Alex Flinn has become popular for her novels in different genres. While many of her recent successes are fantasy books with ties to fairy tales like Beastly and Towering, today I decided to highlight Breaking Point, one of her realistic fiction books. Like Breathing Underwater, this is a powerful novel featuring a boy who has to overcome some major obstacles as he struggles to find out what kind of person he is and what he really wants to become.
Paul Richmond is having problems at Gate, his new school where the students are rich and they don’t like outsiders. Paul doesn’t fit in, but some days it’s worse than that. Some days he hears whispers behind his back, he gets spitballs in his hair, he’s tripped in the hallways, and he even has garbage thrown in his locker. Paul is tormented more and more every day, and soon he hates going to school.
But everything changes when Charlie Good offers his friendship. Paul doesn’t understand why Charlie, one of the most popular boys in school, is so friendly to him. Charlie offers Paul a chance for something he wants very badly; a chance to fit in and be part of group. So it doesn’t even matter what kind of a group it is, or what they do, as long as Paul can fit in. It doesn’t matter, even if the group is called the Mailbox Club, and the whole purpose of the club is to drive around late at night drinking and destroying mailboxes with baseball bats. At least Paul fits in.
But soon he realizes that the Mailbox Club is only the beginning, and that Charlie Good has even more plans in store. Dangerous plans which, if he carries them out, will leave behind a lot more than just broken mailboxes.