Breaking Point

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Overview

"We may need to plant a bomb in Old Lady Zaller's classroom."

These simple words will change Paul Richmond's life forever. Paul is new to Gate, a school whose rich students make life miserable for anyone not like them. And Paul is definitely not like them. Then something incredible happens. Charlie Good, a star student and athlete, invites Paul to join his elite inner circle. All Charlie wants is a few things in return — small things that Paul does willingly. And then, one day, Charlie wants something big. How ...

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Overview

"We may need to plant a bomb in Old Lady Zaller's classroom."

These simple words will change Paul Richmond's life forever. Paul is new to Gate, a school whose rich students make life miserable for anyone not like them. And Paul is definitely not like them. Then something incredible happens. Charlie Good, a star student and athlete, invites Paul to join his elite inner circle. All Charlie wants is a few things in return — small things that Paul does willingly. And then, one day, Charlie wants something big. How far will Paul go to fit in?

Fifteen-year-old Paul enters an exclusive private school and falls under the spell of a charismatic boy who may be using him.

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Editorial Reviews

Kimberly L. Paone
Homeschooled by his mother since second grade and recently abandoned by his father, fifteen-year-old Paul must learn to adjust to his new life. This adjustment includes living in a small, low-rent apartment and attending the prestigious Gate-Brickell Christian School, where his mother has just taken a job. Paul's lack of a trust fund gets him shunned by his snobby, spoiled classmates, and he is subjected to cruel practical jokes until Charlie Good, the golden-boy tennis star at Gate, befriends him. Charlie first tests Paul's loyalty by challenging him to destroy mailboxes, then by persuading him to drink and steal, and finally by convincing him to use his mother's office key and his computer expertise to change one of Charlie's grades. Paul continues to follow Charlie's lead while simultaneously being pulled into a dangerous, complicated web of lies and bomb-making Internet sites.

Paul's struggle with his situation at home, his turmoil at school, and the painful realization that his relationship with Charlie is not as it seems, help to paint him in a sympathetic light, but Paul ultimately must pay a high price for acceptance and popularity. Not since Cormier's The Chocolate War have characters been drawn to be so brilliantly twisted. Flinn's flair for creating disturbing characters in completely realistic situation is uncanny and leaves the reader thinking of Columbine and other school violence incidents whose perpetrators could have been quite similar to Charlie and Paul. This timely, engaging book is certain to grab the interest of teens. 4Q, 4P, J, S.
Voices of Youth Advocates

From The Critics
Homeschooled by his mother since second grade and recently abandoned by his father, fifteen-year-old Paul must learn to adjust to his new life. This adjustment includes living in a small, low-rent apartment and attending the prestigious Gate-Brickell Christian School, where his mother has just taken a job. Paul's lack of a trust fund gets him shunned by his snobby, spoiled classmates, and he is subjected to cruel practical jokes until Charlie Good, the golden-boy tennis star at Gate, befriends him. Charlie first tests Paul's loyalty by challenging him to destroy mailboxes, then by persuading him to drink and steal, and finally by convincing him to use his mother's office key and his computer expertise to change one of Charlie's grades. Paul continues to follow Charlie's lead while simultaneously being pulled into a dangerous, complicated web of lies and bomb-making Internet sites.

Paul's struggle with his situation at home, his turmoil at school, and the painful realization that his relationship with Charlie is not as it seems, help to paint him in a sympathetic light, but Paul ultimately must pay a high price for acceptance and popularity. Not since Cormier's The Chocolate War have characters been drawn to be so brilliantly twisted. Flinn's flair for creating disturbing characters in completely realistic situation is uncanny and leaves the reader thinking of Columbine and other school violence incidents whose perpetrators could have been quite similar to Charlie and Paul. This timely, engaging book is certain to grab the interest of teens.
Kimberly L. Paone

