Friday, September 28, 2012

Book Review: Breathe- By: Sarah Crossan

Post by Dylan

This ARC is courtesy of Greenwillow Books.

Breathe is a novel unlike many other dystopian novels. Now, it does include a future environmental disaster that changes the world forever, but it actually is one that seems plausible and has some scientific backing. The environmental disaster that I speak of is the fact that all trees have been killed on plant Earth and oxygen levels have plummeted. Now, this idea could easily be overdone if an author went about saying that there was no more oxygen, but Sarah Crossan keeps it reined in by creating a world where oxygen levels are too low to survive and regenerating at a very slow pace. But enough about the world and more about the story.

Breathe is a novel about three very different individuals. Alina is a member of the resistance and is not convinced by Breathe’s (the company that makes chemical oxygen) lies about the Outlands. Bea is an auxiliary, a member of the lower class, and trying to give her parents a better life with her intellect, however her heart can’t help focusing on her best friend Quinn. Quinn is a member of the social elite who lives a charmed life and feels guilty about it at all times. When Bea and Quinn go on a camping trip to the Outlands, with Alina tagging along, they learned secrets that they always wanted to know and some that they could never have dreamed of.

The first thing I really enjoyed about Breathe is the quick pace. This story moves along at a fast pace, but at the same time gives enough detail to flesh out the writing and the story. That, to me, is a very fine line to walk and I really enjoy it when authors get that ratio right.

The second thing I truly liked about Breathe was how different the characters are. Just from the summary, it is easy to see that these characters are in very different places, but sometimes it is all too easy to make characters sound alike. Fortunately, that is not the case with Breathe. Even though there are three, first-person point-of-view characters it was very easy to differentiate between their voices.

Despite all the goodness that Breathe has to offer there are a few things that bugged me about this novel. The first of which it a bit of a nitpicky thing, the names. The first example is one of the main characters, Bea Whitcraft. It did not matter how many I read her name ever single time I saw it I read witchcraft and then had to re-read it. The second example encompasses a bit more than simply a name, but I will start there. The antagonist in the story has the last name Knavery, yes; the word knave is in his name. Also the man is basically an evil version of Winston Churchill; he says “bloody” and has other British mannerisms, is a bit large, has a taste for drink and happens to be the Pod Minister (Prime Minister). It was just a bit too obvious for me.

The second thing that irked me is actually a good thing and a bad thing. To start on a good note, the ending was absolutely emotional, filled with action and amazing…for the most part. However, there was one point of view character, Alina, who’s climax I though could be a slight bit more fleshed out to carry the same amount of emotional weight as the other two characters. Besides that and a slight sprinkling of dues ex machina, I cannot wait for the sequel to Breathe. Seriously, this book was good and the ending was even better. I recommend this book to all ages.

Check out Sarah Crossan here.

-Language: Some language, mild.
-Violence: There is violence and action, but nothing graphic that I can remember.
-Sexuality: Nothing shown, but it is mentioned as a part of the society.
-I recommend this book for ages 13-14 and up.

My Rating:


(Almost 9/10)


1 comment:

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good review, Dylan. I'll have to read this one. I just finished Michelle Gagnon's Don't Turn Around and find I'm enjoying YA suspense and sci fi/dystopian novels as much, if not more, than the adult novels I've been reading lately.

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