Kindaslick's Reviews > Reason to Breathe

Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan
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's review
Jun 10, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: ugh
Read in June, 2012

I had problems getting through this book and not because of the subject matter. I really couldn't get behind Emma. This waffling and the whole oh no I can't say anything, yada yada yada bullshit. It just drove me up the wall. Friends that know and don't do anything because Godforbid that a 6 yr old and a 4 yr old aren't living with a psychotic woman.




Let me say that again. In this MC's opinion it was a -good- thing that a 6 yr old and a 4 yr old were living with a woman that liked to beat the shit out of kids. *blinks*

Anyways.. I went through it and to be perfectly honest not even halfway through the book it stops being about the home life and abuse there. The book becomes about Emma and Evan and their "relationship" I have never read a MC that lied to themselves or other people more and it annoyed the shit out of me. The flat out stupid choices she would make, the lies, all the drama that -she- brought into her own life that could of ohhhhh so easily been taken care of. And her life is a mess. Well of course it's a fucking mess, you refuse to do anything about what's going on in your life except lie to everyone and yourself, make shitty choices and the dumbasses you've surrounded yourself with have no problem with this. Or if they do have a problem with it then you cut them out of your life.

*Deep calming breath*

Sadly enough the major cliff hanger forced me into the next book, I got around 100 pages in and had to stop because W.T.F. Here she goes again making dumbass decisions and instead of saying hey, this is a stupid decision.. she sticks with it and keeps putting herself through shit, then complaining she's being put through shit. And the relationships. Good. God. Hell, no. Freaky as hell and I'm not reading this. I have laundry to fold, dishes to wash. ANYTHING other then read this. I had to bail. And was happy to do it.

See Emma? This is how you do it. Make a decision (like me deciding to read the second book). Realize that it's a horrible decision (maybe not by beating your head into the wall but the realization comes to you all the same). And you make another decision that will make things better as you are now fully informed. (Oh yeah, I am fully informed and will not be finishing this book. Besides it probably ends with a major cliff hanger too and I'm not doing this again.)


In replying to a comment I realized something about this book that I should of had in this review to begin with. The abuse in this story is simply a tool to create an artificial depth so that we might think this story has great meaning and symbolism. No. It was a tool used to create angst because this story is ultimately about the teenage relationship and the abuse in this story is a cheap gimmick to drive up book sales with the massive cliff hanger and the illusion of complexity. It's insulting.
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Reading Progress

02/04/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 70) (70 new)

Samantha LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!

Elizabeth Could not agree more. Thinking about bailing myself and I'm not even 50% done.

M. ~ B&B Exactly my thoughts, thank you!! I'm so surprised there are SO many 5 star ratings. I did the exact same thing with the second book.. I started it and just quit when she went back to her mom. I never stop reading once I start a book, but I was very happy to make an exception for this one.

Nazia I completely agree with u..this book sucked terribly....absolute noooooooo for me

Megan You're better than me. I skimmed the last two chapters, read the epilogue and said forget it, I don't care. I;m not picking up the second book.


Michelle E. Couldn't have said it better myself. I couldn't even finish the 1st book. Nice review (thumbs up here)!!!

message 8: by Lelde (new) - added it

Lelde Same here, couldn't even finish the book. Got to the part, where the crazy woman hit the girl with the bat and just deleted the book from my e-reader.

Joann H (Sshh!!! I'm reading) Throughout the book I kept thinking why doesn't she just kick this woman's ass? Ugh, hello? Isn't she like a jock? And a really good one if I remember correctly. I'm sure she could take carol.

message 10: by Megan (new) - rated it 1 star

Megan ^^^I agree! I wrote the same in my review. She was taller than her and all. I was like finally, she'll take her! I would have done something. Yeah she may be nice to her kids but who is to say that she won't do it in the future?!

message 11: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy Ponce ♥ i agree!! everyone loves the book i'm almost done and i'm not feeling it

kayla tulop the aunt only is mean to emma. she wants her dead, but only cares for the two little kids.

Maggie You have spared me having to write a solar review. What a dreadful book.

Twizzie I think she didn't because of the kids. She was afraid what would happen to them when Carol and George were taken away. Carol didn't beat the kids. Only Emma.
Everyone makes different decisions. I probably would've done the same.

message 15: by Sgeorgina99 (new)

Sgeorgina99 I see how people could feel like this towards the book but having gone through a similar situation makes her thought processes much easier to understand and it's nice to know its not just you who thinks like this...

