By: Rebecca Donovan
Published By: Skyscape
Publication Date: June 2013
Page Count: 466
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary
Emma Thomas is a junior in high school. She is a star athlete, playing 3 varsity sports, and she is a straight A student. Emma knows that is the only way to escape her terrible home life where she is verbally and physically abused by her aunt. Evan Matthews is new in town. He recently moved to Connecticut from San Francisco and wound up in several of Emma's classes. Evan wants to get to know Emma, but she's terrified that if she lets him in, he'll find out her secret. Emma's best friend, Sara, is there to help her through it all. And Sara is truly a friend to Emma. There is definitely more that Sara could have done for Emma regarding the abuse, but given that Emma and Sara are both 16/17 years old, I totally understand why they did what they did.
But as for Emma's aunt and uncle? Their actions are unforgivable. It is completely unacceptable for anyone to abuse another human being like this. And for Emma's own uncle to completely ignore what his wife is doing to his own niece? Unconscionable! The cruelty is unnerving and at times hard to read.
With that being said, I loved this book. Wow - it was amazing. Heart wrenching, heart warming, and everything in between. Any book that can make me cry makes an impression on my heart. I thought about this book for days afterwards. I loved Emma, Evan, and Sara. Although they all went through difficult times in the book, they are all good people. This book does end on a huge cliffhanger, but the entire series is available so you can read all 3 books without the waiting and wondering! But this book is my favorite of them all.
Content: Fairly clean except for the language. Aunt Carol is the worst offender of this and her language is foul. The abuse is described in detail, so readers beware.
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.