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Breathe My Name

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  1,291 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
"I need to see you. Please come right away.

We have to finish."

Frances Robinson is in high school now. She lives a quiet, suburban life, far from her horrifying past. When she was a child, her birthmother smothered her three sisters. Through pure luck, Frances survived. Now her mother has just been released from prison . . . and she wants to see Frances.

A new boy at school
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published November 8th 2007 by Razorbill
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Jul 15, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen-reality
Well... At first I was pretty into this book. It deals with a teen who was the only surviving sister of infanticide. Her mother suffocated her 3 younger sisters in a post partum, isolated, depressed situation. I think many aspects of how she may feel growing up, and why this could have possibly happened is interesting. I also feel like many of the characters were fairly well flushed out. So why the 2? Towards the end of the book the author throws in what i felt was a totally superfluous plot twi ...more
Rachel Brown
Sep 29, 2012 Rachel Brown rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated this YA novel, which has won a number of awards which it did not deserve. Hate. Hate. Hate. Let me tell you why!

It opens with a creepily evocative piece of writing from the point of view of a child, Shine, living with her three younger sisters and their psychotic mother, who thinks she's the queen of a fantasyland called Fireless.

Then it switches to the same child, now a teenager named Frances, who is living with her adoptive parents in Alabama. Her birth mother and sister
May 15, 2009 Rosanne rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2008 Celia rated it liked it
Shelves: youngadult
I picked this up off the YA shelves at the library because of the cover (I love the title written in condensation), and then because of the "my mother killed all my siblings except for me and she's now in a mental hospital" storyline. Because I find those news stories about mothers who kill their children horrifically fascinating.

Breathe My Name wasn't bad - when her mother's released from prison and leaves her a mysterious message, Frances and the new guy at her school, Nix, head off to find he
Jan 25, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carrie Walker
Jan 04, 2010 Carrie Walker rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 05, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Megan by: Heather Norman
R. A. Nelson’s work Breathe My Name is a sensible work of fiction that will tug at your heart and draw you in. Along with a recent work, Teach Me, he follows a girl in her troubles to overcome her past and move toward forgetting her mother. With every other chapter switching from Frances’ life when she was seven to the present with her as a junior in High School, it keeps you active in the story line. I enjoyed her protective parents and her childish innocence, or so she would seem.
As life se
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for

Frances Robinson's story has a lot in common with several news stories in recent years. Eleven years ago, her biological mother smothered her three younger sisters, and if it hadn't been for the arrival of a total stranger, Frances might have been next.

BREATHE MY NAME picks up when Frances is eighteen and a junior in high school. She lives with her loving adoptive parents in a nice home in a nice town. She is relatively happy, but
Quit on pg 101.

It's not terrible, per se, but I don't give a crap about any of the characters or the plot. The heroine grates on my nerves (whinging), the hero is a Gary Stu (yawn), & the adults are all portrayed as Not Getting It because...they're adults, I guess? Whatever. I hate that technique -- it's a cheap & dirty way for authors to make their heroes/heroines appear DEEP(tm) & knowledgeable about human interaction. Zzzzz. I feel like I've already seen this kind of plot on Law &
Apr 09, 2010 Eden rated it it was amazing
Frances is haunted by her past. When she was small she lived with her mother and small sisters whom she helped cared for. Her mother created a new, magical world that she raised her children around. Frances' father was always away and that's why what happened was such a miracle: Frances' mother took each one of her kids, one by one, up to her bedroom and smothered them. Frances was th elast one and only one to survive because someone walked in.