School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up. Being the new kid in school is always difficult, but it is especially hard for a scholarship student now in an exclusive Christian school where his divorced mother is the secretary.  From the first day, Paul Richmond has problems with the charismatic leader of the in crowd, Charlie Goode.  As the year progresses, he is tormented and verbally abused, but finds himself caught up in Charlie's group, which "courts" him in the evenings.  A couple of other students try to warn him about his new friends, but outsider Paul is much too happy about being included to heed their warnings.  The plot intensifies when Paul helps Charlie change grades on the school computers and set a bomb in one of the classrooms.  No one is hurt, but Paul discovers that he has been set up as the scapegoat, and he recounts the events that lead to his arrest and imprisonment.  In this intense story of peer pressure and the need to be accepted, the characters are realistically drawn and reflect the nature of high school relationships. Flinn states in her author's note that she wrote about one young man who reached his breaking point and that she has tried to understand what makes teens feel so angry, fearful, and isolated that they commit acts of violence.  She has succeeded in her goal.  Despite his actions, Paul comes across as a likable, although misguided, teen in a book that is well worth reading.
Publishers Weekly
Heavy-handed writing undermines Flinn's (Breathing Underwater) stated goal for her second novel, namely, to "stimulate discussion" among teens about why kids commit violent acts. When geeky ex-homeschooler Paul Richmond enrolls as a sophomore at an exclusive Miami private school, he is immediately targeted for harassment. Living in a shabby apartment with his needy, newly divorced mother (her job in the school office lowers Paul's tuition), Paul would feel miserable even if the jocks weren't calling him "faggot" and trashing his locker. Then popular Charlie Good suddenly befriends him outside of school, that is and Paul seems willing to do anything to stay in favor. First Paul vandalizes mailboxes, then he hacks into the school computer system to change Charlie's transcript. Charlie's hold on Paul intensifies until he persuades Paul to plant a bomb in the school. Characterizations are stock, and no one, particularly not the all-powerful Charlie, seems convincing. The boys' reasons for wanting to blow up the school remain murky, and many of Flinn's devices, like the school sermons that parallel the plot, are contrived. For a more developed treatment of similar themes, readers may appreciate Gail Giles's Shattering Glass, reviewed Feb. 11. Ages 13-up. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote from the review of the hardcover edition in KLIATT, May 2002: Paul knows from the start that he won't fit in at his new high school, a ritzy Christian academy in Miami. He's there because his lonely, depressed, clingy mother has taken a job working there, hoping for a new start in a new town, not because he's one of the rich kids who effortlessly belong. Charlie is one of those kids, a "golden boy" who excels at tennis and rules a social crowd, and Paul longs to belong to his group. When Charlie admires Paul's computer skills and starts to befriend him, Paul is thrilled, though he is warned that Charlie is just using him. Soon, Charlie has Paul pulling pranks, drinking, hacking into the school's computer system to change Charlie's grades—and plotting with him to bomb the school. Flinn, the author of last year's acclaimed YA novel Breathing Underwater, told from the point of view of an abusive boyfriend, again tackles a difficult subject, school violence, from the viewpoint of an instigator, albeit one who has been both victimized and manipulated. The relationship between sad, lonely Paul and scheming, slick Charlie is at the core of this book, and Flinn makes it ring true. The details of how misfits are picked on and how the pranks and violence escalate are all too believable. (I found the information on computers less convincing; most teens I know spend much of their computer time instant messaging and downloading music, neither of which Flinn mentions, so the details of what the boys do online seem oddly outdated.) Like Todd Strasser's Give a Boy a Gun, this inside look at bullying and school violence is disturbing and compelling. Some obscenities. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommendedfor junior and senior high school students. 2002, HarperCollins, Tempest, 240p.,
