is.

b) Marriage makes you one of those bitter, vindictive shrew of a woman who throws temper tantrums and ultimatums like its candy? I’m sure I’m supposed to feel sympathetic towards Lauren but even without the benefit of Cal’s perspective I can’t like her. I can’t like the clichéd woman scorned and neglected bit that she’s playing. Yes, you’re husband isn’t around much and yes you don’t exactly know what he does but you knew all of this before you let him put a ring on it and you went through with it anyways. I also can’t stand the fact that she sees who she’s becoming, doesn’t like it but is still behaving like its okay. It’s not okay!

c) Lauren’s actions and thoughts make me cringe that she’s a woman. She has a degree and as far as I can tell has done nothing with it. She’s just content to sit at home twiddling her thumbs and when she’s no longer content she realizes, “hey, you’ve been gone quite a lot, I’m lonely,” and suddenly there is discontent within her marriage and Cal is at fault (It’s always the men’s fault ladies). Where are the friends she used to have? Why does it seem as if she’s a prisoner in her own home when no one is keeping her there? And what’s up with the unnecessary drama? If I were Cal, I’d leave the house too, instead of listening to her rant and rave at me. Use your words.

I don’t think Lauren’s character helps the story even though she’s supposed to be a critical part in finding out what his secret is. The author went about it all wrong and honestly, I feel so bad for Cal and I don’t even care what his secret is. I’ve come up with so many justified excuses as to what his secret is and why he can’t tell, and all because I feel like she’s being portrayed as unnaturally unreasonable (at least in my mind). And to be fair, if she knew what the secret was I could justify her cray cray but she doesn’t and is still off the wall nuts.
I’m sure I’m supposed to hate Cal and call him a dick and jerk and all manner of unpleasant names but I sympathize with him. If he has to put up with her? Stiff drink please.

This book has quite a few supporting characters and they were really great, I wish we saw more of them. I feel like we got to know Angela better than Hillary and Raven I don’t even know what her character’s personality is supposed to be. Angela was the only semi-well rounded one. The main characters themselves, even Lauren’s archaic and insulting representation of women, are flat and one-dimensional. The only time I saw Cal as a person was when he beat up that one guy (valid reason). So, why are they together? They only seem to mesh sexually. No one and I repeat NO ONE should melt and lose all common sense over a heated look and a sizzling touch. Let’s be real people, love isn’t supposed to make you a stupid lap dog (at least not for 3 solid years).

This book is really long, it seems to drag and after every page and new chapter I think to myself, “what can you possibly have to write about now? Just tell me the secret already!

The “secret” the plot twist, is brilliant. I can see why this book is being published. How the big reveal is done made me cringe *shake my head at Lauren* For some reason when I found out, I laughed and then I tried to wrap my head around it and then I felt a twinge of sympathy and sadness for Lauren, just a twinge.
I feel as if this story could have benefited as three parts. Part one, the flashback sequences. Part two, current events and Part three, 2 years into the future where everything comes to a climax and conclusion (that’s just me). Clearly someone saw this way as better, it was more confusing than helpful, for me.

The idea the author had for this book is wonderful. The execution not so much. I would read it just to find out what the secret is though, that was worth it, it made everything that was confusing so much less confusing. Way to go Miss Moore, I so did not see that coming!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that as far as books go this wasn’t so great but as a new author Portia Moore shows great promise. I’d definitely pick up another book by her, especially if they have these throw me for a loop plots.

 

Last Line: “I’ll make sure it stays that way. I have to…even if I break.”

2.5 -3 Stars

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