Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Pieces Blog Tour: Review

19 Feb 2013

The Breakaway
by Michelle Davidson Argyle
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Release Date: May 1st,  2012
Format: Paperback, 303 pages 

When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escape isn’t high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she’s part of a family—even if it is a family of criminals. But she’s still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she’s falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn’t sure she wants to take it.

The Breakaway was surprisingly very thought-provoking and entertaining especially after the half-way mark. I spent several days trying to get through the first few chapters as initially, it was extremely tedious and the third person narration didn’t quite work. Somewhere along the way however, I became invested in the story and couldn’t wait to read to the end.

Naomi was unfortunately a weak character. I expected some sort of resistance from her, and perhaps a formulation of a plan to escape. Instead, she completely…shut down. It felt like she had abandoned all thoughts of returning home and she’d essentially ‘given up’. But then I thought, perhaps her lack of rebelling was understandable. After all, she’d never felt loved by her workaholic parents, who were hardly ever present in her life. Her boyfriend was abusive and she’d collected some undesirable memories she’d like nothing better than to forget. Her kidnappers, though having kept her captive, were kind and sympathetic. They seemed to care about her, and Evelyn loved her like she was her own daughter. I could see why Naomi felt an inevitable bond…but it still didn’t feel right.

Then there’s Jesse, one of her abductors. He protected her, he seemed to understand her like no one else ever had, and he was always there, by her side whenever she felt down. (Which was all the time.) I began to like him as the story progressed instead of thinking of him as some sort of delinquent creep. I also began to root for him and Naomi, as screwed up as it sounds. He really wanted to change for the greater good.

Even though I had hoped for an epilogue, I was still content with the ending. I thought about everything that happened and tried to analyse all the character’s thoughts and actions days after finishing. This is one book I won’t easily forget!

A massive thank you to Xpresso Book Tours  for providing a copy of The Breakaway for review!

by Michelle Davidson Argyle
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing 
Release Date: February 14th, 2013
Format: Paperback, 284 pages 

Two years after watching her kidnappers go to prison, Naomi Jensen is still in love with one of them. Jesse will be released in a few years, and Naomi knows college is the perfect distraction while she waits. But when her new friend Finn makes her question what is right and what is wrong, she begins to wonder if Jesse is the one for her … until she discovers he's out on parole. Naomi must sort through her confusion to figure out where love and freedom truly lie—in Finn, who has no connections to her past, or Jesse, who has just asked her to run away with him. 

 Pieces is a companion to The Breakaway and can be read independently, if desired.

Pieces starts off with the introduction of a new character, Finn, a rather good-looking guy waitering at a café near Harvard, where Nano currently attends University on a scholarship. (THAT LUCKY GIRL!!) At the start, I was torn and disappointed; I really thought Naomi and Jesse could be together after he’s served his time in prison. ( I even contemplated not reading the sequel because while the ending of The Breakaway was ambiguous, and I liked it. (sort of.)
But I was wrong.
As the story progressed, I realized Naomi and Jesse could never be together. He still hasn’t changed. And he’d never change. Doing illegal work is second nature to him. But the crazy thing is, even though Jesse’s making mistake after mistake, committing worse crimes day after day, it was all so he and Naomi could be together. It was for love…but perhaps the wrong kind?

Now, I was a little unsure of Finn at first, but I totally fell hard for him when he revealed his ancestry.

He leaned closer and said in a thick Italian accent, “Giachetti”.


Finn is kind, caring and understanding.  My only problem is that I had hoped to feel the love and chemistry develop between Finn and Naomi, but unfortunately, I didn’t feel that. I’ll blame it on the fact that the majority of the book focused on Naomi and Jesse’s relationship.

Naomi displayed so much growth as the story progressed. She may never be able to escape what happened to her 3 years ago, but as she spends more time with Jesse, abiding by his wishes and living under his control, she begins to realize so much about herself and the nature of the bond between her and her captors.

I did like the ending, but I had expected more i.e. an epilogue. No worries though, I’m still content with the overall story! Pieces is just as thrillingly entertaining and thought-provoking as its predecessor, but even more, there is a strong focus on discovering one’s identity and ultimately, growing up. I think there’s a lot to take away from reading this; it’s a highly recommended read from me!

A massive thank you to Xpresso Book Tours  for providing a copy of Pieces for review!


  1. Shirley I've been meaning to pick up Breakaway for ages now, the premise when I read it reminded me of Stolen by Lucy Christopher which I loved, so I thought this would be a perfect follow up book! And now that I know that you enjoyed it somewhat I will have to give it a go soon. I think I'm in the mood for an achy read! Lovely reviews Shirley! :)

    1. I can't wait to read Stolen; EVERYONE's been gushing about it so I need to start it ASAP. I'm just scared my heart can't take it...I've heart it's pretty heart-breaking?
      hehee thanks Jasprit<3

  2. Oh wow I love that this series really improved for you! I love the idea behind these books but I have yet to pick them up. This post may give me my final push into finally reading them because the characters sound great. Fabulous review!

  3. Hmmmmm. I have to say I'm really curious about this one Shirley, I want to know how things work out for Naomi and Jesse, and I love that she shows so much growth in the second book. I think I'd be fine with her in the tedious parts of the first book as long as I knew that she starts to find herself a bit more as the story progresses. Definitely going to add these to my list!

  4. Thank you for being a part of the tour! Your reviews are honest and thorough (the best sort!). *hugs*

  5. The Breakaway's synopsis makes me automatically think of Stolen - a book I loved - but I doubt that anything with a similar premise will ever live up to it. Which is why I'be been a little hesitant to pick this up, but you make me curious, nonetheless. I think I'd be quite frustrated with Pieces though. I hate being conflicted over love interests. Especially in situations like this, where it's more complicated. Great reviews, Shirley!

  6. I'm not sure I would enjoy these reads because I know I'd be rooting for Jesse and Naomi to be together from the way you describe the story, but it seems like they're not. Wonderful reviews. Like Sam said above, this reminds my of Stolen. Lovely reviews, my dear. :)

  7. Hm, I'm honestly now sure if Breakaway and Pieces would be good books for me. I don't usually read contemporaries, not often at least, and especially not something like this. But maybe, if the mood strikes, I might give it a try.
    I haven't read Stolen, either, you know. I'm not brave enough to put myself throuhg that.
    Great reviews!


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