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Breathless

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  281 ratings  ·  66 reviews
In the tradition of Housekeeping and Tinkers, award-winning Swedish author Anne Swärd’s American debut blends the lyricism of youth with the darker desires of age.

Lo was just six when she met thirteen-year-old Lukas the night a brushfire threatened their community. Both the children of immigrants, both wild with love for the land, theirs was an easy friendship despite the
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 15th 2013 by Viking Adult (first published December 2009)
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Melki
Okay, I gotta confess. I entered this Goodreads giveaway purely because I LOVE THE COVER. I didn't even read the description, just pressed the Enter to Win button. And boy, oh, boy, did I ever pay the price for that.

This is the story of the "special" relationship between young Lo, and Lukas, a boy more than twice her age.

There was a nice, mystical, fairy tale quality early on in the book. Lo grows up in a house surrounded by a horde of relatives, and spends seemingly endless summers in the comp
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David Contreras
Books are like lovers. Sometimes it's just a one night stand, the bestseller you flirt with and read the first five pages at a Barnes & Noble. There are the used paperbacks at the library or local bookstore that you leaf through but ultimately put back on the shelf. There are books that from a distance make you googly-eyed. It never gets intimate, though. But the book you actually commit to and read undergoes a magical transformation. You digest the words until they become your own, when in ...more
Mirella
Breathless is novel about a young woman named Lo. Through flashbacks, she looks back on her past and her past relationship with a young boy named Lukas. She first meets him when she is five and he is thirteen. Although her family is desperate to keep her away from Lukas, their friendship endures and becomes much deeper. When they become adults, they move away from their small town and live together, pursuing careers and other relationships.

This award winning Swedish novel has been translated int
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Kylie
This book is a meditation on forbidden love and betrayal, the forbidden loves of two women in a Swedish family, a mother and her daughter. The mother falls in love with an elder man in her family circle, the daughter with a very damaged young man, an outsider in the community who has been beaten by his father his whole life. It is not unpleasant to read--it flows smoothly enough and it kept my interest. But ultimately, I don't feel like I took away much from reading it (other than, perhaps, the ...more
Sinead
I received this book as part of the GoodReads FirstReads giveaway.

I won this book back in August and was really excited to read it because of the beautiful cover and the intriguing story line. Life happened and I only stumbled across the book again in February. I decided to read. I am usually a fast reader, but the book took me awhile to read. I thought the beginning of the book was slow and this made me want to read it less. I kept thinking I was missing something.

The book started to pick up
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Angie Simmonds
Lo was just six when she met thirteen-year-old Lukas the night a brushfire threatened their community. Both the children of immigrants, both wild with love for the land, theirs was an easy friendship despite the fierce injunctions of Lo’s family. Meeting in secret at an abandoned lake house, they whiled away their summers in the water and their winters curled up inside, reenacting dialogue from their favorite film, Breathless.

How a friendship so innocent and pure—and so strictly forbidden—could
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Pangaea Pangaea
Although some readers feel that the story was hard to follow, I found it intriguing to have my mind challenged. I pick up to many books that undermine my intelligence and celebrate when a writer has the courage to spin a story less linear and more spiral.

I could not put the book down until I turned the last page. Simply stunning story telling by this Swedish author. The novel unfolds in a poetic sweetness seldom experienced. Even after I was done I had to twist the puzzle pieces this way and th
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Wendy Pimm
This is a very good book. The main character (Lo) is interesting and well rounded. The story is engaging and kept me very interested in where it was headed. The writing style is different, as it is non-linear and slightly disjointed, I find that that helps the story and kept me up late a few nights trying to get to the next part. The thing I like best and didn't like at the same time was the fact that all the characters lacked excuses. They did what they did and that was it, not realistic in my ...more
Shambhawi P.
I tried my best to enjoy this book but somewhere along the way it fell short and I just - couldn't.

The writing is unpolished and does not flow smoothly. Following the plot was difficult because of that and I could not really bring myself to care about any of the characters. At all. After the first few chapters, I just lost interest - plain and simple - and could not dredge up any more to continue with the book.

DNF at 48%

This ebook was provided to me by the publishers via Edelweiss in exchange
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Karina Vargas
Hasta el último suspiro cuenta la historia de Lo y de Lukas, una historia de amor, un amor diferente.

