ARC Review: Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp

Posted September 6, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 6 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review:  Even If We Break by Marieke NijkampEven If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on September 15, 2020
Genres: YA Contemporary Thriller
Pages: 336
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: four-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & Noble


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp comes a shocking new thriller about a group of friends tied together by a game and the deadly weekend that tears them apart.

FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.

Are you ready to play?

My Review:

This author’s books have been all over the place for me. The first one, This Is Where It Ends was a 5 star emotional read that I recommended to everyone I taught with as well as my students. The next one, Before I Let Go, was not really my cup of tea at all. However all of this author’s books contain very important themes and much needed diverse characters. This third book fell right in the middle for me of the other two. I really did like the theme/plot of this book, a group of friends that played a role-playing game, one that one of the characters, Ever, had actually created.

This story followed 5 main characters, and definitely it was easy to tell who was talking for the most part, because each character was so different. There were two trans characters. And it seems two of the straight characters even attempted one date with a member of the same sex in one flashback/memory. There was a lot of different angles, but I had a feeling that the culprit was who it was in the end. There were two in the group I felt the author made you wonder if it was, as well as a few outsiders who weren’t there with the group as far as we knew. And I like when the author can keep you in suspense, doubting what you think is really the answer.

My only issues is probably similar to some of the issues I had with the second book she wrote. There were moments when there was just too much stuff to read that wasn’t actually specifically connected that moment in the story. I love emotional stuff and being made to empathize with a character, even cry at times, but there was just too much detail and descriptions when I was at a point where I needed to know what was going on and not just in the character’s head. And I felt a lot of the time the extraneous descriptions had already been covered over and over and we didn’t need the reminder at that point.

All in all it was a good book, and there may be those that like all the extra stuff that often bores me, and also, the characters are totally worth reading through those bits and getting to know them and how they feel and think as well. I will purchase for my school library, especially as we’ve had a few trans students that I know of and I like to think they’ll have books to read with characters they relate to where the story is more than just about that part of their lives.

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6 responses to “ARC Review: Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp

  1. I love character-driven books, but when it’s a mystery, sometimes I want a little less backstory and emotion. I like getting to know and care about the characters, but it can become a bit much! This sounds like something I’d grab from the library. Thanks!


    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, it had a lot of character stuff, which is good, but I needed less in a mystery because I feel it totally slows the story down. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Ah, glad this one was mostly a hit! I don’t think I have actually read ANY of the author’s books, even though I know they are on my list! I feel you with too much description- I think some people do like it but it isn’t my cup of tea. BUT I can overlook it, so it sounds like I need to read this one, too! Great review!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Sometimes I Watch Shows (Part 6)
    • Lisa Mandina

      I definitely recommend her first book, which was about a school shooting, and this one, but I really didn’t like the second one at all. Hope you give this a try! Thanks for visiting!

    • Lisa Mandina

      This one was definitely worth reading. There were the times it got really slow for me, but in the end it was totally worth the read. Thanks for stopping by!

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