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Breathing #2

Barely Breathing

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Emma’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart pounding conclusion in the final chapters of "Reason to Breathe". Now everyone in Weslyn knows Emma’s secret, but Carol can’t hurt Emma anymore. Some are still haunted by the horror of that night, and some must face the repercussions of their choices. Fans of Rebecca Donovan’s debut novel will discover there’s still much to learn about Emma’s life.

385 pages, ebook

First published April 30, 2012

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About the author

Rebecca Donovan

17 books9,391 followers
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.

I think this is evident when I write, leaving nothing behind and spilling it all out on the pages. I give it all to my readers - love it or hate it.

The path I'm on is very often my own, veering off the beaten path at the sight of something more interesting or captivating, getting caught in the vines and thorns in order to experience the beauty and intrigue others often pass by. And I always meet the most interesting people along the way...

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5 stars
36,661 (52%)
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21,517 (30%)
3 stars
8,681 (12%)
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817 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,658 reviews
Profile Image for Jess (the cozy reader).
653 reviews42 followers
April 12, 2015
I am very sleep deprived still, having been up all night reading this book. I think I fell asleep around 4am.

Sweet Jesus, this book was just as intesnse and emotional for me as the first, love it just as much. The sequel picks up months after Emma's attack from the Evil Bitch from hell "aka" Carol, and Emma has now made the decision to live with her mother Rachel and start over. I was little hesitant on her living with her mother again, but I thought hey it can be a fresh start for both of them. Well let's just say I'm not a fan of that mother one little bit. And I wish I had one of these!

Evan you have stolen my heart once again. He is so compassionate, understanding, loyal, and an all around beautiful man. I loved the Emma and Evan moments to the fullest.

Sara is still the best friend you could ask for, and I am very glad Emma has her. I must say I grinning like an idot and very happy with what happens to her in the romance department! There are a few new characters that come in to the story and kind of complicates things. Yes Johnathan and Analise, I am talking about you guys! God Dammit...

I am very happy with this sequel, and cannot wait until the third book Out Of Breath. Now I am left wondering, what the hell happens next?
Profile Image for Gitte TotallyBookedBlog.
1,970 reviews942 followers
May 2, 2012
I WANT TO SCREAM AND THROW LAWSON (my kindle lol) AT THE WALL WHILST I COLLAPSE IN A CRYING MESS ON THE FLOOR....I am such a drama queen but I am SERIOUS!!!! I don't even know what to say...I am angry, frustrated, happy but sad...Why do I do this to myself??!! Actually I totally blame Rebecca Donovan...her amazing writing skills draw me in and puts me through the ringer EVERY TIME!!! For that I thank her believe it or not..she is AMAZING!!!

5 stars???? I don't think so...more like 5 stars to the power of infinity!!

I've been breathing quite nicely since 80 days ago when I finished Reason to Breathe...counting the days for Barely Breathing...hoping Evan went back for that crucial moment and saved Emma. And the gorgeous R. Donovan gave it to us a day early..I psyched myself up, I was happy, I was anxious..I could go on! Then I forgot to breathe again and as Evan was telling Emma to breathe, he was reminding me too!

I don't want to spoil ANYTHING because so many of you still have this on your tbr list!! Buy I feel like I've been to hell and back:

"Where have you been during those five years? In hell I breathed" - Emma.

Emma has survived "the night from hell", her aunt is in prison and her uncle and two little cousins have gone. Emma is staying with Sara and her parents who have been given guardianship til she is 18. Emma then decides to go live with her mum Rachel, it's her mum, she wants to get to know her. And so the journey begins of "let's make Emma's life hell again because it's not as if she hasn't had a hard enough life already"...bloody hell (sorry!) but give this girl a break!!!

Emma has nightmares..she doesn't remember "the night of hell" but wakes up screaming...Rachel walks in: "What's wrong with you? You'd think someone was killing you or something"..."But someone is killing me I whispered, every time I shut my eyes"...AAARGH Rachel I officially hate you and Emma I would have wrapped you up and snuggled you safe!!

Emma goes through so much again and starts to question the what if's.."What if I didn't exist..." would everyone be happy and safe - I was SOBBING!!! And Evan..the hero.."We could contemplate the meaning of your life all you want, but you're my meaning, the reason behind just about everything I do- and I would never want to change that" - I love Evan even though he pissed me off once big time when it looked like Emma was standing up for herself..Emma got mad...I got proud...Evan got scared..Evan pissed me off!!! But then Evan..he got good again and I was reminded why I love this guy so much. He is always there, he is protective, he LOVES Emma, whatever Emma feels - he feels...

"Hold on to this life Emma he whispered, you are so much stronger than you think you are" - Evan.

And without giving anything away...HE GOT THERE " I begged for you to breathe with every breath I gave you" - OMG I was in a puddle on the floor..actually I am still in a mess!!! Enough said!!!!

And Jonathan, yes I did start fancying you, even though you are one screwed up guy..but I would like to try fix you too (oh and go for a ride on the back of your bike!) LOL...

Jonathan and Emma - two people connected by the fact that they were both let down and hated by the people that were meant to love them the most..Jonathan helps Emma because he knows and this confuses everything including Emma...the destruction their relationship caused..."You asked why I stayed when I had every reason to leave - I stayed for you. I was drawn to you almost instantly without really understanding what was happening. I will always be here for you Emma"...But I can't like him too much because he ended up being the catalyst for how Barely Breathing ended...

Emma sweet sweet Emma..I can't agree with you even though I kind of understand why....

Evan you gorgeous boy...my heart is breaking for you....

Here are 3 songs that played in my head when reading:

1. Pearl Jam - Just Breathe
2. Theory of a Deadman - In the Middle
3. Coldplay - Fix You

Profile Image for  ⊱ Sonja ⊰ ❤️.
2,298 reviews409 followers
September 22, 2022
Die 17-jährige Emma ist ihrer gewalttätigen Tante entkommen und wohnt nun wieder bei ihrer leiblichen Mutter. Die beiden müssen sich erst wieder aneinander gewöhnen. Emmas Freund Evan ist ihr in dieser Situation eine große Hilfe. Dann lernt Emmas Mutter Rachel den viel jüngeren Jonathan kennen, was alles komplizierter werden lässt.
Mein Leseeindruck:
"Liebe verwundet" ist der zweite Teil einer Trilogie. Ging es im ersten Band noch um körperliche und seelische Misshandlung, handelt dieser zweite Teil von einer ganz anderen Thematik. Trotzdem ist es sicherlich sinnvoll, zuerst Band 1 zu lesen, um die Vorgeschichte von Emma kennenzulernen.
Der Schreibstil ist sehr einfach, leicht und unkompliziert, so dass sich das Buch durchaus flüssig lesen lässt. Schwierigkeiten hatte ich eher mit dem Inhalt. Die Hauptprotagonistin Emma handelt sehr oft unlogisch und macht Dinge, die ich einfach nicht nachvollziehen kann. Ich habe mich oft über sie (und auch über andere Figuren) geärgert.
Selten hat ein Buch so widersprüchliche Gefühle in mir ausgelöst. Einerseits hat mich die Geschichte von Emma durchaus unterhalten, so dass ich nun neugierig bin, was im dritten Band noch geschehen wird. Andererseits habe ich mich aber auch so oft über Emma geärgert und aufgeregt, dass ich diese Trilogie nun abschließen möchte. Wahrscheinlich bin ich aber doch zu neugierig und werde den letzten Teil auch noch lesen.
478 reviews
May 2, 2012
i have been waiting for this book once i've finished, reason to breath.
I remember finishing it, crying at 2 in the night and running to my laptop to see if this could possibly be the end, i was so glad it wasn't and then i cried some more,,.-))

Absolutely loved it, can't wait for the final installment, but please a HEA would be preferable because how much can a person suffer.
Profile Image for Kajal Nehra.
95 reviews29 followers
April 1, 2015
"…you can't keep him in the dark when everything starts falling apart. You're not protecting him, you know. You're pushing him away."

