Apologies for how late in the day this is, but I haven’t long finished reading the book. However, I am very excited to be sharing my review of Catherine Bennetto’s fantastic novel, ‘Make or Break’. Big thank you to Harriett from Simon and Schuster for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:
Jess, a 29-year-old Londoner with a Kate Beckett fringe and a tendency for dramatics, gets taken on a surprise trip by her long-term boyfriend, Pete, to attend her best friend’s last-minute wedding in South Africa. Jess imagines sun, sand, wine and safaris. And returning to London with an ethically mined diamond on her left hand…
But this holiday isn’t set to be quite the fairy tale Jess has planned… Suddenly she finds her world tilting on its axis, and things are only set to get worse when Jess returns home…
What does TWG think?
Ohhhhhh this book!!!! ‘Make or Break’ may be a fair size with approximately 480 odd pages, but it’s 480 pages of sheer gold. Not exaggerating in the slightest. I have enjoyed Catherine Bennetto’s previous novel, but in all honesty, ‘Make or Break’ is my favourite one so far as the humour is AH-MAZE-ING! Not only did I laugh out loud, I ended up sniggering behind my book in case my daughter asked me what I was laughing at, and I couldn’t exactly turn around and go ‘oh I’m just laughing at the fact that zebras have black cocks’. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably be googling that round about……now! Yes, it’s jaw dropping – of course I had to check that the author had indeed researched said fact! What kind of reader do you think I am? 😉 Oh, and did you know that if you ask Google whether zebras do in fact, have black cocks, this book comes up in the search! How fab is that! Don’t worry, I’m not fixated on this one piece of information from the book, but I did enlighten my postman to this fact thanks to ‘Make Or Break’, so it’s pretty much a double whammy really, isn’t it?!
Anyway, yes, I flip-flopping LOVED this book! I also thought that Pete was a grade-A chocolate starfish! Yes, Jess is the type of character who resembles a life size tub of marmite due to her personality, but I really didn’t think she deserved to be treated the way she was. She should have chucked a dictionary at him so that he could learn the correct definition of ‘reconnect’! I couldn’t help but laugh at the things that Jess came out with, finding myself nod along to her random outbursts with ‘omg that’s me’ going over and over in my mind. You know the type of people who would find any reason to talk, even if they had just gotten up? Jess is like that, but more fun and more bonkers (even if she does have a tendency to go from 0-1000 in 0.000001 seconds).
The idea of going to South Africa for a holiday has never really crossed my mind….until I read this! I even found myself Googling South African safaris and then wondering which body part of mine will fetch the most money. Jokes. I wouldn’t sell a body part but ohmygoodness, the descriptions of the safari and the overall country just blew me away. Never mind researching from Google, I hazard a guess that Catherine Bennetto actually went to South Africa as her descriptions led to vivid imagery which were clearly written from own experiences.
I know that I keep saying how much I found ‘Make or Break’ funny, there is quite a deep theme running throughout the majority of the book. I won’t say what that is, obviously, but it is certainly a topic that will no doubt get readers talking amongst themselves. I had my own opinions on the subject whilst I read it, but even now I have finished the book, I still have no idea what I would have done in that situation. It is a rather complex one, but thankfully Catherine Bennetto has laced it with a bit of humour to keep the balance. I say ‘a bit’….you might say different!
‘Make or Break’ put a smile back on my face after a very difficult and stressful week. I loved how diverse the characters and situations were as it was like a breath of fresh air, seeming like the author had thought ‘stuff it, I’m writing it’. And I do mean that in a good way! For me personally, it was as though the author saw the line of what society finds acceptable, and built her own town over that line as if to say ‘ffffff………you’. I loved it, I really did.
Honestly, I cannot fault this book at all. I am gutted it had to finish, but I have everything crossed that Catherine Bennetto is writing another novel as I type – I’m having withdrawal symptoms already. Look, I loved it so much that I would quite happily re-read it multiple times, and I do not usually do that! I don’t think I’ll ever get bored with Jess’ reactions to the safari animals, Greta’s loose tongue and Bennetto’s humour.
You know the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow? That is filled with stars I would love to give this book, unfortunately retail sites will only accept five, but you can’t say that the thought wasn’t there. ‘Make or Break’ is truly a fabulous, free-spirited, addictive, laugh-out-loud read that will make you feel as though you have won the lottery ten times over.