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Reason to Breathe (Breathing, #1)
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Reason to Breathe (Breathing #1)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  64,480 ratings  ·  4,673 reviews
No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?

He knows there’s something more to the girl sitting in the back of the class the moment he sees her. She’s beautiful, intelligent, and athletic – but she slips quietly through t
Nook, 374 pages
Published May 9th 2011 by Rebecca Donovan on Smashwords (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

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I had problems getting through this book and not because of the subject matter. I really couldn't get behind Emma. This waffling and the whole oh no I can't say anything, yada yada yada bullshit. It just drove me up the wall. Friends that know and don't do anything because Godforbid that a 6 yr old and a 4 yr old aren't living with a psychotic woman.




Let me say that again. In this MC's opinion it was a -good- thing that a 6 yr old and a 4 yr old were living with a woman that liked to
Jenny - TotallybookedBlog
First off...this should be 4.5 stars!
I started reading this book and literally could not put it down - I HAD to know how it ended, so I was up until 4am devouring every moment. It was a long book and I've read a couple of the deleted scenes and really wouldn't have minded if it was even longer.
We had a chance to really get to know the characters - minor and major characters - they all worked so well together.
There was a plot about 3/4 in the book that frustrated me (not sure if anyone else felt
"That's All" Ash

Seven Disney movies later…


I’m slightly more of an alcoholic today than I was two days ago.

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Well played, Rebecca Donovan… well played.

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-- The story --

So beautiful and very subtly powerful, “Reason to Breathe” is about Emma, a high school girl with a home life that would make Vernon and Petunia Dursley (Harry Potter’s aunt and uncle) seem warm and fuzzy. This isn’t the kind of story that gives you butterflies, guys… this is a story that’s going to make your n
I have a hard time understanding why people enjoyed this book. The quality of the writing was very poor. It got a bit better later on, but especially in the sample and the first few chapters of the book, it was just really juvenile and seemed like it had never been edited. I have read so many non-published stories that were of much higher quality and it was a bit of a struggle to connect fully with the characters and what was happening because the writing style itself was so distracting.

Aside fr
Aestas Book Blog

4.5 stars

This is the story of a girl holding on to a fragile thread of hope and a love that that brought a ray of light into her world of unspeakable cruelty. It was heart wrenching, gripping and I absolutely could not put it down!

I'd been waiting to read this book for what felt like forever. This was actually one of the first series I heard about when I first started reading contemporary romance. Everyone kept telling me how amazing they were and I had a feeling I'd love them but I also knew
Oh!My!God....I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE that bitch Carol.I swear I felt like killing her throughout the novel.

And George...Lord I have rarely seen such a weak,lily-livered person.A swift kick would have done the job.

This is what I really want to say to Em's so called MOM---

You are a grade-A b**ch

And EVAN (though he did some really stupid things) was just perfect for Emily.I loved Sara,that is how best friends are supposed to be.I also admired Emily's spirit of survival.


I really didn’t like this book, and I wish I hadn’t bought it. The premise itself I had no problem with – a girl struggling with abuse and falling in love – but everyone was so one-dimensional!

The main character (I don’t even remember her name, she was that uninteresting) was forced to live with her aunt and uncle because her dad had died and her mom was unable to care for her. The entire book focuses on her waffling around about 1-whether or not she should pursue the love interest and 2
Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog
4.75 Stars

I am one hot mess right now. One. Hot. Freaking. Mess. I seriously felt like I took a punch in the gut. I was so emotionally absorbed in this story; I barely had enough time to catch my breath when it just abruptly ended. WTF just happened?

I’m not a huge fan of any story that doesn’t have a HEA. I knew going into this, that this was not going to end well, but I decided to pick it up anyway. However, I did purposely wait for Barely Breathing (Book #2) to come out before reading this. Th
This book sat in my recommendations for a long time, so I was looking forward to starting it. Unfortunately, I couldn't get more than 10% through without giving up.

Emma, the main character, is obviously in a very abusive situation at home with her aunt. I don't have Emma's experience exactly, and I would never assume anything about anyone else, but I can't imagine letting an aunt that didn't raise me and I don't care about beat on me for no reason over and over again and just taking it, as a 17
Alexis *RealityBites! Let's Get Lost!*
QUICK REVIEW -Spoiler Free
Genre: YA- Romance

- 'In the balance of Love and loss, it was love that made me struggle to... Breathe.
-Book Quote

I am really at a loss for words with this book.... I found myself breathless at certain points in this book finding my own feelings jumbled in a mass of pain held in my chest.
Reason to Breathe is about a young girl named Emily(Emma). She is a good student at Weslyn High earning straight A's,she is the editor for the Weslyn school paper and plays socc
✝✝ Ⓓaisy ❣ Lucas, Jesse, James,Jethro and Daniel ✝✝

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This book was emotionally draining me. There was moments I wanted to throw my Kindle away, smiled, cried and I am lost for words.

