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Rebecca Donovan

Author of Reason to Breathe

19 Works 1,527 Members 83 Reviews 1 Favorited


Works by Rebecca Donovan


Common Knowledge




Rebecca Donovan has done it again. A sequel to the mind-bendingly amazing first book in the series, we trace Emma's path from surviving to reconnecting with her mother. She makes a decision that is dumbfounding at first, but then I realize why—from my own experience. She moves in with Mom, a woman she has barely ever known, to grasp desperately for the mothering she never had. Mom's (Rachel's) alcoholism never went away though. To say that fixing things with her is complicated is a gross understatement. Evan and Sara can only watch helplessly as Emma and Rachel are drawn into the dark whirlpool of a past that won't let them go, grasping for Emma's hand every time she goes past. Then, enter Jonathan. He starts out as Rachel's boyfriend, but there are hidden depths to him that only one other person ever really understands: Emma. He has a past mired in pure pain. It only gets more complicated from there.

As a writer, I stand in awe of what Donovan has done here. People, tension, events, and subplots pass as tenderly as a breeze, or as hard as a thunderstorm, completely seamlessly. Romance is less prominent here than in Reason to Breathe, but drama is definitely not. The suspense is riveting. Descriptions, emotions and actions are rendered so well you can't see the joins. This is a work stupendous fluidity, as the depths and back stories of each character are gradually revealed, and the way they act begins to make sense. Emma is in trouble. Everything else in my life is on hold until I finish the series.
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b00kdarling87 | 8 other reviews | Jan 7, 2024 |
This was a very interesting read for me, I enjoyed it as it’s definitely a young adult read that ends kind of on a cliffhanger, I still have so many questions. I really liked how Lana thought that a person’s strongest attribute is their curse, it’s interesting to think that way but I totally could see that being true. Lana’s curse is truth, therefore she never lies and believes she physically can’t and she is easily able to pickup on other people’s “curses”. I truly believe watching her mother become broken hearted over and over again made Lana jaded about love. She was forced to grow up for her age but at times you could still see the young kid she truly is come out when she was being immature and rude especially when it came to showing emotions. It was sometimes irritating how immature she could be towards authority figures or peers but I had to remind myself she’s only 15 which made me also annoyed by how cynic and hot and cold she could be. My favorite thing about the book is the mystery aspect, for instance the people that help her are mysterious about why, it’s like her mother is hiding things from her, and the ordeal that landed her at a strange school is interesting and kept me guessing about what will happen next. I am very interested in seeing what happens next after what all was revealed in the end. After reading this, I believe we are all cursed with our own virtues and they could be used for our own demise or used for our greatest stories.… (more)
readonreader | 4 other reviews | Jan 5, 2024 |
3 stars for decent writing and keeping my interest....somewhat! This was on my Kindle for many months and I kept passing by it because of a gut feeling I wish I had listened to. I'm in the minority on this book...I thought Emma was STUPID, selfish, and so immature! I think a better title would have been "Too Stupid To Breathe". Nobody in their right mind would have continued to live with that type of physical abuse without getting out. She was at Sara's house all the time which led me as the reader to believe she could have gone there at anytime. In fact, Sara asked her to move there many times. Emma's belief she couldn't take her cousins parents away didn't make a bit of sense even in fiction! George might have ignored what was happening but he was not guilty of actual abuse....not saying he was right by any means. George got the kids anyway, so why that couldn't have happened sooner?? Sara's Dad was a judge for goodness sakes! It was too long with too much angst. I would never read it again and almost did a DNF several times. I don't mind high school books with drama if the main characters are worthy. I don't even care all that much if it makes total sense as it's fiction anyway. I just can't take reading about stupid people when I deal with too many in real life as it is. I like books where people are at least strong enough to protect themselves and not hateful to the few folks who actually love/care about them when they try to get them to act smart for a change! The best part of the book was when Sara and Evan finally walked away from her stupidity....too bad they came back. I already purchased the next book but I'm sorry I did!… (more)
DebJack | 36 other reviews | Jul 28, 2023 |
Where do I start? Amazing, heart wrenching, extremely emotional, beautifully written novel.

I loved it! I just couldn’t put it down, I just had to see what happened next. It’s definitely one of those books that just lingers for a while after being read. One of my favorite books that I’ve read this year.
Emma Thomas is every parent’s dream. She’s an excellent student. She does her chores without complaint and helps with the younger kids at home. She’s a star athlete and a talented artist. Her best friend, Sara, is one of the most popular girls in school. So why then does she live her life in a perpetual state of fear? Emma has a dark secret about which no one, not even Sara, knows the truth. Emma is not looking for someone to rescue her. She keeps a safe distance from those around her, never wanting anyone to get close enough to discover what she’s hiding. She is barely coping with the terror, but telling someone the truth would have devastating consequences.......

Read more of this review on myblog
UPDATE: 10/09/16
Ahhhhhh!!! I forgot how much I love this boook
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AnaCarter | 36 other reviews | Feb 14, 2023 |

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