Qualities of a perfect novel:
• Kiss Under Fireworks [check]
• Anger, Frustration, Pain [check]
• Action/Fight [check]
• Amazing Plot/Storyline [check]
Hot and Steamy Make-out Scene(s) [check]
Love-making in the Woods [check]
Oh gosh, this the perfect novel!

I think… I… I think I maybe in love, wi…with Evan Matthews!
I think I love Evan even more than Tobias (Divergent series). That said, I know you cannot wait to read Barely Breathing. :)

First of all, hats-off to Rebecca Donovan!
10 Stars! There you scored yourself 10 stars and a pathetically long review.
After reading the last line, now I’m begging for Out Of Breath! I just can not wait one more year. I cannot, full stop.
"I don't know if I'm staying."

Initially, I thought Jonathan was trying to double time Rachel and Emma, but at one point I did realize that he wasn’t the problem – Rachel was. He had very well spelled it out that he didn’t want drama. He wanted a simple life – a life simple enough to know what came next. He wanted control of his life. No one could ever anticipate Rachel’s reactions so of course I understood him then, thought he was a decent enough guy.
But well, he later on just became the ‘complication’ he talked having girl friends (i.e friends who were girls) could be. And I hate him for what he did to Evan. Hate him so much that I could murder him with my bare hands.

Maybe during the middle or somewhere around that, I liked the Jonathan that Barely Breathing brought forth to us, I kinda liked that and even felt a little warm towards him (ex: the-healing-your-fears, etc.). But by the end I was decidedly Team-Evan so his words all seemed either fake to me or like they were talking about ‘its-such-a-nic-weather-today’ ‘yeah’. (Don’t blame me. ;))
I am sure I didn’t quite like Analise but I understood her completely! Not what she said about Emma not deserving Evan but when she said,

"All I have to say is that he's the most amazing person I've ever met, and I'd give anything for someone to love me like that, so you'd better deserve him, Emma."

Truer words were never spoken.

Evan (and Sara too! I LOVE THAT GIRL! If I could ever pick a best-friend from the fictional world, then it will have to be Sara only! There is no competition there), both these guys were so understanding and so supportive and so loving and so caring and not at all pitiful! (And Evan is the most thoughtful and romantic guy ever! So much so that it makes me want to cry! I FUCKING LOVE YOU EVAN! I’ll say that a million times if need be.) I simply admired adored there two. And this is still an understatement. I wish each and every person on the face of this earth has people/friends like these two in their lives. *sobbing*

Rebecca Donovan sure knows how to write a book and she sure as hell knows how to write a romance it is one the bestest best romances I’ve ever read! Gotta love her for that.

This margarita shit is there in all the books these days. I’m surely going to have to look up what this drink really is. Me = Totally Uninformed.

The only thing I hated Emma for was perhaps when after a particularly hot and sexy make-out session Evan asks her if she wants to stay over (and I’m hoping I’ll get to see a few more steams or cuddling at least) and she’d say “I should go home” (and that second I’m tempted to throw my refrigerator on her head!) I swear those simple 4 words - which are spoken about a hundred times a day – killed me of fury then and there. I’m telling you, those words could’ve been the death of me that day!! YOU READ IT! And then tell me it didn’t kill you. Aahhh!

Rachel, I thought , was really a weak and crazy and delusional woman. Really, she was ‘weak’ in my opinion, nothing like her strong daughter. Emma came across as strong to me even in the first installment Reason to Breathe only. On the other hand, Rachel was and is and escapist. She drowned herself in alcohol whenever things started getting bad. She didn’t just take refuge in alcohol but became dependant on it to such extent that she was no more than a crazy woman to me.
Though one would feel very sorry for her and bad for her all those times that she apologized but you see that they are empty promises and apologies.

Rachel never took the initiative to make things better! She got drunk, created a scene, apologized and repeated the same pattern the next day! You will loathe her, want to kill her yourself when you realize the things that she did! Oh my god, just read it! Only then you’ll understand. Oh god, I’m traumatized just thinking of the things that she did! *eyes wide*

I think that one chapter I did understand the extent of Rachel’s misery, the pain, and truly I hurt for both Rachel and Emma. That loss is not something you take too easily or forget in the blink of an eye. I can only imagine and wish none of us ever have to live to experience it. So, I will try not be judgemental myself because for one, in real life I ABSOLUTELY LOATHE judgemental people myself; and for two, its not my place to say, i.e. when I haven’t experienced this myself (and hope never have to) I hold no right at al to say something like that. All I can say would be, ‘Stay strong, and try rectifying your faults as best as you can manage.’ That’s what my father always tells me. 

Emma was one forgiving lady. Initially I thought she was just plain stupid to be doing that again and again, but well you soon realize that its not all that easy to forgive and forget. That act cannot be mastered by all. Strong girl, she is. I’m so proud of her. No matter what she says or believes that she isn’t strong, that she is thought to be one just because she decides to block things off, and not feel anything that could hurt, but in my perception she was one strong person. Naïve, I will agree. But strong.
I’m going to have to say I can understand why she’d want to continue talking to Jonathan, because he understands and everything – believe me I can understand, I’ve done such stuff myself – but I still didn’t like it. I’m a hypocrite? Maybe.  But still, at least I’m not lying about this.

I felt hugely tempted on comment on every single line of the book, expressing how much that was true and how well it was written and then going into a whole new story of its own, or that when I didn’t like a particular line or that it made me sad and what not. I was practically losing my mind. :P

I wanted to (and still do) write so much more but its already long enough, I don't think I should be bugging you guys anymore with my awful chatter. Just one more thing:

READ THIS BOOK! That's an order, not a request. ;)
Profile Image for Sara.
321 reviews12 followers
May 6, 2012
You can not imagine how disappointed I was when I got to the end of this book and found out there was going to be a third book! Here I was, thinking this was the last book when it's not. How did I miss that?! Don't get me wrong, I'll most definitely buy the next book and read it, I just didn't know there was going to be a third.

This book was a bit hard for me to read to be honest. I was so frustrated with Emma!! I can't understand why she kept letting her mother hurt her, why she let herself be used like she did by someone who didn't even care for her. I mean, it didn't take a genius to figure out that Rachel was a selfish witch! Why did Emma put up with that crap?! I found myself so mad at her for taking that kind of emotional abuse after what Carol had put her through in the last book. I understood the denial she was living in, thinking she could get through it on her own, but I didn't understand how she couldn't see that she needed help sooner than she did. The last book was nothing but her covering for Carol and I understood why. She was trying to protect her cousins from losing a parent. I could wrap my mind around that, even though it was hard. What I couldn't wrap my mind around was why she took everything laying down in this book. There wasn't anyone to protect, so why did she cover for her loser mother who she didn't even know, why did she take the verbal abuse and cover for the alcoholic rants?! It just made me so mad! When she finally did stand up for herself it was nice, but it came at a point where she'd already distanced herself and lied to people who could've helped her.

Aside from that, Emma basically pushed everyone away who loves her. Instead she finds this odd comfort in her mother's boyfriend/ex boyfriend Jonathan. I got that he had some kind of past he too was trying to overcome, and I understood the connection they shared due to their pasts. However...

Anyhow, I love the characters. I love Sara and Evan, but I wished they were in the story more. They really took a backseat to Rachel and Jonathan in this book and that was upsetting. I don't understand how we went from the first book where Emma confides that her friggin' Aunt beats her, to this book where she won't tell anyone her mother is a drunk. I don't understand...

I do understand being emotionally closed off. I tend to do that myself, and I do keep worries and hurt bottled up at times. But I also know to confide in those who love me, I know when to ask for help. I would've thought after almost dying, Emma would've been smarter than she was in this book.