Lo conoce a Lukas cuando ella tiene siete años de edad y él tiene trece. A pesar de esta diferencia, así como también otras que se presentan entre ellos, como sus personalidades, sus contexturas físicas, sus familias y su relación con las mismas, de alguna manera ellos conectan desde el primer instante. Ambos saben lo que el otro piensa, dice o calla, como si se conociesen hace mucho tiempo, y no
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Elizabeth
3.5 stars. This one held me until I realized that, with only about 25 pages left to go, the author wasn't going to give the book the ending I was hoping for. When I got to it, the ending was even less satisfying (and stranger) than what I'd resigned myself to.

Still, for most of the way, I enjoyed the novel. Ms. Sward's prose is lyrical and paints gorgeous images of the rural Swedish setting. The narrative shifts through time, from Lo's childhood to her adult wanderings and back again, slowly pie
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Nicole Decristofaro
I'm going to skip a synopsis because if you want to know what the book is about you should just read the description provided, along with all the other rants below. I would have to disagree with the majority of reviews below. I'm not one to contribute to these types of discussions but I will say that if people walk away from this book and curse themselves for wasting their time, I think they missed the point. I think they missed the beauty of her words, her descriptions and her ability to evoke ...more
Gretel
When reading this book I struggled to see where the story was going. I think the author too struggled to see where it ended up. The book comes across as terribly planned and the non-linear storyline doesn't do it any favours. Lo and Lukas are not very interesting characters and their relationship is gross, verging on paedo fodder. I felt as though that aspect of the novel was just thrown in just for controversy. I don't mind it when books tackle taboo subjects, but the author failed in this rega ...more
Christine
I had a hard time reading this book as I found it very choppy, and the flashbacks made the story confusing. It wasn't until I got to the part where Lo left home that I found the book became easier to follow. I don't think this was to do with the translation of the story, but rather the style of writing.

The characters were not particularly likeable, and I didn't feel any connection to them. I found their actions and reasoning behind them were unique, if not bizarre. I felt confused by their choic
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Ricki Jill Treleaven
Happy All Saints' Day {and November}!!! This week I read Breathless by Anne Swärd. I truly need something light and cheerful to read next week (like the book Patty sent me) but I'm reading a couple of book club selections so I'm not counting on happy endings anytime soon! *sadface*

Oh, if you could only truly judge a book by its cover. I'll admit that I saw this book on the new and recommended shelf at the library, and I immediately picked it up and read the book flap. Anne Swärd is hailed as "a
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Milly
When I was first given this book to read I was immediately intrigued; the blurb gave me high expectations and even though the cover art doesn't contribute to the writing in any sense, none the less I thought the it was very beautiful. For such a raw and captivating theme I expected it to be pacy and exciting, However when faced with this book I found it somewhat confusing. For someone like me, who used to not read anything that was not easy to delve in and out of, I found it very unsettling and ...more
C.R.
I'll never know where this book was going.

It was the cover that grabbed me, then the intriguing title that pulled me in "Breathless" it is simple and makes you ponder on the story. Well it may have been one story to have been lost in translation but unfortunately i can not read in swedish for I had not heard of Anne Swärd until I saw this book her Swedish popularity intrigued me and with credibility I was excited to read this story, well thats where it began. The synopsis alone was confusing but
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Ikebukuro
Certains livres vous bouleversent et vous emportent sans que vous sachiez vraiment pourquoi. Ils continuent de distiller leur petite musique longtemps après que vous ayez refermé les pages et Embrasement fût l'un de ceux là. J'ai mis du temps à faire cette chronique car comme avec tous les romans qui m'ont énormément plu, j'ai ensuite beaucoup de mal à retranscrire mes sentiments et à agencer mes idées pour en parler sans dénaturer les émotions que j'ai pu ressentir. Je vois souvent le livre com ...more
Claire
I received Breathless as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

Lo and Lukas meet when she is six and he thirteen after a fire threatens their village. Their friendship-relationship (usually against the wishes of Lo's family) is the basis for the book, which occasionally provides fast-forwards to Lo's future travels and escapades.

Sward's prose is beautiful and lyrical, but I agree with the other reviewers that the structure of the book makes it hard to follow. I was constantly having to try and figure ou
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Tracy Terry
Thankfully it very, very rarely happens but every now and then I come across a book that is so not to my taste that I struggle to find any redeeming features - sadly Breathless is one such book.

