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Only a Breath Apart

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given a new twist in the gritty YA contemporary novel, Only a Breath Apart.

Jesse Lachlin is cursed.

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approva
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: January 22nd 2019 by Tor Teen
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Rating details
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Katie McGarry
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote it. :-)
Chelsea Humphrey
DNF at 30%

I wholly appreciate what the author is doing with this book, which is why I've chosen to stop here and leave off a rating, as I'm simply not the right reader for this novel. Content Warning to sensitive readers for graphic physical and verbal abuse. Many thanks to the publisher for the opportunity to give this one a try.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Welp. This was a bit of a struggle. I have read and loved all of Katie’s other books, so I was all in without really reading the synopsis. That cover made me think it was just the standard mid-level angst she normally writes.

I liked Scarlett and Jesse well enough. They have a boatload of history with a second boatload of issues to deal with. There are a few other characters, but no one stood out to me. For me, they read as plot devices—and that is sort of tragic because there’s a lot of potenti
Elle's Book Blog
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Katie McGarry has a magical writing ability and she can make any type of reader get lost in her words. Only a Breath Apart is a stunning and emotional read, one that deals with social issues in a realistic way. This book brought many tears in my eyes but it also made my heart swell. The eloquence in which she writes this profound novel has left a deep imprint in my heart and I am so happy to have taken the time
Cecily Wolfe
Just when I thought McGarry couldn't get any better - she does. This had me absolutely spellbound in every way.
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Loved so hard! Full review to come soon!
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you love McGarry - this is a must read. Classic McGarry in every way.

I was a little concerned towards the end that it was going one way when it JUST COULD NOT - I was like, NO, you can't even do this, kid. But in traditional KMG fashion, it all worked out. Not that these kids have a smooth road ahead (do any of her characters?) but their lives are much better for having each other.
B.A. Wilson
This book releases January 22, 2019: Go pre-order a copy right now!

This book fronts as a YA contemporary romance, but it has this delicious undercurrent of magical realism that just takes my breath away.

It reminded me of being a kid, when I also felt so tied to the land that I haven’t set foot on again since I was about 13 years old. It’s funny the way the things that shape us as a child can suddenly seem so distant once you are 38. This story threw me back into the shell of an emotionally fra
Samantha (WLABB)
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.5 Stars

This was really emotional and heartbreaking. There are parts that are very painful, but also a lot of happiness and joy. I enjoyed the friends-to-more romance, their shared bond as survivors, and even the little magical touches.

Full review to follow.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Panda Panda
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best yet Katie McGarry novel. Just all the feels.
Kimberly Garner
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is in short amazing, It's not a run of the mill YA. This book tackles some serious issues, such as abuse. It's handled beautifully by the author, This book has so much depth to it, the depth of the story, the depth of the characters, all make this book flow seamlessly, The characters have so much to overcome. While not yet adults, they have to make adult decisions. In this day and age, that isn't unheard of. It does show a strength of character. The flow of the book is flawless, there ...more
Christy LoveOfBooks
Man, I felt this story and the characters.

***4 Stars***


Okay. So, I had an idea of what I was getting into when I dove into this baby, but Whoa. Things get quite heavy, distressing and even disturbing at times and yet all of that upheaval was tempered by sweet moments and a whole lot of grit and heart and a feeling of hope that kept me turning the pages until the very end.

I really liked Jesse and Scarlett. I did. They were very much teens on the cusp of young adulthood, trying to figure out who they are and what their next s
Stacy Fetters
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Scarlett, there are two times that I can breathe in deeply without wincing in pain, and being with you is one of them. If I could, I’d keep you here forever.”

I don’t have a lot of experiences with Katie McGarry books. This is the second one I’ve read and my first experience did not go well at all. I wasn’t expecting much from this but I was pleasantly surprised. This one was extraordinary.

My poor little heart went through too much with this. From the beginning, you could feel that this one was
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like the rest of the reading world, I have been a huge fan of Katie McGarry ever since she came out with her first book, Pushing the Limits. That one, and Crash Into You has never been able to be topped as my favorite books from her. Then, out of nowhere she comes out with Only A Breath Apart, which not only is my new favorite McGarry book, but also one of my favorite books ever.