Emma Thomas is a girl who is broken and struggling from evil heartless aunt, she wants to invisible and her only mate is Sara. She tops in her studies and sports.

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Evan Matthews comes along and she sees her thru! I love him so much and he is so close to my heart! He is so caring and adorable. I was so touched by his actions ;)

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Finally, when he kissed her, I wa
5 'Heartbreaking' Stars

What an amazing book.

Emma's father died and her mother is an alcoholic who abandoned her so she has to live with her uncle, aunt, and two cousins. Her auntie(I'm not even sure i should call her that)is a devil . She's really abusive and she hates Emma, she made that pretty clear when she hits her with anything that's within reach.

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In school Emma wants nothing but to be invisible. She is. They don't notice her and she doesn't want to be noticed. She walks in a haze. She ju
"No one tried to get involved with me" was a total exaggeration in this book's synopsis, considering Emma had a best friend who was always looking out for her.
Nevertheless, even with the tragic abuse theme in the story, I found Reason to Breathe completely ridiculous and a bit unrealistic.

Here you have a girl who is 'invisible' and wants to blend in, and perhaps I'm turning her into a stereotype but she's too "well-rounded" for an abusee. 4.0 GPA, editor in the school paper who plays three var
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heart-breaking story of a girl hiding the terrible secret of her abusive homelife, and the boy who tries to unearth the mystery of who she really is. She has her reasons for letting no one know the complete truth - not even her best friend or the boy she's falling for, but her secrets are increasingly more dangerous to keep.
Akanksha❤ Søren♰
Review has a few spoilers.. So please read it only after you've read this book.

I can't thank the author enough for not going into details with THOSE scenes, Seriously, if she had.. I would have lost my temper and broken my laptop.
The book was AMAZING.. Like seriously crazy and mind boggling but amazing.

This book stirred so many emotions with me.. anger, hatred, the 'I want to kill you, you fucking bitch' feeling. It make me sad, made me swoon, made me love, made me blush.

Kellie is a bookwhoreasaurus


What a heart wrenching, extremely emotional, beautifully written novel.

Emma Thomas is the star scholar.
The newspaper editor.
The soccor star.
The basketball star.
The track star.
Basically anything to do with school star.
She is best friends with the most wanted girl in school Sara.
Sara is her only friend.
No-one tries to talk to Em, they all think A- She is wayyyyy to into school B- She's stuck up.
She tries to be as invisible as can be.

What they don't know is that she is this way so t
LOVED This book. I laughed, cried, screamed, felt my heart pound I had so many emotions reading this story. I am so happy to hear that there will be a sequel. Emma's story is heartbreaking to say the least but with her friendship to Sara and her relationship with Evan you get so much hope for her. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat.
Elizabeth (Liz)
This book gave me a continuous stomach ache and incredible anxiety for the entire length of time it took me to read it. If there isn't a sequel SOON.........the author is getting the bill for my therapy sessions. God. Almighty. Someone hold me.............
Some days Emma is thrilled to be alive. Some days she struggles to find a reason to breathe.

Emma Thomas is every parent’s dream. She’s an excellent student. She does her chores without complaint and helps with the younger kids at home. She’s a star athlete and a talented artist. Her best friend, Sara, is one of the most popular girls in school. So why then does she live her life in a perpetual state of fear? Emma has a dark secret about which no one, not even Sara, knows the truth. Emma is not l
I am not sure where to start with this book, it is about abuse/violence.... living and coping with it, choices she makes to stay quiet....and at times it brought tears to my eyes, I gave it 5 stars which I actually did struggle with abit. I was going to rate it lower because of the ending but all I can do is pray there is a sequel. (I did just read there is one coming soon).

Rebecca Donovan writes this story and your emotions are right there when reading Emma's story.

