Review: Breathe

16 November, 2012 / 2 Comments

book review

Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012
My Copy: eBook, about 475 Kobo pages

Inhale. Exhale.
Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.


My Review
I absolutely love the YA dystopia genre and I think that Crossan did a decent job satisfying my craving for it.  The story was very well done.  I thought it was a unique and creative concept that the world is without enough oxygen to survive, so people are stuck having to pay for oxygen from the Breathe corporation.  Those who are wealthy can carry on with normal living, while those less fortunate when it comes to money have to cut back on the things that they do in order to afford to breathe at all.  The concept of this story did remind me of the movie The Lorax (but, I did just watch it recently).
The characters…I wasn’t all too pleased with the character development in this novel.  I thought that Alina was under-developed.  After completing Breathe, I still don’t feel as though I know her as well as I should.  This made it difficult for me to connect with her, even though about a third of the chapters were from her perspective (the story is told in alternating POVs, between Alina, Bea, and Quinn).  I was definitely more connected with Bea and Quinn than Alina, which caused me to be less captivated by the stuff going on in Alina’s chapters (at least when she was separated from Bea and Quinn) — near the end of the novel, I found myself wanting to just get back to Quinn and Bea’s stories, instead of reading Alina’s.  It was a strange feeling because each of them were going through something intense at the end, but I just didn’t care as much about Alina as I did for Bea and Quinn.
I loved Bea’s character, however.  I thought she was presented very well and grew throughout the novel.  She is such a sweetheart and a genuinely nice person.  Even though she is in love with Quinn, and he has a crush on Alina, Bea is still as nice as can be toward Alina.  She risks her life for Alina and then they even become friends.
Quinn wasn’t quite as developed as I would have liked either, but he was more developed than Alina.  Quinn is one of the wealthy people in this novel (a “Premium”), so he can afford to do anything he wants.  His family can exercise, have more children, and live comfortably without worrying about how much oxygen they are breathing in.  Though Quinn is wealthy, he is different from the other Premiums.  He is understanding of the less fortunate people (“Auxiliaries”), such as his best friend Bea, and doesn’t act like he’s better than others.  And when the time comes, he is able to get past everything he was taught and fight for what’s right.
I thought the writing was good.  Crossan did a very good job with her world-building, which is one of the most important aspects in a dystopia setting.  I understood everything that was going on in this world, without questioning it.  Crossan’s writing style was easy to follow and kept me turning those pages!
I would recommend this novel to fans of dystopia.  It isn’t one of my favourite dystopian novels, but I think it is worth reading anyhow.  It was definitely interesting.  And I thought the ending was very good; it was my favourite part of the book.  Breathe definitely ended with a bang!  I will be reading the second book in the series.
4 stars blue


A Peek Inside:
“Oh, it’s a clever move, girlies. Now that
lot really know they have a war on their 
hands,” Maude declares. I shake my head,
about to say no, that we need to move faster
and save air, that’s all. But as I think about 
what Maude’s just said, it dawns on me that
she’s right: I’ve just started a war.

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Posted 16 November, 2012 by Sam in Book Reviews, Books / 2 CommentsTags: , , , ,

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2 Responses to “Review: Breathe”

  1. I love dystopian, but I feel like I am starting to read the same thing over and over again. But Breathe does sound good. I have heard more than once that the character development is lacking. That is disappointing because characters are one of the top most important aspects of a story. I may one day read this one, but I don’t believe that I am in a hurry.

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