Julia's Reviews > Breathless

Breathless by Jessica Warman
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's review
Nov 28, 2009

really liked it
Read in December, 2009

Katie Kitrell's best friend has always been her older brother, Will- even when he is in various mental institutions he always believed in him. But, once Will attempts a public suicide, their parents send Katie off to a boarding school in Virginia, where Katie plans to start over.

Since the Kitrell's moved to a small, poor town in Pennsylvania they have been the envy and target of all the neighborhoods hatred. The classmates-and even the teachers of Katie and Will make their lives nightmares on a daily bases, leading Will to drugs which makes him spiral into a drug induced schizophrenia.
Their father is merely a "Ghost" to them, a complete workaholic and devotes no time to his family and their mother turns to alcohol to ease the pain of it all. And Katie feels she has no control, and the only place she can actually breathe is in the water-swimming.
Swimming has always been her escape, making her a prodigy and a sure bet for the swim team at her new board school where she quickly befriends the popular girls and finds herself a boyfriend- the popular boys swim team captain. But Katie has a secret- her life is less than perfect. Whenever questioned of the motives of starting a new high school her sophomore year, she simply says her brother "was in an accident" until she allows her lie to slip and say he is dead. Filled with relief and pain Katie most overcome her brother's real existence, mean girls, and a roommate who'd rather not talk to anyone- especially Katie.
Though soon, Katie's roommate Mazzie Moon warms up a little after Katie talks to her about Mazzie's screaming at night from nightmares and her constant teeth grinding- Mazzie obviously has pain building inside of her though she is not allowing her guard to go down.
And then there is her boyfriend, who though is popular is not even close to what Katie expected.

A great heart-breaking and heart-warming story of a girl just wanting to keep things under control as her life spirals out of control.
It is well written though the fact that the years drag on, makes it quite confusing. When one minute she is a Sophomore and the next she is a Senior it is hard to keep up.
I enjoyed it though because it seemed real and impacted you all at the same time, you felt the need to hug and cry for and yell at Katie all at the same time.

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