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Showing 1-10 of 307 reviews(3 star). See all 4,090 reviews
on October 2, 2013
I started reading this book expecting it to be super interesting. I'd never read a story with physical abuse at the helm, and the idea of that was both horrifying and intriguing. I was a bit disappointed. I know i'm probably going to get some hate for saying this.. but it is kind of like if they took the supernatural out of Twilight and threw in some other reason to make the girl constantly hurt so that she'd need some rescuing. Don't get me wrong, I can sympathize. I've known people in the exact situation she's in. But those people really did not give a rip about getting to know a boy, or participating in school sports. All they wanted was a way out and they were too scared to do it.
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on July 29, 2014
I thought the author did a good job documenting the horrific abuse that the character had to endure. She also was spot on with dealing with the concerns with status that typically goes on in high school. I thought that Evan was amazingly mature for his age, and he was very patient and kind to Emma. It was a little hard for me to buy into the reason why Emma never reported the abuse by her aunt or that her uncle was really that oblivious to what was going on in the home.

I also thought the book was too long and found myself skipping sections just to find out what happened to Emma. Not sure I will get the next installment. I do want to know what happened to Emma and Evan but not sure I can deal with Emma's long suffering and endless self-deprecation.
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on August 7, 2014
Rebecca Donovan is, clearly, a talented storyteller. Her main character in Reason to Breathe is captivating and written in a way that makes you not only want to see what happens to her next, but makes you truly care about her. To write a character like that takes a lot of talent and hard work.

There were, however, some things in Reason to Breathe that I'm surprised an editor didn't catch.
For example, at times the way the kids in the story spoke to each other was quite unnatural. I'm an adult and even I don't speak so formally to my friends! So, a lot of the dialogue came off as stiff. Additionally, the scene descriptions were full of adverbs and choppy sentences. I don't mean to sound like some kind of pompous word-snob, I'm just surprised an editor didn't catch that stuff and tweak it. If they'd done so, it would've made the book even better.

But, my ranting aside Reason to Breathe was captivating and I definitely respect Ms. Donovan's talent as a weaver of interesting tales : )
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on July 23, 2013
I like YA and NA books but this one was way too young for me (40+). I had to reach way back in the memory banks to empathize with Emma's teenage behavior and not judge her immature actions. Emma's reasons for keeping her secret just did not feel very realistic. I also felt there was more chemistry between Drew and Emma than Evan and Emma, when Evan was supposed to be who she was in love with.

The book was pretty fast paced and kept the pages turning but all of the teen partying, school scenes and stuff was kind of boring. I knew to expect a cliffhanger ending but at that point I needed to read the reviews of book 2 to determine whether I wanted to keep going. After finding out the direction the author took the story in I wasn't interested in continuing.
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on June 10, 2017
Too much unrealistic violence that in spite of some one that young that is described as one with above intelligence would not submit to such abuse
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on May 22, 2013
Reason to Breathe deals with the difficult and heart-wrenching subject matter of child abuse. The main character, Emma, is a high school junior living with her aunt & uncle. She lives in an extremely arduous & hostile environment, which causes her to withdraw emotionally & socially. She is just counting down the days of her last two years of high school to finally escape the cruelty she must regularly endure.

I had a hard time rating this book...I have mixed feelings, as there are both positive & negative qualities.

Here's what I liked...the writing was good (yes, there were some grammatical errors, but I am not the editing police and the mistakes were not acute) and there were some great poignant moments sprinkled throughout the text (I will not reveal what they are as not to provide spoilers). I also loved the loyal friendship between Sara & Emma. Additional, the manner in which Evan is introduced into the plot was clever & seamless. Evan was by far my favorite character as he was the perfect guy...attractive, intelligent, funny, sweet & faithful!

Here's what I did not like so much...I felt that the story dragged on & on and I found myself skimming just to navigate through some of the scenes and prevent myself from abandoning the book altogether. Although the storyline involved incidents that were realistically written, there were some things that seemed improbable in the story...for example, Emma is quiet, withdrawn and tries to remain invisible at school yet somehow she manages to be a tri-sport SUPERSTAR, the editor of the school newspaper, best friends with the most popular girl in school & tremendously successful academically. Additionally, she has made it through her freshman, sophomore & almost the first semester of her junior year supposedly overlooked & unapproached, but then suddenly with her first appearance at a party, where she seemingly remains reserved, all the guys vie for her attention. There were a couple of other things that I felt were unrealistic, but I do not want to share them as they may contain spoilers. For those who may be rolling their eyes at this point of my review, yes, I understand that this story is a work of fiction, but I just did not get invested when I did not believe it. My last negative is it ended on a cliffhanger...ugh!

My final rating is 3 stars as I didn't love it, but I did not hate it either. It was a middle of the road book for me, but as you can see it is a highly rated book by a majority of readers. I can say the foundation of the story is good...if plausibility factors had not been an issue for me, then I might have given it another star. However, I am not motivated to find out what happens by reading the sequel.
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on June 3, 2013
What?!? While the storyline was all right, the ending had me a little confused...I'm not sure exactly what happened. Without giving away any spoilers, I'm not sure why Emma kept it a secret. I mean she explained why, but it didn't really make sense. It's always difficult to read a story with abuse in it, but I wasn't clear on why exactly it was happening either. And I also don't really understand Sarah and Evan's decision to NOT say anything. They were aware of what was going on. When I was that age, I would've told my parents in a heartbeat if that was happening to one of my friends.
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on June 13, 2014
This series of books was well written, but the subject matter is depressing. I kept wishing I had the books in paperback so I could skip to the end before reading it all. I would like to know if child psychologists think these are realistic books. My impression is that the reactions of the abused teens is, sadly, in many ways typical of badly abused children. We know from first-hand experience with a foster child that, although she swore as a preteen that she would never be like her mother, when she turned 14 she started acting exactly like her mother. She still has time to turn her life around, as did the heroine in these books, but it will be very difficult. I will not read these books again, as I do many others. Do not read this series if you are looking for some light reading.
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on July 7, 2013
I liked (not loved) the beginning and end of this book. I thought it had great potential but there were multiple things about this story that had me feeling irritated by the end. I get that Emma has issues because of her home life, however some of them were contradicting with how she acted towards certain people. How easily she floated into the arms of another guy is just baffling considering how long it took for her to even be nice to Evan. Even the other characters were confusing (Sara and your feelings of whether or not Emma should date Evan!). I think the raving reviews must be from the teenage fan group of this book series because theres no way I can give it 5 stars. From reading the reviews about the next books in the series, the parts about this book that are so frustrating become even worse so I won't be reading on. If you are looking for fantastic stories in the NA or even YA genre, some great ones are Slammed (YA), Easy, Losing It, Wait For You, Beautiful Disaster, Sometimes Never, and Hopeless (YA).
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on April 1, 2012
I got this book while it was available for free on Kindle. For the most part, I was entranced by this book with wanting to know what happened next. There were periods of time that I couldn't put it down and stayed up way later than I should have but then there were other sections that were much slower and I somewhat lost interest. The portions of the story without Evan, for instance, I had a harder time getting caught up in the story. I did not, however, care for the ending at all. It wasn't my kind of ending and on top of that it was rather abrupt. I feel like the epilogue could have been written a little differently to give a little more closure to the end of the book. That is, of course, just my opinion. The book could have also used a little more editing. I know that not everyone feels this way but seeing the wrong versions of words used repeatedly was very frustrating to me as a reader. Several times I read "you're" where it should have said "your" as well as once that I picked up on "accept" when it should have said "except". Maybe it won't bother you, but it annoyed me. Not enough to stop reading though.
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