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Hold Me Like a Breath: Once Upon a Crime…
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Hold Me Like a Breath: Once Upon a Crime Family

by Tiffany Schmidt

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Showing 4 of 4
Well that was okay. The good: the thriller/suspense plot moved at an excellent, edge-of-your-seat kind of pace. The bad: Somehow, SOMEHOW, the author manages to include an insta!love subplot and only JUST shies away from a full-blown, sappy love triangle. Good story, but nothing stellar. ( )
  srsharms | Jul 20, 2017 |
The first thing struck me when I first laid my eyes on this book is its title. Hold Me Like A Breath? This sounds way to interesting to ignore. I mean, I have heard “hold me like a pillow” (Only Girl by Rihanna ;) ), but “breath”? Just wow… That gives out a fragile vibe, but also somewhat….strong and stubborn, since you are fighting with some kind of forces if you were forced to hold your breath. And so, I can’t “hold” myself and got the book.

Hold Me Like A Breath falls into the criminal/suspense category, but if you are looking for glorious bloody mafia scenes with FBI and politics, you should probably put this book down. The book itself doesn’t have those heart-pounding scenes. However, I wouldn’t deny the fact that the author is very clever with her writing. She never slips away too many details, but gives us enough to keep our brains half-guessing everything. I love that the most about Hold Me Like a Breath.

Penelope Landlow was born in a family of wealth. But their money was from blood….and illegal organs transplant. How ironic it is, when she was born in one of the three biggest Families who control the organs’ black market, she herself grows up with a platelets disease, a disease that cause her immune system to mistakenly destroy her own body’s platelets. Every touch and easily bruised Penelope, and because of that, she spends her entire life in her family’s estate, wishing that one day she can walk the street of New York City. Her wish finally came true, but it’s not like what she thought it would be, especially when she was caught in the fight between Families and had to run away, seeing everyone she loves died. However, Penelope met a young man in the middle of The City That Never Sleeps, and although something about him seems off, she couldn’t help but fall for him, and realized that she herself may not as fragile as everyone thought.

I read this along side with one of my friend, but she put it down after her 30th page, complaining that she couldn’t stand Penelope’s personality. I don’t blame her. Characteristic can be raised. Just imagine, Penelope has spent her entire life getting whatever she wants, and nobody dares to touch her, her personality can be somewhat princess-like. Her sensibility greatly reminds me of The Princess and The Pea, which Penelope herself has been referred to countless of times. However, through many incidents, again and again, she started to develop. The process of Penelope changing was magnificent. How surprising a person can change when he or she went through life.

“Go, fight, win. Ask forgiveness, not permission. If you want respect, demand it. ‘No’ is never the final answer.”

Although this book did a really good job gripping me to it, there are many parts where I couldn’t hold myself from rolling my eyes. You don’t fall in love with a stranger just because he bumped into you and took care of you too carefully that made it looked like “stalking”. There are many questionable parts where trust was giving out too easy, while forgiveness was just ridiculously held tight. And the romance scenes were too dramatic and fast-pace to let the emotions kick in. I would give the book the credit for doing very good on keeping the suspension, however, sometimes sudden surprises are not always a good thing.

I have quite a conflict with Hold Me Like A Breath after reading it. The book is good, but the romance is totally off. I would recommend you to give this book a chance, and well, doesn’t the cover look gorgeous? ;) ( )
  mariananhi | Mar 18, 2016 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Amazing, intense story that you won’t want to put down. With its unique idea, intriguing plot, and wonderful characters this is sure to be a hit with all young adult fans! Also, this book has one of my favorite covers ever — it is so pretty!

Opening Sentence: Once upon a time— nine years ago, to be exact— I didn’t know anything about the Family Business.

The Review:

Penelope Landlow has grown up in a very privileged environment. Her family is extremely wealthy, but they don’t get their money legally. They sell human organs to those that need them and can afford to pay for them. Rest assured they are actually good people and they do it more to help people then for the money, but it is still illegal. But even all the money in the world can’t cure the autoimmune disease that Penelope has. It causes her blood palettes to run way lower than they should and therefore she bruises very easily. Her disease can be very dangerous, so she is basically homebound at all times.