— Paula Rohrlick
VOYA
Homeschooled by his mother since second grade and recently abandoned by his father, fifteen-year-old Paul must learn to adjust to his new life. This adjustment includes living in a small, low-rent apartment and attending the prestigious Gate-Brickell Christian School, where his mother has just taken a job. Paul's lack of a trust fund gets him shunned by his snobby, spoiled classmates, and he is subjected to cruel practical jokes until Charlie Good, the golden-boy tennis star at Gate, befriends him. Charlie first tests Paul's loyalty by challenging him to destroy mailboxes, then by persuading him to drink and steal, and finally by convincing him to use his mother's office key and his computer expertise to change one of Charlie's grades. Paul continues to follow Charlie's lead while simultaneously being pulled into a dangerous, complicated web of lies and bomb-making Internet sites. Paul's struggle with his situation at home, his turmoil at school, and the painful realization that his relationship with Charlie is not as it seems, help to paint him in a sympathetic light, but Paul ultimately must pay a high price for acceptance and popularity. Not since Cormier's The Chocolate War have characters been drawn to be so brilliantly twisted. Flinn's flair for creating disturbing characters in completely realistic situations is uncanny and leaves the reader thinking of Columbine and other school violence incidents whose perpetrators could have been quite similar to Charlie and Paul. This timely, engaging book is certain to grab the interest of teens. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; SeniorHigh, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, HarperCollins, 224p, Paone
Children's Literature
Paul is a fifteen-year-old, self-proclaimed loser. His father has fled with his pregnant secretary, and his mother literally pulls the hair out of her head when anxious, seemingly all the time. Home-schooled until his mother is forced to find work, Paul feels alone and unable to fit in with the posh and snobby students of the elite prep school he now attends. Paul quickly falls prey to several pranks and jokes made at his expense that are facilitated by Charlie Good, the most popular boy in school. Paul is especially surprised, then, when Charlie and his cronies show up at his bedroom door one night and invite him to come along as they destroy mailboxes and drink the liquor raided from Mr. and Mrs. Good's stash. He accepts and is no longer a victim at school. Over time, Charlie draws Paul further into his confidence, telling him the supposed truth about his parents, his friends, and his peers. Charlie is angry that he, as a teen with a particularly domineering father, lacks full control over his own life. To show that he does indeed possess power over himself (and others), Charlie convinces Paul to plant a bomb in a school classroom. Although the bomb is discovered before it detonates, Paul ultimately confesses his guilt to the administration. Charlie denies all and gets off scot-free, while Paul spends two years in juvenile detention and has much time to ponder the error of his past choices. Told from the point of view of Paul, we witness the frustration and euphoria that this young man experiences as he tries to find his place. Flinn does an impressive job of creating a character that we both understand and cannot comprehend. Expressive language, psychological tension, and believablecharacters make this a highly recommended novel. 2002, HarperTempest, Ages 14 to 18.
—Wendy Glenn, Ph.D.
From The Critics
When you are a new student, sometimes making friends is difficult. Perhaps that is the reason why Paul jumps at the chance to join Charley Good's inner circle of friends. Initiation seems simple enough at the outset: the pranks the group of friends play are harmless at first. And Paul is a willing accomplice. Eventually, though, what Charley expects from his new friend is beyond what Paul feels comfortable doing. How far will Paul go to maintain this relationship? Flinn has already demonstrated to readers that she is willing to explore the dark side of the human condition. Breathing Underwater, her debut novel, examined the inner turmoil of a young man who has physically abused his girlfriend. Here Flinn again turns an unflinching eye to the price one is willing to pay to fit in, to belong, to be popular. 2002, HarperTempest, 241 pp., Lesesne
