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Reason to Breathe

(Breathing #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  87,293 ratings  ·  6,051 reviews
"No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more
Kindle Edition, 377 pages
Published May 10th 2011
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Lily if you're on desktop, after you rate and add the book to your 'read' shelf it'll direct you to a page where you can add a review, if it doesn't then h…moreif you're on desktop, after you rate and add the book to your 'read' shelf it'll direct you to a page where you can add a review, if it doesn't then hover over the 'read' shelf link and they'll be a write a review link! You'll need a goodreads account :) (less)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  87,293 ratings  ·  6,051 reviews

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Jun 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ugh
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
Jenny - TotallybookedBlog
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
First off...this should be 4.5 stars!
I started reading this book and literally could not put it down - I HAD to know how it ended, so I was up until 4am devouring every moment. It was a long book and I've read a couple of the deleted scenes and really wouldn't have minded if it was even longer.
We had a chance to really get to know the characters - minor and major characters - they all worked so well together.
There was a plot about 3/4 in the book that frustrated me (not sure if anyone else felt
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
This book was way too sad and messed up!

Mel 🖤🐾🐺
"That's All" Ash

Seven Disney movies later…


I’m slightly more of an alcoholic today than I was two days ago.

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Well played, Rebecca Donovan… well played.

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-♥- The story -♥-

So beautiful and very subtly powerful, “Reason to Breathe” is about Emma, a high school girl with a home life that would make Vernon and Petunia Dursley (Harry Potter’s aunt and uncle) seem warm and fuzzy. This isn’t the kind of story that gives you butterflies, guys… this is a story that’s goin
Dec 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: high-school, abused
I have a hard time understanding why people enjoyed this book. The quality of the writing was very poor. It got a bit better later on, but especially in the sample and the first few chapters of the book, it was just really juvenile and seemed like it had never been edited. I have read so many non-published stories that were of much higher quality and it was a bit of a struggle to connect fully with the characters and what was happening because the writing style itself was so distracting.

Aside fr
Sep 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed, ya
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

I really didn’t like this book, and I wish I hadn’t bought it. The premise itself I had no problem with – a girl struggling with abuse and falling in love – but everyone was so one-dimensional!

The main character (I don’t even remember her name, she was that uninteresting) was forced to live with her aunt and uncle because her dad had died and her mom was unable to care for her. The entire book focuses on her waffling around about 1-whether or not she should pursue the love interest
Aestas Book Blog
Apr 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

4.5 stars

This is the story of a girl holding on to a fragile thread of hope and a love that that brought a ray of light into her world of unspeakable cruelty. It was heart wrenching, gripping and I absolutely could not put it down!

I'd been waiting to read this book for what felt like forever. This was actually one of the first series I heard about when I first started reading contemporary romance. Everyone kept telling me how amazing they were and I had a feeling I'd love them but I also knew
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Oh!My!God....I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE that bitch Carol.I swear I felt like killing her throughout the novel.

And George...Lord I have rarely seen such a weak,lily-livered person.A swift kick would have done the job.

This is what I really want to say to Em's so called MOM---

You are a grade-A b**ch

And EVAN (though he did some really stupid things) was just perfect for Emily.I loved Sara,that is how best friends are supposed to be.I also admired Emily's spirit of survival.

Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog
4.75 Stars

I am one hot mess right now. One. Hot. Freaking. Mess. I seriously felt like I took a punch in the gut. I was so emotionally absorbed in this story; I barely had enough time to catch my breath when it just abruptly ended. WTF just happened?

I’m not a huge fan of any story that doesn’t have a HEA. I knew going into this, that this was not going to end well, but I decided to pick it up anyway. However, I did purposely wait for Barely Breathing (Book #2) to come out before reading this. Th
May 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book sat in my recommendations for a long time, so I was looking forward to starting it. Unfortunately, I couldn't get more than 10% through without giving up.

