Title: Make or Break
Author: Catherine Bennetto
Published: July 12th 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Rating: 5 stars
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…
When the truth comes out, will it be… Make or Break?
Catherine Bennetto is back with her trademark wit and an equally hilarious cast of characters who will have you rooting for them from the first page.
Make or Break is the witty, second novel from English author, Catherine Bennetto. I quickly became a fan when I read Catherine’s debut novel, How Not To Fall In Love, Actually, in 2017 so I was ecstatic to get the opportunity to get my hands on her follow up novel. Second novels can be notoriously difficult for author’s and readers, however, Catherine Bennetto came through with flying colours. With well explored themes of family, relationships and secrets, Catherine Bennetto is another chic lit author to watch out for in the future.
This is the story of 29 year old Jess, a responsible, confident woman in her own skin. Living in the U.K, Jess is happily ensconced in a six year relationship with Pete and has a close relationship with her family. While a mature woman, Jess is also incredibly funny. She has many moments in her life that she blows out proportion with her dramatic nature that had me laughing. Her fear of snakes provided one such moment. Jess’s mother is a hippie and her alternative way of living made for some very funny dialogue and situations, even though I couldn’t quite connect with her. Her father is a vague presence in their life who I didn’t get to know very well, for reasons which become clear at the end. I really enjoyed unearthing the shocking, unexpected reasons that affect Jess’s family as it stands out from the typical chic lit novels. It is something that many readers won’t be able to predict as it is so far from the norm. When the family doesn’t get the usual happy ever after, it is a defining moment for Make or Break.
Jess is the sibling that goes to the ends of the earth to help her sister, Annabelle, care for her two young children. Katie is the adorable toddler with down syndrome, and Hunter, the big brother with ADHD. Annabelle comes first in Jess’s life as does her niece and nephew, a trait that I really admired within Jess. In some ways though, Jess prioritising her sister hasn’t allowed Annabelle to stand on her two feet and it comes at a price with Pete that Jess doesn’t see coming. When it hits, Jess and Pete are on a holiday in South Africa, Capetown, celebrating the wedding of her best friend, Priya. Jess finds herself on
holiday alone while her boyfriend pursues his own active, high adrenaline interests. In this way, Jess and Pete are like chalk and cheese, which seems to have worked for the couple for many years. Until now. With temptation in their way, what does the future hold for Pete and Jess?
Capetown itself could have been another character in Make or Break. Bennetto has clearly visited the city or has dedicated many hours into researching this beautiful place. I felt like I was in Capetown, experiencing the colourful sights and unique sounds for the first time through Jess and Pete. The hot weather and the laid back lifestyle really appealed to me as a holiday destination.
With laugh out loud moments and heart breaking decisions, Make or Break is for those who like chic lit that breaks the rules.
Make or Break by Catherine Bennetto was published on 12th July 2018 by Simon & Schuster Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Make or Break, Catherine Bennetto visit here.
*I wish to thank Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.