Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Learning to Breathe” as Want to Read:
Learning to Breathe
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Learning to Breathe

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  256 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Indy struggles to conceal her pregnancy while searching for a place to belong in this stunning debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Amber Smith and Sara Zarr.

Indira Ferguson has done her best to live by her Grammy’s rules—to study hard in school, be respectful, and to never let a boy take advantage of her. But it hasn’t always been easy, especially while
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Learning to Breathe, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Learning to Breathe

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  256 ratings  ·  72 reviews

Sort order
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
When you know a storm's coming, you can batten down and hide away, or you can try to outrun the rain. Or there's option three: stand your ground, face the weather, and hope your roots keep you in place.

How refreshing it is to dive into a book directed at Teens and YA that isn't a dystopian, a fairy retelling, and/or a teen romance where someone is going to die. Don't get me wrong, I lap those types of books up like they're chocolate, but every once and awhile I like something that is not any
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, apl, tlb, ya
3.5 stars
It took me a while to get into the flow of this one, but about mid-way through, all I wanted was a happy ending for Indy. Her happy ending, whichever way that would go.

This is a hard read about family, secrets, and assault.
Rachel Strolle
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing

TW: discussion of sexual assault; rape
Liza Wiemer
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Learning to Breathe is the perfect novel for the #MeToo movement. It sucks you right into Indira's difficult life, which only becomes more challenging when her mom ships her off to her aunt's house in Nassau. The rich language and vivid description will take the reader on the painful journey Indira faces after she's rape. Despite the trials and tribulations, Indira's story is woven with beauty and respite.

This is so well done, it didn't feel like fiction. I couldn't put it down.

Highly recommen
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: june-2018


I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

I went in with knowing extremely little about Learning To Breathe because it was sent to me unsolicited by the publisher and actually, it worked in my favor. Because I didn't know much about it except for the fact it's about a young girl who is trying her best to hide an unwanted pregnancy and dealing with society judging her, I enjoyed it more. The story was intense a lot of the times. A trigger warning for
This is one where the book would be so much stronger is the approach to storytelling was different. The disruptive non-linear sequences combined with the italicized sections make it hard to read and get into the flow.

Readers are in love and rooting for Indira especially with her “loose” mother who can’t give her the time of day, but a strong grandmother who tries to do what’s best for her when sending her to her Aunt Patrice’s but that’s when things go wrong. I adored Indy, but it was disrupted
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 0-reviewed, 2018, arc2018
I can never tell her about him, what he did. We're so different and the words from my world don't translate anymore.

Thank youuu to Netgalley & Indigo for the ARC.

I'm kinda...hunting for the right words here. This wasn't a bad book by any means but I had the bare minimum passion for it the entire time. The words are beautiful, the meaning and payoff are satisfying, the little town is homey and comfortable. And yet it didn't really have any bite or charisma. It's a dreamy, lofty little read.
Navina Lotay
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Trigger warning: Sexual Assault

16 year old Indy has become pregnant, and is hiding it because of her young age and her fear that her aunt will kick her out. This novel is a story about how she deals with all of this, finds her real family, and heals herself. While the premise and plot are great, I wasn't feeling fully engaged with this one. There was nothing that made me particularly drawn to any characters or the plot, and that's why I'm giving it 3 stars.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Learning to Breathe is the debut YA novel by Janice Lynn Mather. It is a beautifully written and completely engrossing coming-of-age novel. Although it deals with some very tough and emotionally charged issues including sexual assault, Mathers treats them with sensitivity and empathy while providing a story that is unputdownable. And much of this is down to Indy, the sixteen-year-old protagonist who is strong, resilient, and most of all likable making the reader care deeply about what happens to ...more
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
*Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy.*

What a beautiful book. The writing is lyrical and gorgeous and the story is heartbreaking but also uplifting. A great contemporary read.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
It had a good story line. I would write more later about it. It does have a rape thing in the story so that's a warning if you don't read those books.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I must say, wow. This took me on a journey with a girl who was as real to me as a close friend. I had the honor of watching the main character grow from a scared, embarrassed teen to one who is ready to take on the world. That, to me, is priceless.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018

In the synopsis the publisher compares Janice Lynn Mather's Learning to Breathe to books by Sara Zarr and Amber Smith, and I believe that comparison is spot on. Learning to Breathe isn't an easy book by any means. There's plenty of heartbreaking moments as well as times at which I thought it couldn't possibly get any worse for Indy only to be proven otherwise. At the same time, however, Learning to Breathe does offer a breathe of hope, a breath of positivity, because at a core Learning to
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
Another wow book. This is to me a must read for educators to understand a child in a traumatic situation and what may be going on in their lives and minds.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a hard book to get into .
Overall it was a descent read ...
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't now how but I stumbled across this book, most likely it was because I wanted a book that I could relate to. I have trouble dealing anxiety, nothing serious, and the title was Learning to Breathe so I thought it was about dealing with anxiety. It's not, it is a great book nevertheless, she has a few panic attacks though. It is emotional book about dealing with [a concerning issue]
(view spoiler)
It is a wonderful story about fr
Nancy Hollingsworth
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The rhythm of the storytelling is lovely and sweet. Some stories are difficult. There is redemption.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Indria “Indy” or “Doubles” is a strong character and her voice is powerful. Throughout the course of the book she finds her voice and it’s great to watch her come into her own. The characters are all unique and interesting and I would love more backstory on Joe, Churchy and Indy’s grandmother. I love that the author didn’t shy away from anything. She didn’t write the book with rose coloured glasses on the characters or for the reader.

