Author: Michael Betcherman
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Sixteen-year-old Nick Macklin's life has been divided in two. Before and After. Before his father when to jail, and After.Before, he was an A student and a talented hockey player who loved his girlfriend, Sherry, and had the greatest dad in the world--a man who not only was there for him after his mom died of cancer, but who was also a star player for the Vancouver Canucks. Then the bottom fell out. His father was convicted of murder and given a life sentence for a crime Nick is convinced he didn't commit.Now living with his dad's agent, Nick is motivated solely by a burning desire to seek justice for his father. Who framed him? And why? Drifting further away from everything and everyone who matters, he spends his days roaming the city, looking for a bald man with a limp--the man his father swears planted the evidence that led to his conviction. Finding him is like looking for a needle in a haystack--until Nick stumbles on a very real clue, an eye-opening revelation that just might get his father out of jail forever.
In all honesty, I hadn't heard of Breakaway by Michael Betcherman until I was offered the chance to be part of the blog tour for the release of the book. The summary caught my attention, especially since it's more of a boy book, which in my opinion there just aren't enough of in YA. All that to say that once I started reading, I read the entire book in one sitting. It was that good.
Nick Macklin thought he had a great life. At least that was until his father was accused of a crime he didn't commit and was sentenced to life in prison. Now Nick doesn't care about anything but finding the one person who could prove his father's innocence. But finding a bald, limping man in Vancouver might as well be the same thing as looking for a needle in a haystack. At his father's request, Nick stops his search and stats focusing once more on school and rejoins his hockey team. And just when he's not looking anymore, Nick might be on the verge of finding out just who framed his father for murder.
I honestly had no expectations when I started reading Michael Betcherman's Breakaway since all I had to go off was the synopsis on the back of the book. Despite that I was still looking forward to reading the book, mainly because the entire story focused on a boy and was told from his perspective even if it was in the third person. There's just not enough "boy" books in YA and whenever I find one I just kind of jump on it and read it. Ultimately, Breakaway did not end up disappointing me. Once I started reading, I just couldn't put the book down. I just had to find out who had framed Nick's father. All along I had my suspicions but I was dying to know if I was right. Beyond that, the story itself was captivating, it drew me in right from the start. It also helps that I'm a sucker for any story that has mystery or revolves around crime in one way or another. All that to say that I pretty much loved this book.
I loved Nick. He was a great character and I loved getting to know him better as the story moved forward. I could definitely some sort of evolution in his character. When the story first started, Nick was solely focused on finding who had framed his father, not really caring about anything else and thinking that doing that would solve all his problems. But eventually he understood that there might be more to life than just proving his dad's innocence, no matter how important that was. But Nick wasn't the only interesting character in this book. Granted he was kind of integral to the story, I loved that a parent was actually part of the story and played an important role. Nick's dad took me by surprise. I loved finding out about him in the flashbacks Nick had. He just wasn't what I expected and I really appreciated that about him. And Nick's friends of course were interesting just because they were all so different from one another--I'm not going to lie, I smiled when I saw that one of them would be going to my university.
Michael Betcherman's Breakaway was a fantastic read. It took me completely by surprise and it is one of those books that I will definitely be recommending in the future. And if you're looking to find a book for a boy, then I strongly recommend you send Breakaway their way.