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Being the new kid in school is always difficult, but it is especially hard for a scholarship student now in an exclusive Christian school where his divorced mother is the secretary. From the first day, Paul Richmond has problems with the charismatic leader of the in crowd, Charlie Goode. As the year progresses, he is tormented and verbally abused, but finds himself caught up in Charlie's group, which "courts" him in the evenings. A couple of other students try to warn him about his new friends, but outsider Paul is much too happy about being included to heed their warnings. The plot intensifies when Paul helps Charlie change grades on the school computers and set a bomb in one of the classrooms. No one is hurt, but Paul discovers that he has been set up as the scapegoat, and he recounts the events that lead to his arrest and imprisonment. In this intense story of peer pressure and the need to be accepted, the characters are realistically drawn and reflect the nature of high school relationships. Flinn states in her author's note that she wrote about one young man who reached his breaking point and that she has tried to understand what makes teens feel so angry, fearful, and isolated that they commit acts of violence. She has succeeded in her goal. Despite his actions, Paul comes across as a likable, although misguided, teen in a book that is well worth reading.-Janet Hilbun, formerly at Sam Houston Middle School, Garland, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Why does a seemingly nice boy become violent? Narrator Paul, an "army brat," starts with many counts against him. His parents have recently divorced, his military father has rejected him, and his mother relies on Paul for serious emotional support. Mother and son have moved so that the mother can take a low-paying office job at an exclusive Christian high school. But as an employee's son, Paul is harassed by the nasty rich kids, with the exception of a non-conformist named Binky. When Charlie (a golden boy with a Machiavellian nature) befriends him, Paul will do anything to be part of his popular crowd. It's clear to the reader, and spelled out by Binky, that Charlie is using Paul, ultimately to commit a crime that lands Paul in the justice system. Unfortunately, Charlie's motivations are obscure. Is he angry with his pushy parents? Or just naturally evil? Paul has reasons to lash out, but he is excessively clueless, apparently because he was home-schooled, and is not especially likable. All adults are portrayed as selfish and irresponsible, including the administrators who ignore a decapitated dog and a suicide at the school. But even with his bleak surroundings, it's hard to believe Paul would carry out the terrible felony. The story does build suspense, and teenagers will recognize cruel aspects of high school, but unlike Flinn's Breathing Underwater (2000), which broke new ground about date violence, this novel is just one more variation on the familiar theme of paying a high price for popularity. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807208120
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/2004
  • Format: Other
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Alex Flinn loves fairy tales and is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Beastly, a spin on Beauty and the Beast that was named a VOYA Editor's Choice and an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Beastly is now a major motion picture starring Vanessa Hudgens. Alex also wrote A Kiss in Time, a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty; Cloaked, a humorous fairy-tale mash-up; and Bewitching, a reimagining of fairy-tale favorites, including Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, and The Little Mermaid, all told by Kendra—the witch from Beastly. Her other books for teens include Breathing Underwater, Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, and Diva. She lives in Miami with her family.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I was a misfit. If you'd asked me, I'd have guessed school uniforms were a good idea. Like camouflage. I'd have been kidding myself. On registration day, in my blue regulation crested polo and khakis that cleared my ankle despite fitting the week before, I knew I'd never fit in at Gate-Brickell Christian, my new school, in Miami, my new town.

