Cover Image: The Breakaway

The Breakaway

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Member Reviews

I have read many of Weiner's books, and this isn't one of her best. She's hitting some of her long-time themes like body image, weight loss, and worthiness of love, but the bike setting just didn't feel fresh enough to examine them from a new angle. I'll always keep an eye out for her new title, but this one was an unfortunate skip for me.
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Abby Stern is happy even though she doesn’t have a set career, but she has an apartment that she loves, good friends and her bike. She’s more comfortable in her own skin than ever before and she’s set to marry Mark, her childhood sweetheart, who she met one summer at the weight-loss camp her mother forced her to attend. It seemed like fate when she reconnected with Mark more than a decade after their last summer at camp. 

Abby has everything, but she feels like something is still missing. She often thinks about Sebastien, a man she met two years ago one night in NYC. A chance to lead a last-minute cycling trip might be just what Abby needs to put her life in order and some distance between herself and Mark to ensure her life is heading in the right direction. 

To Abby’s surprise, the one person she never expected to see again is in her group—Sebastien. The second face she never expected to show up is none other than her mother. When it comes to light that Sebastien’s a serial dater, Abby decides she’ll keep her distance. 

The hundreds of miles of cycling allow unlikely friendships to form and secrets past and present to surface. The miles also allow Abby to reevaluate what she wants for her future. 

I enjoyed this book and the mother/daughter bonds that came to light showing us that our mothers had lives and pasts before we ever came into existence and that that has shaped how they raised us and the truths they may have kept hidden and their reasons for doing so. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for allowing me to read an ARC of this novel. #NetGalley #TheBreakaway
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Very likely a top 5 book of the year for me! Jennifer Weiner has been a must read for me for years but this book may be my favorite of hers by far!
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I was such a fan of good in bed and the depth the author reached in her characters.  And since then it has been an up and down ride for me.  Loving some and others not so much.  But this one was a yes.  

I liked getting to know the complex characters.  Abby was relatable and Sebastian was flawed.  This is ultimately a little bit romance and a lot of finding your place and being comfortable in your own skin.

Some of the plots for the side characters kind of muddied the read for me.  And this one falls into a current trend that I am not of fan of.  Taking characteristics of the main character and then never letting the reader forget it.  For Abby it is her weight, but I've also seen it with a character's sexuality or a neurodivergent character.  The reader is told over and over again what makes them different instead of letting the reader experience what it is like to be them.  

But overall, I liked spending time with Abby and Sebastian and learning what makes them tick.
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Thirty-three-year-old Abby lives in Philadelphia, spending her free time with her bike club and boyfriend, Mark, a man she reunited with years after meeting him at weight-loss camp as teens. Abby gets invited to lead a cycling trip in New York, and is met with two familiar faces at the start of the trip—Sebastian, a man she spent one night with two years prior, and the last minute addition of her mother, Eileen. 

Unfortunately, while I’ve loved other books by Jennifer Weiner, this one was a miss for me. First and foremost, the main characters, Abby and Sebastian, were unlikeable and insufferable, and their insta-romance storyline was too unbelievable. I also felt like the book was a bit all over the place and rather boring, and there were parts that went on and on about Abby being plus-size, making it feel like her entire persona. I was more invested in one of the supporting character’s storyline, but it did not fit with the rest of story so felt a bit forced. As someone who grew up and lives in the Philly suburbs, I did love the local (to me) setting and familiar landmarks, but unfortunately the story just fell short.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for my gifted e-book!
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My kindle made an error downloading this and I was just able to read it… I’m so sad it took me so long!   A cute story about a girl’s literal and figurative journey while leading a bike trip. I love that Jennifer is consistently creating heroines that are strong, not skinny. A great read!
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I unfortunately did not enjoy the book. I personally did not enjoy reading about the topics that were brought in.  It felt like the topics were forced in the plot just to bring in the topics.
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While The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner did bring me to tears and dealt with some particularly important and sensitive subjects, it was also just REALLY fun to read. We get many different viewpoints, and while this can be confusing in some books, I wasn't confused at all the way it was used here and I loved getting a little bit from all the different characters. As the book progressed, I felt like I got to know them all better and better, and I can tell you right now I had 0 interest in Abby getting married to Mark. She is 33, confident, and overall, just a great FMC, and I loved her POV most of all besides Morgan.

