Laura's Reviews > Breathing

Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman
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's review
Sep 29, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read from April 11 to 13, 2011

A perfect summer beach read! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. I've missed reading a plain ol' romance and this was just what I needed. Breathing is one of the most realistic teen romance stories I've read in a long time.

What made me love Breathing the most was how simple the story was. Of course there was angst, but it was so appropriate and realistic, not only for the characters but for teenagers in general. There wasn't even really an antagonist, just the circumstances of their lives tearing them apart.

I loved Savannah from the start. A hard-working loving Southern teen who loves to read and can't wait to get out of her small town. Heard it all before, right? Wrong. She didn't adore her friends, she just enjoyed their company. She wasn't a perfect daughter, she often judged and argued with her mother. A lot of teen readers will empathize with Savannah and be rooting for her to achieve her goals.

But most importantly she suffered from asthma. I've never read a story about asthma before and this definitely made my heart go out to all those who suffer from it. At times I found her attacks very melodramatic and angsty until I realized how realistic and terrifying they would be to experience. I also thought that it would be quite juvenile for Savannah to think she couldn't "breathe" without Jackson and when she had an attack shortly after he left I was fully prepared to give up on reading it. Cheryl totally turned it around though, showing how Savannah learning to "breathe" on her own was more of a metaphor for her independence and growth. Very well done!

I have also never read a novel with such an interesting twist on Southern culture. Rather than just having the characters speak with an accent, Cheryl wrote it into the narration. It worked perfectly! I often found myself thinking in an accent when writing this review even.

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Reading Progress

04/11/2011 page 110

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