Review: Reason to Breathe (Breathing #1) by Rebecca Donovan

15718777Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: - (Indie) / Wood Street Publishing
Publication: May 9th, 2011

Pages: 377 (Kindle Edition)
            386 (Paperback)
            374 (eBook)
Editions: Kindle Edition, Paperback, eBook

Purchase via: Amazon




"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.

I can remember meaning to pick up Reason to Breathe when it came out, like, three years ago. It instantly piqued  my curiosity for whatever reason, I don't know. It's not my style or at least it didn't use to be, though it seems that lately it actually is. And althought it stole my breath, I'm glad I waited - I think I perhaps wouldn't have been mature enough back then and after what I have gone through the last couple of years, it yielded a completely different experience.

Not long after the death of her father, Emma's mother gives up on her and ditches the twelve year-old girl at her aunt and uncle. Her life is supposed to improve, it's the reason why she had to go, only it doesn't. With Carol constantly assaulting her verbally as well as physically, she's barely crawling through the years, suffering and concealing, with a 4.0 GDP and no social life, focusing on the future only in order to survive. That is, until Evan arrives. He's bright and good-hearted and witty, and so ready to melt the ice on Emma's frozen heart.

I said Reason to Breathe stole my breath and it's true. It literally did so with it's intensity - I could feel the emotions as if I felt them, the fear that Carol generated, the fury her cruel comments ignited, the strict rules that strangled Emma, and the love, most of all, that she felt for Evan. It was so real it was as if I not only could relate to Emma, but was her.

It's strange to think back that it wasn't always like that. The fear was palpable from the beginning so were the other emotions, that's not what the problem was, but that I didn't like Emma. I could understand why she was, why she acted the way she did, but I didn't like her at all. She came down being sour and overly spiteful all the time, even stuck-up sometimes hence I could feel for her, but not relate to her. However, as the story proceeded and the events shaped her, also I sort of got used to her, I began not only be able to relate to her, but to care for her. And that was when I really delved into the book. I couldn't put it down from the beginning, but that was the point I became obsessed. I surely would have read it at one-sitting if it wasn't for sleeping. The "who needs sleeping?!" poilicy doesn't really work out for me. Anyway, the end left me with such a hollowness and sorrow that I wanted to curl up and sob uncontrollably. And once I'm there I would have shred a few tears for the killing cliffhanger, too. I keep thinking I saw the worst and then the next book comes and laughs into my face with an even bigger cliffhanger. Nice, thanks. I guess...

The romance in the book was adorable and so was Evan. He was so bening and loyal and bright and he had a real big heart. And at his witty comments I wanted to melt. Hell, I wanted to melt at whatever he did. What's more, they were so cute together. As if they were two halves of the same hear; they made each other whole. Well, especially Evan to Emma, that is. 

In conclusion, I don't even know what to say. It's intense. But apart from that, it's the kind of thing you have to experience for yourself.

(I may be biased :))

Cover: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 4.5/5
Pacing: 5/5
Romance: 5
Style/Writing: 5/5

About the author:

Rebecca Donovan
Optimism seeps from every pore of my body. I truly believe that what's supposed to happen... will! In that regard, I don't know how to give up; it's not part of my biological make up.

I'm a passionate (and some would say, overly enthusiastic) person. I learn by doing (and have been burned more times that I'd like to admit), but I will always throw my entire self into whatever I do - fail or succeed. 

I think this is evident when I write, leaving nothing behind and spilling it all out on the pages. I give it all to my readers - love it or hate it. 

The path I'm on is very often my own, veering off the beaten path at the sight of something more interesting or captivating, getting caught in the vines and thorns in order to experience the beauty and intrigue others often pass by. And I always meet the most interesting people along the way...

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