I stood in the registration line, squeaking the vinylized wood gym floor against my Top-Siders. (The student handbook mandated "conservative" shoes. Also, "traditional" haircuts and "no piercings, except females, who may have one hole per ear only.") I tried to look shorter.At fifteen, I was already six one, skinny, and my dark head stuck out above the swarms of mostly blond ones. They greeted one another passionately after a long summer or, more likely, a long night. I watched them — the girls especially — trying to pretend I wasn't. A blond with glasses cornered a redhead.

"What'd you do this summer?"

The second girl, who managed to have breasts even in the hideous plaid jumpers the girls wore, shrugged. "Didn't do jack. Just vegged in Europe, then vegged here while the 'rents busted on me for wasting my youth."

The blond rolled her eyes. "I hear you."

A guy approached the blond. "Vamp 'do, Kirby."

An insult, from her reaction. Hard to tell. Their English was foreign, and I struggled to understand. Suddenly, I had the feeling I wasn't alone.

"You look confused." Someone behind me.

She meant me. I turned but said nothing.

Her hair was the best thing about her. From the rear, she could have been beautiful. Dark ringlets hung down her shoulders,gypsyish. The hair was a waste. The face, downright ugly, a screwed-up little face with eyes like raisins sunk in rice pudding, all hidden behind enormous glasses. She stared me down. She was skinny and almost as tall as I was. I realized she'd been watching me awhile.

"Can you talk?" she demanded. "I mean, are you physically able to speak? I'm not being sarcastic, just curious."

I glanced around to see if anyone was listening. No one was. "I'm not confused."

"It speaks." She smiled, sort of a Mona Lisa thing she was trying for. Apparently, word hadn't reached her that she wasn't a supermodel. "You look confused. Around here, looking confused is as bad as being confused. Worse, maybe. Any sign of weakness, they eat you alive."

"Oh." Was talking to her a sign of weakness?

"I'm Binky Lopez-Nande." She stuck out her hand, sort of a weird thing to do.

I took it. "Paul Richmond." Her ridiculous name sunk in. "Binky?"

"Short for Belinda. Couldn't pronounce it when I was little, so my parents called me Binky. It's the bane of my existence."

I doubted that.

"What are you confused about, Richmond?"

"Nothing. I'm just figuring out a schedule."

"You're new here? We don't take well to newcomers unless you're someone important. Are you?" Her raisin eyes said I didn't look it.

"No. I mean, I'm going here because my mother works here." Hoping maybe that would end the conversation. Two guys my age had gotten in line behind us.

"Best reason I've heard for coming here."

"I'm trying to decide between Spanish and art." A few steps sideways, away from her, leaving only a toe in line.

"Depends. Are you college bound or running out the clock until some big trust fund kicks in?"

"Well, there's no trust fund."

"Didn't think so." A few steps toward me. "What sort of classes did you take at your old school?"

I shuffled, considering my answer, not wanting to reveal, even to her, that there was no old school. I'd been homeschooled and felt younger than the other sophomores, despite my height. I mumbled something about moving a lot because Dad was in the army. That was true, at least. I glanced back at the two guys. They paid me no attention. Why should they? They were part of things, normal. I tried to listen in. The bigger guy, who looked like a refugee from World Wrestling Federation, with arms threatening to bulge through the bands of his uniform polo, had said something to insult his friend.

"You're a bastard, Meat," the friend said. "Know that?"

"Watch your language," the big guy — Meat — said.

His friend, even taller than me, but not clumsy, let fly a string of obscenities that would have offended a rap group. Meat took a swing. I thought they were kidding around, but next thing I knew, they were on the floor, hurtling into my knees, and I was a human missile. My nonskid shoes didn't help. My legs flew past my head, my butt hit ground. They stood, laughing, leaving me where I'd fallen. I sat a second. When I was pretty sure they'd forgotten me, I stood, edged back into line. I ignored Binky's averted eyes.

"Apologize!" A voice from nowhere.

I froze. Did he mean me? "What?"

"Not you," said the voice. I dimly recognized there was a person connected to it. Whitish hair, white chinos, white polo. He turned toward the guys, and I understood he was their leader. "Apologize to the kid."

"Aww, Charlie, we don't have to," Meat said.

The better-looking one nodded. "Not like geek-boy's going to do anything."

"Boys, boys." Charlie folded his arms. He was much shorter than his friends, but he didn't look up. Rather, they backed off to make eye contact with him. "When we crash into people, custom calls for an apology. No matter who they are." He nodded at each of them. "Meat? St. John?"

And the subject was closed. Their unison apology sounded more like a curse. They walked away, heads down...

Breaking Point. Copyright © by Alex Flinn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Warning: Contains plot spoilers!

"We may need to plant a bomb in Old Lady Zaller's classroom." These simple words will change Paul Richmond's life forever. Paul is new to Gate, a school whose rich students make life miserable for anyone not like them. And Paul is definitely not like them. Then something incredible happens. Charlie Good, a star student and athlete, invites Paul to join his elite inner circle. All Charlie wants is a few things in return -- small things that Paul does willingly. And then, one day, Charlie wants something big. How far will Paul go to fit in?

