Reason to Breathe (Rebecca Donovan)

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“No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?”

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection—pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises, not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth―at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.

One girl’s story of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and her precarious grasp of hope: Reason to Breathe is the first installment of the acclaimed Breathing Series


 *REREAD/First read in 2012.

Here we are, with the book that kick started my love of angst. This story is so beautiful and so very subtly powerful. It’s about Emma, a high school girl with a home life that would make Satan and Medusa seem so warm and so nice. You should know now: This isn’t the kind of story that gives you butterflies and “aww”; this is a story that’s going to make your nerves twitch and your eyes water.


Emma was a character that I immediately latched onto. Rebecca does a great job of portraying Emma’s hopelessness while also not making her seem like she was completely giving up on herself or life in general. Emma tries her hardest in school to earn her spot in college as far away as she can from her aunt and uncle (you’ll see why). During this time, you experience her fears, her pain, her suffering, and her frustrations.

“In the balance of love and loss, it was love that made me struggle to… Breathe.”

Though this book is dark journey and you will feel every emotion possible, there is some light, it’s not all dark. You will encounter plenty of the good in Emma’s life, too. Like Evan. And Sara.  I really liked the slow and gradual romance throughout. We can easily see them falling for each other. I don’t do insta-love so the fact that we got a sweet and steady romance between these two was good for me. I cannot stress how much I love this book. And Rebecca.

The ending of the book is a big fat cliffhanger and it’s devastating. But please don’t let that stop you from reading this book, since book 2 is already out yay!! Woo hoo!! Rebecca I hate you but I love you and I don’t plan on stopping

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