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Breathing

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,880 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
Savannah would be happy to spend the summer in her coastal Carolina town working at the library and lying in a hammock reading her beloved romance novels. But then she meets Jackson. Once they lock eyes, she's convinced he's the one - her true love, her soul mate, a boy different from all the rest. And at first it looks like Savannah is right. Jackson abides by her mama's ...more
Hardcover, 265 pages
Published April 16th 2009 by Viking Books for Young Readers (first published February 12th 2009)
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2009 Debutantes
15th out of 58 books — 417 voters
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Books for 2009
95th out of 575 books — 2,396 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Katie
Mar 12, 2009 Katie rated it it was amazing
Savannah and Jackson's story is a new type of love story. Unlike most stories about long distance relationships, this one inspires hope.

As soon as I started reading this book, I fell in love with Savannah's character. She embodies the typical teenage girl, full of insecurities and hopes. Unlike most girls, though, Savannah has severe asthma.

Savannah was content to be by herself for the summer: working, reading romance novels, and watching out for her little brother. Then she met Jackson Channin
...more
Yan
Mar 04, 2009 Yan rated it it was ok
Breathing was a tale of young love that steals your breath away. The sudden ache when you know that you are just meant to be, but the world prevents it. Or maybe just yourself? It’s the feeling that maybe you just are not good enough to be with that person that steals your breath or soul away. But, let’s aim for the positive. Breathing captured the essence of tender touches, ripping heartache, and soft caresses in one stunning novel.

Savannah was a poignant teen with an adorable sense of humor th
...more
Ashley - Book Labyrinth
Jan 08, 2010 Ashley - Book Labyrinth rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I'm sort of on the fence with this one. I really liked certain aspects of it, but other parts I didn't. Maybe I was just expecting too much since everyone else seemed to think it was the Best Book Ever and I was expected something Sarah Dessen worthy. I liked Savannah's voice as the narrator, as in her personality, but I really could not get past all the Southern dialect. It was just so distracting, because it made me wonder if people really talk like that, since I know tons of Southerners who b ...more
Sarah MacLean
Nov 24, 2008 Sarah MacLean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Finishing Cheryl Herbsman's BREATHING prompts one of those moments when you close a book with such complete satisfaction that you can't help but sigh.

The book is really wonderful. It's lyric and lovely and the characters are so very vivid and authentic that I actually felt like I had spent my summer in Savannah's world. And that Jackson...my word. He is a tall drink of water. Cheryl has written a stunning, beautiful, charming book--the story is so simple and so perfect. I want to read it again,
...more
Angee Saxey
Jun 30, 2009 Angee Saxey rated it really liked it
Rating: PG-13. There is some cussing (no f-bombs, thank goodness) and one part of the book that shouldn't be read by eyes under that age (a makeout scene with light "petting").

The author captures the teen emotions, over-reactions, and selfishness perfectly. The thoughts and feelings of Savannah are exactly how I remember dealing with love, family, and trials then. Most YA/Teen books that I've read depict the characters more mature than I think I (or any teenager) was as a teenager and I had been
...more
Eleonore
May 27, 2015 Eleonore rated it it was amazing
Savannah wants to have a normal summer working at her library, doing her workbook, etc. But she meets Jackson. She is sure that he is the man she is waiting for. She starts hanging out with him regularly and her mom made strict rules about how they hang out together. So, Jackson follows her mom's strict rules and when Savannah has an asthma attack; Jackson stays with her the whole time she is in the hospital. Then, when Jackson is called to come home to help; Savannah needs to learn how to breat ...more
Stephanie
Apr 20, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Before I started Breathing, I was warned about the Southern dialect and how irritating it was. Yet, I found that when I was reading it, the dialect didn’t bother me much. True, I didn’t understand every word they were saying since it’s a different dialect and everything. But I got the main point and the language enhanced Breathing even more.

What I loved about Breathing was, ironically, the writing – the “Southern dialect”. It created an image in my head that allowed me to depict everything that
...more
Lizzy
Feb 03, 2010 Lizzy rated it liked it
Breathing made me mourn summer. I started the book in the middle of the first big snowstorm of the winter, and the description made me wish that I could go lay out in the sun.

