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Breathless Hardcover – May 12, 2009

39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lurlene McDaniel is the foremost author of inspirational fiction for young adults. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 560L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038573459X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385734592
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 0.7 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,083,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Philadelphia PA, grew up (mostly) in Hialeah FL, graduated from the University of South Florida, Tampa FL (go Bulls!) and currently live in Chattanooga TN---I'm an American citizen by birth, and Southern by the grace of God.

I have a brother, three years younger, married, and mathematically gifted. I am totally without math skills.

The books I write, the topics and subject matter, grew out of my firstborn son's diagnosis of diabetes at age 3.
Infinite reward that comes to me from my work.... when a grown reader lets me know that reading my books inspired her to seek a profession that helps others. I have wonderful letters saying, "Today I graduated from nursing/medical school."

Now that's a gift of joy!

Official Lurlene McDaniel Website

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Most people believe they have a clear idea of what's right and wrong. Many say they know how they'll act, or how they'll handle an extreme situation. But to be honest, no one knows. Not really...Because none of us truly knows what we'll do when the circumstances become so overwhelming and complex that we can't even tell right from wrong."

Travis Morrison has the kind of life high school kids can only dream about. He is a champion diver with college prospects heating up. He has managed to snag a high-profile girlfriend in Darla Gibson, and their relationship is one based on trust and actual love. He also has his trusty sidekick Cooper and his little sister Emily, who surprisingly can be quite bearable in most situations. He is driven and knows exactly what he wants. The future seems bright, and nothing looks like it could get in the way.

On a lazy summer afternoon, however, the future turns murky. Travis, Cooper, Darla and Emily are out boating in Travis's favorite diving spot when the unthinkable happens. On a high cliff dive, Travis's leg snaps and he plunges into the water below. Hospital tests reveal a tumor growing on his right leg and the realization of bone cancer. Immediately Travis's leg is amputated along with his planned future. No one is sure how to react. Emily is ready for Darla to abandon Travis. Cooper wishes he could take Travis's place. Darla is scared to lose the only person who actually cares for her. And Travis begins to withdraw, especially from his parents, who seem not to truly understand what has happened.

At first, some minor alterations are made and life goes on as normal. Travis is fitted with a prosthetic and gets back into the normal high school routine. Darla and Cooper faithfully visit even amidst difficult home lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By La Coccinelle on February 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I remember back when I was a teenager in the 1990s, everybody was reading Lurlene McDaniel books. I never bothered, because books about death and dying didn't really appeal to me. When I saw this book, I was drawn in by the cover and the short length, and I thought I'd give it a try.

The book is told in alternating points of view, which doesn't work because all the characters sound the same. They're all also tired cliches (a battered woman even uses the standard "I walked into a door" line to excuse her bruises), and I couldn't identify with any of them. Travis's parents (especially his mother) were completely appalling and their attitudes seemed like little more than a way to create conflict. I doubt real nurses are that callous, selfish, and lacking in empathy... even if it's their own children they're dealing with.

There is a bit of a surprise twist at the end, but it's not so much shocking as completely inconsistent with the way the characters had already been established.

This was my first Lurlene McDaniel book. It'll probably be my last. I was not impressed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven Resnick on June 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've always loved Lurlene McDaniel books, yet this one felt different. Yes, McDaniel goes back to her old ways with a story of the main character dealing with cancer.

She also takes on a very delicate subject of end of life and who really has the power to make the decision.

There were three other characters who played important roles in the book as well. Two of them dealing with plenty of other stressful situations at home.

Yet, I felt like this book was rushed and the characters weren't developed as well as they could have been. McDaniel usually finds time to develop the characters a bit more.

The most disappointing part of the book was the ending. It was tied together way too perfectly. I believe that the story could have ended differently.

I'm not going to give away the book, yet I think it would have been better if it was determined and came to an end by the person going through the cancer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on May 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Cancer is terrible, but when it strikes a young, active body, it seems especially horrific. That's the case with high school student Travis Morrison. One minute he's a vibrant, healthy teen, and the next he's struck down by the devastating disease.

One sunny afternoon at the lake, Travis, two friends, Cooper and Darla, and sister Emily are enjoying a picnic and a swim. Travis tears up a rocky path beside the lake, thinking he'll show off a bit by making a high dive from a nearby cliff. Since he's a champion platform diver, it should be a breeze.

Just short of the edge he is struck by a sharp pain in his upper thigh, but he's not about to let that stop him. His friends watch as he begins his dive. When he hits the water, he hears his leg crack, and the pain he feels is incredible. Cooper shouts for the girls to call the hospital and bring the car as he carries Travis from the lake.

How does a healthy, in-shape champion diver break his leg doing a simple dive in the local lake? Multiple examinations and medical tests later, doctors announce that Travis has bone cancer, and a tumor in his upper thigh weakened the bone, causing the break.

That announcement changes life for everyone.

Lurlene McDaniel tackles the subject of euthanasia in her latest novel BREATHLESS. Using Travis, his best friend Cooper, girlfriend Darla, and his sister Emily, McDaniel explores the emotional and ethical issues of this sensitive subject from a variety of view points.

To say this novel is a real page-turner is an understatement. I truly could not put it down, and it has been on my mind ever since I finished the final page.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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