The audiobook is fantastic and narrated by quite the cast! Nikki Blonsky, Santino Fontana, Jenni Barber, Soneela Nankani & Joy Osmanski each breathed so much life into their associated characters, and the only small complaint I had was that the narrator for Abby was a little choppy at times. Other than that, it was a wonderful experience and one that I would recommend. You may want to check out triggers before going in (I recommend checking StoryGraph), as those sensitive topics I mentioned, will definitely be triggering for some. Each of the characters is going through something different but equally as important, and I loved the grace with which Weiner handled them all. The cycling aspect was incredibly fun and interesting as well! I will be recommending The Breakaway to anyone who wants a touch of romance, plus girl rep, and smart/sensitive characters.
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I'd like to thank Netgalley and Atria Books for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

I think I am a Jennifer Weiner fan now.

I loved Abby. She is a girls who grows up and feels self conscious about her body image and has had people in her life contribute to that. Her mom sends her to fat camp, kids in school call her names, and even men that she's dated try not to be seen with her. One night when she is out of town for a bridal shower she meets Sebastian (a serial dater) who takes her home. As she awakens in the morning and figures he'll be like the other guys she has been with - she sneaks out. Fast forward two years later, Abby now has a boyfriend (who she met as a teen at fat camp), she is asked to lead a two week bike tour where one of her riders happens to be Sebastian. Oh, and her mother - who is trying to reconnect with her.
I love books where the characters are a little messy but discover who they are and how they can turn their lives around and help others positively.
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How was this my first Jennifer Weiner novel?? I loooved the representation of issues women face in this novel. It felt real to me. Abbey and my mother have something in common here lol 

I thought the writing was great and I really enjoyed Abbey's character. 

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC
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The Breakaway had a lot of characters with too much drama. I wanted to love Abby, I really did. I did like the different point of views.
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I’ve read 6 Jennifer Weiner novels so far, but this one is my favorite. It hit so close to home, tackling an issue that a lot of 20- and 30-somethings face: do I go along with my life just because it’s easy and I like it fine OR do I create something I love at the risk of what I have now:

"Had she just and tossed away her only chance at happiness? Would life with Mark have made her happy? Or would it have ultimately felt like a too-tight pair of jeans, something that looked good from the outside but made her feel constrained, confined, like she’d never take another deep breath again?"

I loved watching our main character, Abby, wrestle with the choice, make a decision, and eventually come to peace with it. 

Other things I loved:
-The setup of the story - a biking trip across New York state. It’s such a fun and fresh setting. JW’s passion for biking leaps off the page and is utterly contagious (I got my bike out and did a little ride after finishing the book!).
-Obviously the writing and dialogue are solid - it’s a JW after all!
-It tackles sticky topics with grace (and i mean STICKY - weight gain/loss, abortion, playboy culture on dating apps). I think this is where reviewer opinion tends to diverge, but I thought it was well done. 

What didn’t I like? The cover. Not a big deal and it sort of makes sense based on the book. BUT I think it would have broader appeal if it was similar to her previous covers (or ANYTHING more interesting than yellow lines on a white background). 

Thank you to Atria books and Netgalley for the gifted copy.
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Abby's life isn't perfect, but she's content. She has a boyfriend, Mark, a steady income, albeit not a full career, and an apartment she's lived in for years. Her life is just fine. But under the surface, Abby feels something is missing.

Two years prior, she had a whirlwind night with a man named Sebastian, and she can't seem to let that memory go. Abby takes a trip, bringing her away from Mark, and, of course, she runs into Sebastian, but is determined to stay away from him, because he has a relatively poor reputation of moving from one girl to the next. On her journey, she also runs into her mother, whom she blames much of her struggles with her body on. 

