Breathe (Breathe, #1)
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Breathe (Breathe #1)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  9,514 ratings  ·  1,298 reviews
The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can't? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan's gripping and original dystopian teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope that will appeal to fans of Patrick Ness and Veronica Roth.

National Book Award F...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 373 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Greenwillow
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City of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareThe Selection by Kiera CassFinale by Becca FitzpatrickRapture by Lauren KateFlutter by Melissa Andrea
Best YA Covers for 2012
30th out of 467 books — 1,543 voters
Finale by Becca FitzpatrickThe Lost Prince by Julie KagawaThe Mark of Athena by Rick RiordanThe Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle HodkinBreathe by Sarah Crossan
October 2012
5th out of 79 books — 281 voters

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Community Reviews

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3.5 stars

“Oxygen is essential for most living things. For 2.5 billion years, it was the most abundant chemical element on Earth. Until the Switch.”

In Sarah Crossan’s latest novel, breathing freely and comfortably is easier said than done. Here, oxygen is hard to come by. Set in a futuristic and plant-deprived world, the characters in Breathe have no choice but to remain within the protection of the Pod, where the air is breathable and clean. Oxygen tanks can be purchased by the wealthiest of Po...more
I'm normally a HUGE fan of just about any dystopian, and I was really looking forward to this one, but it ended up really disappointing me because 1) the plot did not stand out, 2) I could not stand the characters and 3) too many inconsistencies.

First of all, this book followed your typical dystopian plot - oppressive government, rebels who know the truth, duped citizens who finds out the truth and decide to do something about it, all hell breaks loose, etc. And I can't put my finger on it, but...more
Check out more of my reviews at ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***!

Breathe do I give it justice? It was amazing. It was epic. It was one of my favorite books this year. After hearing some mixed things—it seems like everybody either loves this novel or hates it—I was a little reluctant to start it. But, soon, I fell in love with this book and I could NOT put it down. When I first found out I won this my immediate reaction was:

And then I was to Sarah Crossan:

Then I found out we li...more
I’ll be blunt, shall I? I’ve read cereal boxes that were more exciting than this book.

I might have been able to chalk this up to just another case of Insta!Dystopia and moved on, but my disappointment is compounded by the fact that I’ve read Crossan’s The Weight of Water, and it’s really good. So I expected more from Breathe. And it did not deliver.

Something called The Shift has caused oxygen levels to plunge and as there are no trees, the drastically reduced population live inside a Pod city....more
3.5 stars

Gritty dystopians have really been hitting the spot as of late. Breathe I’m happy to say is a book which managed to tick a lot of my boxes in providing a masterfully woven novel which kept me on the edge of my seat when several books have failed. There are only a distinct number of dystopians which I would categorise as utterly mind-blowing and I’m pleased to say Breathe is one of those books.

With the number of dystopians coming through these days, I’ve become increasingly picky over wh...more
After I finished this book, I started thinking about how sometimes writers, who are known for a particular genre, suddenly decide to write something different and how odd it is. I guess there are obvious genres a writer can go into. Fantasy authors are comfortable writing sci-fi. Horror authors can write paranormal books.
But verse novels to dystopia? I was sceptical, to say the least.

This book was… alright. I’ve read a lot of dystopian books and I’m beginning to feel a bit disillusioned. I think...more
It really pains me to say that I found Sarah Crossan's "Breathe" a significant disappointment in the line of YA dystopia fiction despite an interesting offering on a scientific concept - what if oxygen were in rare supply in the overarching world? What would happen to the people who couldn't afford to have it, since trees are said to have become extinct and only the wealthy, who control the production of the oxygen, can afford to "buy" their sustenance? It sounds like an interesting concept righ...more
Apr 26, 2012 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
I read this one, and it isn't half bad ;)
Imagine a world where oxygen is lacking. Instead of the usual amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, the levels of oxygen plummet, resulting in the need for breathing masks and cumbersome oxygen tanks. This is the world of Breathe, a novel by Sarah Crossan.

Sometime in the not so distant future, an event called The Switch caused oxygen levels to decrease. Mankind found a short term solution care of a company called Breathe. People moved to large glass pods and breathed air manufactured by Breathe.

curious little beastie
Mar 08, 2013 curious little beastie marked it as to-read
Shelves: covergasm
I love this cover but the only thing that bugs me is the font for the author's name.


Or it looks like it, at least. ._. Do you guys see it?

Update: Okay, I own the hardcover, and upon further inspection I saw that it wasn't Comic Sans. But damn if it doesn't look a lot like it. And why that color? x_x
This review is for an advanced reader's copy.

