Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review ~ Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

Genre: YA contemporary romance (mature)
Series and number: Breathing #1
Number of pages: 466
Edition: Kindle ebook
Link to Goodreads page

Goodreads description:

USA Today Bestselling Novel
"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—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―at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.

One girl’s story of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and her precarious grasp of hope: Reason to Breathe is the first installment of the acclaimed Breathing Series.

My review:

Rating: 4.5 stars
Date read: July 16, 2013
Source: Bought

Now . . . that is how you end a book. It was shocking. It was emotional. It was a pretty good cliffhanger. Immediately upon finishing it, I jumped onto my phone to read the description for sequel to see if my worst fears would be confirmed. Thankfully, I was relieved and able to start drying. This book evoked an immediate emotional reaction and any book that can do that and tear my heart to little pieces in the process deserves high praise. That ending left me reeling—I can’t even remember having such a strong response to the conclusion to any other book.

I loved everything that was going on in this book—well, I loved the positive areas: the friendship, the romance, Sara’s concern, Evan’s patience (most of the time), Emma’s compassion. The romance was built up for the bulk of the book, and I loved the chemistry between Emma and Evan. I loved how well-rounded the characters seemed, and how each one was far from perfect. I also loved how Emma’s extracurricular activities were incorporated into the story.

As for the ugly elements—such as the abuse—I hated it. It wasn’t in a way that made me think the book was bad, but in a way that made the book better due to the strong feelings I got from reading it. These elements added to the harshness and powerful emotion that the book was meant to have. I was angry a little upset with a few of the characters’ reactions to Emma’s home life. Her stepfather made me angry because he refused to see the ugly truth right in his own home. I was a little disappointed with Evan when he went back to San Francisco around the time he found out how much danger Emma was in. I was even a tiny bit disappointed in Sara because she knew Emma was being abused, but never told anyone. The thing is, though, I understand why: Sara was still trying to do her best to protect her Emma and respect her choices at the same time. I also understand that Evan wasn’t intending to leave Emma in danger or hurt her when he left.

This book didn’t disappoint. I had wanted to read it for a long time, and it did what I expected it to: it made me cry. Overall, Reason to Breathe was a fantastic book that made me want to immediately continue the series on with the next book. Now I just hope the sequel will be amazing too.



  1. This book pulls you in from the very first page. I couldn't stop reading, even when I should have been asleep (oh but missing sleep for this story was so worth it).


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