Now 18, she is adopted an still in school. She is sh
Apr 16, 2009 A.lam rated it really liked it
Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson is an intriguing tale that keeps you reading. Nelson develops character and theme with excruciating detail, creating a unique reading experience.His use of foreshadowing added an essential component of suspense in the already gripping tale. To appreciate the story, we have to realize that as much as it talks about extremities, it also is reflective of the haunting yet heart-warming details of life. Nelson adds in small, almost undetectable moments of human frailty ...more
Sep 02, 2011 Gorfo rated it liked it
Recommended to Gorfo by: summer
Breathe My Name didn't click for me. It has all the elements that generally interest a reader, a shy, messed up teenaged girl,and a beautiful teenage boy who by some trick of fate somehow fall into each other's lives and click, and of course the typical boisterous best friend. However, Frances is not the typical troubled teenager, her name isn't even Frances. But which name do you want to know? Do you want to know her real name? Francine Jelks. Or her secret name? Shine. When Frances was a littl ...more
Feb 23, 2012 Evelyn rated it it was ok
Readable but...I did not like it. The beginning was promising, but as soon as Nix was introduced things started to disintegrate. Thankfully the romance was connected to other things - fear, and trust - but Nix was not a believable character. I was half-expecting him to turn out to be bad news. The best friend irritated me as well. The main character, too. In fact, there were absolutely no characters I particularly liked. Anyway. As other reviewers have said, (view spoiler) ...more
Ricardo Lombera
Feb 25, 2014 Ricardo Lombera rated it it was amazing
R.A. Nelson's 'Breathe My Name' is about a sixteen-year-old girl named Frances who had to rebuild her life after her mother killed her sisters, Tan, Ninny, and Suddle at a small Tennessee town her mother called Fireless. When they lived in 'Fireless', her mother named her sisters and herself Fireless names. Until her mother's homicidal actions, they all lived in a peaceful, made-up world where everything had joy at every corner. After the death of her sisters, Frances, or Shine, was adopted and ...more
Lizzy Abhold
Dec 19, 2012 Lizzy Abhold rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book at first but after I started it, it was amazing. This is the story of a girl who seems to have a perfect life, but her past isn't as perfect as she seems. She has a terrible secret; one that she can never get away from. On her first day of school, she meets a boy named Nix that shows her she doesn't have to be scared of her past anymore. They go on a long journey that gives her the answers she's been looking for. This book has its secrets that definite ...more
Sep 10, 2007 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
A haunting portrayal of what it is to live with a truly terrible event. The main character's mother killed her sisters and tried to kill her when she was little. Suddenly, she hears that her mother is being released from the mental institute she was sentenced to.
In the midst of the main tragedy that takes place, the main character goes through a very real and convincing first teenage love that. While the beginning was solid, the end felt forced and confused. Something so terrible could never wra
Alethea A
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miss Bookiverse
Kurz und knapp
Eine sprachliche Hochzeitstorte, garniert mit einer schockierenden Kindheitsgeschichte und der spannenden Entschlüsselung eben dieser. Dazu eine angenehme, recht gewöhnliche Protagonistin und eine leise Prise Romantik. Wäre da bloß nicht dieses überspitzte Ende…

Lang und breit
Viele Jahre nach Teach Me folgt nun mein zweites Buch von R.A. Nelson. Womit der Autor mich sofort auf seiner Seite hatte, war wieder die wunderbare Sprache. R.A. Nelson kann das mit den Wörtern einfach. Er web
Kate Mckeever
Oct 01, 2012 Kate Mckeever rated it it was amazing
Breathe My Name
Breathe My Name was the first book I read this year. It was actually pretty good. It was kind of crazy though. It is about this girl, Frances, who is very small for a senior in High School. One day after her father drops her off at school, she notices a weird man in his car, staring very intently at her. She feels a little freaked out, but just walks inside and blows it off. This same day, she meets a boy. He’s a new kid. As the book goes on, her and this boy fall in love on thei
May 02, 2008 Holly rated it it was amazing
Breathe My Name is both an electric and terrifying story that you can’t help but devour in big, heaping gulps.

Frances Robinson is a quiet, mouse-like eighteen year old living in a beautiful house with a loving and devoted family. She has a great best friend and a charming (and completely cute) boyfriend named Nix who recently moved from Louisiana. Her life is the definition of a full and happy but Frances has a secret. A secret about her past; about her childhood, her three sisters and a mother
Sep 24, 2011 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frances hat die Vergangenheit so gut es geht hinter sich gelassen, doch dann drängt sich ihre leibliche Mutter, die Person die ihr schreckliches angetan hat, durch einen einfachen Brief, wieder in Frances Leben. Frances lässt der Brief nicht los und sie weiß, dass sie ihre Mutter aufsuchen muss um das Ganze zu beenden, doch ihre Adoptiveltern würden das nie erlauben. Deshalb beschließt Frances sich mit Nix auf die Suche nach ihrer Mutter und vor allem nach der Wahrheit zu begeben.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2007 Karin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult
Frances has been feeling anxious lately. The sound of an ambulance racing down the street causes her to panic. She has a secret that has been causing her more and more distress. Other than her family, only her quirky best friend Ann Mirette knows. The secret is creating a dark cloud over her seemingly perfect life. She has a loving adopted family, a wonderful house, and has just met a dreamy guy from Louisiana named Nix that grows more important to her everyday.