I will start by saying that I picked up this book as I was about to go to sleep thinking I would read the first couple of chapters to see how I liked it. I ended up reading all of part one and then forcing myself to go to sleep because I had already stayed up way later than I should have.

Breathe is definitely readable and Crossan has done a great job creating an endearing setting as well as three main characters that you can't help but invest yourself...more
Jennifer at BookShelfery
BREATHE left me breathless. Sarah Crossan has created a world so profound and scary, I hope to never see something like this happen. But even scarier…it could.
They say that humanity is the largest and longest plague Earth has ever experienced, and there is no better illustration of that than Crossan’s new dystopian novel, BREATHE. In it, humanity has been nearly decimated of its own hand, by logging all the forests, causing oxygen levels to plummet. The lucky few chosen by lottery – or sheer imp...more
Find this review at Scott Reads It

**Thank you to Greenwillow Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review**

Breathe had a lot of promise in my opinion but it really disappointed me. Imagine a world where people live inside a dome and outside is pretty much ruins (Under The Never Sky) then imagine that inside the dome people need oxygen masks to survive (Masque of the Red Death). Breathe takes in place in a dome ruled by a government called Breathe.

This book is told from...more
Breathe is an incredibly ironic title. Throughout this entire book, I couldn’t breathe! It was incredibly depressing and touching, reading Breathe! I’m starting to feel like all the dystopians this year are going to have the same effect on me: stunned, on the edge of tears, and knowing it’s an amazing book. 2012 really does have some of the best books ever. And especially Breathe. I had no idea what to expect! I knew Breathe would be original. I mean, an air shortage? Having to buy oxygen? It ju...more
Apr 09, 2012 MonsterReader marked it as books-that-i-need-to-read
Recommended to MonsterReader by: Goodreads
The world is dead, and three kids must travel a vast deadly place?

Count me in.

yes gif tumblr Pictures, Images and Photos
If I saw Breathe displayed in a bookshop, I'd pick it up. If I read the synopsis, I'd trot right over the cashier, hand over my hard-earned cash, go home and start reading straight away. It looks good, it sounds good, so it MUST be good.

However, I struggled to enjoy Breathe. I'm not adverse to multiple POV stories, however the flashes between Alina, Quinn and Bea were so fast that I struggled to keep up with exactly who was narrating and when, although it was also essential to the story to show...more
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
I didn’t finish this book.
I didn’t get past 80%.
I will review it though.

If you don’t want to read a DNF review. Click the back button. Close the browser. I don’t care. If you do want to read this, continue down the review.


I didn’t like Breathe. When you read DNF, you probably assumed I hated it. I did not hate it. I simply got bored with it. I didn’t care about what happened to the characters or the fictional world. Truthfully, I lost track of the story at 55 – 60% in. I really hate when that...more
Lindsay Cummings
so far...this book is rocking my face off!
Breathe conjured up a lot of unexpected emotions, a lot of realizations and a fuck load of thought provoking questions.

The reason why Breathe made me emotional at times is definitely not because of the characters - I'll get to that later - but of the world that the book was set in. The author had a look at the world today, saw that global warming is a huge problem that isn't really being solved, took the idea and ran with it.

Books like this - especially this one - make me irrationally paranoid a...more
In a world with no trees, no air, no truth... There is no choice but to fight back.

Breathe by Sara Crossan is a dystopia describing life in a new society that has arisen following the collapse of the one that we know. And it's the first in a trilogy, thus the story is a long way from being resolved by the end of this volume. It runs for three hundred and seventy one pages. And is divided into five parts [four long and one very short] and fifty seven chapters.

So far so familiar.

So what does Breat...more
Julianna Helms
Okay, if this ends up being a bestseller, I am going to be BUMMED.


Sue Moro
In Breathe, Sarah Crossan has created a dystopian book, set sometime in the future, where the world has been devastated by overpopulation. In order to feed the masses, the forests around the world have been logged to make way for crop growing. This massive deforestation takes a terrible toll on the planet’s oxygen levels. The Breathe corporation steps in with a solution that will save humanity, but ultimately steal their freedom, for the government now literally controls the air they breathe!

2.75 stars

A BIG "Thanks" to Jenn from the YA Sisterhood for loaning me her copy, she ROCKS!

OK, so, this is one of those books that I was really, really excited to read but ended up struggling to finish. The concept is interesting, the story well written, and the characters; while engaging, were also annoying a lot of the time.

