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Breathe (Breathe #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,446 Ratings  ·  1,601 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
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Greenwillow Books
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Popular Answered Questions

Kai Watts What does this mean? Does it mean that the book is so good, you can't form a coherent thought? Beacuse if it does, I'm all in!!
Deniz It is not. Under the Never Sky is different, but I LOVED that series! I cant think of a series that Is like Breathe, but I totally recommend it!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 20, 2012 Katy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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, bu
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.
Aug 19, 2012 Eileen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2012 Jo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, for-review, own, 2012
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
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
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
Apr 26, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I read this one, and it isn't half bad ;)
Jessy MelodyofBooks
Ab morgen, 10.06.15 um 15 Uhr, findet ihr hier meine Rezension:
Neil (or bleed)
"I’m nervous, but I’m not scared."

I think Breathe is timely and relevant.
I think it is an eye opener to what will happen when trees and plants will vanish in this cruel world or when people, us, abused our natural resources; and when there is no unity but greed among us.
And I think this book is a carrier of hope and faith, too.

Breathe gave me a typical dystopian world of a ruling government controlling the people through a promised hope. And of course, there is the resistance, advanced techno
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.

Apr 09, 2012 Guadalupe marked it as books-that-i-need-to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Guadalupe 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
Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
'Breathe' has quickly become my favourite dystopian EVER. It follows all the conventions of a good dystopian, but the characters don't make stupid decision, the dynamic between the three main characters is really interesting, and the secondary characters were all so, well, cool!
I couldn't pick a favourite perspective out of Bea, Alina and Quinn and that's usually a very good sign! I would recommend to anyone that loves 'Under the Never Sky'.
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
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
A finished unsolicited copy was provided by the publisher for review.

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 th
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
Nikki (Fiction Freak)
Oct 27, 2012 Nikki (Fiction Freak) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Bee (Heart Full of Books)
I didn't expect to like this one as much as I did! The romance between Quinn and Bea =
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
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
Lindsay Cummings
so far...this book is rocking my face off!
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
Jun 10, 2013 Emilija rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
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
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
Ik heb enorm genoten van het herlezen van Breathe. De geschetste toekomstvisie is interessant en de diversiteit aan personages zorgt dat je een duidelijk beeld krijgt van het dagelijks leven in the Pod. Ik moet echter wel zeggen dat ik graag iets meer details had gelezen over het ontstaan van deze levenswijze en de romantiek had van mij een beetje minder gemogen. Toch zou ik dit originele en goedgeschreven verhaal zeker aanraden!

Mijn complete recensie lees je op Oog op de Toekomst.
Arielle Walker
The idea isn't too bad, the concept was kid of pulled off but the fact remains that for me, reading yet another YA dystopia told in first-person present-tense was a little grating and - dare I say it - boring. I've heard good things about this author but found the writing style bland, and the character voices hard to distinguish between. I literally had to double check each chapter so I was sure who's "voice" was being used. Still, I think for a quick read I'm interested enough to pick up th
Mel Barnes
Apr 23, 2012 Mel Barnes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, cl
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
Julianna Helms
Okay, if this ends up being a bestseller, I am going to be BUMMED.


Apr 30, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2016 Merb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-books-only
~This will be a review of both books in this duology~

These two young adult dystopian novels are set in a time when the Earth no longer has any air left. People must live inside glass domes with artificial air in order to survive, with the lower classes having drastic air restrictions. The story follows three teenagers, Alina, Bea and Quinn, who all want to eradicate the inequality of their society and find out whether there are other means of human survival.

I am writing this review after readin
Aug 06, 2012 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-s, alt-pov
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
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Crazy for Young A...: Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan → Start Date: November 5th 2015 4 11 Sep 16, 2015 06:06PM  
Clean Reads: "Breathe"....for a book club? 11 32 Jan 25, 2015 11:23AM  
Book Club : Chapter 1 3 4 Nov 14, 2014 08:43AM  
YA Book Gang!!: Breathe by Sarah Crossan - 7th August 38 23 Aug 18, 2014 12:27PM  
Crazy for Young A...: Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan → Start Date: December 21, 2013 33 40 Dec 27, 2013 08:39PM  
Bea or Alina 7 52 Dec 18, 2013 07:08PM  
David Estes Fans ...: Breathe 6 74 Oct 13, 2013 08:41PM  
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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 about Sarah Crossan...

Other Books in the Series

Breathe (2 books)
  • Resist (Breathe, #2)

Share This Book

“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.” 43 likes
“Breathing is a right, not a privilege, so I’m stealing it back. I’m nervous, but I’m not scared.” 6 likes
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