Danielle (~Dani~) I was wondering if I was the odd man out on this book....EVERYONE loved it- I wanted to stick pencils in my eyeballs instead of continuing to read it. Lol. Everyone is different, but it's nice to know I wasn't alone :)

Delilah Thank you at least, someone feels the same way... I struggle to finish the book in hope to find something worthy to hang onto.

message 18: by Anne (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anne You're right.. Only reason I kept reading was cuz of Evan... Emma was getting on my nerves!! Love this review... Haha

Crystal Freeman could not agree more

Anesha †Curious & Obsessive Bookworm† I suck at leaving things unfinished... hence why i went thru the 2nd book. Eating broken glass would have been less painful =/ Sigh... Love your review :)

message 21: by Deena (new)

Deena Scintilla I agree. I finally gave up on it for the same reasons. That and the fact that it was very repetitious and extremely slow moving.

Brenda I am so sad to find that you see this book so negatively. I found it true-to-life, because that is how teenagers can be. Maybe you are to "grown-up" for this type of reading.

Charmbelle So happy you were able to express what I was thinking. I read this book because of the high ratings, but now I can't trust that. You saved me the time of wasting more precious moments of my time reading book two.

message 24: by Kris (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kris You nailed they review! Couldn't agree more.

message 25: by Anamarija (new)

Anamarija oh, another one (book) with bias opinions... I should check this out, I usually don't like overdramatic,dumb heroines..

Joann H (Sshh!!! I'm reading) Anamarija wrote: "oh, another one (book) with bias opinions... I should check this out, I usually don't like overdramatic,dumb heroines.."

Well good luck with struggling through, I mean reading, it :). Tell us how it goes.

MaryEllen Could NOT have said it better myself!!!

message 28: by Peta (new) - rated it 1 star

Peta Clarke Totally spot on review. Thanks for saving me the time!

DA4Pups I felt the same way

message 30: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Yup . . . Pretty much sums it up.

Marisa Suhy Couldn't have said it better myself! Thanks for talking me out of book #2!

message 32: by Tara (new)

Tara Blumberg Thank you for this review, I won't be waisting my time with this one. I think you just saved me from waisting hours of my life. :)

Tayne Stewart Totally see where you're coming from, but you've gotta take everyone's point of view into consideration, I suppose. Emma didn't want to deprive Jack and Leyla of a mother figure who loved them. Jack may have seen glimpses of what his mother was really like, but Leyla never really did (other than in the end) so Emma didn't want to tear their family apart, and this book just shows how much she was willing to lose for her cousin's happiness

Well... that's what I got out of it :3

message 34: by Anne (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anne Trinkle I am so glad I'm not the only person who was impatient with Emma and thought " GIRL!, what in the HELL is wrong with your 4.0 brain and all state body person??? All the long laborious descriptions of furniture and scenery and Emma's absolute STUPIDITY!! Can't stop making bad decisions and can't defend yourself against your b#%^* of an aunt????? This was an awful audiobook just in case you were wondering if the narrated version was any better. Kate Rudd is usually a great narrator but she botched this up badly. Same voice for all the guys. Never knew which guy was talking to her until it was mentioned. I just want to listen until I see Carol get her karma. Then I am deleting this damn thing.

message 35: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura This. I couldn't even finish the first book.

Kaitlyn I feel like you really can't understand the situation and the book unless you've been in an abusive home yourself. You wouldn't understand what it's like to be literally beaten into a corner and not knowing how to get out. It's not exactly easy to just wake up and tell someone. Your whole life changes. And Emma loved those kids, so she didn't want their life to change. And on top of that, what if no one believed her? What if Carol hurt her because she told someone? I know it's just a book but you have to look at it from a real life perspective, because that's what the author is writing it from. Getting out of an abusive situation is never easy and it effects every single thing you do and choice you make in your life.

Kindaslick Kaitlyn wrote: "I feel like you really can't understand the situation and the book unless you've been in an abusive home yourself. You wouldn't understand what it's like to be literally beaten into a corner and no..."

First, as you've joined today, have added no friends and the only books you've had anything to do with are this breathing series and the only one you are following is the author that did this series, you'll forgive me if I assume you're a plant? If not, then you really need to read more authors before making up your mind on which gives a "true" account of abuse. But I'll reply on the off chance you are not a plant. Secondly, I'd like to say this is a work of FICTION. While works of fiction can touch the truth of reality it's still fiction. Thirdly, while you may take any stance on the abuse written in this book, the abuse is only used as fodder for the emotional scenery of the romantic relationship between Emma and Evan. As someone who wants to treat this fictional account of abuse as truth I would think you'd find the use of this type of situation as a crutch to add meat to an already lacking story as an insult. I know I did.