Bea and Quinn have been BFF's forever and of course, she's in love with him and he's as clueless as ever. (silly book boy) Air is the hot commodity that is controlled by t...more
Annabelle Marie Veronica
*****FINAL RATING: 4.80 STARS*****

I absolutely adored this book. It is seriously one of my favorite reads of 2012. It is without a doubt completely unlike anything I've ever read. Not your formulaic dystopian, Breathe has some serious action balanced by some killer romance! The characters were incredibly likable and the plot and the writing made me absolutely fall in love. Everything about it was original and fresh, and I loved some of the brilliant ideas involved. One of my favorite ev...more
Člověk mi řekl "další dystopie". Přiznám se, že i já jsem ke knížce takhle přistupovala. O to víc mě překvapila.
Dech je příběh o tom, co by se stalo, kdyby došel kyslík - nebo spíš kdyby nastal nedostatek kyslíku. Je město, obehnané kapsulí a tam kyslík je. Ovšem kdo není premiér, ten se nemá zas tak moc dobře. Kolem města a kapsule je pustina .... a co v ní?
Páni, scény z pustiny, z okolí kapsule mě fakt bavily! A protože se tam odehrává v podstatě skoro celá knížka, bylo to super. Knížka je psa...more
Apr 23, 2012 Mel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: cl, own, home
Wow...I'm stunned. This is an amazing story and I'm so excited that there will be a sequel. I'm really only bummed that I have to wait a year or so until it's out. :)

I wrote a proper review on my blog at
With the destruction of earth's trees, the oxygen levels of the world have dropped. People now live in pods, where oxygen is pumped around and distributed by class. People pay an oxygen tax, so therefore the rich can have more, are healthier, can partake in more strenuous tasks, and have more children.

After the oxygen levels dropped and the "important" people were given their places in the pod, the rest was decided by state lottery. Those who didn't gain a place, slowly suffocated and died on t...more
Giselle at BO-OK NERD Canada
Global warming has devastated the entire planet, and oxygen levels are at an all time low. The survivors have found a way to live in domed cities which are erected around the planet by the corporation Breathe. They control the oxygen consumption of everyone in the city. Lower class citizens must pay for their oxygen, while wealthier classes have an unlimited supply. Quinn, the handsome, wealthy Premium whose father works for the Breathe corporation. Bea, who is an auxiliary, and also Quinn's bes...more
Breathing: Something you do every minute of every day without thinking. That is until "The Switch".

The Earth's atmosphere has been damaged by deforestation and overpopulation, depleting most of the oxygen levels. The government came up with a solution. With the help of the Breathe corporation they created these Pod's where the air is breathable and clean, but at what cost? Oxygen tanks become a sign of the wealthy. The less fortunate can't afford the exorbitant prices and have to learn to contr...more
Loved the concept of this book, a world where there is hardly any oxygen left because we destroyed the trees and atmosphere. Not too far of what could happen, that's what drew me to this book.
I thought the storyline and the world that was built was really good, sarah crossan thought about every detail in this world ( air taxing, people living in a dome). We also have a class divide in this book too between the premiums and auxiliaries, thought that was a nice touch too felt...more
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YA Book Gang!!: Breathe by Sarah Crossan - 7th August 38 22 Aug 18, 2014 12:27PM  
Crazy for Young A...: Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan → Start Date: December 21, 2013 33 39 Dec 27, 2013 08:39PM  
Bea or Alina 7 41 Dec 18, 2013 07:08PM  
Teen Critic: Breathe by Sarah Crossan----->Start Date November 25th 2 7 Nov 11, 2013 03:14PM  
David Estes Fans ...: Breathe 6 72 Oct 13, 2013 08:41PM  
The Ending! 1 20 Oct 08, 2013 04:50PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan - Starting September 15th 2013 40 20 Sep 15, 2013 12:38PM  
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Sarah Crossan is Irish. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Literature before training as an English and Drama teacher at Cambridge University and worked to promote creative writing in schools before leaving teaching to write full time.

She completed her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Warwick in 2003 and in 2010 received an Edward Albee Fellowship for writing.

She curren...more
More about Sarah Crossan...
Resist (Breathe, #2) The Weight of Water Apple and Rain Epic Firsts Teen Sampler

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“I allow myself to be right here, in the moment, savouring the peace. All the millions and millions of stars remind me, too, how small and fragile I am. And unimportant, really. If this branch were to creak and moan and break under my weight, and I were to plummet to the ground, the stars in the sky would continue to decorate the world. And even if the last tree disappears from our planet, the stars will still be up there.” 38 likes
“Authenticity!' Petra declares. 'We do not want it to look staged, do we? Anyway, they should count themselves lucky. Levi offered to break a couple of arms.'
'A couple of legs,' Levi corrects, Roxanne titters, though i have no idea why this is funny.
'So i'd say a punch and a scratch from a nine-year-old was getting off lightly,' Petra says.”
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