“It all started that night in the woods.
Cass Anderson didn’t stop to help the woman in the car, and now she’s dead.
Ever since, silent calls have been plaguing Cass and she’s sure someone is watching her.
Consumed by guilt, she’s also starting to forget things. Whether she took her pills, what her house alarm code is, and if the knife in the kitchen really had blood on it.
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?”
If you’ve read my review of Paris’s debut novel, Behind Closed Doors, you’ll know how much of a fan I immediately was of both the story and her writing style. The way she managed to capture me and get me really invested in the story was unlike anything else I’d ever experienced – apart from maybe with the Harry Potter books. In that post I also already mentioned The Breakdown and how much I wanted to read it, and now that I finally got around to it I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you.
The Breakdown was honestly no different when it came to the page-turner aspect, except that I didn’t finish it quite as quickly as Behind Closed Doors – but that had more to do with the fact I had a lot of other things going on, and not at all with the story being less captivating. Because, let me tell you, it wasn’t.
Just like with her first novel, Paris manages to build tension and suspension by lifting a tiny bit more of the veil with each chapter, or couple of chapters. Not by doing it in a past-present format like with Behind Closed Doors, but by just slowly leaving hints here and there and letting the reader, together with the main character, put the pieces of the puzzle together. At a certain point, Cass is questioning everything – and so are you! There was a moment where I even started questioning Cass herself, because she’d just become such an unreliable source of information. It’s exhillerating, and I honestly couldn’t stop talking about it. My boyfriend had the pleasure of hearing all of my theories whenever I finished a reading session, haha.
Now, I did read some reviews online that said they found the whole plot rather predictable. And I do agree – up to a certain point. Somewhere near the beginning, I already had a pretty good idea of what was going on. But then as the story progressed, I started doubting my first theory and Paris managed to make me believe entirely different things. As it turns out, my initial thoughts were partly correct. Because the ending did have a pretty major plot twist that I didn’t see coming until a few lines before it was revealed.
The character development was a bit less prominent than in Behind Closed Doors, but it was still there. And it was done in a very realistic way. We start off with an almost weak main character (no offense, Cass) that depends on others maybe a bit too much – although I can’t really blame her seeing the situation she’s in. But then she starts to rely on her gut more, and trust herself and her own judgment. Which, to be honest, changes the game completely. And it happens so gradually that it’s believable. No one goes from being sort of a scared little bunny to the hero of the story overnight! The other characters don’t really go through a process of self-discovery or growth, but that’s mainly because their personal journey is not important for the story.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Breakdown, and I literally cannot wait until the release of B.A. Paris’s third book in March. It’s called Bring Me Back and the synopsis looks pretty promising! Have you read either The Breakdown or Behind Closed Doors (or both, like I have)? What did you think? And if you haven’t, did my review persuade you to give them a read? I’d love to hear your thoughts.