Penelope would love to be a normal girl, but that’s just not in her cards. Sure she loves her family and she knows that they would do anything to protect her but she wants more out of life then just being a princess stuck in a mansion. What Penelope doesn’t know is that she is about to get her wish of freedom, but what will be the price?

Penelope is such an inspirational character. She has a terrible disease that makes it so she bruises very easily and her blood has a hard time clotting. It’s scary and at any time it could become very deadly. But Penelope has such a positive outlook on life that you would never know she is so ill. Yes, she is cautious and she should be, but at the same time she likes to be spontaneous. Sure she fantasies about living a normal teenage life, but she is also happy with the life she has. She is determined to not let her disease be who she is, and I really respected that about her. She was a very easy character to connect with and with everything she goes through I couldn’t help but respect her. I loved reading her story and I am so happy that there will be more books to come.

There are two love interests in the story, but the romances felt very separate from each other so while reading the story it didn’t really feel like a love triangle to me. I do think that in the future books there is a possibility that the love triangle could become more forefront, but it wasn’t in this one.

I couldn’t help but fall in love with Garrett. He is loyal, kind, and fiercely protective of Penelope. His family has protected the Landlow family for years so it’s no surprise that is what he wants to do as well. His best friend growing up was Carter Landlow and they are more like brothers then friends. His relationship with Penelope has been strictly friendly all these years, but they have an undeniable chemistry. I loved watching them flirt and I thought they were so cute together. Garrett is far from perfect, but if I had to choose a team I would chose him!

Char comes along quite a bit later in the story and while I did really like him, I didn’t quite fall for him as much as I did for Garrett. Char is ridiculously smart and a total nerd, which was really cute. He is awkward and unsure of himself when it comes to Penelope, but that added to his overall charm. The relationship between him and Penelope was cute. It just felt a little rushed to me. Unfortunately, it had a insta-love feel to it and I didn’t love that, but I do think that things could be much different in the next book. I adore Char, I just don’t know if I would pick him for Penelope.

Hold Me Like a Breath is a beautifully heart pounding story that is almost impossible to put down. The idea is very unique and different from anything else I have ever read, so that was a huge plus. The pacing was spot on and the plot took me places I was never expecting to go. There is a mystery in the story that I did figure out, but it wasn’t obvious or overdone in anyway. There was just enough foreshadowing that made it so you didn’t feel lost or confused as to what was going on. The characters were all developed perfectly and I loved how three dimensional they all felt. While reading the story I could easily imagine myself in the moment with all the characters and I really loved that. Schmidt’s writing is beautiful and easy to get lost in. This is the first book I have read by her, but rest assured I now want to go back and read everything else she has written. The ending of this book wrapped up things pretty well, so I am really curious to see where things go in the sequel. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a unique young adult contemporary novel.

Notable Scene:

“I believe you swept me off my feet, actually.”

“Semantics.” He smiled. “I know I’m going to fall in love a million times in my life.” I was too surprised to form the word “what?” or remember how to exhale. “Maybe more than a million . . . but it will always be with you.”

FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury Children provided me with a copy of Hold Me Like a Breath. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Mar 31, 2015 |
4.5 stars (all kinds of awesome)
I wanted to read Hold Me Like a Breath before I realized it was a retelling. I was drawn to the autoimmune disorder as well as the black market organ market.

I related with Penelope. She is a strong girl with a weak body. Or so everyone around her keeps pounding into her head. She is protected and viewed as fragile and frail. She had such a spark and she wanted to explore and push her boundaries.

She and Garrett had a spark, but she realizes more about her family business and how much he is involved. She has always known something illegal was going on, but she gets the sense that her brother Carter and Garrett are into even more, things dangerous and a secret from their detail oriented dad.

Quickly though, Penny is pushed to her emotional and physical limits. Tragedy hits her family and she is own her own for a bit. Running and paranoid that someone may be after her, she longs for Garrett, Carter, and her parents, but she is utterly alone and heartbroken. She waits for days for someone to come to her, but then she gets tired of the same walls, and begins to venture out. She tries to be unpredictable but she can't help but form some routines and see familiar faces.

