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Reason to Breathe: The Breathing Series (Volume 1) (edition 2012)

by Rebecca Donovan

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2872039,557 (4.02)3
Member:saders18
Title:Reason to Breathe: The Breathing Series (Volume 1)
Authors:Rebecca Donovan
Info:Wood Street Publishing (2012), Paperback, 386 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
This was such a frustrating book, but it had really good moments and I was very enthralled with her writing. BUT she has a Dick Francis thing going on, where main character was beaten to sh** all the time for no good reason, but she stoically took it. I find that annoying and not at all interesting/enjoyable.
( )
  aVamp1r3 | Nov 25, 2014 |
BEST BOOK EVER!!! ( )
  AaminahNisa | Sep 15, 2014 |
once I actually started reading this book It consumed me and I could not put it down, I needed to know what happened next.. I truly understand why she felt the need to just deal with what was happening to her , versus saying something to someone other then Sara. ( )
  Chris.BlogEmporium | May 6, 2014 |
this book had me on an emotional roller-coaster. I really had a lump in my throat and chest when I was reading all of Emma's tribulations. I was wanting to hug her and protect her. It was heart wrenching watching her go through all that and the thought processes just made me full of angst and sympathy for her. I loved Evan and Sara and could feel their feelings of hopelessness and also their deep devotion to help Emma, even though they did not know the extent of her suffering.
I am lucky that I had the second book, Barely Breathing, to keep reading, straight after taking a deep breathe and closing my mouth after my jaw had dropped, when I read what is one of the biggest cliffhangers I have ever read.
You really know how to make a heart stop Rebecca Donovan ( )
  Artfullee | Apr 8, 2014 |

The expression "What the Frack" fits this book perfectly.

Disclaimer: I didn't read this book fully. After 10 percent, I couldn't even make myself to find out why so many people think it's so excellent(4.33 rating after 39000 odd people have read this). Buckle in guys, this is going to be long.

From what I've come to understand, Emma lives with her uncle and aunt (who abuses her and treats her like crap generally; the aunt's "abuse" seems over-the-top and pretty melodramatic.). She is counting down the days till college(which sad YA heroine doesn't these days?) and she is an unapologetic nerd because she needs to go to college to make it out of this hick town.

Right. Because the rest of us apologize and care about people gossiping about how smart and nerdy we are. ("So if I had to put up with the whispers behind my back as I received the highest marks in the class, then so be it. They weren’t going to be there to save me if I did anything but succeed, so I didn’t need to get involved in the gossip and typical teenage tripe"). No one cares that much. Especially about some girl who doesn't even want to talk to anyone.

She has one best friend, Sara who is a ray of sunshine in her dreary life. Sara knows that Emma's life pretty much sucks and tries her best to suck up to her aunt and uncle and keep Emma away from the house as much as possible. Which is pretty nice of her. Is this the moment where I wonder why Emma doesn't just call in Social Services and go somewhere, anywhere to get away from this? (Though YA trope demands that foster care be worse than Emma's current living situation so that might be the reason she keeps mum). ANYWAY, everyone likes Sara and people put up with Emma because she's friends with Sara(clearly putting up with her also includes gossiping behind her back about how she's a nerd. FYI Ms. Donovan, no one knows anything about a nobody. They don't gossip at all. The opposite of love isn't hate. It's indifference.).

And then wham! just when 670 odd days are left for her to go to college, a random handsome boy wants to write (what I think) is a pretty interesting article about people's insecurities. Emma has a mini-freakout over it("Let me get this straight, you want to exploit the insecurities of a bunch of teenagers so that you can write an article exposing their flaws? Don’t you think that’s a little destructive? Besides, we try to write news in our paper. It can be entertaining and witty – but it should always be news, not gossip." - clearly, what the rest of the world thinks as -for the lack of a better word- a thought-provoking piece, Emma calls it "gossip". Alright.) and starts attacking his intentions(whether he wants to write a tabloid piece). Surprisingly, Evan finds this amusing(a clear preference for shrieking weird-crazy harpies is what distinguishes most YA heroes from the rest; MOST. NOT ALL. There are some good ones out there, no matter how scarce). Then she storms out and says this "Who does he think he is? How completely arrogant can a person be?!". His arrogance is rivaled only by Emma's intelligence but I guess that's just my opinion.

Somehow Evan doesn't think she's a weird-crazy harpie and comes over after class to apologize if he offended her. She asks him whether he's new and he says he's been around for a week and this: "I’m not surprised you didn’t notice. You seem pretty intense in class. It’s obvious school’s important to you. You don’t seem to pay attention to anything else.". I might be pretty weird for thinking that there's nothing offensive about this but Emma obviously thinks it is("Are you accusing me of being self absorbed?"). Evan thinks its cute again(Weirdo). Then this happens:

“What? No.” He smiled in amusement at my reaction.
I stared at him in offense. He held my glare, unblinking with his cold gray eyes. How did I ever think they were blue? He was ful of himself, and it repulsed me. I shook my head slightly in disgust and walked away."

And I was like: ಠ_ಠ - actually the look of disapproval just doesn't cut it.

Emma natters on for a while after realizing that she's a grade A douche. Then she thinks that he's a stalker-weirdo simply because he's going around his life, doing his usual thing(At one point she thinks this: "Why did he have to look like he just stepped off of an Abercrombie bag?" - I'm really not sure what this means). She wins her soccer match, hopefully gets noticed by some college scouts and then goes home to be a doormat. Coincidentially, her aunt and uncle want her out of the house on the night of a big game and party. And Emma is all, I want peace and serenity, let me go to Art class. But *cue music* Evan has enrolled in Art class as well because he's an amateur photographer. And Emma of courses accuses him of stalking her.

Then begins a monologue of how she's a social nobody and she likes it like that(Which has gems like "He was determined to pul me out from the shadows, and I couldn’t get away from him. He wasn’t deterred by my one word answers or abrupt responses." - even though I'd yet to see one of them and "My teachers acknowledged my academic successes and my coaches depended upon my athletic abilities, but I wasn’t important enough to make a recognizable social contribution. I was easily forgettable. That’s what I counted on.").

This is the part where I gave up(my eyeballs hurt with all the rolling) and decided to just kill myself. The end.
( )
  ashpapoye | Jan 24, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0615581927, Paperback)

"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?" He knows there’s something more to the girl sitting in the back of the class the moment he sees her. She’s beautiful, intelligent, and athletic – but she slips quietly through the crowded halls, trying not to exist. Determined to get to know the elusive girl, Evan soon discovers… Emma Thomas is hiding a terrible a secret. 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:46 -0400)

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.--From back cover.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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