#indigoemployee #netgalley #learningtobreathe
Kiana Cook
Learning to Breathe is an important novel. It presents a refreshingly different lifestyle and setting than you normally encounter in YA with its descriptions of Nassau and Indy’s family life. It’s disturbing and unflinching in its descriptions of sexual assault and the palpable danger that its protagonist feels every day walking down the streets. I loved its emphasis on yoga and the found family that Indy encounters at the yoga retreat, and how they give her a sanctuary when she has nowhere else ...more
This review is also posted on!

Actually 3.5/5 stars
Content Warnings: Sexual assault, rape, slut-shaming, abortion (mention of), incest, substance abuse, emotional abuse, teen pregnancy

Learning to Breathe is a very important book, but also potentially triggering for readers. It is geared towards teens, but as you can see from the content warnings for it, there are lots of heavy moments. I am fortunate enough that I was not triggered by this book, but it was difficult
Black Carrie
Aug 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: my-y-a-books
I cannot imagine going through what Indria has to go through atleast she found some to type of solace through yoga.
This book read as fiction to the core I couldn't really get into it BECAUSE I was mad
Indria had no support system
She was dumped on someone who can careless about her ( I hate family like that).
I wish she would've fought Gary perverted ass off what a sick motherfucker. Patrice was not any better i believe she knew what kind of creep her son was but she must've felt like it's okay f
Samantha (WLABB)
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.5 Stars

In her home village, they referred to Indy as "Doubles". They said she looked like her mother and probably shared her promiscuity as well. She thought Nassau would be a new start, a place she could escape her mother's reputation, but it seemed that trouble followed her from her home village and brought even more with it.

• Pro: Indy was so damaged by her past, and she lost her support system, when she left her grandmother for Nassau. Her fear and loneliness broke my heart, but I
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
TW: sexual assault, rape, physical and emotional abuse, substance abuse, elder abuse, incest.

This is a super difficult book for me to review. It follow Indy as her mother decides to send her to live with her aunt and uncle after not being stable enough to keep living with her. Her mother is an alcoholic and consistently sleeps with different men, but her grandmother is super understanding and her continues to support her mother as her life spirals. Upon moving in with her aunt and uncle, she sta
This book still brings tears to my eyes, just thinking about it.  A truly touching story dealing with tough issues!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Learning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather. Indy comes from a dysfunctional family except for her loving grandmother who would do anything for her, but she’s not always close enough to help and doesn’t own a phone. Indy has been sexually abused and ended up pregnant and she feels alone, with no one to
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Far-flung from my typical reading genres, but I’m glad I was made to read it. The setting of Nassau and subsequent descriptions of lush landscapes and greenery, breezy, salt-water surroundings, and the rough topography of an island in general, was such a delight to read about, and more importantly something uncommon (I guess a novelty of sorts). I felt a bond with Indy and other characters, from the dialect – which felt so familiar to me, hearing their accents and pronunciation so clearly in my ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Even people who don't know my mamma think I'm the same as her, some girl who gone and got in problems. They think it's my destiny. That's what you thought when you first saw me. You didn't even ask questions, you already knew what I was."
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• I picked this novel up because I loved the the serenity of the cover. What I found out later when I'd begun reading was how hard sixteen year old Indy had to fight for that peace. This was both HEAVY & HEARTBREAKING!
Eden Church | The Required Reading List
*Trigger Warning for Sexual Assault*
Janice Lynn Mather's "Learning to Breathe" took my breath away. An absolutely stunning portrait of love, loss and perseverance, the novel follows sixteen year old Indira who finds herself unexpectedly dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. This book was truly different from anything I've ever read before, and featured beautiful prose and well-drawn, complicated characters. My only qualm is that it ended too quickly, wrapping up a little too briskly.

This book cont
Dee Price
Indy's mother has a bad reputation, and she does everything she can to avoid following in her mother's footsteps. She's respectful, gets good grades, and stays away from boys. Her life changes when she is sent to live with relatives and her worst fears come to fruition. Feeling alone and betrayed, Indy has to make some tough decisions and learn how to trust again.

This is a really hard book to review because although it dealt with some very serious and realistic issues, and I am completely empath
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Yoga Folks: Mather's Learning to Breathe First Half 2 6 Feb 15, 2019 05:37AM  
Yoga Folks: February Group Read, Learning to Breathe 6 21 Feb 08, 2019 05:14AM  
The Mary Sue Book...: Learning to Breathe 1 3 Jun 10, 2018 09:25PM  
  • All That I Can Fix
  • The Place Between Breaths
  • The Agony of Bun O'Keefe
  • Water in May
  • The Beckoners
  • The Gone Away Place
  • Big Water
  • Prince of Pot
  • Fire Song
  • Rewind (Rewind #1)
  • We Regret to Inform You
  • Mr. 60%
  • Castle of Lies
  • The 11th Hour
  • Girls on the Line
  • Ten After Closing
  • My Whole Truth
  • Leading Lines