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Try Not to Breathe
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Try Not to Breathe

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3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,521 Ratings  ·  305 Reviews
Ryan spends most of his time alone at the local waterfall because it's the only thing that makes him feel alive. He's 16, post-suicidal, and trying to figure out what to do with himself after a stint in a mental hospital. Then Nicki barges into his world.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 24th 2013 by Speak (first published January 19th 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Joy (joyous reads)
Dying is easy. Living is hard. - If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

Three years ago my Dad tried to hang himself.

My Mom got there on time.

I still haven't been able to look him in the face when I see him.

Too scared to see the mark around his neck.

I can't figure out why he tried to do it.

I know they were in a bad place. I know they were having a hard time.

But who really knew what's going on in his head at the time?

What makes a person brave enough to try and kill themselves?

...And yet too cowardice to face
...more
Carmen Shaw
I like the cover but i wish it wasn't so... kissy kissy. Gosh! Sometimes, I don't want my parents to know what i'm reading and this just screams it lol

I had been wanting to read this book for YEARS now, and when I saw it at my local library I instantly checked it out. I read this book within one day; and unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. I really thought this would be that kind of story that is so passionate, complex, and completely enthralls its readers. But I did not get this feeling wh
...more
♥Rachel♥
Jan 16, 2012 ♥Rachel♥ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm hardly an expert on suicide but I've always thought it was preceded by a momentous event, which after thinking more about it doesn't make any sense at all. If it was, less people would be successful in their attempts because others around them would be watching or worrying that this might happen. More often than not it seems that if a person commits suicide, others around are puzzled and wonder how it all came to this. They tell themselves, if they just would've seen the signs they could've ...more
Melannie :)
NOOOOOOOOOOO! 2012?!?!?!?!

I NEED THIS NOW.

Sounds dark and sexy and the cover is one of my favorites ever!
how did they manage to pull it off?! it's just so perfect!

...

...

...

...

is it 2012, already? D:
Arlene
I struggled with Try Not to Breathe for over a week. I had about 70 pages left, and I was seriously considering abandoning it, but my resolve is stronger than my instinct and that’s where I went wrong. This book depressed me, took me no where I wanted to go, and left me wondering where the hale I went. It’s no secret I like to push the boundaries of my reading choices every now and again, and a book about suicide definitely falls into that category.

I’m not calling foul to the fact that I never r
...more
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
4.5 Stars

Recently released from a mental institution for trying to kill himself, 16 year old Ryan is still stuck trying to figure out his life. He has an overprotective mother who worries about him constantly, his best friend lives far away and he's still working out his feelings for her, and past mistakes still haunt his mind.
Then Nicki barges into his life, asking questions that he thought no one had the guts to ask. Nicki makes Ryan discover things about himself he never even knew, while rev
...more
Devyani
Feb 10, 2012 Devyani rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Why didn't i like it ?
It had such a dark , smexy and Thrilling appeal to it ! but it all went down and kept on going down :(

Initial synopsis
Learning to live is more than just choosing not to die, as sixteen-year-old Ryan discovers in the year following his suicide attempt. Despite his mother’s anxious hovering and the rumors at school, he’s trying to forget the darkness from which he has escaped. But it doesn’t help that he’s still hiding guilty secrets, or that he longs for a girl who may not
...more
Amy
Jul 18, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
I really enjoyed this story. Even though it's about a very serious and depressing subject, the story had a very strong positive feeling to it.

"Learning to live is more than just choosing not to die" Ryan discovers this in the year following his suicide attempt. Despite his mother’s anxious hovering and the rumors at school, he's trying his best to move on into his life again. His struggle with everything is very well depicted and relatable for anyone who's ever been there. Sixteen is a rough ag
...more
Jackie
Mar 16, 2012 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People struggling with depression; people who want to understand a loved one who is depressed
Recommended to Jackie by: Horn Book
With her two main characters -- Ryan, a teen who tried to commit suicide, and Nikki, a teen whose father killed himself -- Hubbard gives voice to the two main audiences for this book: people who have suffered from depression, and those who haven't, but want/need to understand. Ryan's narrative struck me as dead-on about what depression feels like: how pathetic you feel for feeling so bad when nothing really that bad has ever happened to you; how your emotions seemed walled off; how when you do f ...more
Lisa
Mar 14, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can honestly say that I am unsure as to how to rate this book. It is about a subject matter that I know absolutely nothing about and cannot really identify with. Even in my awkward teen years, I never felt the despair and hopelessness that we see Ryan, the main protagonist, go through.