Combining a story that lacks dialogue between the characters, a plot that erratically jumps from one period in main character and narrator Lo's life to another and a text that is oddly flat and emotionless, I found myself not only unmoved but strangely unconnected and ultimately disinterested with both t
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Susa
Oct 16, 2011 Susa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my mother
Shelves: 2011
Hämmentävän kahden vaiheille jättävä kirja. Pidin kirjoitustyylistä ja siitä, miten juoni varsinaisesti vain kulkee toisiinsa lomittuvien, ei kronologisesti etenevien tapahtumien välissä. Päähenkilönä Lo'ssa oli paljon sellaista, jota löydän itsestänikin, etenkin loppuvaiheessa kun hän pääsi lähtemään isompiin kaupunkeihin. Irrallisuus ihmisistä ja kiinnittymättömyys mihinkään tuntui tutulta.

Toisaalta Lo'ssa ärsytti tietty kaikkivoipaisuuden tunne. Vaikka hän teki väärin, ei mitään myönnetty vir
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Osner Rebete
Sumergido en su mar de vaivenes, intenté de forma súbita entender esa historia llena de heridas acres y arrepentimiento, disfruté cada línea, disfruté como se diluia cada palabra a medida que leía. Fue casi mágico, quedé rodeado más de interrogantes que respuestas, y con esa sensación que se desvanece de soledad, de dudas, las mismas que siempre tuve, las que sigo teniendo, y que borrosamente pude deducir, me cautivó esta historia, la historia de Lo.
Amy Bailey
I received this book as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway...

So, I just recently read a book that had the most unlikable male protagonist in the history of time. For me, Lo may have just taken the title of the most unlikable female protagonist. Sure, I know she's pretty screwed up for various reasons, but every action she does in this book seems outwardly cowardly. I could not connect with her on any level, and I feel that she only brought negativity with her wherever she went. Some passages in t
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Cheryl D
I tried. I really tried to read this book. When I agree to review a book I take that to heart and die by the sword trying to get it read quickly and trying to find the positive.

Let me begin by saying that I have been working on reading this book for the past two months. And I have been WORKING. I pick it up and read several pages then put it down promising to return to it the next day...but there it sits...making me feel guilty for not reading it....for not enjoying it. Every page is work to r
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Tahira
I gave Breathless two stars because I cannot say I liked it, even though I feel like I should. I wanted to trust that the author, Anne Sward, was going to bring something together; that if I was patient with her lush language and beautiful writing, that the story would settle into pieces I could actually put together. But I finished the novel feeling as though I had missed a detail, or several details, that would have helped me make sense of the story, and what's more, actually feel something fo ...more
Tiina Suvanto
Kirjasta on vaikea sanoa pitikö vai eikö. Kenties sekä että. Alun hienoisen hidastempoisuuden ja jotenkin tönkön ilmaisutavan vastapainoksi kirja herää loppupuolellaan eloon ja palkitsee sinne saakka jaksaneen lukijan. Hieman kömpelön ja viimeistelemättömän oloisena se minulle näyttäytyi, mutta siinä oli hetkensä.
Kerri Kerce
This book was difficult to read. It was a grammatical nightmare, although the second half of the book seemed to be edited better than the first half. Reading the book was like putting a puzzle together without a reference picture - it was hard to put any of it in order. The end of the book made me feel as if a piece was missing. This book held a lot of promise. However, whether it was the author or translator, it fell short.
Giulia Masolini
A prescindere dalla storia, che può piacere o meno (personalmente in alcuni, anche se pochi, punti l'ho trovata noiosa), questo libro va letto per il piacere stesso di leggere, lo stile è senza dubbio ammaliante.
Emma
E' veramente difficile esprimere cosa penso a riguardo. Mi è piaciuto moltissimo, ma se qualcuno mi chiedesse perché non saprei spiegarlo. Non c'è un lieto fine e questo mi ha veramente ferita, ho sperato fino all'ultimo che ci fosse. La protagonista non la capisco, ci ho provato ma la trovo proprio strana. Il contesto familiare in sé è ambiguo, il rapporto tra Lo e Lukas è ambiguo... tutto è ambiguo! La storia d'amore poteva risolversi felicemente e quasi banalmente, invece niente lieto fine. C ...more
Nessa
Luché para terminarlo, realmente lo hice. No me enganchó de la manera que esperaba :/
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Anne Swärd is a Swedish writer born in 1969. She made her debut as a novelist in 2003 with Polarsommar (Arctic Summer), which earned her an August Prize nomination.
More about Anne Swärd...
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