"I feel like you really can't understand the situation and the book unless you've been in an abusive home yourself. You wouldn't understand what it's like to be literally beaten into a corner and not knowing how to get out."

Actually, I know exactly what being in an abusive home is like and I made my life change so I never had to take it again. It wasn't difficult. The only truly difficult part was the emotional ties to the people who were suppose to love and protect me but they cut those ties by not being the people they should of been. Now, the fact that anyone would presume to judge anyone else's past and what they've been through in their life because of a review done for a book.. astounds me. If you want to like the book then by all means but don't assume anything about my life because of a review of a fictional book.

If you wish to read a book that takes on abuse directly without using it as cheap fodder for an angst filled romance then read the Old Wounds series by author N.K. Smith. In my opinion it's exceptional. In fact, I found it so direct and honest I couldn't finish the series. That's not to say there isn't a budding romance between two of the teenagers but it can all stand on it's own merits and doesn't have to use cheap gimmicks and tricks to ensure your attention is kept.

"It's not exactly easy to wake up and tell someone. Your whole life changes."

No kidding? Could it be, since the life being lead includes abuse, that a change might actually be for the better? Could it be that by lying and hiding any type of abusive relationship you are, in fact, supporting being treated like this? People are only going to treat you how you allow. Excuses aside, if you want a change in your life, you have to make it. I changed mine and I didn't have the advantage of having a friend that could give me a home to live in. It was my life, it was my choice, it was my responsibility and I made it. What I was going through was going to stop, one way or another, and I made sure that it did.

"And Emma loved those kids, so she didn't want their life to change."

Emma loved the kids. That's nice. Did she never once stop to think that one day they might be the ones on the receiving end of a beating? As no reason was given for the beatings she took.. it could of easily been bestowed on the other children in the house as well eh? But even still, their lives wouldn't of changed if she'd of moved in with her friend now would it? Their mother would still be there to one day beat them too possibly. Unless you mean she should stay in the house and keep taking the abuse because a 6 yr old and a 4 yr old need to see that's how people should be treated?

"And on top of that, what if no one believed her? What if Carol hurt her because she told someone?"

So, since it's a possibility that no one might believe her she should just stay quiet? With the bruises and the fact that her friends KNEW I'm willing to bet any investigation would prove the truth. And as for what if Carol hurt her because she told... Err.. Carol hurt her anyway. For anything. For nothing. For everything. If you're going to get thrown a beating, no matter what you do, then you might as well get it trying to save your own life, no?

"I know it's just a book but you have to look at it from a real life perspective, because that's what the author is writing it from. Getting out of an abusive situation is never easy and it effects every single thing you do and choice you make in your life."

I am looking at it from a real life perspective.. as much as a work of fiction warrants. If you want to take abuse from people then do so. It's your life after all and, as I've said, people will only treat you as you let them. As for getting out of an abusive situation.. you can say it's as hard as you'd like but if you want out, you will get out. Period. And it will effect every single thing you do and choice you make in your life but that doesn't mean that should be used as an excuse to do nothing. If even you can't fight for you then who will? If you stand up for yourself, if you make a stand, then you will realize you are worth more. The choice though, ultimately, is made within you.

But as I said in my review, half way through the book it stopped being about the abuse and about the relationship between Emma and Evan. So, in essence, the abuse is just fodder for some dramatic scenery in a teenage angst filled relationship. Until it's used to create a massive cliff hanger to ensure you buy the next book. So, you can take any stance you wish on the abuse as it's not really important. It's just a cheap gimmick to add more book sales or a veneer of depth to a story that's sorely lacking it.

message 38: by Anne (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anne Trinkle Amen. Everyone will take away something different from this book, based on their own personal experiences, their expectations of a fictional book that deals with non fictional issues, and their personal preferences regarding writing styles and character development. No person's opinion is right or wrong, it is their VIEW of the book or their OPINION of the BOOK, not real life. I think if a work of fiction causes such tumultuous feelings that these feelings of anger and bad memories come spewing out and you find yourself venting about someone else's personal life in a comment section, perhaps that isn't a book you should read. This is NOT in response to the original poster ( sorry, can't look up name), but to the person who felt so angry bc of her personal life story when some of us were just making comments because we thought this book just sucked for a variety of reasons. ;) Peace.

message 39: by Anne (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anne Trinkle Kaitlyn, I think Kindaslick's comments regarding the book were fair, well thought out and intelligent. I didn't really see any need for such emotional vomiting on your part about the book. If it brought up bad memories for you or you found it to not mesh with your experiences, by all means you are free to express that, but it wasn't your autobiography. It was a work of fiction, pure and simple. By all means do not finish the series if it is so disturbing to you. Nothing is worth stirring up years of bad memories.