Eleven years ago Frances was know
Dec 17, 2015 Samantha rated it really liked it
Breath my name is a great read. The book leaves you hooked and interested with every chapter and page. Frances is a girl with a very complicated past and an unwell mother, that leaves you shocked and breathless. This book brings out a wide range of emotions, as she takes you through her life you can't help but; wonder, laugh, fear, worry, cry, and love. The story line really makes you think about the world we live in and how the mind is such a powerful force that can make you do the craziest thi ...more
Dec 18, 2008 Lauren rated it really liked it
Before reading Breathe My Name, I had seen a couple of stories on TV or in newspapers where the mother or father had killed their children after facing a big form of depression, but I had never really given it much thought to what it must be like to be the child left behind, the one who was saved. So, when I began this I didn't really know what to except from Frances. I wondered if she would have an all around pity party for herself constantly, pretend it didn't happen, or just deal with the con ...more
Nov 24, 2011 Christie rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Fireless is the country where we live. Every day Momma teaches us something new about it.

Frances is 18 and something of a loner. She lives with her parents and two younger brothers in small-town Alabama. It isn’t until the new boy, John Mullinix or Nix, arrives at her school that Frances’ life cracks open. Frances has been living in the shadow of a traumatic event – an event so horrible that she never talks about it and has, in many ways, surpressed its horror.

Frances’ best friend Ann Mirette in
Feb 08, 2017 Cholaraje rated it it was ok
Breathe My Name reminds me of those creepy documentaries I used to spend my earlier childhood watching on and on and on. Death, confusion, ensuing mysteries.

So when I read the back cover, I was immediately intrigued. Eleven years prior to the present days of the story, Francine Jelks lived a reasonably content life with her four sisters and her mother, Afton Jelks, the woman responsible for my generous 2 stars. Afton was slowly growing insane with a mental condition that had been around for qui
May 15, 2008 Allison rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teenagers and Yung Adults
Breathe My Name a Novel by R.A Nelson.
Realistic Fiction.

Frances Robinson is the main character. She is in high school and just like every other teenager, excited to graduate. She is very small, and has a great family.
Frances Robinson was your average teenage girl. Well at least, that's how she seemed to be.

When Frances was younger her birth mother killed her three younger siblings. She, however, managed to escape. She is now living a great life with a great new family.

She meets this boy at scho
I loved the whole " my mom tried to kill me and now she expects me to visit her in a mental hospital" thing. I was surprised Frances actually did go visit her mom. I wouldn't willingly go near anyone who could kill her three kids without caring. Though, I suppose she was looking for closure and there wouldn't have been anything to write about if Frances hadn't. (Rolls eyes)

Frances is an 18 year old junior in high school who is 4 foot 11. Her mom killed her sisters and went to prison. Fra
MaryAnn Harlan
Jul 23, 2008 MaryAnn Harlan rated it liked it
I don’t often read for plot. I enjoy a good story but if the voice of the characters doesn’t catch me, or doesn’t sound authentic I don’t usually keep reading. And Breathe My Name is a pretty good example of why that is. Frances has a secret, a secret name and a secret past and it is all about to catch up with her. Sounds pretty good right? It was - I enjoyed the story, the journey she takes. Except. Except at times the dialog rang false, even her internal dialogue and it would jar me into think ...more
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R.A. Nelson's work was selected as a finalist for National Public Radio's list of the "Best Young Adult Fiction Ever Written." He was chosen a Horn Book Newcomer and his books have been nominated to the YALSA Best Books for Young Adults list and recognized by the Parents' Choice Awards, the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list, Booksense Kid Picks, the Miami Herald Best Books of the ...more
More about R.A. Nelson...

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“I'd make oatmeal cookies."
"I would. That's just what I would do."
He lifts one hand from the steering wheel and pinches his chin. "Because the world is changing so fast all the time. There's nothing you can do but just say, 'cool,' and roll with it. But some things can stay the same. Flour is still flour. Vanilla still smells like vanilla. Say a giant fireball is motoring toward us right now from Alha Centauri. Okay, universe. You expect us to run and scream and kill one another? Sorry, we're making oatmeal freaking cookies.”
“Life is a war, and the families are the armies. Even if you win the war, some will never see you plant the flag.” 7 likes
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