29 September 2012

Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan

Expected publication: 2 October 2012 by Greenwillow

Pages: 400 (hardcover)

Genre/s: YA, Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic

Source: Publisher

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Inhale. Exhale.
Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

My Thoughts

If I saw Breathe displayed in a bookshop, I'd pick it up. If I read the synopsis, I'd trot right over the cashier, hand over my hard-earned cash, go home and start reading straight away. It looks good, it sounds good, so it MUST be good.

However, I struggled to enjoy Breathe. I'm not adverse to multiple POV stories, however the flashes between Alina, Quinn and Bea were so fast that I struggled to keep up with exactly who was narrating and when, although it was also essential to the story to show all their experiences. Yep I realise I'm being completely contradictory.

The characters are probably the part I struggled with the most, overall. Alina isn't a likeable character - and when she does a pretty radical 180 and suddenly cares deeply about everyone I couldn't work out why, or when, this miraculous change of heart actually happened.

Quinn is a sterotypical stupid rich boy who is best friends with a smart, caring girl but doesn't realise it, and instead crushes on a girl that doesn't seem to have any redeamable features.

Bea was pretty much the only main character that I actually liked because although her family was not as rich or influential as Quinn's, she's clever and kind.

Breathe is a believable world as a possible scenario of what could happen if we continue to treat the planet like a big dumping ground, and the idea of a world with no trees, no flowers and living on synthetic foodstuffs is pretty disturbing. The science is well explained, and the world of the dome, and the outlands is very well built, with far more showing than telling.

And although all the ingredients for a tension-filled, action-packed book are there, I had trouble buying into the whole menacing vibe - it felt more like the trio were a bunch of naughty schoolkids that would be grounded, not that their lives were in danger.

Overall for me, Breathe is a book that had so much potential and some good features, but the lack of care I had for the characters, the fact that I could have lazily read the whole 400 pages in 4 hours and the confusingly fast POV switches just left me underwhelmed.


  1. Even with the unlikable characters for you, I still want to check this book out because sometimes I like stereotypical rich guys :P though I am not fond of 180 degree turns with no justification behind it.

    great review!!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. LOL I'm not adverse to them either ;-) It's not a terrible book at all, just didn't work for me - I think my expectations were also unreasonably high!

  2. I had such high hopes for this one, but I have to care about the characters to care about what I'm reading. I will probably still check it out anyway, but bummer.

  3. I keep seeing this everywhere online because the cover ios so striking. But I think I was wise waiting to see some reviews.

  4. I was really excited for this one but I have seen quite a few negatives reviews recently especially mentioning not liking the characters. I'll probably make this a library book. I love the concept.

  5. I agree, I was constantly flipping back a page to remind myself who I was reading about at the particular time. I also wish there would have been a bit more back story into how the world came to be what it was. I didn't get a clear enough picture, wasn't a huge fan of this one. Great review Kat!

    1. I found my notes on this one last night, and I had written down exactly what you say about the back story!

  6. Ah! I still want to read this one though. I have heard a lot of people get confused with the multiple POVs in this one. I actually love multiple POVs and I think I might enjoy it.

    Great review, Kat. :D

    1. I'm not adverse to multiple POVs, but they switched too quickly in this one for me. But I think you will like this one :)

  7. Sucks, but I'm not surprised this turned out to be disappointing. Something in my brain was warning me all along. I still have this one to read, but...eh.

  8. I actually really enjoyed this one. I pretty much loved Bea too. Quinn was a dope, and Alina I disliked.
    Giselle from Book Nerd Canada



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