Title: Breakable (Contours of the Heart #2)
Author: Tammara Webber
Release Date: May 6, 2014
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THOUGHTS:He was lost and alone. Then he found her.
And the future seemed more fragile than ever.
As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.
All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…
As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat.
I've had a lot of people ask me to recommend them one New Adult book, and with no hesitations whatsoever, I'd always (and will always, for that matter) immediately say, "Read Easy by Tammara Webber. You won't regret it." Because believe me, you won't. Easy is what this new New Adult genre is all about - it tackles such a sensitive topic, and it does so with such ease and poise. To this date, I don't think I've ever read a novel that has affected me as much as Easy has, because you can't help but connect with Tammara's characters. So yeah, I bet it's pretty obvious that when I say that Easy is my favorite NA novel (and one of my ultimate favorites across all genres), I am in no way exaggerating. When I heard the news that Tammara was planning to publish a companion novel to Easy, however, I was both excited and apprehensive. Excited why? Well, my favorite author is releasing another book set in this world that means so much to me, and she sets off to explore one of the most developed characters I've ever read too! Who wouldn't be excited, right?
So wait... now, why am I apprehensive? It's simple, really. Alternate POV novels are always tricky. You know what's going to happen next plot-wise, so the element of surprise, that suspense that we've come to expect while reading a book, is pretty much all gone. I've actually yet to read a companion novel that I've liked - most of them bring nothing new to the table, and quite honestly, only left me feeling disappointed and thinking that I wasted my time in reading them. I know that I would enjoy reading Breakable, simply because I love reading about Lucas, but a part of me wants something new plot-wise too. Also, I don't want to just enjoy this book. I want it to resonate deep within me, just like Easy did. So, as I cracked open my copy of Breakable, both of these two emotions were warring deep within me. I was excited, but I was also scared. As I finished the first chapter, I remember cracking a smile and chiding myself for doubting Tammara's writing.
My worries were pretty much baseless.
A few months before, I told Tammara that I'm sure that she would be creating another masterpiece with this book, and boy, did she ever! I didn't think it possible, but Tammara found ways to explore Lucas' character even further. I thought I knew everything that I needed to know about Lucas, but Tammara proved me wrong. Through Breakable, she allowed us reader to delve further inside the recesses of his mind, to peek into his tumultuous past, ultimately to for us readers to find out just how this young, broken Lucas - after all that he has experienced at such a young age - came to be the strong and aware Lucas whom we have all come to know and love. I found myself learning more and more about Lucas after every chapter, and what I came to know simultaneously broke my heart and made me grin with pride.
To those who may not know, there are two timelines within Breakable - the first explores Lucas, then known as Landon, as a teenager; and of course, the second explores how Lucas' life changed after the first time he saw Jacqueline. The way Tammara wrote both timelines is absolutely phenomenal - it was easy to discern which side of Landon Lucas Maxfield you're reading about (and no, I am not talking about the chapter headings), because you feel the change from Landon to Lucas - you see it from the way Landon and Lucas act, and you definitely feel it from the way they view themselves. You get to see first-hand just how difficult Landon's life was after the untimely death of his mother. After her death, he and his father now live with the grandfather Landon barely knew growing up; his relationship with his father isn't exactly peachy; he is not having the best of times at school, and worst, he continues to blame himself for what happened to his mother. At the surface, Landon was almost apathetic, but you can always, always feel his desperation to feel anything.
In stark contrast, Lucas was more mature and was more responsible - gone was the kid who couldn't have cared less about school and the future. While still reserved, he had no problem expressing his feelings, as shown through his interactions with the Hellers and Jacqueline. He may still keep to himself, but he wasn't closed off. He had people he can trust, and he was fighting hard towards a future that seemed almost impossible just a few years ago. Most of all, however, I am at awe at how much Lucas respected Jacqueline. He listened to her, and he never pushed her to do anything that she didn't want to do. Also, while he may have protected her as much as he could have, I love that Lucas knows that there are some things that Jacqueline needs to do herself, and while he helped her with those, he never did them for her. Rereading Lucas and Jacqueline's journey through Lucas' eyes made me realize this, and I just love that Lucas recognized Jacqueline's strength.
Despite knowing what would happen in this book for the large part, I was never bored. From the very first page, Breakable has always been about character growth - how Landon became Lucas. Reading through his experiences, and looking at the world through his eyes made me see who Landon Lucas really was. I now understood why he was drawn to Jacqueline in the first place, and just how much he loved her. Realizing that needing other people didn't make him weak, and that needing someone to hold his hand while he faced the past that he has been running through for so long, lent such credibility to Lucas' character. These moments made Lucas relateable, just as his love for Jacqueline does. I have nothing but high hopes for these two - they're already strong individuals for surviving all that they've been through, but through each other, Lucas and Jacqueline can only grow stronger.
I was crying by the time I finished Breakable. You wouldn't think that fictional characters can teach you so much about staying strong while wading through this chaos we call life, but both Lucas and Jacqueline did that for me. While Jacqueline inspired me to brave and face even the most fearsome of challenges head on, Lucas taught me that there is no hole so deep that you can never dig yourself out of it. You can always change - you can always grow - no matter what your age is. Through his story, he further strengthened my notion that there is no shame in accepting help and the good will of other people.
I have nothing but the sincerest of gratitude to Tammara Webber for writing both Easy and Breakable. These are books that deserve to be remembered, and books that deserve to be shared with so many other people. I have no doubt that Lucas and Jacqueline will touch countless other people's lives just as they did mine for generations to come.
Rating: 5 Stars
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