I would say my struggle with
oh my God , im in deep shock , my body is numb and i can put the rights words cuz id ont know what happened , i am confused and flustered more than ever , how could what i think happened possibly happened ? this book was touching to the very buttom of my heart , directing many life lessons that im still trying to put my finger on , it's about living the moment and working hard , it's about learning how to be your best when all odds are agianst you ,it's a life lesson that u dont get to read many ...more
I had a really hard time with this one and debated not finishing the book.I did push through it and read the book - I did skim through a lot in the middle of the book. There are a variety of reasons that I had a hard time with this book. I can not say I was the biggest fan of Emma - or Evan for that matter. Yes, I hated what Emma's aunt did to her. Yes, I did sympathize to a certain degree. However, so many things did not make sense to me. The fact that Sarah or Evan - or frankly, everyone that ...more
Ash Wednesday
The fact that I read this in three days is testament to all the hair pulling and groans of 'oh come on'-s.

Half the time, I felt like I was being manipulated to feel Something (sad? angst? empathy?) Which is technically, the job of any author. The thing is, I can't feel for Emma/Emily because I'm too busy not liking her (she calls her best friend 'stupid'. Who does that?! My best friend would've smacked me seven ways to Sunday) So instead of rooting for her I was rooting for.... The art teacher.
Sharon ✽ is an emotional book junkie ✽
Emma's Father passed away several years ago and it took quite a toll on her Mother and she wasn't able to care for Emma. So Emma's Aunt and Uncle took her in. The only problem? Her Aunt is not happy about it At. All. So far Emma's low profile has worked for her but now Evan's come into the picture and changed things.


This is really a two part book...the first is about abuse. If that bothers you at all, don't read this book. It's pretty intense. I think the author did a good job at ca
Oh, my god, I am in complete shock right now. My brain is just fried, my heart is in pieces, and my stomach is completely tied up in a million knots!!!! Good lord, this book has put me through hell and back and I'm shaking and tearing up right now I'm so upset!! Rebecca Donovan has absolutely wrecked me with this gut-wrenching, terrifying, horrific story, and I really needed to gather my thoughts before I could wrap my brain around a review.

I went into this book thinking the heroine was going to
Beautiful, lovely, heart warming, heart wrenching. I hated that she stood by, but understood to a point why she did it. I loved Sara and Evan. I was really sad at the end till I reread the epilogue then I understood and was in a better mood but it still really affected me. I'm glad there is a sequel as long as I understood what happened at the end of RtB. It was a great story. I loved that there was also a normal sense of romance between Evan and Emma. Loved what happened and loved their love an ...more

Re-read from 4th-9th November, 2014


4/5 STARS.

Reason to breath is about a 16 year old girl called Emma Thomas, who always kept everything to herself. She lives in a town where people worry more about their appearances and who to be seen with than there own life's. Emma has a tragic secret that only one person knows about - Sara ( her best and only friend). Then one day she suddenly meets a gorgeous looking boy at school, Evan Mathews, wh
Wow.. Just wow.. I am in tears and I am speechless.

Video Review:

This is a very inspiring story about a girl dealing with abuse and how love helps her to keep breathing!
Very beautiful writing and characters. The abuse was very upsetting and aggravating, but really evoked all the feels!
I have one word that summarizes what this book was for me: Intense. I am so glad that I waited for all of the series to be written before I read it as there is a HUGE cliffhanger at the end of this. I would not have been very happy if I would have had to wait for months to find out what happened. This story was heartbreaking at times, and then at other times it was heartwarming. It showed me how the power of love can deliver the strength an individual needs to endure such wicked torment, that mo ...more
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The Breathing Series: Ideal Reason to Breathe Movie Cast 43 578 Apr 17, 2015 06:33AM  
General Thoughts 24 238 Jan 07, 2015 01:15AM  
Contemporary YA: Reason to Breathe 1 13 Dec 01, 2014 08:54AM  
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Optimism seeps from every pore of my body. I truly believe that what's supposed to happen... will! In that regard, I don't know how to give up; it's not part of my biological make up.

I'm a passionate (and some would say, overly enthusiastic) person. I learn by doing (and have been burned more times that I'd like to admit), but I will always throw my entire self into whatever I do - fail or succeed
More about Rebecca Donovan...

Other Books in the Series

Breathing (3 books)
  • Barely Breathing (Breathing, #2)
  • Out of Breath (Breathing, #3)
Barely Breathing (Breathing, #2) Out of Breath (Breathing, #3) What If The Breathing Series (Breathing, #1-2) Igniting Lies (Burning, #1)

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“I love that picture, he admitted softly. I think it's because I love the girl in that picture.” 497 likes
“Love helped me live life instead of just survive it.” 363 likes
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