I really enjoyed the way the story dealt with teen love. It didn't treat it like "puppy love" (a phrase my parents use to describe teen love), and it felt very real. Savannah, though immature and naive at times, cares very deeply about Jackson. I felt particularly bad for Savannah during the portion of the book where she wa
...more
Melissa
Mar 24, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I really felt that Breathing could have been a good book for me, but unfortunately, it was hampered by its narration/accent and characterizations. The narration reads very much like a diary format, not unlike to The Princess Diaries, but it’s not, and because of that, I felt like I wasn’t sure what I was reading, a diary or a story.

Savannah (as in) Georgia Brown is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the south and is perfectly content with reading romance novels and living a simple life. She meets
...more
Kristi
May 02, 2009 Kristi rated it liked it
Breathing was a very cute, quick and fun read. Herbsman’s writing transported me to a different place! I felt like I just came back from a southern beach side getaway.

Savannah was a bit excessively melodramatic for me at times, but I guess that’s how extreme first love can be. So although it was slightly annoying at times it also helped reinforce her realism. I wish I could have learned the story from Jackson’s perspective. I didn’t fully understand why he was so drawn to Savannah, yes she is pa
...more
April
Nov 13, 2010 April rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Feb 27, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
Law! It's done.....A girl can only take southern ways to talk so much... I'm sorry I didnt appreciate it the way it ought to be but it was unavoidable. I cannot think of something real good about this one because it does not have a "wow" factor.
-A girl with asthma(or other medical condition) -being there, done that.
-A messy brother (younger or older) -being there, done that.
-An ultra-protective mother, single -being there, done that.
-The girl we're speaking of has something that hints her someh
...more
Jennifer
Jun 28, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
I was very excited to read this book from the minute I read about it on the Debs of 2009 Livejournal. A southern girl falling in love for the first time? Sign me up! (In fact, I was so excited to read it that I read it *before* Sarah Dessen's new book -they came in the same book order- and I adore Sarah Dessen.)

If it was an option I would have given this book 3.5 stars. I liked it enough that I will recommend it to people, but not so much that I can see myself reading it over and over again.

I l
...more
Alea
Jul 18, 2009 Alea rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-review


Breathing is a perfect book to read in the summer. What a wonderful story. Watching Savannah come into her own over one summer, meeting the love of her life Jackson, and learning things about herself she never knew were possible.

Savannah goes through a roller coaster of emotions, up and down and up and down, because of her family, her severe asthma, and because of Jackson. I really worried for her at some points, her asthma could really put her in danger from time to time. Her trips to the hospi
...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Mar 22, 2014 Nidah (SleepDreamWrite) rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what I was expecting from this. A summer romance kind of light read? Sure. It has all that but what I liked about this one was the simplicity of the writing and the characters. I mean both are really good and you can tell the emotion is there and the pacing flows well. It did have a bit over dramatics at times, what with the main character and the insta love and all. But slowly she grows into her own as the romance too. The relationship with the mom I especially like and Jackson wa ...more
Madison Carroll
I thought that this book was very good. I felt like I connected with the main character Savannah, because she has one of those long distance relationships, and I was kind of in one of those so I know its difficult. I also liked how the book was so heart felt, and used a bunch of weird metaphors.

I didn't really like how the author made the accents of the characters really country, because it kind of just got on my nerves. It was also I little difficult to read, because it used really country wor
...more
Laura
This book was merely ok. It picked up a bit once I got farther into it but I felt like the writing was really inconsistent and the characters were one-dimensional. I also never felt like the relationship between the two main characters was all that special and it developed too quickly to really be believable. It wasn't a long book so I stuck with it until the end and the basic story line was ok but it could have be executed much better in my opinion.
Michelle Arrow
Mar 14, 2014 Michelle Arrow rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit
Chick-lits mean so much to me. I love the essence of summer romances. Southern summer romances are probably the greatest type of chick-lit out there. I was so so so pleased with this one, it's probably one of my most favourite books that I've so far read this year.
The plot got right to the point from the first chapter. The romance began so ferociously and quickly, I was obsessed from the first page.
Jackson, Oh Jackson, where art thou? Gosh. I loved HIM. He's so dreamy and perfect, any girl woul
...more
Jenny
Dec 20, 2008 Jenny added it
These characters feel very real to me -- Mama, Jackson, especially Savannah. Their concerns, desires, interactions with one another combine to create vibrant, living, *breathing* people. And Savannah and Jackson have some heat going on. A very fine debut.
Ktuv:)
May 26, 2015 Ktuv:) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pick-me-a-winner
This book was great. I love how the asthma was brought into the book. The way this book progressed was amazing. I am thinking of picking up something else by this author in the future.
Dominic
Oct 23, 2014 Dominic rated it liked it
So this wasn't so bad. I liked Savannah. She's 15 but acts older in certain situations ( taking care of her brother and family). But man is she paralyzed when it comes to Jackson.

