Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Title: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Acquired Via: Edelweiss

Breathe is a young adult dystopian novel by Sarah Cossan that is set in a future where oxygen, as well as the domes that saved humanity, are all owned by a corporation called Breathe. Trees are gone and the oceans have died, leaving an environment outside of the "pods" that only has oxygen levels of about six percent. The interactions and relationships between three teenagers in this bleak future are the focus of the novel: Alina, the rebel; Bea, the auxiliary; and Quinn, the Premium. Each chapter is based on one of their points of view.

The Writing of Breathe had a smooth flow to it, and I could have easily finished this novel in one sitting had I the time. Even though it was told from each of the main characters' points of view, it was never difficult to follow or understand. There were no confusing themes (conserve nature and social disparity are simple enough) or plot points, and it was basically a novel about three young people learning about themselves, each other, and the world in which they lived. There was a bit of a love triangle, but I hesitate to call it that because I never for a moment thought it would go a way other than what it did. The characters did not change too much over the course of the book, except that Bea became slightly annoying. (I loved her in the beginning.) Yes, their relationships changed, but I can't say that any of the three really grew in my opinion. So to wrap up the writing, Breathe did not have too much in the way of plot twists or character development, but it was still an enjoyable read. 3/5 Stars

Despite the fact that I felt a sense of déjà vu throughout most of the novel, the World-Weaving was solid. The idea of humanity surviving the apocalypse under a dome has been done many times before, but Crossan made this story her own. In Breathe, she created an Earth that has an atmospheric oxygen level of about six percent. The reason for this is presented in a way that is plausible enough, as well as the corporation who rose to meet the needs of humanity - Breathe. The way life in the pod/dome/whatever is structured based on wealth lends even more to the feasibility of this futuristic society. However, I could not help but keep thinking of Pure by Julianna Baggott the entire time I was reading it. They are not entirely the same premise-wise, but I just kept hoping that maybe Breathe would be as successful with the world outside of the dome. It did not fail, but I expected more of the novel. 3.5/5 Stars

I could sing glorious ballads about the Pacing of Breathe if I was a singer of glorious ballads. The story never dragged, and I zipped right through the novel. Sometimes journey novels are prone to hang-ups, but this one never did. Was it because of the alternating POV? Maybe, but I'm not complaining. I will happily thrust this into the hands of reluctant readers and people just starting to cross over into YA. 4.5/5 Stars

I won't deny that there was a lot of Extra Magic in Breathe. I was immediately sucked into the book and never lost interest in it, despite mentally comparing it to other books that I have read. Sure, there have been others that have been done better and some worse. (It also reminded me of Divergent by Veronica Roth, and I liked Breathe LOADS better!) All of the characters were enjoyable to read, and Bea was my favorite up until the climax of the story. Quinn is a believable love interest that I do not have to worry about beating his girlfriend, and Alina is a broken lady rebel who still manages to be relatable. (They just don't change much.) So what exactly is that Extra Magic? *shrugs* It doesn't matter. I just liked the book. 4/5 Stars

Pre-Order Your Copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond
Be sure to add Breathe to your TBR list on Goodreads!

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a digital copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The outcome of the review has not been affected by this. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.

This book counts toward my completion of the Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren.


  1. Not much in the way of twists or character development. Lame. Oh well. I'll read this some day, since I have an ARC of it.

    Also, glad that it was at least better than Divergent, though that's not an insanely high bar.

  2. Notice that I haven't reviewed Divergent yet? I literally have no words. I have notes, but no words. I have absolutely NO idea why the hell it got hyped up the way it did. *sigh*

    As for Breathe, I enjoyed it. I'm not sure why I enjoyed it, as snotty as I am, but I would probably even read it again. I'm even looking forward to the sequel. Hell, I think I may buy it. *twitches*

  3. Although this one didn't work for me, I could see it appealing to reluctant readers or those new to YA dystopians because it is actually a pretty quick, uncomplicated read.


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!