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(Breathe #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  17,002 ratings  ·  1,847 reviews
The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can't? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan's gripping and original dystopian teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope.

Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity di
Hardcover, First Edition, 373 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Greenwillow
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Deniz It is not. Under the Never Sky is different, but I LOVED that series! I cant think of a series that Is like Breathe, but I totally recommend it!

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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  17,002 ratings  ·  1,847 reviews

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Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm normally a HUGE fan of just about any dystopian, and I was really looking forward to this one, but it ended up really disappointing me because 1) the plot did not stand out, 2) I could not stand the characters and 3) too many inconsistencies.

First of all, this book followed your typical dystopian plot - oppressive government, rebels who know the truth, duped citizens who finds out the truth and decide to do something about it, all hell breaks loose, etc. And I can't put my finger on it,
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’ll be blunt, shall I? I’ve read cereal boxes that were more exciting than this book.

I might have been able to chalk this up to just another case of Insta!Dystopia and moved on, but my disappointment is compounded by the fact that I’ve read Crossan’s The Weight of Water, and it’s really good. So I expected more from Breathe. And it did not deliver.

Something called The Shift has caused oxygen levels to plunge and as there are no trees, the drastically reduced population live inside a Pod city
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Check out more of my reviews at ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***!

Breathe do I give it justice? It was amazing. It was epic. It was one of my favorite books this year. After hearing some mixed things—it seems like everybody either loves this novel or hates it—I was a little reluctant to start it. But, soon, I fell in love with this book and I could NOT put it down. When I first found out I won this my immediate reaction was:

And then I was to Sarah Crossan:
Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
Review and more at

I’ve got to admit I admired the ideas behind this book and looking at our modern-day world, I can definitely see where the author is coming from with her ideas. But despite all the action, reveals and all I still found this story rather flat.

Firstly the plot and conspiracy regarding the trees was surprising when I first started reading, but towards the end it became obvious where the author was taking things. I think whether or not you ag
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I read this one, and it isn't half bad ;) ...more
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
After I finished this book, I started thinking about how sometimes writers, who are known for a particular genre, suddenly decide to write something different and how odd it is. I guess there are obvious genres a writer can go into. Fantasy authors are comfortable writing sci-fi. Horror authors can write paranormal books.
But verse novels to dystopia? I was sceptical, to say the least.

This book was… alright. I’ve read a lot of dystopian books and I’m beginning to feel a bit disillusioned. I think
It really pains me to say that I found Sarah Crossan's "Breathe" a significant disappointment in the line of YA dystopia fiction despite an interesting offering on a scientific concept - what if oxygen were in rare supply in the overarching world? What would happen to the people who couldn't afford to have it, since trees are said to have become extinct and only the wealthy, who control the production of the oxygen, can afford to "buy" their sustenance? It sounds like an interesting concept righ ...more
3.5 stars

Gritty dystopians have really been hitting the spot as of late. Breathe I’m happy to say is a book which managed to tick a lot of my boxes in providing a masterfully woven novel which kept me on the edge of my seat when several books have failed. There are only a distinct number of dystopians which I would categorise as utterly mind-blowing and I’m pleased to say Breathe is one of those books.

With the number of dystopians coming through these days, I’ve become increasingly picky over wh
Neil (or bleed)
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
"I’m nervous, but I’m not scared."

I think Breathe is timely and relevant.
I think it is an eye opener to what will happen when trees and plants will vanish in this cruel world or when people, us, abused our natural resources; and when there is no unity but greed among us.
And I think this book is a carrier of hope and faith, too.

Breathe gave me a typical dystopian world of a ruling government controlling the people through a promised hope. And of course, there is the resistance, advanced tech
Imagine a world where oxygen is lacking. Instead of the usual amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, the levels of oxygen plummet, resulting in the need for breathing masks and cumbersome oxygen tanks. This is the world of Breathe, a novel by Sarah Crossan.

Sometime in the not so distant future, an event called The Switch caused oxygen levels to decrease. Mankind found a short term solution care of a company called Breathe. People moved to large glass pods and breathed air manufactured by Breathe.

Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, ukya
'Breathe' has quickly become my favourite dystopian EVER. It follows all the conventions of a good dystopian, but the characters don't make stupid decision, the dynamic between the three main characters is really interesting, and the secondary characters were all so, well, cool!
I couldn't pick a favourite perspective out of Bea, Alina and Quinn and that's usually a very good sign! I would recommend to anyone that loves 'Under the Never Sky'.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
BREATHE left me breathless. Sarah Crossan has created a world so profound and scary, I hope to never see something like this happen. But even scarier…it could.
They say that humanity is the largest and longest plague Earth has ever experienced, and there is no better illustration of that than Crossan’s new dystopian novel, BREATHE. In it, humanity has been nearly decimated of its own hand, by logging all the forests, causing oxygen levels to plummet. The lucky few chosen by lottery – or sheer imp
Nicole Wang
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Breathe is an incredibly ironic title. Throughout this entire book, I couldn’t breathe! It was incredibly depressing and touching, reading Breathe! I’m starting to feel like all the dystopians this year are going to have the same effect on me: stunned, on the edge of tears, and knowing it’s an amazing book. 2012 really does have some of the best books ever. And especially Breathe. I had no idea what to expect! I knew Breathe would be original. I mean, an air shortage? Having to buy oxygen? It ju ...more
This review is for an advanced reader's copy.

I will start by saying that I picked up this book as I was about to go to sleep thinking I would read the first couple of chapters to see how I liked it. I ended up reading all of part one and then forcing myself to go to sleep because I had already stayed up way later than I should have.