She literally can't function if he isn't spending every second with her. That was annoying. But then again, she's 15 and finally found love so I can't get to upset.

The story itself kept me entertained. I'm not big in these kind of stories but I found myself enjoying the ups and downs of Savannah's life.

Overall a dece
...more
Angela
A sweet story about summer love, following your dreams and the important people in your life who love you.
Hannah
Jan 03, 2010 Hannah rated it it was ok
Never felt any chemistry between the leads, ever.
Andrea
Mar 12, 2015 Andrea rated it liked it
This was a quick read and a nice little story.

The part that bothered me was the dialect....and the fact that the main character is the top of her class. The two just didn't go hand in hand. It kept referencing how she is one of the smartest.....but, then the language she used made me wonder if the author realized this fact she kept pushing on us was hard to believe. I understand dialects are different in every place of the world, but that part just made me wonder what the other students were li
...more
Lauren
Apr 05, 2009 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Review:

You know a book is going to be fabulous when it's tag line is "What if the boy who took your breath away was the one who could help you breathe?" Luckily, Breathing was that and even more.

The whole plot and problems in Breathing were extremely basic and sometimes predictable. Though, it felt like Cheryl Renne Herbsman just added a whole new feeling to it because of the southern charm and the interesting characters. Savannah was defiantly one of my favorites because, for one, she loved bo
...more
kb
Oct 16, 2012 kb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-favorites
I had very little faith in this, regardless of the Judy Blume reference in its back blurb because yes, while the cover is gorge, the premise does not leave too much promise, you know? But thank the lit heaven for surprises! It was something fierce. I loved the story telling and more especially, the way it was written. I think I have never read a book written in an American Southern accent before, and it was such a joy, like for realz! (Would it be inapprops to say I sort of heard Forrest Gump's ...more
Samantha
Dec 02, 2009 Samantha rated it liked it
Breathing is a story that can make you smile and break your heart all in the same moment. It’s a story of young love, of finding yourself, of learning how to breathe on your own. It’s a story that reminds you (or in some cases, shows you)what it’s like that first time you fall in love, that first time that someone steals your heart and steals your breath away.

Savannah isn’t you totally typical teenage girl. She splits her time between reading trashy romance novels in the summer, looking out for
...more
Marina
May 02, 2013 Marina rated it liked it
I originally was going to give this book 2 stars, but in the end I gave it 3.

What immediately set me off was the dialect. I mean, I've read books with dialects before. Heck, I made it through Their Eyes Were Watching God without any effort, but this book really irked me. I am aware that people actually do speak like this, but in my head it seemed exaggerated and basically annoying the way the characters spoke. Every time they said "shoo" and "lord" and "for a spell," etc etc, I just wanted to ro
...more
Bianca
May 17, 2010 Bianca rated it liked it
Savannah's father walked out on her family long ago and her mother has been the one taking care of her and her brother Dog. Savannah is book smarts and has dreams of going onto bigger things as soon as she gets out of her small town. One summer day she meets a guy named Jackson on the beach and soon they find it hard to stay away from each other.

Herbsman writes a sweet, innocent and fast-paced story about first love and how teenagers can truly love one another. Jackson and Savannah are able to m
...more
Tina
May 31, 2009 Tina rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
Breathing : quick, fun, easy read.

Savannah falls in love for the first time. Unfortunately she becomes obsessive and pushy when Jackson moves to help his mom. She turns into the girl that ditches her friends for a boy and just sits at home and obsessive over when he will call. She lets her dreams fall to the way side because she doesn't want to miss any moments with him. Even though I can't stand girls who are like this, some how I found her to be bearable. It must have been Herbsman writing th
...more
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“It may sound dorky, but I love books--the feel of the paper, the old, musty smell, and especially the way the words roll over you and take you somewhere altogether different. They've been my escape as long as I can remember. Whether I need a break from schoolwork or my brother or just life in general, there's always a books that can take me someplace far away.” 34 likes
“It may sound dorky, but I love books- the feel of the paper, the old musty smell, & especially the way the words roll over you and take you somewhere altogether different.” 9 likes
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