The the above being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think Jennifer Hubbard does a wonderful job depicting what it is like to be a teen who is struggling. Ryan's story was beautiful to read. I loved se
...more
Michael
Feb 11, 2016 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'll make this short and sweet: I was glad I was breathing reading this cause I almost died of boredom.
Breakaway Reviewers
A page turning mystery set against a background of family secrets

Whilst researching an article about the work of Dr Haynes into vegetative states, freelance journalist Alex Dale stumbles across an idea for a story.

The unexpected discovery that Amy Stevenson is lying in a vegetative state in a hospital ward after being brutally attacked and left for dead years before, piques Alex’s investigative nature and she pitches the story to The Times

If she can uncover a link to similar crimes she may hav
...more
Ivonne
solo puedo decir que... me daban ganas de golpear a alguien, en temas de este tipo para que uno sienta las emociones de cada uno de los personajes debio profundizar mas, hacia una tormenta en un vaso de agua pero demosle algo de credito por lo que pasaba...
Lola
There are very few genuinely well-written and honest YA books written about suicide. It's often a taboo topic and one that makes people uncomfortable to deal with. Off the top of my head, I really think I've only read three truly good ones: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Hold Still by Nina LaCour, and Stay with Me by Garret Freymann-Weyr. Now I'd have to add a fourth: Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard.

Hubbard deals with Ryan's failed suicide attempt and his consequential stint in a
...more
Tiffany
May 09, 2014 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for thought-provoking, insightful, simple, somewhat-depressing books
And, you know, suicide. How do you explain it when it is so unexplainable? It's a tricky business, but Jennifer Hubbard is pretty good at it.

There was never a magic moment when I knew why dying had called to me, just like there was never a magic moment when I decided I wanted to live instead.

This is one of those novels that touches on the stuff that goes unsaid during rickety occurrences. People hear about suicide, and they think that it happens because those people had a bad environment. Jenn
...more
Jessi
Dec 15, 2011 Jessi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was dangerous to stand under the waterfall, but some kids did it anyway, and I was one of them. The water pounded my mind blankc, stung my skin. It hit my naked back, chest, and shoulders so hard I couldn't think. That water could knock me over, pound me into hypothermia, force the breath out of me, pin me to the rock, and I knew it.

-p1, ARC


This paragraph had me literally from page one. The opening paragraph (above) pulled me right in to the story and held tight throughout. I felt a strong
...more
Shelley Daugherty
Understanding why people try to commit suicide is a difficult thing to cover, and make it not sound like a text book, or preaching. But this book is a great example of what life is like, after. Life isn't easy but that is part of the experience, and sometimes we have to dust ourselves off and try again. The book also shows how important it is when the right person comes along who really "gets you". Overall a very good depiction of real life during this kind of trauma.

Ryan is recently released fr
...more
Erica
Jan 02, 2012 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Try Not to Breathe was a really great read. I was very interested in this one when I heard about it, since I had liked her debut, The Secret Year. Try Not to Breathe was a really touching read that was just a really great book and I am happy to have read it.

I really loved the characters. Val, Jake, Nikki, they were all just great. The relationships between all the characters were so complex, and I loved seeing how everything would pan out between them. I really liked Nikki - she was no nonsense
...more
Princess Bookie
Dec 01, 2011 Princess Bookie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2011
My Thoughts: When I started this novel, I wasn't sure what I was in for? I don't normally like reading books based on a males perspective, as I've said time and time before. I have a problem connecting for some reason.

Try Not To Breathe was a sensible beautiful novel. I really felt like I understood exactly what Ryan was going through. He made it all so clear. He made me feel what he felt.

He tried to kill himself by locking himself in a garage and turning the car on. He had to go to a mental hos
...more
Kelly
Ryan spends his time by the waterfall, where he meets Nicki. Nicki wants to get to know him better and understand why he chose to attempt suicide -- she's known about this because suicide has impacted her life, and she hopes through him, she can better understand the choice her own father made. Of course, there are never any answers. Along the way, we learn about what made Ryan act as he did, and we better understand the lies Nicki constructed to protect herself from the loss of her father.

This
...more
Kit Grindstaff
Mar 18, 2012 Kit Grindstaff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Try Not to Breathe is the story of 16-year-old Ryan, newly off a suicide attempt, and his friendship with Nicki, whose own recent tragedy gives credence, and substance, to their relationship. Ryan, the son of wealthy parents, struggles with their understandable over-protectiveness, and his long-standing Outsider isolation. Nicki, from a poorer background, is a vibrant contrast to his family’s stultifying way of life. Each provides the other’s path to resolution.