Emma, the main character, is obviously in a very abusive situation at home with her aunt. I don't have Emma's experience exactly, and I would never assume anything about anyone else, but I can't imagine letting an aunt that didn't raise me and I don't care about beat on me for no reason over and over again and just taking it, as a 17
Maria Espadinha
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Power of Consciousness

A simple phone call would put an instant end to Emma’s suffering. A word from her to the right authorities, and her ruthless, vicious aunt... would be out of her life forever!

However what seems to be so simple in the thoughts domain, it’s not usually that easy in the practical terrain!

Because human souls tend to be black and white, it happens that her brutally abusive aunty was also a devoting mother. And... 6 years old Jack and 4 years old Leyla meant the world to Emm
"No one tried to get involved with me" was a total exaggeration in this book's synopsis, considering Emma had a best friend who was always looking out for her.
Nevertheless, even with the tragic abuse theme in the story, I found Reason to Breathe completely ridiculous and a bit unrealistic.

Here you have a girl who is 'invisible' and wants to blend in, and perhaps I'm turning her into a stereotype but she's too "well-rounded" for an abusee. 4.0 GPA, editor in the school paper who plays three var
Nov 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I want to love this book to 4 stars. At the end, I am confuse instead of impress. The story of Emma is heart breaking. Her confusion, abandon by her mother, her abuse by her aunt and her growing feeling toward Evan. Miss Donovan putting so much aspect into this book so the audio book is 14 hours long.

However during that 14 hours long, so many aspect that is not necessary nor supporting the grow of the plot. Like the detail description of photography, Emma interaction with Sarah, her BFF. Sarah
Alexis *Reality Bites*
QUICK REVIEW -Spoiler Free
Genre: YA- Romance

- 'In the balance of Love and loss, it was love that made me struggle to... Breathe.
-Book Quote

I am really at a loss for words with this book.... I found myself breathless at certain points in this book finding my own feelings jumbled in a mass of pain held in my chest.
Reason to Breathe is about a young girl named Emily(Emma). She is a good student at Weslyn High earning straight A's,she is the editor for the Weslyn school paper and plays socc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-school, abused
5 'Heartbreaking' Stars

What an amazing book.

Emma's father died and her mother is an alcoholic who abandoned her so she has to live with her uncle, aunt, and two cousins. Her auntie(I'm not even sure i should call her that)is a devil . She's really abusive and she hates Emma, she made that pretty clear when she hits her with anything that's within reach.

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In school Emma wants nothing but to be invisible. She is. They don't notice her and she doesn't want to be noticed. She walks in a haze. S
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am at a loss about how to review this book... It is a very emotional read, found myself so excited/happy at times, and distraught at others. The book left with such a cliff hanger, so glad the second one is out- because I need to find out what happens! Must read!
Kellie Maddox-Ward
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-na


What a heart wrenching, extremely emotional, beautifully written novel.

Emma Thomas is the star scholar.
The newspaper editor.
The soccor star.
The basketball star.
The track star.
Basically anything to do with school star.
She is best friends with the most wanted girl in school Sara.
Sara is her only friend.
No-one tries to talk to Em, they all think A- She is wayyyyy to into school B- She's stuck up.
She tries to be as invisible as can be.

What they don't know is that she is this way so t
Akanksha❤ Søren♰
When you love a book so much, but you just can't re-read it again because you can still remember the pain you felt while reading it, like it was yesterday.


Review has a few spoilers.. So please read it only after you've read this book.

I can't thank the author enough for not going into details with THOSE scenes, Seriously, if she had.. I would have lost my temper and broken my laptop.
The book was AMAZING.. Like seriously crazy and mind boggling but amazing.

This book stirred so many emotions w
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure where to start with this book, it is about abuse/violence.... living and coping with it, choices she makes to stay quiet....and at times it brought tears to my eyes, I gave it 5 stars which I actually did struggle with abit. I was going to rate it lower because of the ending but all I can do is pray there is a sequel. (I did just read there is one coming soon).

Rebecca Donovan writes this story and your emotions are right there when reading Emma's story.

