Breaking Up Point by Brian McNamara
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Brendan Madden is starting his freshman year of college and, although
excited, he is sad to say good-bye to his high school boyfriend, Mark.
After a rough transition, Brendan carves out a place for himself at
school, where he has new friends and newfound independence. With the
added strain of distance, however, he now finds it hard to maintain his
relationship with Mark, especially due to the fact that Mark still must
hide the relationship from most of his friends. Brendan’s college life
allows him to be open and honest about who he is. He debates whether he
is willing to compromise this for Mark, especially since staying in the
relationship means forgoing the possibility of finding new romance at
Review: Apparently I need to pay more attention to when a book is a sequel, though it would be nice if the official summary stated that. Brendan and Mark’s story starts in Bottled Up Secret, but since I’ve only read Breaking Up Point, the two were already an established couple. This didn’t bother me, though I do want to go back and see how it all starts as soon as I can. As for Breaking Up Point, I really did like the book.
Brendan is a freshmen in college and he’s trying to make a place for himself and find new friends. At the same time, he’s dating Mark, who is back home finishing up his senior year of high school. To make things even harder, Mark is still in the closet so Brendan can’t tell anyone that him and Mark are dating. I could really empathize with Brendan. I can’t imagine it would be easy to be far away from your boyfriend on a day-to-day basis but then not even be able to be open about it when you are together.
Despite Mark’s being in the closet, Brendan does make it known that he won’t be quiet about who he is in college so everyone eventually finds out Brendan is gay and some even know Mark is his boyfriend. This is just another split between Brendan’s two worlds.
Apart from Mark, the book does focus a lot on Brendan’s first year at college and the various transitions. I liked his new friends and the different things he became involved with, like a student run theater group. There were moments I thought the book dragged a bit with too many details about everyday college life, but nothing too terrible. I liked that college made Brendan more confident, which pushed him toward being more open with his family too. It’s not always easy, as he has a lot of older sisters with various point of views, but Brendan does stand up for himself.
Again, I do want to read Bottled Up Secret sometime soon, so if you are thinking of reading this book, start with the first one!