Questions for Discussion

  1. In the prologue, Paul says that people "don't know what I've paid -- inside my head where it really matters." Is this kind of payment real? Aside from his time in juvenile, what, if any, other price (s) has Paul paid?

  2. Paul says, "Doing the right thing isn't always easy." What factors would Paul say made it difficult for him to do the right thing?

  3. Compare the impact that Gate exerts over the various characters, particularly Paul, Binky, and David, but also Amanda.

  4. Why does Paul believe that Charlie is acting in his best interests despite Charlie's various abandonments and the bird seed incident? How does he justify Charlie's conduct in his own mind?

  5. Is Paul, as David says, the only one who is innocent in what happens to him? Why or why not?

  6. Who left the note regarding the dog for Paul? Explain your choice.

  7. What are Charlie's motivations for his conduct toward Paul and the other people at Gate? Is he merely evil or is there some other reason for what hedoes?

  8. Is Charlie lying (as he says) when he tells Paul the story of his conception and birth? Or is he lying later when he says he was lying? Why would he lie either time?

  9. What is Binky's motivation for her initial and continued friendship with Paul?

  10. How does Paul's relationship with his parents impact the type of person he is and his conduct within the story? Contrast Paul's relationship with his mother and Charlie's relationship with his father.

  11. Going back to Paul's statement that he has "paid" for his conduct "inside his head" -- has Charlie also paid a price in the end? Has Charlie truly gotten away with his conduct? Does he think he has?

  12. Would Paul and Charlie have gotten away with the bomb attempt but for Paul's confession? Why or why not? Why do you think Paul was suspected and brought to the principal's office? Why does he confess?

  13. Why are people, hearing Paul's and Charlie's stories, inclined to believe Charlie and disbelieve Paul? What insights does Charlie offer into this?

  14. Does Mrs. Good know about Charlie's involvement in the bomb scheme, as Paul suspects? What are her justifications for what she does?

  15. Why does the author choose to end the book as she does, with the conversation between Paul and Mrs. Good, then the newspaper article, rather than telling us in more detail what happens to the characters? What do you think happens to the characters?

About the author

When Alex Flinn was five, her mother informed her that she would be "an author" when she grew up. Never one to follow instructions, Alex studied theater and opera and became a lawyer before finally writing her first novel, Breathing Underwater. Alex lives in Miami with her husband, Gene, and their daughters, Katie and Meredith.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    I had to pick between this book and three others to read for sch

    I had to pick between this book and three others to read for school and I'm glad I chose this over Lord Of The Flies. When I started reading, it was very good. It grabbed me and had detailed, entertaining text. I flew through the book about four fifths of the way before it kind of just changed. The plot seemed to get lost and the writing and dialogue was no longer descriptive and enticing. It was as if the author put all he had into the beginning of the book, but never really planned how he was going to end it, so he improvised and made an ending up on the fly. Some parts would seem like major foreshadowing and then turn out to be nothing, which really made me angry. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend this to any of my friends for an out-of-school read, but I liked it enough to finish it and am convinced that I enjoyed it much more than I would have enjoyed Lord Of The Flies, which I was going to choose initially. All in all, it's kind of half and half depending on what kind of book you like. Most kids my age would probably not notice how poor the writing got at the end if they liked the beginning enough, but I was able to pick up on Alex Flinn's apparent loss of interest or desire to finish the book strongly. It was not particularly impactful and therefore won't stick with me like other novels have in the past.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Incredible

    When i first picked up Braking Point, I figured it would be so boring and be another book about a kid being bullied. This book was soo amazing, it really let you understand the mindset of someone who is bullied/peer pressured. Paul did anything to keep Charlie as a friend. While i was reading i kept thinking why doesnt he just forget about charlie, but as it was ending i realized that all he wanted was a friend. Braking Point is a exellent read and i promise you won't be disapointed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Summary

