A gripping addition to the Anonymous Diaries, Breaking Bailey highlights the heartrending realities of addiction and the repercussions of getting mixed up with the wrong people.
After her mother’s death and her father’s hasty remarriage, Bailey is shipped off to Prescott Academy, a prestigious boarding school renowned for its grueling academics, affluent student body, and shining accolades. Bereft of friends and still grieving her mother, Bailey hopes Prescott will be a new beginning for her—a chance for friendship and a clean slate. And a few days into the semester, it seems it will be when she’s approached with an offer to join the Science Club. A chemistry buff and aspiring chemist, Bailey’s tantalized by the idea of participating in a club she’s passionate about; not to mention, the opportunity to befriend like-minded individuals.
Yet, she soon realizes the Science Club is but an innocuous name for a ignoble extracurricular, for cooking meth was not what she’d had in mind. Amidst circumstances heavy enough to make anyone break, Bailey must decide if companionship is truly worth the cost of morality.
Breaking Bailey hooked me right from the beginning, drawing me into Bailey’s tragic and tumultuous story. I have always loved books that elicit emotion, that make readers feel something, and Breaking Bailey triumphs in that area. From heartache to frustration to relief to suspense, this book stirred a whole slew of emotions, and I found myself riveted in unearthing how it would all unfold. As it’s comprised of diary entries by the main character, readers are granted an unobstructed access to her thoughts, moral dilemmas, and mental state, and I loved the depth and realism this brought to her character. My heart broke for her within these pages, watching as she spiraled into unhealthy habits with unsavory individuals.
While most other books incorporate likable main and supporting characters, Breaking Bailey fashions disreputable and morally bankrupt ones. These characters are especially notable because they’re crafted to be disliked—a unique facet of this novel. Despite Bailey’s positive attitudes towards the Science Club members, her exuberant fondness within her entries, the author tactfully plants cues alluding to their more sinister natures. This divide in disposition between Bailey and the reader instills an air of anticipation and foreboding, gearing you up for when things take a darker turn.
However, even equipped with this knowledge, the book is anything but predictable, delivering an edge-of-your-seat ending I never saw coming.
With its palpable tension and high stakes, Breaking Bailey captivates until the final page.