Length: 432 pages
Audiobook Length: 12 hours
First Published: 2023
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Atria Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Although her life isn’t fully together, Abby is excited to be newly engaged to her childhood best friend Mark, who she met at a weight-loss camp her mother forced her to attend. Yet, Abby still can’t seem to shake the memories of Sebastian, a one-night stand from years ago. When Abby leads a group bike ride from New York City to Niagara Falls, she is shocked when both her mom and Sebastian are participants. Now Abby must navigate the group while avoiding Sebastian and dealing with her years of body insecurities which she blames on her mother.
If you want to read about shallow characters talked about in depth, The Breakaway is the book for you. Meet plus-size cyclist Abby who cheats on her perfectly nice boyfriend with the hot ladies’ man Sebastian, who has slept his way through Brooklyn. All while she decides whether she should move in with that perfectly nice boyfriend who loves her. Add in the hot-topic issue of abortion rights for your side characters, for no other reason than Weiner wanted to make a statement, and you have a hot mess of a summer read.
Thirty-four-year-old Abby Stern has made it to a happy place. True, she still has gig jobs instead of a career, and the apartment where she’s lived since college still looks like she just moved in. But she’s got good friends, she’s got her bike, and her bike 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 her childhood sweetheart. Abby and Mark met at the weight-loss camp Abby’s perpetually-dieting mother, Eileen, forced her daughter to attend. Fifteen years later, when Abby reconnects with a half-his-size Mark, and finds out that he still adores her, it feels like fate.
Yet Abby can’t escape the feeling that something isn’t right…or the memories of one mind-blowing night spent with a man named Sebastian two years ago. So when Abby gets a last minute call to lead a group bike trip from New York City to Niagara Falls, she’s happy to have time away from Mark, and a chance to make up her mind.
But on the first day, Abby is shocked when she sees a familiar face in the tour group—Sebastian, the one-night stand she never thought she’d see again. As a serial dater who lives a hundred miles away, Sebastian is far from Mr. Perfect, and Abby is determined to keep her distance, even if their chemistry is undeniable. To make things even worse, there’s a last-minute addition to the trip—Abby’s mother, Eileen, whom Abby blames for a lifetime of body shaming and insecurities she’s still trying to undo.
Over the next two weeks, strangers become confidantes, hidden truths come to light, and a teenage girl with a secret will unite all the riders in surprising ways—while all of Abby’s certainties about herself, her mother, and the nature of love are challenged.
About Jennifer Weiner
Jennifer Weiner is the author of several books including Mrs. Everything, In Her Shoes (which became a major motion picture), Good in Bed, Big Summer, The Breakaway, The Summer Place, and That Summer. She worked as a newspaper reporter before becoming a contributing writer for The New York Times. She currently lives in Philadelphia with her family. Visit the author’s website →