    This book is about a boy named paul who always was the tall outcast who wanted to fit in. He meet a girl named blinky befor school started. They were good friends until he met charlie, a cool, prep boy who was a tennis play. Who turn off his world upside down. It all start with there secret club

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Carly

    Climbs the biggest snd dune ad watches the bay, the wind making her glossy black hair ripple

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    Domino

    Sits on the shore arms wrapped around my knees as the water laps at my bare feet my shoes near by

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

    Sam

    Her golden blomde wavy hair blew in the wind. Also jer blue eyes turned soft green." Gotta be U Harry S. Hotta be U."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    BEACH

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    All the same

    I have not read the book but i have read other books by alex flinn and read what her other books are about. Now I don't know if it is just me or not , but doesn't it seem like all of her books are alike in some way. The poor person at a rich school, that reminds me of Lindy from Beastly and Beastly: Lindy's Diary. Now, do not get me wrong I love the author and I would love to read all of her books. I want to read this book. Sounds good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2009

    A must read story that shows the darker side of reality

    In Alex Flinn's story breaking point, the first line of his authors note is "I write about the things that scare me". Breaking point is a story about desperstely trying to fit in. Fitting in is something we all long for. Some of us "fit in", some of us don't. Breaking point makes those who do fit in wonder if they really do want to fit in with the people they are friends with. Are your "friends" really your friends or are they just using you? Would they take a bullet for you? Would you take a bullet for them? In breaking point the story is written so well that seems like it is a troubling story that a person would see on the national news about teen violence and teen rebellion. The reality of this story makes anyone who reads it connect with the characters but more importantly connect with themselves. After reading this story I felt guilty for all the times I might have picked on somebody. I also felt guilty for the times I may of missed with my "true friends". But the thing that stuck with me the most is that anybody no matter their background could reach the "Breaking Point" where they have nothing to loose and just want to make the people that have them suffer pay the ultimate price. In the last line of Alex Flinn's authors note at the end of breaking point, he says, "Although we can not excuse the acts of kids like Paul, we must try to understand them, it is the first step to preventing them." This book will always stick with me and will make me wonder how this book relates to my life, but on an even greater scale it makes me wonder how it relates to the cold and dark world around me.

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  • Posted January 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    BREAKING POINT!

    The book Breaking Point is about a 15 year old boy named Paul Richmond that has just moved to Miami and has to go to a private Christian school with a bunch of preppy rich snobs. Paul himself is a bit of a loser, and has never had many friends as a child because he moves quite a bit because his dad is in the navy. His parents recently split up because his father got a woman pregnant. So he is now living with his mom that is driving him insane in a poor apartment. Paul will do anything to get some friends and be popular. So when the most popular junior guy in the school wants Paul to be in his mailbox smashing group, Paul is overjoyed. He begins to neglect his mother for his new friends and their perfect lives. The end is a shock, and I really loved this book. I love the author Alex Flinn!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2007

    Breaking Point by Alex Flinn

    Breaking Point is an execellent book. It really gets into detail about how hard being a new kid really is. Paul a new student at Gate High School in Florida and has trouble fitting in. His parents divorced and he now lives with his mom in an apartment. His mom is always pulling his hair for one reason or another and she left his dad for him. Paul is a tall guy and hangs out with the 'uncool' kids and gets all this negative attention, from smelly stuff in his locker to being called names. He gets sick of it and somehow gets the attention of the coolest kid in school, Charlie. They hang-out on weekends and are new best friends. Charlie is not only the coolest kid in school but likes to do pranks. Not just putting a woopy cushion under your chair but much more violent and it has a toll on Paul throughout the book. This book teaches a valuable lesson about loyalty and how big you will go just to get some attention.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2007

    one of the best ive read.

    this book was, as i said in the title, one of the best books ive ever read. the way charlie manipulated everyone, twisted their minds, to get things exactly how he wanted, really got me into the book. and all the high school drama, the way charlie was messed up in the head, how paul is like a doormat, the way those girls were treating paul on the beach (which made me wanna knock their teeth out).. i just loved the book lol. i read this book in about 3 days, and i'm definitely going to read it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2007

