“No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?”
In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection while pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises – not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth – but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.
Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope.
NOTE: Read in 2012. Opinion hasn´t changed since.
`Reason To Breathe`( Breathe #1 ) by Rebecca Donovan is one of the most depressing Young Adult romances I´ve ever had the pleasure of reading.
Sad. Deep. Hard to get your head around. Messed up. Deep. Confusing
I´m well aware that this is just fiction . But even if it wasn´t and the author chose to incorperate real life events in to the story- It didn´t make this whole sad blob any better.
A disturbed young woman making idiotic decisions at every turn because she´s a victim.
Emma- The shoved around, barely tolerated living being who just existed. Living in an abusive household she´s determined to pull through. To win at life and save whatever is left of herself ( which isn´t much to begin with ). But she wants to win on her terms.
I felt a slight burn in my soul from the choices Emma´s character made and how determined she was to stick with her ill choices. This trait of hers made me dislike her instead of feeling bad for her and her life situation. I would have loved to be able to see Emma as the victim she truly was but because of her questionable choices I just couldn´t.
The author tested my limits with the story.
As with any sociology / abuse, YA, romance ( the genre and categories, alone, are quite a stunning combo ) it´s not too difficult to include drama in a story. With `Reason To Breathe` the author went all in, making an already tough subject extremely painful to digest. Because to include abuse isn´t enough. Every cruelty needs to be amplified and every painful situation needs to be 10x more gruesome. Well, in my case… I didn´t care much for the abuse because it was too Cinderella´s step mom´s gone ape shit for me.
Now, i bet you´re thinking there can´t possibly be a romance in such a book, right? Right. No, wait. Wrong! So wrong!
There has to be a balance in a story or else it´s just one huge sad black hole with no ending. There was some good to give readers hope that not everything in Emma´s life was shit. And that hope was named Evan. But hey, he was only a tiny spark in a pitch black universe. What good can a spark do when there´s nothing but darkness and Emma continues to make terrible choices? Exactly, an endless cycle of depressing events happen. It felt like Emma´s nightmare would never end because Emma didn´t want it to end.
That was about the story. Let´s get technical now.
Although I didn´t really enjoy the full on sad story as much as I hoped I would I thought the writing was fantastic. I had absolutely no troubles with the pace. There was a great balance between dialogue and details.
However… I will say this: The ending had me sold. I don´t know how the author did it but I wanted to continue the story. Usually, if I don´t like a story I won´t bother with the next books in a series. For some damn odd reason I wanted to find out what Emma´s next move would be. What direction will she take? Will she ever want to stop the madness?
`Reason To Breathe` shows a reader how awful and painful life can be if you don´t take help that is offered to you, and that the choices you make are the ones you have to live with.
Would I recommend this book? I wouldn´t recommend this book to anyone who is emotionally unstable. It´s a tough read and so depressing. If you think you can handle the abuse in this book, then go ahead. Buy the book and put yourselves through it all. This book will get under your skin and it won´t leave you alone for a while.
Would I reread this book? Nope. One round is enough.
The Cover – 2 Stars: Nope. Not doing it for me at all.
The Story – 2 Stars: I´m torn. It´s an awfully depressing read but it´s also a story well told. Can´t fault a good story telling.
The Characters – 4 Stars: As much as I disliked Emma I have to admit that she was a pretty picture perfect ruined YA character. The author created messed up characters and wonderful, charming, loving figures. A world of good people and terrible people and little Emma stuck in the middle.
My emotional state after finishing this read – miserable AS FUCK.
You can purchase `Reason To Breathe`( Breathing #1) by Rebecca Donovan on Amazon.com