Wednesday, June 15, 2016

#Thursday Review - Break Me Like a Promise by Tiffany Schmidt (Young Adult, Contemporary)

Series: Once Upon a Crime Family # 2
Format: E-Galley, 416 pages
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

No one is unbreakable.

All Magnolia Vickers has ever wanted was to follow father’s path as head of the Family Business. But new legislation is poised to destroy the Family’s operations in the black-market organ trade and Maggie’s recent behavior has wrecked the business-savvy reputation she’s worked her whole life to build.

She’s given an ultimatum: shape up or step aside.

Then Maggie messes up: she downloads a virus onto her father’s computer, and must sneak it off-estate for repair. When Alex, a tech whiz, uncovers the type of information on the machine, he offers Maggie a choice: her Family can give him a kidney, or he’ll irreparably scramble the data. Maggie agrees, but has no intention of keeping her promise or ever seeing him again. That night Alex shows up at her Family estate with copies of confidential Family files and a shocking revelation—the kidney is for him.

The Vickers aren’t willing to let Alex out of their sight, so he moves onto their estate and Maggie is assigned to be his keeper. A task she resents and he enjoys making as challenging as possible. But procuring black market organs is becoming increasingly difficult, and as Alex’s health declines, she’s surprised to find herself falling for him.

Like it or not, Maggie must accept that if she wants to save Alex’s life and carve out a place in the new legalized organ business, she’s going to have to fight for both.

Tiffany Schmidt's Break Me Like a Promise is the sequel to Hold Me Like a Breath and the second installment in her Once Upon A Crime Family series. This time around the story revolves around 19-year old Magnolia Grace Vickers, the daughter and heir apparent to her families black market organ business. In this world, there are only THREE main families who control the black market organ business; Vickers (Maggie), Landlow (Penny), and Zhu (Ming). 

For those who haven't read the first novel in the series, the story actually takes place FIVE months after Maggie lost the love of her life, Carter Landlow in a brutal massacre that has left the families in shambles. Schmidt does a fairly decent job of summarizing previous events including bring back Penny and Char back for this installment. Maggie is in a very dark place as the story opens. She can't move forward, and she chooses to hide her pain away instead of talking about it. 

Maggie and Carter were lovers, best friends, roommates, and each other's secret crush for years. So many years, in fact, that nobody took Maggie seriously when she claimed she had a boyfriend who she rushed off to see every chance she got. Now that Carter is gone, and her best friend Penelope Landlow is living with a relative in DC, it is up to Maggie to find a way to recover and recover quickly as the fate and future of her families business rides on an Organ Bill slowly making its way through Congress. 

Maggie is given an ultimatum by her father Holt Vickers. Either Maggie can pick herself off the ground, and by all means take off that dirty and disgusting smelling sweatshirt and take a shower! Or, she will get left behind in the shuffle that is sure to be forthcoming. Maggie's determination ends up putting her in a situation where she has to reach out to the most unlikely source for assistance. Assistance that comes with blackmail terms. With the Organ Bill making its way through Congress, Maggie must make her mind up on what side of the issue she will fall.

Organ donation, legal or illegal, is a serious topic folks and one that needs to be handled carefully. Hundreds of people die each year after being rejected by the FDA for everything from disabilities to making honest mistakes. Too often those who are on the waiting list die before the necessary organ is found. Bottom line. There are too many people waiting for organs that just don't exist. 

If you believe in the organ donor system, YOU SHOULD sign up. Get tested today. The life you may save by doing so is an incredible feeling. While I agree that organ swapping should be illegal, I can understand why people look for an alternate route to surviving. I would never, ever blame someone for trying to live longer than what they've been told. 

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