I'd like to give this book a rating now since I'm writing the review, but I don't know how to yet. I might need to sleep on it and mull it over for a few days. I love the writing, love the characters, but I just didn't get this book. Part of me wants to give it 5 stars because I love the story and felt so invested in the characters, but part of me wants to give it one star because it made me so damn mad! I'm just not sure how to feel at the moment.
Profile Image for Tough Critic Book Reviews.
308 reviews2,155 followers
May 19, 2012
"OMIGOD OMIGOD OMIGOD OMIGOD," That has been running through my head on continuous repeat ever since I read Reason to Breathe a year ago. Rebecca Donovan's famous cliffhanger, the mother of all cliffhangers, gave life and meaning to the phrase, just left hanging. With an ending like that, you would assume Ms. Donovan did nothing but set herself up for failure. I mean how can you possibly follow an ending like that without coming up short? Emma f--king died in Reason to Breathe. How the hell do you top that? I don't know how, but she did it!! Oh my God! Rebecca Donovan totally did it!! She answers by writing a kick ass sequel!

This book was better than the first! I can barely f--king breathe! There wasn't anything I didn't like; my stomach stayed tied up in knots the whole time. The plot contained so many twists and jaw dropping surprises; it was flawless. The author slowly unraveled such a shocking turn of events; I never saw it coming. The romance is so heartwarming, heartbreaking, and INCREDIBLY HOT!!! To say this was an emotional ride would mean to redefine the term understatement.

So how does the ending compare to Reason to Breathe? Well, I was left screaming, "NO, NO, NO! She did it, AGAIN!!! It's like her first cliffhanger had a little cliffhanger baby. As much as it kills me to admit it, I think the huge wait for Barely Breathing and being left with such uncertainty after Reason to Breathe made this such an amazing experience. To be left not knowing for a whole year, what an incredible ride. Those who will read Reason to Breathe with the sequel immediately available will miss out on some of the intensity (even though the wait really did suck), but either way you'll get a great experience and definitely need to read this series. I just pray we don't have to wait another year for book three. I just might die!

BOOK-tunes available for Barely Breathing at http://toughcriticbookreviews.blogspo...
Profile Image for MK~ Picky Girl .
173 reviews48 followers
August 28, 2012
I normally don't write reviews, but I felt compelled to write one about this book.. I have so many mixed feelings about Barely Breathing. I truly loved the first book of this series "Reason to Breathe" and was excited to see this would be a series. I was anticipating this book to be about overcoming the trauma that was inflicted on Emma and was disapointed to read that she had to deal with more abuse from her family. Hasn't she delt with enough? Also, the Jonathan storyline was less than desirable. I understand why they formed a friendship but couldn't she see where this was going. If she truely loved Evan, then why seek comfort in another man? As I neared the end of this book, I found myself skipping pages of details that I felt were unnecessary. The ending was not what I expected and I'm tired of these unresolved endings. I need closure. Unfortunately, I will probable read the third book just so I know how it ends. (really hoping for a HEA) I am hoping Emma will be able to work through her trust issues as well as the abuse she suffered in the next book.
Profile Image for Alexis *Reality Bites*.
757 reviews3,659 followers
July 2, 2013
QUICK REVIEW -Spoiler Free
Genre: YA Romance-Mature

 photo tumblr_mcvow7LfDi1r7jhsko1_500_zps48c5552b.gif

- 'His smokey blue eyes connected with mine, and he whispered,"I breathed for you"- Evan in Barely Breathing

What are you trying to do to me Ms. Rebecca Donovan?!?
So many emotions run through me after finishing this book.... Then an abundance of questions...

Barely Breathing takes place six months after the ending in the first book Reason to Breathe and that painfilled night, better known as "the night from hell." Emma is a survivor her aunt Carol is in prison and she has no idea where her uncle and two little cousins are. Emma is staying with Sara and her parents Anna and Carl who are now given guardianship til she is 18 in June. Emma decides early on in the book that she wants to live with her mother Rachel who is currently living in Weslyn. No one is a fan of this idea but it is allowed by Anna and Carl with an open door policy that Emma can come back whenever she wants.

Emma soon realizes this will not be easy her mother is an alcoholic who likes to get in a drunken stupor and bring home random guys from bars to sex it up. Emma begins to hide things from her bestie Sara and her sweet, handsome and caring boyfriend Evan. But neither is a fool. When Rachel settles on young boyfriend Jonathan he befriends Emma. Jonathan and Emma soon realize they have a few things in common that includes being abused by someone who should love you instead of hurt you and nightmares that haunt them filled with pain.

While Emma struggles with her existence/reason for breathing she still has to take care of her drunk mommy, school,sports and her sanity. Her sanity which is wearing thin thanks to Rachel and her drunk hurtful comments that she can never recall once sober. A relationship starts to build with Emma and Jonathan that she can't explain. And a new girl at school Analise is pushing up on her man Evan on the sly. The last 25% of this book has twist and turns i could have never predicted and the ending was a TOTAL SHOCKER.

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I am loving this series and i think Ms. Donovan did an awesome job this is a page turner that left me gripping my nook. I cannot wait for book 3 this ending was not the one i wanted.

My Ratings
Characters-Lovable and Witty
Writing Style- Solid, Raw and Effectual
Plot/Storyline- Raw, Honest and Potent
Overall- A MUST READ
Now go forth and read. Then come tell us about it on Goodreads!
For more reviews got to http://realitybites-letsgetlost.blogs...
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.8k followers
July 8, 2013

WARNING: Have Xanax on hand before starting this book!!

After the brutal cliffhanger of book #1, Reason To Breathe , I was both excited and absolutely terrified to start this. I knew I was in for a roller coaster ride and boy was I right!!

So many parts of this book infuriated and frustrated me to no end but I could. not. put. it. down!!

The book started off six months after the ending of the first one. Given the circumstances of that ending, this actually made a lot of sense. But when a person goes through that kind of trauma, it not only leaves marks on the body, but also on the soul.

"I don't know what I went through... All I care about is that I'm breathing."

And life went on. Recovery... healing... time... and surrounded by her loving friends, Emma got herself to a better place. Things began to change and for once there was a glimmer of hope that maybe things might turn out okay.

Evan was still perfect as ever. Seriously - that man just personified patient and understanding. He was just like a dream!

I shook my head and mouthed, "Where did you come from?"

"What?" he laughed.

"How did I end up with you? I mean, my life's so messed up and then... And then there's... you. I couldn't have made you up if I'd tried."

In an effort to rekindle a relationship with her birth mother, Emma decided to move in with her... but really, she'd just traded an abusive home for a dysfunctional one as became surrounded by the guys her mother brought home. In particular, a guy named Jonathan who was young, gorgeous, intense, mysterious and while he was nice on one hand, I couldn't help but feel uneasy around him... especially given his overly friendly interest in Emma.

But there was something else up with him... I had my suspicions in the beginning but as the book progressed, they only continued to grow. The more I learned about him though, the more I warily began to warm up to him as a person despite hating him on principle for the threat he represented.

"I like this," Jonathan said suddenly, before I could walk away, "talking to you. I feel like I can tell you things… things I usually keep to myself. Most people don't understand." …

Until that moment I hadn't realized what was happening. I was able to share the demons that wrestled with me in the night, and Jonathan understood in a way that no one else did. He was fighting with them himself, and that had drawn us together.

You should know that there is no actual cheating in this book. There were some lines crossed to be sure, and situations that made me extremely uncomfortable but thankfully they never fully crossed the line because my Kindle might not have survived otherwise.

I was not okay with a lot of the things that happened in this book. I didn't like a lot of the characters' decisions amd I wanted to throttle or slap nearly everyone at one point or another but dammit I just couldn't stop flipping those pages. I can't really blame any one person more than the other though for the issues in this book. Everyone was at fault to some extent.

"The next thing you know, the people you always thought would be there aren't. And the person you thought you could trust with everything, isn't the person you ever knew at all."

I did wish there was a little more of Evan in this book though. He went on a lot of trips and I missed him. He was like the bright light in all of this, he kept me going.. and he was a huge part of what kept Emma going too even. But still... they had a lot of miscommunications in this book that left me freaking the hell out!!