    'Pain, Death, and Friendship'

    Breaking Point is a book about a teenage boy named Paul Richmond. His parents got a divorce a while ago after his dad got his secretary pregnant. Paul lives with his mom, they just moved to a place named Gate. They moved there because his mom got a job working at the school. Paul is an outcast he has one friend named Binky. After a while at school a rich, popular kid named Charlie Good wants to be his friend. Charlie and Paul crush mailboxes and drink alcohol late at night with some of Charlie¿s other friends. This goes on for a while and Charlie has Paul do other stuff that is bad. Then one time Charlie asks Paul to do something very bad. Will he do it? Read the book to find out. I liked this book a lot. I didn¿t like how the story started off slow and how it didn¿t give a conclusion to the book. Other than that I thought everything was great about this book. It did get a little confusing at times. It was confusing sometimes when Paul wasn¿t talking, like if It switched to Charlie talking. This book is not part of a series. Breaking Point does not remind me really of any other books or shows that I have seen or read. Alex Flinn did a great job of writing this book well, and it is a must read. If you like adventure books, this is a good book for you. Also if you like to read books that you cannot put down, this book is perfect for you. I think this book would be enjoyed by people over twelve because there is some mature content in it. Breaking Point is a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2006

    Breaking Point

    I thought this book was great. It shows just how far people are willing to go for the things they want. It also brings to the attention just how much of this is true and how many kids are going through this all the time. I believe reading this book helps understand it a lot better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2006

    Sad yet true but an amazing story.

    Three days ago, my English teacher told us to find a book to read in the library. I didn't want to bother starting a new book because it wont get done if it's lame and boring. So I randomly opened a page in the middle, saw an intimate part and decided,'what the hell, i'll check it out.' There I was in my room, eyes practically glued to the book! I could have finished last night but I wanted to read more the next day, leaving the last two chapters after the school incident that brought my attention to the max. I couldn't believe a found another book that I couldn't let go! I highly recommend this book to anyone really. And if by any chance, you grew up in a military family (such as my mom), you will understand the true feelings of Paul. But anyways, read it for yourself and you'll never regret reading it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2005

    Breaking Point

    My parents were like totally stoked when they found out I was reading a book. And I was all like...Its okay Mom, this is totally the best book in the whole world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2005

    relate to this...

    Breaking Point by Alex Flinn is a remarkable book. Flinn writes about the impossible years of high school that Paul Richmond must push through. Although with Paul¿s exceptionally hard case to get past, he goes through more than anyone can imagine, adding excitement and more things than ever to relate to. Paul must go from being an absolute misfit throughout the whole school to being one of the most popular teens there; although of course, with a crazy experience like this, there has to be a twist. Flinn pulls you through a torturous year of high school watching how one student, Charlie Good, can completely manipulate another, Paul Richmond, then ditch him at the end, where Paul hits rock bottom and could use nothing more than a good friend. I found Flinn¿s choice of events, and the order in which they occurred, added up to her creating a spectacular book that¿s easy for virtually everyone to share similar feelings and experiences with. Being able to connect with the book so well simply makes it that much more likeable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2004

    Great Book

    This book, paints a great picture on how hard it is for teens today have to deal with at school. This book took me back to my High School days and made me think of all the stupid stuff I did for the aprove of others. The reader should learn from this book that its okay to be different and not one of the clones.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2004

    a look at pressure in schools

    This book was awesome! Cuz people do this stuff to make friends and to be seen. They'll believe the unbelieveable and they'll do what you ask becuz u have wat they want. you have popularity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2003

    A fantastic book

    Breaking point was like a Shattering Glass, except less happened to the main character. Although this book is wonderful, and has the same sneaky characters, it doesn't hold the same magic as Shattering. I still recomend this book highly with all my heart

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