Monsters lurk where you least expect…
Charlotte has always felt ordinary compared to her two best friends at the prestigious Weston Preparatory Institute. Not enigmatic and daring like Ariel or beautiful and brilliant like Devon, Charlotte has never quite met the standards of the school—or those of her demanding mother. But with Ariel and Devon by her side, none of that mattered. They became the family she never had.
Until the unthinkable happens—Ariel commits suicide. And less than a month later, so does Devon.
Everyone accepts the suicides as tragic coincidences, but Charlotte refuses to believe that. And when she finds mysterious clues left behind by Ariel, Charlotte is thrust down a path that leads to a dangerous secret about Weston Prep. There’s a reason Weston students are so exceptional, and the people responsible are willing to kill to protect the truth…
Charlotte is attending Weston Preparatory Institute, an exclusive boarding school for bright and rich kids. But she is not that smart compared to the other kids at that school. It just so happens her mom got connections that helped her get into Weston. And though she didn’t feel like she belongs, she managed to find friends whom she considered as sisters. The daring Ariel and brilliant Devon. They took her under their wings and stick with her. She’ll forever be grateful. But then, for an unknown reason, Ariel killed herself. Charlotte can’t help but blame herself, thinking it has something to do with the fact that she fell in love with Ariel’s boyfriend, Jack and Ariel found out about it. But when Devon committed suicide, too, less than a month after Ariel died, Charlotte knew there is something wrong going on. Everyone dismissed it, saying it’s just mere coincidence, but she knows there’s more to her friend’s death. Especially when she found a clue Ariel left behind for her. A clue she believed to be the key to the mystery behind Ariel and Devon’s death. But things are much more dangerous than Charlotte expected. Just like her friends, it might cost her her life.
I was expecting Breaking to be something full of intrigue and secrets about the prestigious Weston Prep. And yes, there is that. And though there is an interesting storyline to work on, I feel like it fell short to deliver a story that will keep me enthralled. Going into it, I didn’t know it is the second book of a series, though it can very well be read as standalone. But now, after reading it, I wonder if I would understand the story a lot better if I read the first book. Because it was such a struggle to finish this one. I had a hard time understanding any of the characters, most especially Charlotte. There are a lot of things that I tried to make sense of and failed. She’s in a school with exceptional students, she knows she’s not in the same league as them and yet she didn’t even try because she knows her mom will always help her. I also can’t understand how she claimed to consider her friends as her family but most of the things she recounted them doing, they appear to be like horrible person. It confused me how one moment, Charlotte thinks she and friends are outcast and the next moment, they are on top of the popular tier. She has a complex relationship with her friends and I think it would have been better if that friendship was given more focus as to understand Charlotte’s relationship with her best friends. Also, it’s hard for me to believe that she is not eating any food from the cafeteria. I can’t explain without spoiling it, so I’ll just go ahead and spoil you anyway. Weston Prep is “drugging” their students.
One thing I strongly dislike is the lack of adult character that you can trust in the story. The school administration doesn’t care that there are two students that committed suicide in the school premises. They just get on like nothing’s happened. Another one is Charlotte’s mom who is a scientist who cares about her works more than her daughter. There were also parts where I feel like it’s glamorizing suicide and it is just not okay. I didn’t like the push for romance, too. Jack is obviously a total tool and aside from he’s rich and good looking, there are no redeeming qualities to suggest that he deserved all the attention he gets from girls. The ending also appears rushed and the cliffhanger frustrating.
But it’s not all bad. I appreciate the mystery and there are twists that took me by surprise. The writing is good despite the shortcomings, and the plot, if not something new, is interesting. The setting is perfect and there are some weird twisted stuff incorporated that fits well with the story. Overall, a decent dark and grim mystery thriller read. Younger readers should read with caution, though, as it contains some gruesome scenes.