There were points where it literally felt like the whole thing was one giant string of "oh he did not just DO that!" , "ughhhh why won't she just TELL him??", "why is he..." , "why won't she..."

This book did a number of me. Seriously. The drama!! The angst!! Not to mention a few shockers and twists I did not see coming!

Read with Xanax. Lots and lots of Xanax.

But then... then came the swoon. Towards the end, things began to look up again as the issues were discussed and worked through.

"I'm here, Emma. I'll never let you go," he whispered in my ear, holding me tighter.

"We can contemplate the meaning of your life all you want, but know that you're my meaning… the reason behind just about everything I do - and I would never want to change that."

Ahhhh!! Doesn't that just melt your heart??

I absolutely loved seeing Emma and Evan have their moment of peace and happiness towards the end. Finally I could breathe. I just wanted to keep them in their happy bubble forever!

"I breathed for you… I begged for you to breathe with every breath I gave to you. I kept pleading for you to breathe over and over again. And then… then you did."

*heart clench* I just love Evan.

I was really on the fence about this book at some points though. I couldn't decide if I loved it or was infuriated by it. I think in the end it was a combination of both. I loved the characters but seriously - they all had epic moments of stupid that frustrated me to an extreme (I'm talking Kindle-throwing levels of frustration here). But in the end, my love for them won out over the frustration. Looking back on the book, I feel good about it. It was just one hell of a bumpy road.

This was a quick read for me. Again, like with the first book, despite it being over 500 pages, I actually read it in one sitting due to my inability to stop flipping the pages.

I have to say I knew this one was another cliffhanger but I did NOT see the events of this one coming! I really wasn't expecting it to go to that extreme or even in that direction at all... but it did. I should have learned by now that Rebecca Donovan pulls no punches and dammit if I'm not going straight on to book #3.

Holy hell.

I need a Xanax. Or ten.

*deep breath*

On to the final book.

Woo Saaaaahhh.

4 stars


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Profile Image for Smitten's Book Blog.
337 reviews319 followers
August 31, 2016

Rebecca Donovan, you a cruel cruel woman! I trusted you with my heart and you ripped out once with the ending of first book, but you've truly done a number on it now... that was excruciating. But utterly delicious and pure evil on your part! What am I going to do with myself until the next book comes out?!

I read until 3.40am this morning because I was completely engrossed in this book.

I would give it five stars, if it weren't for the fact that I struggled a little with the first 20%... I felt it dragged a little and the characters were frustrating me. The lack of Evan, particularly.

But, oh my goodness, the ending. I blubbed, God, did I blub! My heart broke for Evan over and over again, and then for Emma, and then for Jonathan... and when I thought I knew what I wanted, suddenly I didn't know anymore. But all I know is that I did not want this ending!

I knew how much Evan loved me. And I knew I didn't deserve it. But I also knew he was the only one I loved. The only one I would ever love.

I'm so in love with Evan. His pain was so palpable and I just wanted to wrap him up and keep him from hurting. And as for the 'first time' under the stars... *heart melts* Completely perfect!

“We can contemplate the meaning of your life all you want, but know that you're my meaning... the reason behind just about everything I do―and I would never want to change that."

The last part of the book was so fast paced that I lost myself entirely. I don't think I could possibly recount it all if I tried. But it was fantastic. The emotions felt so real and I just wanted to scream 'no no no!' on so many occasions.

I also just have to mention Sara quickly. Doesn't every girl need a BFF like Sara?! She was such a fantastic character and I think she played a monumental part in making this book what it is.

So, now I have an age to wait for the third book and I'm all but pulling my hair out. I love and hate Rebecca Donovan in equal measures but I'm willing to bow at her feet if it means we can have the next book asap!

“I'm here, Emma. I'll never let you go,"


P.S. I also cast for Jonathan, seeing as he was such a big character in this book...
Profile Image for Jen.
1,654 reviews996 followers
July 11, 2013
Well, I finally finished this gut wrenching, emotional tale. I have decided that I must write this review to put some amount of closure on this book before I can even attempt to begin my day. (which; by the way, it is 2pm and I am still in my jammies!!LOL) Nothing has gotten done in my house, and no one has really exsisted since I started this story! I must say that Rebecca Donovan knows how to write a story with such powerful emotion, that it is impossible not to get caught up in it. I was amazed at the accuracy of her words in regards to Emma's mother's acoholism, as well as how Emma was affected by it. I know this, as it is a situation that hits close to home for me. Acoholism has touched my life throughout my childhood and beyond, so this book hit me where it hurts more than a few times. Seeing Emma go through the guilt; thinking that by being there for her mom; she might be able to change her. The humiliation, that she went through wanting to hide her mother's behaviour, figuring that somehow it might reflect on to her. Finally, the wonderful denial that she convinced herself that it wasn't really as bad as it was, and that she herself was ok and could handle her mother. It broke my heart to see Emma go through all of this even after she finally got out of her other terrible situation with her Aunt and Uncle.

Now, all of this was bad enough. Then we get into how Emma's nightmares continued to plague her. With her feeling so isolated and alone and not being able to tell Evan or her friend Sarah any of her problems; it was bound to happen that she would turn to Jonathon-who was a partner to her pain. I am getting ahead of myself..You see, Emma's mom had this fetish with being involved with younger men. Jonathon came into the picture as Rachel's (Emma's mother)boyfriend, but slowly him and Emma became extremely close. They both battled nightmares, and they also shared traumatic pasts. You have heard of the phrase: "Bird's of a feather, flock together?" This would be what happened with Emma and Jonathon. It was inevitable I suppose; but I tell you, that situation frustrated me to know end. I know that Emma loved Evan with all of her heart; but for some reason she just couldn't seem to share her darkest hurts with him. With Jonathon, she felt he understood and there were times that I wondered if he didn't play on that a bit.

Evan was still in the picture, but barely. If there is one complaint that I have with this book, it is that Evan was hardly in it. Now that I have read the full story I can understand that this journey is taking us on a detour for a short period of time..at least..that is what I'm telling myself! (See, I can be good at denial too!!LOL) There were some heart warming scenes between Emma and Evan, and then there were some heart breaking ones. The most frustrating thing that I have gone through with these two in the last two books, is the sexual tension. OMG! I have never seen a couple go through so many interuptions that ruin their intimacy in any book..EVER! I kept thinking that poor Evan must have blue balls by now! (sorry, shame on me..that was crude!) I couldn't help thinking it though! Evan is a loyal as they come, and he truly loves Emma. I so hope they get a HEA, but at this point I truly have no idea what will happen.

This is a series that I am so glad I waited until all of the books came out. I could not imagine how upset I would have been to have to wait for the next book. The cliffhanger isn't as major as in the first one; but it still is there. There is more story to be told. I will be honest and say that I am dying to delve into the third one right away. I am a little concerned though, that once I get into it; I might need therapy in the end! These books are intense,and as hard as they are to read, there is so much truth in them. There is a lot of drama; but I can honestly say that if you have ever lived in an alcoholic home, there is always chaos to some degree. I am anxious to get started on where life is going to take Emma now. I am quite positive that where ever she goes, and what ever she does..it is not going to be a smooth ride. So, I am going to buckle up my seat belt, and get ready for one bumpy ride!
Profile Image for Morgan Lejeune.
27 reviews6 followers
September 3, 2013
Okay. I read the first book and got all the way to 30% in the second book before I realized that (wait a gosh darned second!) Does Emma seem to be developing feelings for someone else? THIS CAN'T BE RIGHT!!!!! So, this prompted me to run to GoodReads and check the reviews before continuing (which I normally don't forget to do before I start a new book, but the first one in the series left me hanging something terrible). Upon my investigation of the reviews what do I do find, but the apparent and glaring LACK OF ANY HEA between Emma and Evan. They aren't even TOGETHER when the second book ends, from what I have gathered. Seriously?!?!? How can an author do this to themselves, much less, her audience?! I mean, why can't they at least be together at the end so that we have a reason to hang on until the third book comes out to see what happens next? I'm honestly pretty pissed and refuse to finish reading until the third book comes and ONLY if I can confirm that Emma and Evan will have a HEA.
The only reason I read romance novels is because I want them to be what you rarely find in life, HEA...I don't want to read and invest my time and emotions in these characters and their lives, only to be let down (once again, except in fiction-world instead of real life) when the people you are rooting for don't end up like you wanted them to. I pride myself in being able to read a novel and get so wrapped up in the characters that I honestly fall in love with the well-written ones (Kellan Kyle, anyone? ::swooooooon::) and this is definitely well-written, and I definitely fell in love with the characters. So imagine my surprise when I find out they aren't together at the end of the second book. How cruel.
Honestly, I know it's the author's prerogative to do what he/she thinks is best for their book, but I can't understand that POV.
P.S. I am not picking on this book or author because I know there is a third book coming out, with what I can only hope, will be a HEA. I just got really frustrated when I got to that point in the series only to figure out I'm reading towards nothing. Still loved the parts I read.
Profile Image for Jessica's Book Review.
594 reviews372 followers
June 28, 2013
Read more reviews on my blog | Like me on Facebook

OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ms. Rebecca Donovan, I am so mad at you!!! Your endings are killing me! I must find out about Emma & Evan. How can you leave me hanging like that?!?! I spent many late nights and early mornings following your characters and beautiful books and now I must wait!

If I had known there will be a third book I would of waited to read this book. I hate the cliff hanger in the series! I am so involved now and have to wait to find out what happens... oh I am already going crazy.

Barley Breathing picks up right where Reason to Breathe left off. Emma has survived being killed (literally, she died for a moment) and her aunt has been convicted and is now in prison. Emma's life seems wonderful, finally! She moved in with her best friend Sara whose parents are now Emma's legal guardian and Evan is still the most amazing perfect boyfriend. Plus sports and school is still perfect leading a way to a soccer scholarship to Stanford.

Emma has A LOT to deal with and she doesn't talk about it to anyone, she keeps it bottled up which leads to nightmares as well as a strain on her relationship with Evan because she doesn't let him in. Emma's Mother reconnects with her, saying she is now sober, rents a house, and has a good job. Emma moves in with Rachel to try to connect with her mother before going off to college. Things seem perfect at first but her mother's devil ways come back effecting Emma in many ways. Rachel starts seeing a younger man, Jonathan. Like Emma, he cannot sleep and has nightmares himself which leads the two to be up at night, talking. The two have a lot in common and become to help each other deal with their past.

Finally everything comes out at the end, more secrets get revealed, heartache continues for everyone in the story and Emma is left with some tough decisions, hurting everyone she loves.

Can I just say I love Evan? He is beyond the most caring, sensitive character I have read in the book. He truly loves Emma, even when she makes the most awful choices. I get so mad at her when I read the book; she chooses the wrong decision about 99% of the time. When she left Evan in the hot tub to go look for her mother leaving him with Analise I screamed at her!

Jonathan’s character was bitter sweet to me. He really helped Emma come over her nightmares and was someone for Emma to talk to. I think he was essential to Emma to move on from her past and I don't think Emma would be the same without him. On the other hand, he gave me the creeps... he is way to into Emma from day one. So what if he is hot? He slept with your mom Emma! Come on now! Plus you have Evan who wants nothing more for you to open up to him the way you do with Jonathan.

Sara is as wonderful as ever. Emma and Sara complete each other, they are SISTERS not just friends. I would love a friend like that.

The book ends with a major cliff hanger. Emma made a major decision, again I do not agree with but I am dying to know what was in the letter she gave Vivienne (Evan's mom)... Part of the Epilogue is in Evan's point of view which I LOVED. I am too mad at Emma sometimes and would love to find out more about what Evan thinks and how he feels. I am beyond excited and hope the ending leaves Evan and Emma together, happily ever after.
Profile Image for Jano.
645 reviews376 followers
June 15, 2018
Reseña: http://elcaosliterario.blogspot.com/2...

El libro parte seis meses después del final del primero con un cliffhanger que lo dejó en todo lo alto. Desde que lo terminé tenía mucha curiosidad por saber cómo continuaba la historia.

A pesar de que el libro supera las 500 páginas se lee muy rápido porque es imposible dejar de pasar una y otra página hasta llegar el final del libro. La autora es capaz de transmitir muy bien lo que sienten los personajes en una historia poderosa y muy emocionante.

Sin duda es un buen libro para aquellos que disfrutan de un buen drama porque es muy intenso además de poco predecible e inquietante.

La trama y los personajes absorben incluso una vez terminado el libro. En esta segunda parte hay algunos personajes nuevos que aparecen en la historia dispuestos a complicar las cosas todavía más de lo esperado. También debo decir que no me gustaron muchas de las decisiones que toman los personajes y eso hace que el lector se meta todavía más en la historia ante la impotencia de lo que está sucediendo entre los personajes.

Una vez terminado solo puedo pensar en el tercero. El cliffhanger del final no es tan potente como el del primer libro, pero deja claro que todavía hay mucha más por contar y estoy seguro de que seguirá manteniendo este nivel que a los seguidores de la serie tanto nos gusta.

En resumen: una historia desgarradora, muy emocional y altamente adictiva. Unos personajes que atrapan y una autora que explota al máximo las debilidades de cada uno de ellos. Ya estoy preparado para el tercero.
Profile Image for Siiri (Little Pieces of Imagination).
538 reviews106 followers
February 29, 2016
*angry spoilers ahead*

Profile Image for Rosie B.
9 reviews1 follower
May 3, 2012
My original review:
This is coming out just before my exams...I'm probably going to fail :|

After reading:
I was really anticipating this book's release so I downloaded it as soon as I saw that it was available. I read it a lot faster than I read the first one; it didn't seem as long but there was a lot more going on. I found it quite hard to keep up in some parts and at times it felt a bit rushed, but it was still a very exciting and emotional read.

*Potential SPOILER*...
Profile Image for Jasmine.
437 reviews708 followers
September 28, 2016
After that ending in the first book, I was feeling both glad and devastated for Emma. To begin with, she seemed to finally gain her control over herself and got out of that terrible house. However, moving in with her mother, who obviously wasn't responsible for her well-being and was drunk most of the time, was just the beginning of another miserable stage of her life. I couldn't help but wondered why on earth could Emma be so frustrated and helpless all the time?

Anyway, all we need to know is that she got over it this time and again, like the previous book, the story contained several violent acts and brutal fights, so for me, the trilogy was age-restricted. I couldn't say she grew a lot from her past, but at least this time, she dealt with her horrifying situation better.

MUCH, MUCH to my disappointment, there was an unwanted love triangle going on and I did not like a thing about it. Besides, I seriously didn't understand the purpose of this love tri at all. It didn't make sense to me, not when I spied the inevitable sparks between Emma and Jonathan, and of course not when they seemed to look like a thing later.

Other than the love triangle, I was satisfied with the flow of story so far and it was to be continued...
Profile Image for Christy.
3,818 reviews32.4k followers
April 20, 2015
Not sure how to review this book... After reading the first book yesterday and this book today I feel like an emotional wreck. It was a great book, but I really hated the ending, knowing there is a third book coming and this is not officially the ending makes me feel a little better
Profile Image for Seda.
542 reviews84 followers
July 25, 2019

📚Aşk, hayatta kalmakla yetinmek yerine gerçekten yaşamayı öğretti bana. Beni zorlayarak mümkün olduğunu düşündüğümden daha güçlü olduğumu gösterdi. Onun rahatlığı yaralarımı sarıp izlerimi şefkatle sarmaladı. Bana, olduğumdan daha dik durup kimseye boyun eğmeme cesaretini verdi.
Aşkın ve kaybın dengesinde, uğruna mücadele edeceğim şeyi aşk belirledi ve eğilip fısıldadı kulağıma: Tut Elimi...

