Friday, August 29, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan. This book completely disintegrated my mind!


Reason to Breathe (The Breathing Series #1)
BY: Rebecca Donovan

PUBLISHED: June 4, 2013 by Skyscrape 
GENRES: YA • Contemporary Fiction • Gritty Realism • Abuse • High School • Drama • Romance • Sports
READ: JUNE 2014 (softcover)



OVERVIEW:
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.

•••
REVIEW:
Have you ever read a book that completely blew your mind? 
As in complete and utter melt down. 
Empty
black
nothingness...
inside your cranium. 

That was my shattered mind after reading this book. I literally had trouble functioning hours after I finished. Holy Mind Destruction. And I LOVED it. I absolutely loved every freaking syllable of this book.


This was beyond brilliant. This was so jammed pack with luscious story lines, complicated situations, moving character development and horrific details. The seriousness, the depth and the severe biting nature of the scenes were overwhelming.


Hallelujah! The angels were singing. My shoulders relaxed and I breathed deeply in that satisfied reader hangover mode. Having a giddy flashback moment... OK.. onward to the characters. My personal favorite was Sara, the BFF of Emma. She reminded me of Tarzan's best friend with her tenaciousness, her boldness, fierce loyalty and dazzling personality.


I could not help but fall in love with Evan. (Sigh) I mean... really. Who wouldn't. But there was a section in the book where he made my jaw drop and it took about thirty minutes to wire it shut. Scrumptious plot twist, oh yay!



The main character was Emma, a girl who shut everyone but Sara completely out of her life. She was so believable. Her emotions gutted me. The sheer determination, gumption and self control she had left me gobsmacked. I wanted to shake her, warn her, hug her and smother her in bubble wrap and take her home with me. All at the same time. 

Rebecca was able to wrench my heart from my chest with a dull spork and then carved it into mince meat with a blender. Some authors can make you feel. A precious few can literally pull a Potter move and suck you into the book and drop you smack dab into the middle of what was written, like you are living it. She is one of them.

For a majority of this book, I felt like I was watching a train wreck about to happen. You know... the slow motion, the inability to get their attention... the absolute horror that you know you'll see but you can't stop it from happening. I literally had to put the book down to wipe the sweat off my hands.


Rebecca masterfully incorporated everything a reader could want into one book. It was a smorgasbord of delicious writing ingredients, all incorporated and baked to delectable perfection. It was tension filled, drama infused, twisted, rich, raw, organic and believable. 

I have to break out the minions to truly express my now obsessive compulsive addiction to this series. Rebecca created a gem among the many CF books out there with the amount of complexity, harsh dynamics and impact.


Bravo, Rebecca. Bravo.