Overall, I liked Breaking the Bank. I particularly liked the clever bit of magic in this otherwise realistic story. Unfortunately, I had some problems with the characters in the book.
The heart of the book was an ATM that spit out extra money at a time when it was badly needed, with the admonition to “Use it well”. I was reminded of one of my favorite movies, LA Story, where the city of Los Angeles steps in to help a weatherman find true love and turn his life around.
In Breaking the Bank, the recipient is Mia, the single mother of an 11 year old girl. Her husband left her for a younger woman, and is now highly inconsistent with the support checks, although he can always their daughter shopping at expensive stores. She was laid off from her job, and is now attempting to make ends meet by freelancing. Her daughter is acting up in school.
Through the first half of the book, I liked the character of Mia. As the end approached, and she made more and more choices that didn’t work for me, I started thinking that she was acting out of character. As I analyzed further, I realized that I’d projected too much on to her– that she wasn’t the person I’d thought. That was a strange feeling.
I never had a solid relationship with any of the other characters. The ex-husband was particularly flat, but none felt real to me.
In the end, I felt the author wrote herself into a box, and had to be creative in how to get out. I don’t have a better idea on how the events should have resolved, but I was slightly disappointed none the less.
In the end, I enjoyed the book, but wished it had been a little more.
I read Breaking the Bank as part of a blog tour for Pocket Books. Thank you for this opportunity to read and review this book.