📚Yaşaran gözlerimle sevgiyle gülümsedim ve o elimi tutarken başımı Evan’ın omzuna yasladım. ”...sen hiç var olmasaydın ben de aynı insan olmazdım.” Başımı kaldırıp hareketsizce bekledim. “Hayatın anlamını istediğin kadar sorgulayabiliriz, ama şunu bil ki benim anlamım sensin... Yaptığım hemen her şeyin arkasındaki sebep sensin ve ben bunu ömrümde bir gün bile değiştirmeyi istemedim.”😍😍

📚Birbirimize sarılarak gecenin karanlığında gökyüzünden süzülen renkli ışıkları izledik sessizce. Başımı ona çevirdim ve parmaklarımı dudağında gezdirmeye başladım. “Aldığım her nefes senin için.” Benden ayırmadığı gözleri ışıldadı. “Beni kurtarmak için orada olamadığında bile sen benim nefes alma sebebimdin. Ve bu yüzden seni hep seveceğim. Sonsuza dek.”😥

Seriyi, neden yıllardır kitaplıkta beklettiğimi ve neden okumaya korktuğumu, okuyunca daha iyi anladım. Nefes serisi, üç kitap boyunca yaşattığı acıyla nefesimi kesti gerçekten. Özellikle de kitap sonlarıyla. Normalde seri kitaplarını böyle üstüste okumayı hiç sevmem. Ama yazar kitapları öyle yerlerde bitirmişti ki sıradaki kitabı elime almam 5 saniye sürmedi sanırım. İlk kitabı bitirdikten sonra insanlar nasıl bir yıl beklemiş, aklım almadı. Bugüne kadar okuduğum en acımasız kitap sonuydu bence.😓😱

Kitapları tek tek yorumlamak yerine, seriye genel bir yorum yazmak istedim. Çünkü hem ben üçünü tek kitap gibi okudum, hem de üç kitabında aslında tek bir konusu var; Emma ve yaşadığı acılar. Bütün kitapları çok sevmeme rağmen, en fazla duyguyu 1. ve 3. kitabı yaşadım. Ama sanırım hem Aşk Yakar diyen adıyla, hem de hissettirdiği her satırı işaretleme ihtiyacıyla gönlümün efendisi 3. kitap oldu.

Başlamadan önce birçok yorumda ‘kitabı sevdim ama Emma’ya çok kızdım’ gibi cümleler okudum. Bir dram kitabında, dramı yaşayan kişiye okuyucu neden kızar, çok merak etmiştim. Baştan söyleyeyim ki neden kızdıklarını görebiliyorum ama hak vermiyorum. Ben serinin hiçbir yerinde Emma’ya kızmadım, kızamadım. 17 yaşında birinin yaşadığı o hayattan sonra, aldığı bazı yanlış kararlar yüzünden ona kızma hakkını kendimde bulmadım. Emma yanlış kararlar verdi mi? Evet. Bu kararların acısını hem kendisi hem sevdikleri çekti mi? Evet. Ama yaşadıklarını bu yaşımda, bugünkü aklımla, rahat koltuğumda sıcak kahvemi içerken değerlendirmek, Emma’ya en büyük haksızlıktır bence.

O yüzden Emma’ya kızmam, en yakın arkadaşı Sara’nın kızmalarından, yardım etme isteğinden, çaresizliğinden farklı değildi. Ben üç kitap boyunca -ve belki şu anda bile- Emma’nın en yakın arkadaşıydım. Onunla birlikte o acıları çektim, onunla birlikte ağladım, nadir de olsa o gülümsediğinde ben de gülümsedim, sonra gülebildiği için mutluluktan yine ağladım.🙊🙊

Gülümsemelerimizin tek kaynağı da Evan’dı.😍😍 Öyle ufak şeyler, kitapların havasını değiştirdi ki o gülümseme molalarında nefes almamı sağladı. Evan’a da kızdığım, hatalı kararlar aldığını ve bazı şeyleri çok kolay kabullendiğini düşündüğüm, neden öyle yaptığını sorguladığım yerler oldu. Ama onların da hepsini yaşadıklarına ve yaşına verdim, çünkü şahit olduğu şeyler hiç kolay değildi. Özellikle Emma’ya olan sevgisini, ilgisini gördüğü ilk andan, 3. kitabın son sayfasına kadar koruması çok hoşuma gitti. Evan, kitap boyunca beni hem gülümsetti hem ağlattı. Gözümden kalpler çıkarırken aynı anda mutluluktan ağladığım zamanlar yaşattı.😍😍😥😥🤧🤧

Emma’nın içe dönük, görünmez olmaya çalışan, yeri geldiğinde yaşamayı sadece nefes almak olarak gören, zaman zaman hayata küsmüş, gözlerindeki ışıltısını kaybetmiş, kaybolmuş ruhunu ve bedenini bana göre hep Evan kurtardı. Acıların arasında, hatalarından duyduğu suçluluk duygusunun, nefretinin, öfkesinin arasında hep bir tutunacak dal, yeniden nefes alacak bir sebep verdi. Yanında olsa da olmasa da Emma için nefes alma sebebi hep Evan oldu.

Kitapların hepsi Emma’nın ağzından yazılmıştı ve ben, hem karakteri çok sevdiğimden hem de yaşananlardan nasıl etkilendiğini merak ettiğimden sürekli Evan’ın bakış açısını okumak istedim. Ve yazarın yaptığı sürprizle Benimle Kal’ın sonundan itibaren, 3. kitap boyunca Evan’ın anlatımıyla okuduğum bölümler beni daha çok etkiledi. Yazar, karakterin iç dünyasını öyle güzel anlatmıştı ki daha fazla sevemem dediğim yerde, Evan kırılganlığıyla, aşkıyla kendini daha fazla sevdirdi.💖💖

Nefret ettiğim, ölmesini dilediğim karakterler olmasına rağmen, kitapta çok sevdiğim başka karakterler de vardı. Öncelikle Sara tabii. Emma için bir kızkardeş dileseydim bu kesinlikle Sara olurdu. Hem neşesiyle hem her an yanında olmasıyla, her ihtiyaç duyduğunda elini tutmasıyla hayran olduğum bir karakterdi. Sara’yla birlikte, Sara’nın anne ve babasına da hayran kaldım. Kendi annesinin sahip çıkmadığı, terk ettiği Emma’yı, baştan sona kendi kızlarından ayırmadılar, hep onun için daha iyisini istediler, mutlu olması için yanında oldular. Evan’ın annesi zarifliğiyle, ilgisiyle mutluluk sebebi kaynana oldu benim için. Her şartta, her ne yaşanırsa yaşansın, bu aşkın en büyük destekçisi, gönlümün kraliçesi oldu.

Ben bu üç kitabı okumadım. Yaşadım. Gözümü kapattığımda her sahnesini, her acısını, her kahkahasını yaşadım. Okul koridorlarında onlarla yürüdüm, sanat sınıfında boya kokusunu, okyanus kenarında denizin kokusunu aldım. Emma koştukça, ben nefes nefese kaldım, benim ciğerlerim nefes alma ihtiyacı içinde yandı. Meşe ağacının altında olduklarında rüzgar benim de yüzüme çarptı.

Bazen okurken kitabı kapatıp nefesimi tuttuğumu fark etmeden nefes alma ihtiyacı hissettim. Olayların heyecanından ya da aksiyonundan değil, acıdan. Belki her okuyan benim kadar hissetmeyebilir ya da ağlamayabilir. Ama biraz empati yeteneği olan herkesin yüreğine dokunacak bir seri Nefes serisi. Burada esas konu aşk değil, aşkın bir insanı kurtarması, yeniden nefes almasını, gülmesini, hayata tutunmasını sağlaması. Gerçek sevginin -aşkın yetmediği anlarda bile- yapabileceklerinin gücünü göstermesi. Analise’ın bir yerde dediği gibi ‘birinin beni böyle sevmesi için her şeyimi verirdim’ dedirtecek bir aşk hikayesi okudum.