Breathe is definitely readable and Crossan has done a great job creating an endearing setting as well as three main characters that you can't help but invest yourself
A finished unsolicited copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Global warming has devastated the entire planet, and oxygen levels are at an all time low. The survivors have found a way to live in domed cities which are erected around the planet by the corporation Breathe. They control the oxygen consumption of everyone in the city. Lower class citizens must pay for their oxygen, while wealthier classes have an unlimited supply. Quinn, the handsome, wealthy Premium whose father works for th
Lindsay Cummings
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
so far...this book is rocking my face off!
Find this review at Scott Reads It

**Thank you to Greenwillow Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review**

Breathe had a lot of promise in my opinion but it really disappointed me. Imagine a world where people live inside a dome and outside is pretty much ruins (Under The Never Sky) then imagine that inside the dome people need oxygen masks to survive (Masque of the Red Death). Breathe takes in place in a dome ruled by a government called Breathe.

This book is told fro
Sep 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't expect to like this one as much as I did! The romance between Quinn and Bea = ...more
If I saw Breathe displayed in a bookshop, I'd pick it up. If I read the synopsis, I'd trot right over the cashier, hand over my hard-earned cash, go home and start reading straight away. It looks good, it sounds good, so it MUST be good.

However, I struggled to enjoy Breathe. I'm not adverse to multiple POV stories, however the flashes between Alina, Quinn and Bea were so fast that I struggled to keep up with exactly who was narrating and when, although it was also essential to the story to show
Phoenix Olivia
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The concept of this was good. The world doesn't have anymore trees, therefore they don't have oxygen. Everywhere around them looks dead, like there isn't any life to it. To live they have these air tanks that they carry around with them but they are limited to activity. The poor people can barely make it and they don't really have a lot of food for their family. They don't have much money to spend on their oxygen. That's how they have everything sent up. The premiums, which are kind of like the ...more
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
I didn’t finish this book.
I didn’t get past 80%.
I will review it though.

If you don’t want to read a DNF review. Click the back button. Close the browser. I don’t care. If you do want to read this, continue down the review.


I didn’t like Breathe. When you read DNF, you probably assumed I hated it. I did not hate it. I simply got bored with it. I didn’t care about what happened to the characters or the fictional world. Truthfully, I lost track of the story at 55 – 60% in. I really hate when that
Mel Barnes
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, cl, home, ya
Read April 22, 2012
Reread December 30, 2016

Wow...I'm stunned. This is an amazing story and I'm so excited that there will be a sequel. I'm really only bummed that I have to wait a year or so until it's out. :)

I wrote a proper review on my blog at
In a world with no trees, no air, no truth... There is no choice but to fight back.

Breathe by Sara Crossan is a dystopia describing life in a new society that has arisen following the collapse of the one that we know. And it's the first in a trilogy, thus the story is a long way from being resolved by the end of this volume. It runs for three hundred and seventy one pages. And is divided into five parts [four long and one very short] and fifty seven chapters.

So far so familiar.

So what does Breat
The idea isn't too bad, the concept was kid of pulled off but the fact remains that for me, reading yet another YA dystopia told in first-person present-tense was a little grating and - dare I say it - boring. I've heard good things about this author but found the writing style bland, and the character voices hard to distinguish between. I literally had to double check each chapter so I was sure who's "voice" was being used. Still, I think for a quick read I'm interested enough to pick up th
Julianna Helms
Okay, if this ends up being a bestseller, I am going to be BUMMED.


*****FINAL RATING: 4.80 STARS*****

I absolutely adored this book. It is seriously one of my favorite reads of 2012. It is without a doubt completely unlike anything I've ever read. Not your formulaic dystopian, Breathe has some serious action balanced by some killer romance! The characters were incredibly likable and the plot and the writing made me absolutely fall in love. Everything about it was original and fresh, and I loved some of the brilliant ideas involved. One of my favorite
Karen Barber
In Breathe we’re asked to imagine a world without oxygen. We don’t know why, but the world is now split into two distinct groups - the Premiums who can afford to buy the oxygen they need, and the Subs whose access is carefully rationed. People seem to be living under giant domes where everything is carefully regulated, and the truth about outside is hidden from all.
We focus on three characters, from different backgrounds. Through rather tenuous links they end up together on the outside, trying t
Anatea Oroz
Jul 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review is also posted on my blog, Anatea's Bookshelf.

As soon as I saw the cover, I was in love with this book. The description was awesome, and I couldn't wait to finally read this book! It was my MOST anticipated fall release. And it dissapointed me. Yes, that's right. I didn't like it. It failed to deliver.

Well, I actually kinda liked the beginning. The main three characters are introduced, and we see some world building there. Oxygen has become a problem, and some citizens are moved to l
Breathe conjured up a lot of unexpected emotions, a lot of realizations and a fuck load of thought provoking questions.

The reason why Breathe made me emotional at times is definitely not because of the characters - I'll get to that later - but of the world that the book was set in. The author had a look at the world today, saw that global warming is a huge problem that isn't really being solved, took the idea and ran with it.

Books like this - especially this one - make me irrationally paranoid a
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-s, alt-pov
2.75 stars

A BIG "Thanks" to Jenn from the YA Sisterhood for loaning me her copy, she ROCKS!

OK, so, this is one of those books that I was really, really excited to read but ended up struggling to finish. The concept is interesting, the story well written, and the characters; while engaging, were also annoying a lot of the time.

Bea and Quinn have been BFF's forever and of course, she's in love with him and he's as clueless as ever. (silly book boy) Air is the hot commodity that is controlled by t
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Sarah Crossan is Irish. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Literature before training as an English and Drama teacher at Cambridge University and worked to promote creative writing in schools before leaving teaching to write full time.

She completed her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Warwick in 2003 and in 2010 received an Edward Albee Fellowship for writing.

She curren

Other books in the series

Breathe (2 books)
  • Resist (Breathe, #2)

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