Book Reviews 2014 · Dystopian Books · Young Adult Book Reviews

‘Breathe’ by Sarah Crossan

When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides who will live inside the pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate.

3.5 Stars (Rounded to 4)

I went into ‘Breathe’ with a certain degree of scepticism, as I have not heard much about it at all, and what I have heard was not particularly glowing. By the end of the book, I had decided that, whilst it exceeded my (low) expectations, it was an okay read and nothing more. I gave it 3.5 stars on Goodreads, which I generously rounded up to four, mainly due to the inability to score half-stars on the site. I’ll keep this review relatively short, as I don’t have much to say on this book.

I have to say that I rather enjoyed the book’s premise. The story is an interesting (albeit unoriginal) one that succeeded in keeping me hooked throughout, even if the plot stretched to borderline insanity in places. My major issue that docked the stars was the characters. I have to say that I loved Bea – she reminded me of myself a little bit- and the supporting characters such as Maude Blue and Silas were solid characters too. My problems lie with Quinn and especially Alina. Quinn confused me. I initially really liked him for defending Bea, but his obsession with Alina when he didn’t know her at all was laughable. The spectacular section about staring at her bum was worthy of losing one star  by itself. However Quinn did redeem himself again halfway through, regarding Bea. It seemed to me that he could stand up as a viable character with Bea, but was rather pathetic on his own. Alina proved to be less confusing. I purely despised her. From the off, she was selfish, immature and callous. Yes, she faced countless problems, but Quinn and Bea helped her when they had no obligation to, and she was absolutely awful to them. Her treatment of poor Maude was sickening. As with Quinn, she did show a glimmer of promise, but this happened within 20 pages of the end, and it was too-little-too-late for her character as far as my opinion was concerned.

It is a shame as I feel that this book had a lot of potential given the premise, and it just didn’t quite reach it in all aspects. I may eventually get around to the sequel, but I wouldn’t hold my breath (yes, I did just end on a crappy pun).

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