As Ryan tells his story, the auth
...more
Kacey Lafferty
I think the book was overall pretty good. The only bad part about the book was it stayed on one topic, and there weren't many exciting moments in the book. At the end, it got the most interesting. I'm glad I read this book for my book report. This book was in my interests, so I enjoyed reading the book and what happened at the end.
Alexandra
Jennifer R. Hubbard is a fantastic voice in the contemporary YA genre. She brings a unique male's perspective to YA (which I adore) & gritty teens that you will root for & care about. After reading THE SECRET YEAR in 2010 I had high hopes for TRY NOT TO BREATHE & it did not disappoint. This is not only a beautifully written, real deal story about a young teen boy recovering from an attempted suicide but it is also an IMPORTANT book for today's youth. Everyone read both of her books. ...more
Danniele Whitman
3.5 stars

I liked it, but it took me forever to get through. It wasn't hooking; i felt like a had to force myself to read it.
Agustina.
Es realmente difícil encontrar un libro que hable sobre el tema suicidio y depresión sin que caigamos en la "rutina" de que llega una persona a la vida del deprimido y suicida y lo cura con el mágico poder del amor. (Claramente, con sarcasmo) Siempre digo que me gusta leer sobre estos temas y más dentro de la literatura juvenil que es hacia lo que yo más me inclino, pero me sorprendo y disgusto siempre que termino un libro con ésta temática porque el amor puede estar muy bien pero, seamos realis ...more
Kiana Cook
I read Jennifer Hubbard's The Secret Year a couple of years ago, and wasn't overly impressed with it. Try Not to Breathe, however, deals with a subject matter that is far more important to me--depression and suicide--so I decided to give it a shot when I saw it on the shelf at my local library.

And even though I've thought about it for a while, I don't really know what I think of Try Not to Breathe. My expectations weren't high, so I wasn't disappointed by the book, but I can't say it blew me awa
...more
Mariana Flores
Try not to breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard is definitely an interesting book.
The main character Ryan, is sent to Patterson after a suicide attempt. His parents decided to send him to the "looney bin" after they cound the stash of pain killers Ryan hid. After his stay at Patterson his parents were even more anxious than before. His mother constantly asked him questions. He had to lie whenever he wanted to go out in the woods. Just 'cause his parents didn't trust him and thoight he would try to off
...more
Rynn Yumako
The thing that stood out for me in this book was entirely personal. The feeling of invisibility, Ryan's total lack of connection with anyone around him, how much that had drained him... well, it hit a bit too close to home, I was actually quite surprised how much that effected me.

The book was slow, the pacing lazy, like summer, and it had to be in order to achieve the kind of stuffy atmosphere that had surrounded Ryan's life. I can't say I 'enjoyed' it, but it was most definitely captivating, a
...more
Christie
Feb 05, 2015 Christie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I think I am starting to suffer from YA fatigue. Or maybe it’s just that, despite its accolades, Jennifer Hubbard’s novel Try Not to Breathe, didn’t quite work for me. I don’t mean to imply that the novel isn’t decent or that it isn’t well-written, either. I can’t say for sure why it was that when I got to the novel’s tidy ending, I just felt sort of meh.

Ryan is 16 and has recently returned home from a stint at Patterson, a psychiatric hospital. Ryan attempted suicide and now “everyone snuck loo
...more
Gemmicka
Jul 15, 2014 Gemmicka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Potential Spoiler Alert

“Sometimes I was tempted to foam at the mouth and babble to invisible people, because other kids seemed so disappointed that I didn’t. But I couldn’t be sure they would realize that it was a joke. The few times I’d tried to make anyone laugh, all I got were nervous glances and squirming” (2). Jennifer Hubbard introduces us to the confused voice of a teenage boy struggling with his reintroduction back into “normal” society. 16 year-old Ryan has just been released from a men
...more
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Sno-Isle Mock Printz: Try Not to Breathe 2 7 Oct 30, 2012 06:24PM  
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1254282
Thanks for visiting my page. A few words of explanation about how I use Goodreads:

I accept friends here, and I also respond to "Ask the Author" questions.

I find it difficult to rate books with stars, or to review friends' books. I do have a few shelves of books here on Goodreads, listing some books you might enjoy: one shelf for poetry, one for contemporary realistic YA books, etc. On my blog, htt
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“Sometimes, almost getting what you want is worse than never coming close.” 34 likes
“I didn't know how to act; whether to make eye contact, how long to look at her, how close to walk. I didn't talk to people much, except Jake and Val, and with them I could talk about anything. What were you supposed to say to people you barely knew? That was the kind of thing I needed lessons in - forget algebra and history.” 6 likes
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