Seventeen-year-old Danny Cummings' life is far from a fairytale, but that's okay since he doesn't believe in happy endings. After spending a year in juvenile hall for maliciously beating his sister's boyfriend, Danny embraces his badass image. Spending most nights drinking, fighting and collecting gambling debts for his Uncle, Danny's life is out of control. His addiction to the bad boy lifestyle won't let him do anything about it, even with his family begging him to go straight. But, when fifteen-year-old Lauren McIntosh stumbles into one of his nightly escapades, the self-proclaimed anti-romantic can't concentrate on anything except Lauren and the fact that she's on the same path his sister was on. Danny knows true love happening for the villain is as common as gamblers paying their debt on time, but he's never backed away from a challenge before and he hates the idea that history will repeat itself.
Growing old with the man she loves—in the small town where she was born—is the only dream Lauren McIntosh has ever had; that is until her family is practically run out of town amidst rumors of arson and adultery. So, when she meets Danny at her new school and hears the rumors about his activities from her new friends, she wants nothing to do with him or the gossip that seems to follow Danny everywhere. After a dangerous and ill-fated attempt at sneaking out, she develops unwelcomed feelings for Danny that he seems to reciprocate. But, Danny’s unrelenting pursuit makes Lauren nervous, especially since he's the only one that wants to know the secrets surrounding her family’s move. Lauren can't tell if Danny's intentions are true or if he has other plans for their newfound and unlikely friendship. The only way to figure out is to let him in and that could destroy everything, including the popularity and social acceptance she desperately seeks.
I didn't like it at all. Not my kind of book. I'm a fan of happy ending-in fact, I find them necessary for me to like a book.
Now, I know, with a title like "Breaking Lauren" I should have realized that happy had nothing to do with it. But, I foolishly hoped anyway.
For one thing, I felt like the situation was unrealistic. In what world do parents ground their daughter because she got an expensive present from a boy? I mean, seriously? And there were countless other situations like that. It got to be a little frustrating because the entire book seemed so out of the realm of possibility. People don't act like that in real life, not that I've ever seen or heard. Either I'm abnormally sheltered or the situations in this book are totally out of the realm of possibility.
Lauren seemed really...unintelligent, to be nice about it. Why would you ever go to a party in the middle of the night, in a bad part of town where bad things are almost guaranteed to happen? That is NOT the smart thing to do, Lauren. And repeatedly going back after almost getting beat up by some insane guy? DEFINITELY NOT SMART. She had horrible judgement about everything she did. I couldn't make myself feel bad for her because I honestly felt like she brought it on herself.
I liked Danny, and that was the only shining part of the book for me. He was sweet and tried to be a better person for Lauren, even when she banished him from her life. But there was also a creepy quality to his obsession with Lauren. A little unhealthy, I would say. It bothered me a few times, but I couldn't dislike him. Because I was too busy disliking Lauren.
The thing is, I can't say this was a terrible book. It truly just wasn't for me. I know that A LOT of people will like this book, so I don't have it in me to denounce it entirely.
My impression of Breaking Lauren was that it was a book version of one of those indie movies that get really popular among the fans of that genre. The only movie of those that I've watched is the movie "Thirteen" so, I guess if you liked that movie or movies like it, you'll like this book. But that isn't really my favorite genre, so I can't say that I particularly liked it.
So, I can only say that this book wasn't for me. It was by no means a terrible book-the writing itself was brilliant-but it just wasn't my type of book. But, I would still recommend it to anyone who likes this genre of heart-breaking, tragic, angsty books. If you like that kind of thing, Breaking Lauren is a perfect pick for you.
But for me, 1/5
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!
So, I found out that Breaking Lauren will have a sequel: Losing Lauren. I'm definitely curious about that...maybe I'll get that happy ending :) I'll most likely read it out of curiosity and I desire to finish the story I've started. After getting invested in the characters, I want to see how it plays out for them. We'll see...