25 September 2012

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Breathe by Sarah Crossan
Breathe #1
Release Date: October 11, 2012 (UK)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher
Rating: Essential

When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart. - Goodreads

Daph read this months and months ago, and I had been absolutely DYING to read it after she recommended it to me. I'm so happy and grateful that I received a review copy from the publisher so I could read it sooner than I would have normally, even if it was only a month earlier! 

Breathe was everything I was expecting, although nothing more. The plot was engaging enough. It was told from three points of view: Alina's, Bea's and Quinn's. I applaud Crossan's decision to do this, as it really gave us a view of three different societal structures inside this world. Quinn is a rich guy whose father is high up in the government, and so he has never had to know what it's like to live on limited resources of air. Bea is his best friend who is poorer, so she lives in a different section of the pod. Alina is a rebel, and that's all I'm going to say about her. I loved every one of them, and while I do think Alina made some silly decisions (which ticked me off at the time), I think it worked well to get the story going and for a bit of character growth.

Sarah Crossan's writing style is what really sets this book apart from the rest. The storyline that pretty much followed the same set outline as most dystopian novels, making the plot itself generic and predictable. But Crossan's writing style swooped in and saved the day, hooking me in from the very first page. The way the words flowed off the page was fabulous, and I am DEFINITELY going to be checking out her other works because she's very talented.

My absolute favourite thing about the novel was the world it is set in. This along with the writing style made for fantastic reading. There is nothing more scary than a world without air, and the thought of having people control your air supply is terrifying. There were times as I was reading when I felt claustrophobic and as though I was the one without enough oxygen. It was amazing.

There is a love triangle in Breathe, but I think it's handled very, VERY well in comparison to most. It didn't feel as though it was in there just for the sake of it. It pushed the characters onto their correct paths and made for some excellent realisations towards the end. I also love that it wasn't a 'I-Will-Die-For-You' thing for all the characters involved in the triangle. I hate that. One of the characters didn't even have feelings for the one who had a crush on them, so that was something new and refreshing as well. 

Overall, this is a brilliant book. It's not an all-time favourite purely because, like I said, the plot was average and predictable. But the world building and the writing were some of the best, so I'll definitely be reading the second book to see where that takes us. I recommend this to everyone, obviously.

The Breathe series:
1. Breathe
2. Resist (2013)


  1. I can't wait to read this book! It sounds so amazing :). For me a good writing style is the most important thing to like a book! Thanks for the great review!

  2. great review, I'ts good to know that the love triangle is handled well as they really do annoy me sometimes! :)


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