The story takes place over the course of two weeks, and in this time, Abby is trying to "Breakaway" from her former life. She goes on a soul-searching journey, causing her to reconsider the life she has been worth living. A well written story, this is worth the read if you have the time. I found myself connected to Abby more than I expected, which always makes a book that much more enjoyable.
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I didn't really care for this. The POV switching to some of the riders on the trip was very random, and seemed more of a political statement than something that needed to move the narrative forward. I don't know that I would read anything more be Jennifer Weiner. 

I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.
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Abby Stern has made it to a happy place.  She’s got good friends, her bike, and her bicycling club in Philadelphia. She’s at peace with her plus-size body—at least, most of the time—and she’s on track to marry Mark Medoff, her childhood summer sweetheart.  Fifteen years after her final summer at Camp Golden Hills, when Abby reconnects with a half-his-size Mark, it feels like the happy ending she’s always wanted.

Yet Abby can’t escape the feeling that some­thing isn’t right...or the memories of one thrilling night she spent with a man named Sebastian two years previously. When Abby gets a last-minute invi­tation to lead a cycling trip from NYC to Niagara Falls, she’s happy to have time away from Mark, a chance to reflect and make up her mind.

But things get complicated fast. First, Abby spots a familiar face in the group—Sebastian, the one-night stand she thought she’d never see again. Sebastian is a serial dater who lives a hundred miles away.  Over two weeks and more than seven hundred miles, strangers become friends, hidden truths come to light, a teenage girl with a secret unites the riders in unexpected ways...and Abby is forced to reconsider everything.  

This is definitely a book written by Jennifer Weiner because she is very good at writing character driven, and so much more than just a romance storyline.  I enjoyed the characters and Abby's search for answers.  

Thanks so NetGalley and Atria Books for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The first book I read by Jennifer Weiner was Good in Bed where I got to meet Cannie and I was hooked on Weiner’s books ever since.  I love that her books always have an element of romance but also deeper topics are explored in a relatable way.  
In The Breakaway we get to meet Abby.  I really loved her character.  I really enjoyed the way she is trying to “breakaway” from things that don’t serve her or make her feel good.  You get to follow along on her journey of self discovery and learning how to love herself.  
This is a quick read that will make you want to jump on your bike, take a ride, and just let go!
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Abby Stern is a gal who has struggled with her weight all her life. She’s also a bike rider who can log some impressive miles. She’s at a crossroads in her relationship when a friend asks her to lead a bike riding expedition. Unbeknownst to Abby people from her past will show up on her trip. 

I loved the relationship arc between Abby and her mother, but some of the other characters seemed superfluous to the overall storyline.
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The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner is a story about a woman close to committing to her longtime boyfriend. She takes a long bike ride as the guide for a bike tour. She finds a life she didn’t expect and reconnects with family. There are a lot of things I liked about this book, but I really did not appreciate how it treated some issues. This was a real miss for me. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
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Abby has been considered "overweight"--at least by her critical mother--ever since childhood.  However, she throughly enjoys biking and leading a biking club.  She gets talked into leading a bicycle trip from New York City to Niagara Falls, and one of the bikers is Sebastian, a guy with whom she had a one-night stand, but can't stop thinking about.   
Although there is talk about body positivity, mother-daughter relationships, sex, and other topics, a lot of the book felt forced and unrealistic.  
I decided this book is for a different demographic than I am.  And I need to stop reading books by Jennifer Weiner.
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Weiner’s books can be hit or miss for me but I absolutely loved this one! It was heartwarming, relatable, covered heavy topics with some humor mixed in, and was just really well done. Weiner usually has body positivity in her stories and I really liked how it was not the main focus in this one but rather a component, which allowed for other heavier topics to play a role. They all were additive to the overall theme of women supporting other women which I really enjoyed.

Abby Stern was such a great protagonist, and I really loved how she lead the group as a whole as well as how they came together when a few of the members had struggles that needed to be handled. There were a few twists in here that I didn’t expect, which was great for a contemporary novel and just enhanced this story overall. I could relate to the mother/daughter relationships in here and I loved how they were all resolved. Overall this was a fantastic read, the audio was wonderful, and I cannot recommend this one enough. 

Thank you to Atria and Simon.Audio for the copies to review.
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