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Breathe into Me by Sara Fawkes
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Breathe into Me

by Sara Fawkes

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Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from netgalley.

I have very little good to say about this book. We'll start with little good there is - it's not badly written. The author does seem to have some reasonably accomplished writing skills and if I had enjoyed the stories/characters more, I can see myself enjoying one of her books.

The problem with this book is that it is both completely unoriginal and I felt utterly disconnected from all of the characters. There was nothing about the book that I found emotionally compelling - it seemed like all of the characters were arms length, and all of the characters were basically caricatures. I can sum each of them up in one word::

Lacey: victim
Everett: savior
Grandma: abusive
Mother: useless
Macon: abuser

The basic story line is so, so, so well-worn that I barely even need to describe it: damaged but beautiful heroine meets hero when he saves her from her abusive boyfriend. She continues to need saving - she loses her job and gets thrown out of her home by her vicious, hateful grandmother - and hero obliges.

The book is a constant see-saw of Lacey gets something good going, the bottom falls out, there is a coincidence or a lucky break that saves her at the last minute, wash, rinse, repeat. It hits all of the NA highpoints: an attempted sexual assault, a completed sexual assault, cyber-bullying, child abuse, an alcoholic parent who is unable to care for her children.

I am certainly glad that I do not live in this fictional town, where all men are capable of sexual assault, all women (except one) are terrible friends or judgmental, mean gossips, and no one ever intervenes in a situation where a child is obviously being subjected to criminal child abuse.

Which brings me to a specific complaint. I don't usually bitch about factual inaccuracies in books but... sometimes I do bitch about factual inaccuracies in books. This is one of those times because there is a gross factual inaccuracy related to the legal system in this book that could have been resolved by the author picking up the phone and reaching out to someone who could assist her in understanding how the child protection system actually works. Or, even, googling it.

It's something called "mandatory report of child abuse" which is pretty much universal these days. In the book, there is a teacher who is quite certain that Lacey's younger brother is being physically abused. Teachers are mandatory reporters under Mississippi law (where this book is set). It took me precisely one google search to find this:

Who may report a suspected case of child abuse?

In accordance with Section 43-21-353 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, "Any attorney, physician, dentist, intern, resident, nurse, psychologist, social worker, family protection worker, family protection specialist, child caregiver, minister, law enforcement officer, public or private school employee or any other person having reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a neglected child or an abused child, shall cause an oral report to be made immediately by telephone or otherwise and followed as soon thereafter as possible by a report in writing to the Department of Human Services, ..." (emphasis mine).


A teacher is a school employee. The teacher who hates Lacey because she believes Lacey is abusing her brother would be required to report the suspected abuse to the authorities. What happens then? Well, of course, it is inconvenient for the plot line of the book, but a child protection worker comes out and there are some specific things that occur to ensure that Lacey's baby brother is safe.

This bugs the crap out of me. If an author is going to use rape, or abuse, or child abuse, or even alcoholism, as a plot element, then it is incumbent upon them to do the research so that their plot element is convincing. So that it rings true.

Anyway, enough of that. There is another inaccuracy, but I'll leave it alone.

TL/DR version: trite, been there done that, sexual abuse/rape casually used as a angst-generator, and no emotional investment in the characters. But it's not horribly written. ( )
  moonlight_reads | Dec 11, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this book! Fascinating characters,interesting setting, and a story line with a great balance of angst and joy. This is the first book I have read by the author but I will definitely be watching for the next one. Great NA book that I highly recommend. ( )
  Bette_Hansen | Nov 3, 2015 |
If the author wanted me to feel bad for the main characters, Lacey and Everett, and at the same time cheer them on, feel sympathy and hope their life turns around, then she succeeded.

This book was an emotionally charged read about young people going through a very rough life and trying to find a way out. They bring out the best in each other.
I really loved Everett's character, he is so sweet and genuine. ( )
  katsmiao | Oct 23, 2015 |
If the author wanted me to feel bad for the main characters, Lacey and Everett, and at the same time cheer them on, feel sympathy and hope their life turns around, then she succeeded.

This book was an emotionally charged read about young people going through a very rough life and trying to find a way out. They bring out the best in each other.
I really loved Everett's character, he is so sweet and genuine. ( )
  katsmiao | Oct 23, 2015 |
If the author wanted me to feel bad for the main characters, Lacey and Everett, and at the same time cheer them on, feel sympathy and hope their life turns around, then she succeeded.

This book was an emotionally charged read about young people going through a very rough life and trying to find a way out. They bring out the best in each other.
I really loved Everett's character, he is so sweet and genuine. ( )
  katsmiao | Oct 23, 2015 |
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"Author Sara Fawkes had fans clamoring for more with her New York Times bestselling e-serial erotic romance, Anything He Wants. Now, she's giving readers exactly what they want with her New Adult debut and first full length novel, Breathe into Me, a sexy, deeply emotional romance that brings Fawkes' signature heat to a highly popular new genre. How did my life get so broken? It's a question Lacey St. James asks herself every day. Stuck raising her little brother in a trailer park while she works a dead end job at a grocery store, she has a stalker exboyfriend, a bad reputation, and no way out. And then she meets Everett, who changes her entire existence. Everett is an outsider who's housesitting his family's mansion off the coast, and for reasons Lacey can't understand, he's completely captivated by her. He seems determined to show her that life can offer more than she'd ever hoped for, if only she believes in herself. She desperately yearns to trust him, but what happens when she finds out that everything he's told her is a lie?"--… (more)

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