Thursday, September 20, 2012

Early Review - Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Breathe is the second novel written by Sarah Crossan. The story clearly falls within the dystopian parameters where the world has gone to hell in a hand basket after the people abused their precious recourses like water, land, and trees which provides for much needed air. Like other dystopian novels, there was a world changing event called the Switch which left the world in ruins and in chaos.

To the rescue is a company called Breathe who makes portable breathing equipment just like SCUBA tanks. In an effort to save the remaining population, a lottery was put together by the government and the crème de le crème aka rich folks, doctors, judges, politicians and those under the age of 30 were given a chance to live within the POD’s.

What’s different from other dystopian novels is the appearance of a legitimate resistance who are fighting from the inside out in order to make the general population aware of the fact that they are being used, and abused by power hungry maniacs.

Breathe is told by three different 16 year old teenagers who run the gambit from resistance fighters, to students, to Premiums, aka, the lucky ones who get all the air they want whenever they want it.

Bea Whitcraft is the character I could most relate to. She’s known as an auxiliary and knows the only way out of her situation is to marry someone who is a Premium. Bea’s parents know they have no choice but to work 12 hour days in order to pay for the exorbitant fee that has been placed on Air. In the end, Bea takes a stand against the injustice that is the POD and the Premiums by joining forces with the resistance. At the risk of her own life she still maintains some sort of compassion towards those she believes needs her help. She also has incredible feelings for her best friend Quinn who is one of the Premiums. I would say that most of the book was either told from Bea or Quinn’s POV with Alina thrown in for good measure.

Alina Moon is a very different character than Bea. She lost her parents and now stands on the cusp of losing her freedom after trying to help the resistance steal seedlings to plant new trees. On the run, she takes a stand that may or may not be considered helpful or necessary. Alina has a lot of problems that she has to deal. She ends up with more after saddling up to Quinn and Bea in an effort to escape the POD. In the end, Alina has to make tough choices, and learns a lot about who she is and what she’s actually capable of.

Quinn is, of course, a Premium which means he’s got it made in the shade. His father is a big wig who has loads of power and influence. Quinn is also a bad dog in that he has Bea as his best friend who loves him, but has feelings for Alina. Quinn learns the dirty secret about his father and Breathe after helping Alina escape the POD. Quinn is the character that grows the most in this story. He has his eyes opened by events that force him to change the way he thinks about his standing in life. You could call him brave in that when he does face the ultimate challenge, he ends up making the right choice and gets my respect.

Breathe, for me, was a quick read which shouldn’t shock or surprise anyone who follows my reviews. I started it in the morning, and finished it by the time it was time to eat dinner. I was fascinated by the way the story was told, and how even though the characters are from different walks of life, they end up with similar goals in the end. I do, however, find faults in certain areas of this story which I am hoping end up being cleaned up with a final editing job.

Another plus for me was the absence of any sort of love triangle. While the appearance was there, it wasn’t pushed onto readers like other YA novels. The ending, obviously, leaves room for the next book in the series to grow on. Resist will release next October (2013).  Overall, Breathed is filled with action and adventure. You will either love the characters like I did, or immediately find fault in their actions. The sub characters play an important role as well, and I look forward to seeing more of them in Resist.

*Recvd via Edelweiss on 07/16/2012 Greenwillow Books. Releases 10/02/2012.

Title - Breathe
Author - Sarah Crossan
Publisher - Greenwillow Books
Releases - October 2, 2012


  1. My favorite book is the one I am currently reading (or just finished). :) I finished In The Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner last night. Enjoyed it very much. :)

  2. Ooops, the above post got put in the wrong place....sorry. :)