Alyssa's Reviews > Breathless

Breathless by Cole Gibsen
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's review
Mar 31, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: pnr-merpeople, pnr, young-adult
Read from April 20 to 21, 2012

Breathless begins with emo-girl Edith Small miserably enduring a ride on a boat with her date Marty Sherwood. Marty is quite the charmer, as he is always trying to get under Edith's swimsuit. The only reason Edith is on the date is because Marty is the son of Lieutenant Colonel Sherwood, and she wants to appease her stepdad, an army-man (eight tours in Iraq, Air Force) who she is forced to call Sir.

Also on this boat is Russell, the high school quarterback, and Gabrielle, the captain of the school's equestrian team. Both are stereotypical 'cool kids' who drink alcohol and smoke weed.

When another boat arrives on the scene, this one owned by another popular kid named Scott, Russell and Scott decide to engage in a high speed race across the water. This leads to some unfortunate consequences, particularly when Gabrielle goes flying overboard because she was dancing topless during a high-speed turn with no support. In the confusion of her disappearance, the two boats crash into each other.

Edith is sent overboard like many of the other teenagers. While in the water, she believes she may have encountered vicious mermaids, but when she ends up in the hospital and is interrogated by Sir, she immediately denies knowing what occurred and how she escaped death when other kids did not. After all, with the constant threat of being sent to military school always looming on the horizon, Edith would prefer not to come off sounding crazy and unbelievable.

Life goes downhill after the boat accident. A shadowy visitor appears at night, leaving a hand print as evidence of their presence on Edith's window.

At school, Edith is being accused of murder by Gabrielle (the same girl who basically caused the accident by carelessly dancing topless on the boat; Edith had merely been trying to get her to sit down).

However, Edith does befriend lesbian/punk-goth girl Morgan, the daughter of base commander for Eglin Air Force Base, Lieutenant Colonel Pratt.

Also, the shadowy visitor turns out to be a hot merman prince named Bastin.

(view spoiler)

Bastin can only visit at night. During the day, he must return to the water -- he'll dry out if he doesn't get enough water. Also, he shouldn't even be visiting in the first place. He's been raised to believe that humans are dangerous creatures intent on wiping out the mer-people with their pollution and destructive ways. Although his tribe is peaceful, the other tribes seek to destroy the humans through the use of a very strong pearl.

This is a forbidden love story. Not the type of Twilight love, in which Edward doesn't want to turn Bella into an immortal vampire because he doesn't want to compromise her soul/purity, but rather a forbidden love in which, if Bastin were to bring Edith underwater with him, she'd go insane, her spine would be crushed by the pressure, and she would never be able to return to shore. She would also live to be centuries old, whereas Bastin would live to an average age of eighty. Also, the mer-people would never accept a human. Humans are used as slaves.

So what's a forbidden couple to do?

They fall in love.

(view spoiler)

Overall, this was a mildly entertaining novel. I like mermaids, but this wasn't very groundbreaking material. Also, Sir's character is a complete douchebag, and mostly you hope Edith and her mom will leave him and get away. Most of my time spent reading this book was with me grinding my teeth whenever Sir was included in a scene.

Even when Sir's reasoning for treating Edith the way he does is revealed, you still don't feel all that sympathetic for the man. He's a monster, and I think it would have helped if Edith's mother had taken the extra step than merely defying her husband in the end. Because, in the end, they're still together. And that's not a healthy thing.

Breathless ranks in at three stars for providing mild entertainment over an otherwise very dull weekend.

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Reading Progress

04/20/2012 page 1
0.0% "Well, there's no Kindle edition available on goodreads. That's odd.

Bought on Kindle. Going away for a Model UN conference this weekend; will read this in my downtime :).

I was holding off on purchasing this until more reviews came out, but seeing as this was published over a month ago and there are only 19 reviews (many of which have high ratings), I'll take the initiative and give this a shot."

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