Üç kitap boyunca yaşananların dram sevdiğim halde bana bile fazla geldiği, YETERR diye bağırmak istediğim yerler oldu. Ama yine de türü seven herkese gözüm kapalı öneriyorum. Çünkü Emma ve Evan, bittiğinde baştan başlamak istediğim, sonrasında tekrar tekrar okuyacağım, bütün acısına rağmen her anını yeniden yaşama ihtiyacı duyduğum, çok gerçek gelen, basit ama etkili anlatımıyla iliklerime işleyen bir hikaye anlattılar bana. İkisini de çok seviyorum ve kolay kolay unutmayacağım.😍😍

📚”Geçmişinin hatalarında yaşamak, geleceğini mahvetmekten başka bir işe yaramaz.”

📚İlerlerken kendime ait parçaları da ardımda bırakarak koşmaya başladım. Her gece, acaba annesi eve bu gece hangi kişiliğiyle girecek diye korkan o kızın parçalarını. Mükemmel olsam daha çok sevileceğim yanılgısını da. Bana kendimi asla yeterli hissetirmeyen ve herhangi bir şeyi hak etmediğimi düşündüren tüm o şüpheleri de. Değer verdiğim herkesi kıracağıma inandıran ve beni sevilemez bırakan o suçluluk duygusunu da.
Bacaklarım beni, çaresizce arkamda bırakmak istediğim o kızdan uzağa taşıdı. Ben hızlandıkça gözümden akan yaşlar da üzerimden akan su ve tere karıştı. Babasını kaybeden ve hiçbir zaman gerçek anne sevgisini tatmamış o kıza ağladım. Hayatta tek istediği yalnızca kabul edilmek olan ama ne yaparsa yapsın yeterli gelmeyen o kıza ağladım. Sevilmeyi hak eden ama bunu nasıl yapacağını bilmeyen o kıza ağladım.

📚Aşk kolaydı. Tek yapmam gereken gözlerine bakıp görebilmekti.
Hayatımın o çalkantılı evrelerinde hem aşkı hem kaybı yaşamıştım. Kaybım beni kuvvetli kılmış olsa da zayıf olduğum anlarda elimden tutan hep aşk olmuştu.
Profile Image for Bayan Basri.
110 reviews60 followers
July 17, 2012
I really truly absolutely loathed this book... why?

*Emma is supposed to be this rational smart girl that thought things through, I don't know what seemed rational about agreeing to moving in with her mother just like that when she didn't want anything to do with her, but she got what she deserved

*Jonathan...I hated everything about him he was a total creep in my opinion and stalkerish and so so so gross (see spoiler)

*Emma hanging out with Jonathan because he understands her, because they know what the other feels. Well news flash Emma: if you talked to Evan or Sara when they ask you to or open up to them you wouldn't need that creep!!! (addressing a fictional character...real smooth)

*All the time I spent hating Emma, Rachel and Jonathan I also spent pitying Sara, her parents and Evan. Evan was so sweet and understanding and Emma was hanging out with that stupid Jonathan

*Emma always defending Jonathan I hated him, need I say more

*The ending Hated.It
Profile Image for Lisa.
165 reviews162 followers
August 31, 2012
After finishing Reason to Breath and Barely Breathing I feel completely out of breath. Rebecca Donovan played with my emotions like I was ivory and she was Chopin.

Barely Breathing was raw, heartbreaking and frankly, I was just waiting for Emma to completely lose it through a good portion of the book. The ending left me completely HANGING, I mean hanging! I think Donovan just stuck my hands to the monkey bars with some super glue and left me until she releases Out of Breath. If there is ever a character that deserves something great in his or her life, it is Emma.

While reading Barely Breathing, I realized how much Emma tends to base her choices on what makes others happy but those choices rarely make her happy and often time lead her to great pain. Emma still comes off as a very strong young lady in Barely Breathing but I keep waiting for her complete breakdown. I cannot imagine anyone going through all the things she has gone through, keeping so much inside and not seeking professional help. I was very proud of her a couple times when she did finally make some decisions that benefited her more than the other person but in the end she was still basing most of her decisions on others. If I could say one thing to Emma, I would say that you deserve the best and not to accept anything less than people around you who love and support you, want what is best for you. Open your eyes and see the goodness around you, embrace it, don’t lock the past up without working through it and look forward to and take control of your future.

Evan, I think I love you even more than I did after Reason to Breath. If I had to choose between Evan and Tom Brady right now, I would choose Evan and I am not even joking;) He gets Emma and loves her through the good and the bad. He is kind, warm and a soft place to land. He stands up for Emma and supports her and he is probably the most perfect boy/man I have ever read about. He says the most incredible things and I just wanted to take his cheeks in my hand and kiss him!

“I breathed for you… I begged for you to breathe with every breath I gave to you. I kept pleading for you to breathe over and over again. And then… then you did”

Oh, he completely melts me!

Emma and Evan just fit together so well. They are like puzzle pieces with different edges that fit together to form the perfect picture. He is her air when she needs to breath. She can make him laugh and smile. He is outgoing when Emma is a little shy. They can read each other’s feelings even if the other is trying to hide them. They are a truly picture perfect couple and I think they were made for each other.

Emma also became friends with her mother’s younger boyfriend, Jonathan, in this book. I didn’t know what to think about him at first; he could be incredibly sweet and caring but he also had a dark side that I didn’t know what to make of. He is one of those male characters that I usually want to fix or I want the heroine to fix but in this case, I didn’t want Emma to have anything to do with him because she is too broken to be a fixer. Two incredibly broken people often do not mix well!

Sara was still amazing and had a little romance herself. I grew to love her parents and Evan’s mom Vivian even more than I did in the first book. They are supportive and may be the only positive adult influence Emma has had since her father past away. I do not care for Emma’s mom, Rachel, at all. She is a definite me person and the complete opposite of Emma. Since Emma is prone to make choices based on what will make others happy, she often does things she shouldn’t to keep the peace with her mom and it ends up taking a little more of Emma’s breath until she is now barely breathing.

I am very anxious to get my hands on Out of Breath which is the third and final book of this series. I am hoping Emma can get a rainbow and a bucket full of happiness. She deserves it!
Profile Image for Kellie Maddox-Ward.
743 reviews519 followers
October 6, 2012
**Slight Spoilers**

I am totally right now!!

Rebecca Donovan YOU ARE A GENIUS! I know the book is called "Barely Breathing" but I think it should be changed to "Extreme Hyperventilating."

Where to start where to start...
*Deep breath in*
*Deep breathe out*

Ok Calm now...

Holy shit what a great sequel!

It has been 6 months since the night Em's aunt killed tried to kill her. She has been found guilty and is in jail. Letting Emily try and get on with her life.

Evan is still right besides her, being the amazing supporting person that he is. As is Sara. Em is living with Sara and her parents.

Em has horrible nightmares about that night still... she tries to tell everyone that she is ok.. but she's not...

She makes the decision to move in with her Mum Rachel to try and fix that relationship.

However Rachel is still not ready to be a Mum. She tries to be a friend, but Rachel has a problem with drinking. She also blames Em for this.
Rachel tries to fit into Ems life by attending Basketball games and hosting parties, but sometimes life isn't all roses.

Enter Rachel's new boyfriend Jonathon. He's fun and into Rachel, but he's younger. Rachel thinks he's 28 when he is really 24.

Jonathon and Em form a relationship, what starts as bonding for Rachel turns into a real friendship. Jonathon can't sleep because of his nightmare as well. So they end up spending most nights together watching late night TV and talking through their fears. Emily can't talk to anyone else about it as they wouldn't understand what she's going through would they? ...


That's all I'm going to say as I don't want to ruin it for anyone. I actually liked loved this book just as much as the first book.
RD really knows how to write! All your emotions come into play again.
ad YES She did it again! A GOD DAMN CLIFFHANGER!!!

No-Where near as bad as the last, but it's still there. I really liked the last 1% where it was Evan's POV. I also want to punch Em in the head!! Really hard!

but now it is time to cry again as the next is not coming out until 2013!! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO EM AND EVAN?!