I loved everything about this story. The setting, the characters, and the magic were all written in such a beautiful
Very heavy. Intense and difficult scenes at times.

This has the sweet romance we’ve come to know and love from Katie, but some of the scenes were hard to read. Scarlett’s family dynamic is filled with so much pain and cringe worthy scenes. I had to read some parts very quickly.

While I did enjoy this story, there was a LOT of focus on tarot readings and that’s not my thing at all. So for me, I felt it took away from my enjoyment a little. Sad but true.

I received an arc and this is my honest rev
Felicia Mathews (Bookishly Slytherclaw)
ARC provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not my favorite Katie McGarry but still very good. The character development is great and even though I didn't love them individually, I did appreciate their strengths and courage and growth and love throughout the book. I also really enjoyed most of the side characters and wish we could see more of them. Mostly, it's a book about childhood friends torn apart and brought back together to overcome some very difficult and intense issues. There is physical and emotional abuse in this one and some r ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
So first, let me tell you that I knew almost nothing about this book except that I loved the cover. I kept seeing it on Instagram and ended up winning an ARC from the publisher. I read a lot of YA fiction, generally a mix of contemporary romance, fantasy, and mystery.

Generally, reads based solely on the cover do NOT go well for me (please see The Hazel Wood from last year which was AWFUL and likely one of the worst books I’ve ever bothered to finish). Halfway through reading this book I would h
Colleen's Conclusions
DNF at 15 percent. This ended up not being for me, but thanks for the chance to read it anyway!
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Fans of Sarah Dessen and Kasie West will likely enjoy this story of neighbors struggling with a curse on their land in the boy’s life and a controlling, abusive father in the girl’s. For me, the book refused to choose a side between magical realism and realistic fiction so I found my eyes rolling more than normal.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
While not my normal genre of reading, this novel kept me enthralled from the first violent chapter to its final tender kiss. Full of well fleshed out and diverse characters, this novel was an emotional rollercoaster through its entirity. Main characters Jesse and Scarlett are on journeys of self discovery, colliding with each other in the process. Previosuly childhood friends, they were forced apart by Jesse's poor decisions and Scarlett's overbearing and overprotective parents.

In its raw form,
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Katie McGarry's writing. There has not been a time where I have read a book of hers and not liked it. Only a Breath Apart has become one of my absolute favorites by her. I finished it in one day because I lacked the strength and heart to put it down. Her characters are emotional, complex, relatable, and so many other things. You can't help but fall in love with her characters. You feel everything they feel, you cheer for them and you cry with them. Scarlett and Jesse are no exceptions. Th ...more
Maggie Carr
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Expected publication date: January 2019 //Contemporary Romance

Thank you Tor Teen for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

"The point I'm making is that you can choose to look at the tough moments as failures or you can choose to look at them as a bad few minutes in a good day. It's okay to feel sorry for yourself for a few seconds, but then you need to pick yourself up and brush yourself off. If you do that, you never fail."
Such a rich history between the two MC gives a more meaningful set of
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I gotta say, this new story by Katie McGarry completely surprised me. I have read and loved pretty much every single book and short story written by her but I generally know what to expect with gritty characters that struggle, fail, and hurt, and relationships that are are far from perfect (with lots of steaminess) with hope and love seeping throughout. Only a Breath Apart did not disappoint, it broke my heart, made me angry and terrified for the characters, brought a new perspective to forgiven ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yes, another book by Katie!!!! By now, you've probably figured out that I absolutely love everything about Katie and her books!!!


Jesse is cursed......anyone in the Lachlin family ends up losing the ones they love. It's a crappy curse and one of the reasons Jesse couldn't be close to Scarlett anymore....But now things are different. Jesse has grown into this tall, rugged and handsome guy. Unfortunately, the other things about Jesse isn't all that great. The things that follow him around
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this as an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Jesse and Scarlett are both scarred by their family history, but it is in their broken places that they may find a path to true happiness.

Jesse’s family has been cursed and each generation has had their share of tragedy. Jesse’s mom insisted that he could overcome the curse by staying on his family’s land and never leaving the state. Jesse plans to keep this promise to he dead mother and when his ailing grandmother passes
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KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website,, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebo