Monday, 8 October 2012

Breathe Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway

Hello everyone! I am so excited to tell you that the Breathe blog tour has stopped by my blog! You may have seen my review last month (if not, please click here) and saw how much I enjoyed it. I am so pleased to be able to offer you not only some exclusive content from the author Sarah Crossan, but an extract from the book and a giveaway too!

If you've read Sarah's first book, The Weight of Water, you will notice that Breathe is an entirely different idea and so we asked Sarah the following question:

What inspired you to write Breathe?

"I am surprised by society’s lack of concern about the environment and scared that the next generation will have a catastrophe on their hands. When I was on holiday in Washington State in America, I saw whole mountainsides of trees being logged. This led me to wonder what would happen if logging became so severe, it depleted the earth's oxygen supply. It was a terrifying idea because at around the same time, my mother was suffering from a serious bout of double pneumonia, and I saw first-hand how devastating it is to live without a plentiful supply of air. My mother's breathing became so laboured she was forced to use supplemental oxygen from a tank. A world in which everyone must use such a tank or die of suffocation was the worst possible world I could imagine and yet, when I researched it, I found that such a world is entirely plausible, if we don't stop violating the planet."

Sounds like a very interesting and quite scarily realistic idea for a book series, doesn't it?
If that hasn't already made you want to pick up the book, check out this extract (the whole first chapter!) which is bound to make you want to read on...


I squeeze Abel’s hand and he looks at me. ‘Now?’ he asks. He puts his other hand into his pocket.
‘No, no. Not yet,’ I whisper. Several cameras are trained right at us and there’s a steward only metres away. I pull Abel close and nuzzle his neck. We aren’t a couple but posing as one makes us less conspicuous.
‘Tell me when,’ Abel says.
We get to a cluster of silver birches and join the group gaz- ing up at them. The tour guide is giving a detailed explanation of what is required to keep the trees alive in here and the tour- ists, mostly Premiums, are eating it up. ‘It took twelve years for this particular breed to grow. Nowhere else on Earth will you find such a specimen.’ I resist rolling my eyes and even pull out my pad to take a picture so I seem like a real tourist.
An announcement comes over the loudspeaker, the voice firm: ‘The conservation area will close in five minutes. Please leave the biosphere. The conservation area will close in five min- utes. Please leave the biosphere.’
‘We’re too late,’ Abel says, letting go of my hand and heading for the exit. I throw my arms around his neck. In training he was so cocky; I could never have imagined fear setting in like this.
‘We can’t backpedal,’ I say. ‘We’ve been saving for months to pay the entrance fee. And we need those cuttings. We aren’t leaving without them.’ I glance around. Everyone is coming our way. Including the stewards. I kiss the tip of his nose. He pulls back.
‘Why can’t your aunt or uncle do this?’
‘I already explained it once,’ I snap. ‘They’re in agricul- ture and they don’t get permits for this part of the biosphere.’ The tour group shuffles by and heads for the gift shop. I grin at an older couple watching us and they return the smile, linking arms with each other as they move on.
‘If I get caught...’
‘We won’t get caught,’ I say, though I can’t know this for sure. All I know is that I’ve never been caught before, and Abel’s hesitation is only putting us at greater risk.
I lead him back to our planned spot, where only camera four can see us. ‘It’s to your right,’ I say. ‘Do not miss.’ He nods, rummages in his pocket and pulls out a fist, so I know he has the rock in his hand. I want to kiss him for real now, but there isn’t time, and anyway, he might not want a real kiss from me.
As the camera scans in the opposite direction, I elbow Abel, and he launches the rock into the air. I hold my breath. And I want to shut my eyes because I can see that the rock is going to miss. We’re going to get caught. And it won’t be jail time for us. We’ll simply go missing.
‘Shit,’ Abel says.
Instead of hitting the camera, the rock bounces against a tree then down on to the head of a tourist. I gasp. Stewards come running as he starts to howl.
‘I’ve been hit!’ the tourist shouts. ‘I’ve been shot.’
‘I have to get out of here,’ Abel says. ‘Now. You don’t understand.’
‘Do you have another one?’ I ask, grabbing his elbow so he won’t run. He nods and pulls another, larger rock from his pocket. He tries to hand it to me. ‘You have to throw it,’ I say. ‘Your aim is better than mine.’ The camera continues to pan the area. ‘Quickly!’
‘If I miss, this could kill someone.’
I look down at the rock in his hand. He’s right. It’s huge and jagged, and Abel is strong.
‘Then don’t miss,’ I say. The stewards are calling for a stretcher. If anyone turns our way and spots us off to the side like this, we’ll definitely be flagged. Abel has to throw it now, or we have to get out. ‘Do it!’
The rock spins through the air. It hits the camera, smash- ing the lens to pieces. Glass and plastic shower the pathway and more stewards appear. Abel glances at me, then runs for- ward to where the crowd is growing.
‘That could’ve killed someone!’ he shouts. ‘This place is a death trap!’
I take a deep breath and slip under the ropes. I sprint through the trees, crouching low, hopping over roots. Most auxiliaries can’t run like this; their hearts wouldn’t cope with the strain. But that’s why we spend our nights in alleyways chasing one another up and down, forcing our hearts to pound and breathing in unlicensed quantities of oxygen.
I pull out a hand-drawn map of the biosphere with an X marking the spot where the elm is growing. But even without the map, it wouldn’t be hard to find: its branches, like splen- did wings, are spread so wide it looks like it is ready to take flight.
My breath catches at its grandeur, but I have no time to stand and admire it. I open my rucksack, take out a rope and hurl it over the lowest, thickest branch. I grab a pair of clippers from the rucksack too, stick them into my pocket and climb. When I reach the lowest branch I let go of the rope and begin to scramble up the tree using the branches and knots as handles and footholds. I don’t think about failure. I think only of the cuttings and getting them to The Grove. I scuttle along a branch and snip, throwing the cuttings to the ground as I go.
I would like to stay here, have Abel join me and spend the afternoon breathing real air, nestled in the arms of this elm. Or his arms. Not that it’s allowed; No romance between members of the Resistance, Petra insists. It compli- cates things and compromises our decision-making. And she’s right. When I chose Abel for the mission, I didn’t care that he wasn’t really ready. I just wanted an excuse to train with him.
But I don’t have time to worry about that now. Soon the stewards will have swept up the camera pieces and injured tourist and everyone will be filing towards the exit. I hasten to the ground, gather up my equipment and the clippings, and race back, my heart hammering.
When I near the space in the trees where the yellow path- way reappears, I get down on to my knees and inch forward. No one notices me as I stand and saunter over to Abel. He turns his head, smiles and steps away from the fringes of the crowd.
We follow the last of the tourists through a revolving door into a dark tunnel separating the biosphere from the rest of the pod and the air changes; it no longer tastes real and green but plastic. And once we reach the end of the tunnel, we calmly walk away, careful not to go above three miles per hour in case a speed camera flashes us or a steward notices.
We are in Zone One, with its clean boulevards and mir- rored buildings. Every person we pass is pristinely dressed, with face masks strapped to their self-satisfied faces and con- nected to air tanks tied to their hips. They are all Premiums, of course, and when they see us, their gazes shift away. Ever so slightly.
We move steadily forward, and while there are no walls or electric fences, no barricades separating the different zones in the pod, when we enter Zone Two there can be no doubt we’ve left behind the elite. Here, closer to the centre of the dome, houses have turned into squat blocks of flats. Open boulevards are now narrow streets and the place is swarming, not with suits but with stewards, because this is where they live. We keep our heads down.
Before long we reach Zone Three. The blocks of flats, built to house one thousand people each, reach up towards the glass dome of the pod, and the roads are so dark it could be night: all the natural light is swallowed up by the concrete. We slip into a gloomy alleyway between two buildings.
They are poor substitutes for the grandeur of the elms and alders.
Abel rubs his hands together and dances on the spot with excitement. ‘We did it! Did you get everything you needed? Can I see? I’ll take care of everything if you like. Hand it over.’ He is back to his old self.
‘I got a heap of clippings. Silas won’t believe it. Petra will probably promote me!’
‘You were amazing!’ he says, and grabs my hips to draw me in towards him. He is smiling and so close the tips of our noses are practically touching. I push him away playfully, not ready to begin whatever it is a kiss would start.
‘Me? The way you threw that rock and distracted every- one. I’m glad Petra found you, Abel. You’re going to be very useful to us.’ I don’t know why I continue to make our rela- tionship all about the Resistance. I don’t know why I can’t tell him I’m glad he’s around whether we’re working together or not.
‘So are we going to deliver them to The Grove?’ he asks. ‘Yes. Will you come with us?’
Abel beams. ‘Of course I’m coming!’ We slink back into

the street and Abel throws his arm around my shoulder. My insides tumble.
‘Do you trust me?’ he asks. He tickles my neck with his fingers.
‘Cut it out, Abel!’ I say. ‘We’re comrades, not a couple.’ I want him to contest this and tell me he can’t live without me. He doesn’t. He just laughs. And I do not push his arm away.
But unlike him, I’m not laughing.

 Now, I bet you can't wait to get stuck into the whole book! It really is a fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable story. If you live in the UK or Ireland, Bloomsbury have kindly given you the chance to win one copy of Breathe. All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Thank you so much to both Sarah Crossan and Bloomsbury for taking the time to provide me with this exclusive content.


  1. This is amazing cant wait to read more !!!

  2. Yay! I can't wait! Thank you! :D

  3. As soon as I read about why sarah wrote the book, it made me want to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. I heard about this book before and I liked the idea of it!!
    Thanks for the post! I'll try to check it out even though dystopia isn't my thing usually.

  5. I'm so excited for this book - I've been really looking forward to it! I really do enjoy dystopian types far too much - thanks for the giveaway!

  6. The author's whole inspiration for this book is so real and scary. It can really happen some day! Can't wait to read this one, thanks for the giveaway! :)

  7. I definitely agree that it's scarily realistic. That's one of the things I appreciated so much about this book. :)

  8. I have heard such great things about this book. Can't wait till get my hands on this.

  9. Thanks for the giveaway! This one's on my list but I haven't gotten to it yet. It definitely has an interesting premise! :D

  10. Thank you for the giveaway! Can't wait to read this.

  11. thank you for the fab giveaway

  12. Thanks for the giveaway! This sounds like an interesting book.

  13. Thank you for giveaway, the extract had me gripped x

  14. Ooo would love to read more, very gripping!


  15. This book looks fab. Definitely next on my 'to read' list!


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