Breathe by Sarah Crossan
Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: 11th October 2012 by Bloomsbury
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My thanks go to Bloomsbury for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
As soon as I heard about Breathe, I was absolutely desperate to get my hands on a copy! The first book that I ever received for review was Sarah Crossan's debut novel, The Weight of Water and I absolutely devoured it - it was truly something special and I was left wanting more of Crossan's work. When I found out that her next project was a dystopian series, I was practically jumping up and down!
As you might be able to tell, I had very high expectations for Breathe and thankfully it didn't let me down at all. I am a huge fan of dystopian books, but I realise that due to the huge boom in popularity around this genre, there are quite a few dystopian books that aren't up to scratch - I am so glad to say that this is definitely one of the better ones out there. This book did have elements which reminded me of other popular dystopian books and will definitely appeal to fans of authors such as Ally Condie and Suzanne Collins. Though the story did have some similar elements to other books, it was still original and gripping with good world-building.
Breathe follows three characters as they discover the truth about the world that they're living in. In Breathe, most people live inside the Pod, where oxygen is distributed to the people by the government and only the rich (Premiums) are able to afford extra oxygen in order to exercise or exert themselves. Many people have been ejected from the Pod to live in the Outlands, where it's almost essential to have an oxygen tank in order to survive. Both the plot and setting are strong and captivating. I became truly gripped by this book and didn't want to put it down. The story is gripping and I always wanted to know more. There is so much to discover about the world in this book, which is very promising for the rest of the series!
Breathe is narrated by three different characters - Alina, Bea and Quinn. Unlike most other books told from several points of view, I didn't really favour one character in particular - I really enjoyed reading about all three characters. Alina is a part of the Resistance and is a very bold, strong character with lots of attitude. Bea is an auxiliary girl who is kindhearted and somewhat quiet, but who also has an attitude burning up inside her. Quinn is a Premium, a boy raised in a rich family with a powerful father. Our three main characters are all quite different, each have very distinct personalities and it is very interesting to discover how they see the world through such different eyes. I found it interesting how their views changed and developed as they interacted. Of course, there were other characters in the book, my favourites being Maude and Jazz. We are also introduced to the head of the Resistance, Petra who I don't know whether or not to love or hate, but she is such a fantastic character!
Overall, this was an enthralling read which I found very difficult to put down, but so easy to pick back up. I love the plot. I love the characters. I already liked Sarah Crossan before reading this book and now I've finished it, she's firmly landed a place as one of my favourite authors. I seriously can't wait for the next instalment of this story. For me, this is how a dystopian should be.