Kindaslick Anne wrote: "Kaitlyn, I think Kindaslick's comments regarding the book were fair, well thought out and intelligent. I didn't really see any need for such emotional vomiting on your part about the book. If it br..."

Thank you Anne. I've had comments on this review from people enjoying as well as hating this story, it's all subjective. I've never had any problem with people expressing either side of these opinions as they are opinions and that's what this place is all about but this was the first time I've had someone tell me I couldn't understand a book because of their assumption of how my life has been. I felt I had to respond as I was a bit miffed about that and wanted to let them know I didn't appreciate the judgment as well as inform them of their mistake all without turning into an angry ranter. I try to save that for the books that push me into a rage quit. Seems I pulled it off. Thank you for the kind words.

message 41: by Lisa (new) - rated it 1 star

Lisa Agreed!

Tammy Butler I absolutely loved this series. It is different from a lot of the other books that I have read. So I thank you Rebecca!!!!

message 43: by Ana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ana Saldivar I kind of enjoyed some parts of the book, I really liked the love-hate stories and everything. But you are soo right in so much things. Emma got me to my nerves. She prefered to live with the crazy bitch than be in a safe enviroment along with their cousins, the aunt was a good mother now but she will start to be as crazy with them as with her the firts time jack or leyla get home late or something like that. I don't know, but I finished this book and read the prologue of the second one and that's it, I don't want too read how much stupid things she does, I do have to do the laundry and wash the dishes as well :)

message 44: by Noot (new)

Noot Kradang-nga I bought the whole series ( 3 books ) but I've read your review when i was at half of it and decided to give it a try the last time and i'm now at 70% of Reason to Breathe and i'm giving up. I found Anastasia in FSOG is way more

message 45: by Noot (new)

Noot Kradang-nga entertaining than Emma, I JUST CAN'T STAND HER FOR MY OWN SAKE.

message 46: by Tammi (new) - rated it 1 star

Tammi can someone just tell me what happens ... I'm half way through book one and I don't think I can do it anymore. the abuse factor aside, Emma gets on my nerves! seriously? stop it... get some help, move on with your life. get a job. don't go home. do something other than sit there and exist. stupid.

nonetheless, reading the comments makes me want to know what the cliff hanger is but I don't know if I can't take another 200 pages of this.

Natalia Wheen you guys go through a similar situation, you can judge Emma. I know she is not a real character but al of yall comments are awful. She was abused since 7 years or age (maybe at 9, I dont remember) and she had an alcoholic mother; she was used to burying her feelings deep inside her and keeping her mouth shut about everything. Anyways, my point is that just because it involves love doesnt mean it sucks. Emma did get on my nerves throughout the three books but I loved the three books. I have been through a similar situation and couldnt have gone through it alone. Emmas evan is my ethan and even though Reason To Breathe is bullshit, I found it touching and I could relate. So all of yall just shut up

message 48: by Anne (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anne Trinkle Natalia, perhaps youth is the reasons for your lack of etiquette but please don't write things like " all of ya'll just shut up." It is bad manners and not necessary when adding your comments to another person's review of a book. Everyone may not agree on Good reads but we all respect one another and personal attacks are not necessary and could be hurtful to other people's feelings. Thank you. :)

message 49: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Payne People, how would you feel if you were in that situation? It happens in real life. You may say " oh yeah, i would've done this..." but, you wouldn't know, because you really haven't experienced it (unless you truly have, then i have nothing to say, to support my debate
). If that happened to me, i'd do the same thing. because when i read a book, i become the character.

message 50: by Umi (new) - rated it 1 star

Umi i totaly agree with you. i read this book more than 1 year ago and never finish. i never experience abusive in my life, so i can't relate with emma's situation. i see this book as fiction that maybe can make me enjoy. turn of, this book made me annoyed. and depressed.

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