Title: Until I Break
Author: Kara Bietz
Publication: November 1st 2016 by Albert Whitman & Company
Summary from Goodreads:
Two boys: One is a star athlete and top student with a deep-seated need to prove himself. The other is a chip-on-his-shoulder quarterback who will never settle for second best. When gunshots echo through the halls of Broadmeadow High School, whose finger is on the trigger? This unforgettable novel counts down the twelve months leading up to an explosive moment. A year before the shooting, Sam North has a bright future as well as a problem that nobody else seems to see Ace Quinn, his neighbor and teammate. For years, Ace has been bullying and harassing Sam, yet he’s managed to deftly conceal his actions and threats from the rest of the world. As Ace’s secret rage intensifies, Sam becomes more desperate to stop him. But how far will he go? And what if Ace takes his threats even farther?
A Listical of Thoughts:
- A mystery that purposefully witholds information and dangles it in front of your nose – both yay and nay.
- Well done back and forth format. It’s a seamless blend between past and present
(hold onto your hats because this is where nice Sammi goes bye bye)
- Characters were awful and one dimensional. Not to mention they had no development or motivation beyond basic banal bullshit.
- Ace bullying Sam was so unrealistic it made me want to pull my hair out. He was so over the top and ridiculous – it completely took away from his impact on the story. It took away that power he needed to have. Honestly, despite how horrible the things he said to Sam were, it just made me laugh because it was so completely, utterly over the top.
- The timeline itself is a complete whack job. Besides the blending of past and present, the way the events themselves unfold is neither seamless nor is it easy to understand. It is, quite frankly, a mish-mash of uninteresting, nonsensical events we are supposed to care about – but really don’t. It doesn’t add up.
I don’t really know what to say. All in all, it wasn’t my favorite – but it wasn’t awful. It was just sort of meh and I got dragged along for the ride. I didn’t want to put it down in the hopes it would get better, but it never did. It almost sort of got worse? If that’s even an accurate measurement. It wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t good, it was just there, Kind of a waste of time, in the long run.