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Monday, 5 November 2012

Review: Breathe

      Breathe (Breathe, #1)

Title: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Series: Breathe #1
Pages: 384
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: Released
Source: For review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #92

When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.

Breathe is a really interesting concept that doesn't feel quite so far away as it should. I read Crossan's debut novel, written in verse, which I really enjoyed but I had hesitations about how a novel written in such a different format to her first would resonate with me. I needn't have worried as I ended up really enjoying Breathe.

The novel is narrated by three characters; Bea, Alina and Quinn. All the voices were distinct and I found it easy to recognise the narrator by the style of their chapter. It really allowed the story to have greater depth. Bea was, and still is, my favourite character but I grew to love the three protagonists as well as the secondary characters.

I thought the world building was well described and allowed a good visualisation of the desolate expanse that surrounded the domes. Crossan also thoroughly explored the reasons behind this dystopian world opposed to the reader having to just accept that this is the way things are.

Ultimately Breathe is a good dystopian that may not rise above all other dystopians but it certainly stands it own and shouldn't be dismissed. If dystopian is something you enjoy please give this a read.

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