I would say my struggle with
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I ended up giving this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars. This story is incredibly sad. Emma live with her uncle and Aunt. The Aunt abuses her almost on a daily basis and the uncle doesn't do anything about it. Her best friend knows about the abuse and wants to get Emma out of the situation, but Emma won't let her. Emma is afraid she will lose everything she has fought so hard for. She's an amazing and smart student and is working toward going to college after she graduates and is counting down the days. ...more
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was ok

Idk what I feel about this.

Half of the time, I just wanted to insert myself into the book and strangle the aunt like Boyyyyyyyyy , I swear I never encountered such a fucking deranged character. The aunt was NUTS. It's been confirmed from the "You is not normal, bitch" association.

Can I replace Emma and just have my way around with her aunt?? I had to endure this entire book of her bat-shit craziness so, I deserve to release this anger and frustration. Idk how the author could sit down
Elizabeth (Liz)
This book gave me a continuous stomach ache and incredible anxiety for the entire length of time it took me to read it. If there isn't a sequel SOON.........the author is getting the bill for my therapy sessions. God. Almighty. Someone hold me............. ...more
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
LOVED This book. I laughed, cried, screamed, felt my heart pound I had so many emotions reading this story. I am so happy to hear that there will be a sequel. Emma's story is heartbreaking to say the least but with her friendship to Sara and her relationship with Evan you get so much hope for her. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. ...more
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Some days Emma is thrilled to be alive. Some days she struggles to find a reason to breathe.

Emma Thomas is every parent’s dream. She’s an excellent student. She does her chores without complaint and helps with the younger kids at home. She’s a star athlete and a talented artist. Her best friend, Sara, is one of the most popular girls in school. So why then does she live her life in a perpetual state of fear? Emma has a dark secret about which no one, not even Sara, knows the truth. Emma is not
Ezinwanyi Chinyere
I am so glad I kept going on this book. This is exactly why I don't DNF books. Once I got past the beginning, this book was gripping and so interesting.

Emma Thomas had lived with her Uncle George and Aunt Carol since her father died in a car accident and her mother was a raging alcoholic. Emma was the star athlete at her school, exceling in soccer, basketball and track. She had an "A" grade point average, managed the school newspaper but her new home situation was less than ideal. For some
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
oh my God , im in deep shock , my body is numb and i can put the rights words cuz id ont know what happened , i am confused and flustered more than ever , how could what i think happened possibly happened ? this book was touching to the very buttom of my heart , directing many life lessons that im still trying to put my finger on , it's about living the moment and working hard , it's about learning how to be your best when all odds are agianst you ,it's a life lesson that u dont get to read many ...more
Jx PinkLady Reviews ♡ bookwormthoughts
**A very quick re-read with one Pink Lady, the lovely, Barb ♥

We NEED our HEA...we've waited a LONG time!!!
Ash Wednesday
Nov 28, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review, young-adult
The fact that I read this in three days is testament to all the hair pulling and groans of 'oh come on'-s.

Half the time, I felt like I was being manipulated to feel Something (sad? angst? empathy?) Which is technically, the job of any author. The thing is, I can't feel for Emma/Emily because I'm too busy not liking her (she calls her best friend 'stupid'. Who does that?! My best friend would've smacked me seven ways to Sunday) So instead of rooting for her I was rooting for.... The art teacher.
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Wow.. Just wow.. I am in tears and I am speechless.

Video Review:

This is a very inspiring story about a girl dealing with abuse and how love helps her to keep breathing!
Very beautiful writing and characters. The abuse was very upsetting and aggravating, but really evoked all the feels!
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The Breathing Series: Ideal Reason to Breathe Movie Cast 48 729 Mar 07, 2017 12:59PM  
Help! 1 14 Jul 01, 2016 02:21PM  
Contemporary YA: Reason to Breathe 1 15 Dec 01, 2014 08:54AM  

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Optimism seeps from every pore of my body. I truly believe that what's supposed to happen... will! In that regard, I don't know how to give up; it's not part of my biological make up.

I'm a passionate (and some would say, overly enthusiastic) person. I learn by doing (and have been burned more times that I'd like to admit), but I will always throw my entire self into whatever I do - fail or succeed

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