REVIEW: Reason to Breathe (Breathing #1)

Reason to Breathe“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 while 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 – but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.

Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope.

Author: Rebecca Donovan

Series: Breathing #1

Published: May 10, 2011

Source: Goodreads

Thoughts: Ever since reading the first chapter I’ve been holding my breath. The synopsis alone had me standing on edge. I knew this was a book about abuse but I didn’t expect to be so traumatized by it.

It was detailed and gut-wrenching to read. Every time Emma had an accident I cringed. Every time she had to go home my heart sped up and I held my breath wondering what injury she was going to accrue this time.

Sara is the best of best friends. If I had to witness the things that Emma went through happening to my best friend I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut and help her cover it up, no siree, if I had my way shit would have hit the fan long before it became a matter of life and death.

Evan is relentless, determined, patient (obviously hot) and too intuitive for his own good. I was sure when he showed up things would be different. I couldn’t tell if it was going to be a good different or a bad different.

What I don’t understand is how this abuse could be going on for four years and no one was the wiser. Her aunt is the devil incarnate and her uncle is a pansy. Not to mention if people were going to finally get involved with her life and excuses of falling and being clumsy, why they would turn to home for shelter? If someone I knew was being abused home would be the first place I looked with accusing eyes not protective and preventive ones. Stupid.

Honestly this book is so intense I would read with caution, I can’t count how many times I felt like I was going to be physically ill. I know some reviewers couldn’t get passed the writing style citing it as immature or just plain bad, but the content more than made up for whatever was lacking for me. I was too drawn to pay attention to the editing or lack thereof.

Having gone through the emotional wringer with this book I’m not sure if I’m ready for the next one, I don’t think Emma’s life is going to be a bed of roses and I don’t want to hear what other torture Ms. Donovan has waiting for her in Barely Breathing but I think I will and I’ll be so glad when it’s over.

Last Line: Was life a choice? In the balance of love and loss, it was love that made me struggle to…Breathe.

4 STARS

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