Profile Image for Michelle.
2,082 reviews862 followers
July 20, 2014

Emma's entire world shifted at the end of book one. She always thought she would know when things got to the point where she could not handle it and then she would make that hard choice. But in reality Emma never escapes. Her nightmares - her fears don't stay within the walls of that house.

But Emma is still that girl that tries to push it all down. She still can't trust anyone to expose them to the reality of what she experienced.

In Barely Breathing you get to see the aftermath of the destruction her abuse caused. You watch her a slow cycle of abuse continue. A girl that is still so certain that she knows just how much hurt and pain she can take before it gets to be too much. A girl who is suddenly faced with having to face her demons and deciding if she will keep allowing herself to be hurt and to hurt others.

This book was one that I could not put down. It was like that accident on the side of the road that you just can't seem to turn your head away from. I don't even think my mind has fully accepted what I read or if any of these emotions have even begun to register. This series so far has left me with a heavy feeling sitting on my chest.

In Emma's attempts as fixing herself and trying to fix the broken pieces of her past, before the abuse, she is forced to see the reality of what led her to that house. The back and forth between Jonathan had my head spinning. It was one bad decision after another - but at the same time I could understand it (which just sort of pissed me off even more).

I think I went through every emotion while reading this book and although I have the third book just sitting a few feet away, I don't think that I will have closure from this series for some time.
Profile Image for Seyma.
620 reviews
November 4, 2019
Bir oturuşta,nefes almadan 544 sayfayı okudum nasıl mıyım?
Profile Image for Marcella.
866 reviews33 followers
April 13, 2016
I can't decide between 3 stars or 4. So it's 3.5.
This book was actually really frustrating! Every character annoyed me at one point in the book. Some more than once.

Again I wished for a duo POV but it didn't happen. I just find the one sided story from Emma like we only have half the story. Like when Evan left to California or whatever again because him and Emma were going through some things I'd love to be in his head at that moment. To see and feel what he is. Just assuming his side from Emma's POV isn't enough for me!

Emma's annoying-ness : Oh where do I begin!? Maybe with how stupid she was for always spending time with Jonathan and turning to Jonathan for EVERYTHING instead of Evan. Now I like Jonathan and I get why he'd think he loves Emma because they understand each others darkness, the part of themselves they don't want anyone to know about. And I get that Emma found him easier to confide in for fear of tainting Evan or that Evan wouldn't understand. BUT FOR GOD SAKE EVAN HAS BEEN THERE FOR HER TIME AND TIME AGAIN! He loves Emma with all her darkness and past and wants to help. He was f*cking there in the house and saw her lifeless beat up body. He's seen her at her worst and IS STILL THERE! She didn't even try to tell him about her nightmares or let him in her head. And then the end happened! She F*CKING LEFT EVAN ON HIS BIRTHDAY!!! Total b*tch. Urrrrgghhhh.
Evan's annoying-ness : Him keeping Analise as a friend when he definitely knows she really likes him. Oh I hated Analise so much! I was like Sara and just wanting to slap her! But Emma didn't put her in place. Neither did Evan until Emma finally confronted him about her and her damn annoying clingy-ness. That was so un-Evan like for me. I would think Evan would set her straight. Tell her "I have a beautiful girlfriend who I love and will always love so back the f*ck off b*tch"....or something along those lines hahaha. But how he just let it go on and pretty much added fuel to the fire with him driving her everywhere and taking her parties to 'make her feel comfortable as the new girl' blahblahblah. It would take an total idiot not to notice her obsessive clingy behavior yet it went on for a while. And I was gritting my teeth everytime she'd be mentioned.
Sara's annoying-ness : How she acted like a total b*tch at the beginning. Being jealous of Emma and all. Like it as uncalled for but I understood it but still...this is Emma's first love and first pretty much everything and Sara is more experienced with everything...she really turned into a huge b*tch but thank god Jared came back.
Jonathan's annoying-ness : Now I knew the only reason he was staying with Emma's Mum was because of Emma. I felt their connection. And I will admit that at a point I wuldn't have minded Emma choosing him over Evan but then..Evan is Evan and I love him more. Love him more for Emma. But how he came in at the end and ruined everything on Evan's birthday f*cking sucked. Couldn't he have done this the next damn day!? Uggghh.
Emma's Mum is a colossal f*ck up. I admire Emma's persistence in trying with her but some people are damaged beyond repair.
Yeah this book was a whole lot of emotions.
I just feel sorry for Evan.
Next book!
Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,674 followers
July 24, 2013
So after that brutal cliffhanger in book 1 I stopped everything I was doing and jumped into book 2 like it was the end of the world. I knew this would be one heck of a rollercoaster ride and boy, was I right!

The story starts off six months after the events of book 1. While Emma’s physical wounds have healed properly, the emotional damage left a permanent mark on her soul. In the spur of a moment, she makes the effort to reconnect with her mother, Rachel, and moves in with her, creating many problems. An added complication appears in the form of Rachel’s much younger boyfriend Jonathan. All of this, coupled with Emma and Evan’s complex relationship, was more than enough to drive me over the edge. I cried, I sobbed, I screamed, I pulled my hair out, and I almost smashed my iPad into pieces.


I honestly don’t even know what to say now because I’m just a blubbering mess. I’ll just do a quick breakdown of the three characters who stole the show.

Emma: Still emotionally scarred, terrified to reveal her dark thoughts to Evan and so starts to rely on Jonathan. They’ve both experienced unspeakable cruelty at the hands of loved ones, and build up a connection on that basis. She’s confused about everything in her life, but one thing is for sure: she loves Evan deeply. He’s the only one for her.

Evan: the most thoughtful, sweetest, and protective boyfriend ever!! It was hard at times to see his pain over the choices Emma made, and he tries so hard to do the right thing. I hated reading about his suffering because it multiplied my agony by infinity.

Jonathan: I’m probably in the minority, but I really connected with his character. His past is not only painful, it’s dark, gritty, and raw, and it’s like a Kristen Ashley character dropped into this book. To be honest, my feelings for him were conflicted. On one hand, I despised him for the threat he presented to Emma and Evan, but…I could really see how deeply wounded he was, burned from old love and scarred by his horrific past, and I wanted him to find his HEA so badly.

By far, this book’s ending was epic and jaw-dropping. I wouldn’t call it a cliffhanger, but it definitely leaves room for interpretation. That last line…it gave me shivers. Anticipatory shivers. Rebecca Donovan goes big with her endings and boy, do they pack a punch! After finishing this second book, there was nothing that could stop me from moving on to the third!! Definitely my favorite out of the trilogy!

5+ Breathtaking Stars!!!
Profile Image for Berry ♡ Nice.
541 reviews69 followers
June 10, 2019
Crying. That's how I finished this book. As I just finished I am unable to put into words how I feel about this book.
3 stars? 5 stars? Maybe 4 just to find a balance...Yes. This is a ramble

I DO NOT know if I'll finish this series. I don't think I can handle anymore and I'm definitely not the type to leave any series unfinished (even the ones that suck I finish) BUT this one doesn't suck.. Not even a little.

Maybe I'll just QUIT reading indefinitely

I love angst! I really do but I'm beginning to think there's a thin line between angsty and just plane mental. Idk. One thing I can say is this is definitely a page turner.

I don't like Emma!
I love Evan!

*update* ofcourse I finished the series.
A must read series and No, I DIDN'T QUIT READING ❤ LOL.
Profile Image for Brittany.
59 reviews13 followers
May 14, 2012
Well....I was so excited for this book to come out. I LOVED It and read it in one day. I was really hoping though that Emma and Evan could have developed more of a relationship than they did in this book and I am praying that book three will dive head first into their love story. I need me some Evan and Emma LOVE!!! :) the book was great but I need more!!!!
The reason for the 4 star rating instead of five is because I want more Emma and Evan!!!
Ps I hate the Jonathan character. Creep.
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