When she is literally ran into by a stranger, things get even more dicey. Since her autoimmune disorder makes her bleed easily and not stop and she bruises badly even worse. She is left dazed, bruised and bleeding. But the stranger helps her back to the apartment, and then shows up the next day. She finds herself feeling so safe with him, comfortable, like he can see past the lies she's forced to tell, and see the strength that everyone in her life didn't because they saw her as breakable, and fragile, in the dark. They spend their days together telling half truths, but they form a real and deep connection.

Her past doesn't stay there forever and she discovers shocking things about both boys she's come to care for. She is left reeling again and not knowing who to trust even more so than before.

These last plot twists leads to even more reveals and a whirlwind of Penn trying to figure out who is the most truthful, who needs to be protected, whose feelings are real, and what is next for her in her life turned upside down. I enjoyed Penelope's growth in this one, discovering her true limits physically because of illness and the depths of strength emotionally that she never fully realized when so protected.

I will def be continuing this series!

Bottom Line: Good character development in a main character whose life is turned upside down all the while facing serious physical limitations from a blood disorder. ( )
  brandileigh2003 | Mar 27, 2015 |
Showing 4 of 4
This book, Hold Me Like a Breath, is truly unlike any book I've come across before. To begin, let me explain that when I start reading an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) I do not look at the cover, I do not read any blurbs, and I'm pretty much going into the book blind. If you've never read this way I encourage you to try it, while it will be hard for you to avoid the cover art, discovering a book from page 1 is fascinating, but I digress. When I pulled this book up on my Kindle, I had no idea what I was getting into, but what was written had me so captivated that I finished this book in six hours on a Saturday evening.

The story unfolds like a classic drama, child of a wealthy family is sheltered and alone, she is seeking freedom and adventure, and she gets so much more than than she desired. The story is riveting, almost pulsating with life, as each moment you spend in the book and with these characters seems to envelope you within their pages. I will give nothing away, but there were so many moments where I gasped, cried, smiled, cheered that I could not wait till the end, but simultaneously did not want it to end.

There are many well crafted characters; two of my favorites where Penelope and Carter. Penelope Landlow is our many character, and I love a strongly written female lead! Carter is her older brother. At first Pen is perceived as delicate, but her transformation within this book occurs in a seamlessly fluid manner, one I truly appreciated. She is not the typical lead - all perfect, all knowing, all beauty and brains tied with a bow. She is real with flaws and obstacles, dreams and desires which may or may not be fulfilled. The other characters are written with the same care to realism.

There is something extra special about this book, and it has a lot to do with the way it was conceived by Tiffany Schmidt. I will not ruin that discovery for you either, but make sure to read the acknowledgements at the end of the story which explains it's conception. Overall, this was a book that I'm so grateful it fell into my path, and I really recommend it for teens and adults.

Review by: Stacy Palm
Full Reviews Available at: http://www.thebookendfamily.weebly.co...
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080273782X, Hardcover)

In Penelope Landlow's world, almost anything can be bought or sold. She's the daughter of one of the three crime families controlling the black market for organ transplants. Because of an autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise easily, Penny is considered too "delicate" to handle the family business, or even to step foot outside their estate.

All Penelope has ever wanted is independence-until she's suddenly thrust into the dangerous world all alone, forced to stay one step ahead of her family's enemies. As she struggles to survive the power plays of rival crime families, she learns dreams come with casualties, betrayal hurts worse than bruises, and there's nothing she won't risk for the people she loves.

Perfect for fans of Holly Black and Kimberly Derting, this first book in the stunning new Once Upon a Crime Family series from acclaimed author Tiffany Schmidt will leave readers breathless.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:06 -0400)

Penny Landlow, seventeen, the overprotected daughter of a powerful crime family, has rarely left the family estate due to a blood disorder but when tragedy strikes and she is left alone in New York City, she must prove she is not as fragile as everyone believes.… (more)

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