One of the highlights of my Spring Break was being able to buddy read The Breakdown with Sabrina. We read Behind Closed Doors, B.A. Paris’ first novel, together a couple years ago and hoped to read this one soon. Since I was finally able to figure out Interlibrary Loan through my local library, we were able to get it done after several months of waiting. It also helped that Sabrina and I were granted access to B.A. Paris’ upcoming release, Bring Me Back, through Netgalley, forcing us to finally pick this one up. We’ve started an exciting tradition of reading the works of this author together and discussing the possible scenarios of each storyline as we go.
I truly think if you’re considering a buddy-read, Thrillers are the way to go. As I mentioned, it’s fun to have someone to discuss and predict the story with. Sabrina shares ideas I had not considered and vice versa, bringing a different experience to the story than I could have alone. As we inch our way to the ending, it’s always more exciting to discover which of our theories were correct, if any. I definitely recommend grabbing books from this genre with a friend to enhance the reading experience.
As for the story, I truly enjoyed the guessing games and possibilities of this plot. I felt constantly clueless about what might happen, which is exactly what I’m looking for from this genre. I don’t want everything to be too predictable because it makes reading feel pointless. This read was everything but pointless and made for a really fun time.
My only real issue with this book was the sometimes repetitive elements of the story. It took a little while to get going, then picked up, and lagged again for the better half of the novel. While it still kept me guessing, I hoped for slightly more action or less of the same ol’, same ol’ events.
I especially enjoyed reading from Cass’s perspective since we weren’t sure if we were able to trust her as a narrator. I wanted to be on her side, but didn’t know if I should be – I LOVE THAT! Unreliable narrators are one of my absolute favorite things while reading.
Of course, as an Anglophile, I can’t get enough of B.A. Paris’ British English and settings.
For the slower parts of the story, I decided to give this novel 3.5 stars, rounding up to four. Despite the rating, I really enjoyed reading this book and couldn’t wait to make it to the conclusion. I look forward to reading Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris closer to the summer. She certainly can spin a story!
You won’t believe how excited I was to finally read B. A. Paris’ The Breakdown. In 2016 Ashley and I buddy-read her debut novel, Behind Closed Doors, which was also one of my very first thrillers to read. Buddy-reading another book by Paris was the cherry on top.
I went into this book blindly because I couldn’t remember what the blurb said when I read it about a year ago. It didn’t affect the reading experience at all because every scene, every turn, and every reaction was exciting and new.
The Breakdown has a completely different storyline than Behind Closed Doors and I was really happy about that. After the first few chapters I was already hooked and I kept asking myself “What’s going on here?” and “What’s happening?” The good thing about buddy-reading a book is that you get to discuss it with someone. After every few chapters, Ashley and I came up with new scenarios of what’s been going on and how this story is going to end until we decided, “Who knows? Everything’s possible now!” I really enjoyed the fact that the story could go in so many different directions.
B. A. Paris created a very unreliable main character with Cass. For reasons I’m not going to discuss now, it was impossible for the reader to know if what she did and said was true and what not. I liked this element because it added to the confusing events in the book.
Cass’ behavior, however, repeated itself over and over again in the course of the story which made this great and unique story seem dull. It dragged to the point in which I only wanted to know what was going on.
The ending was shocking yet deflating. One of the scenarios Ashley and I came up with turned out to be true and although it left me a little disappointed, it was shocking to see the ‘why’ and especially the ‘how’.
In the end, the repetitive events in the book predominated the cleverness of the storyline for me, which is why I give The Breakdown 3.5 stars, leaning towards 4 stars.
I’m really looking forward to B. A. Paris’ third novel Bring Me Back, which I’m also going to buddy-read with Ashley. A tradition in the making.