Customer Reviews for

One Breath Away

Average Rating 4
( 68 )
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5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Heather Gudenkauf has amazed me before with her poignant and oft

Heather Gudenkauf has amazed me before with her poignant and oftentimes difficult to read novels, but this time she goes above and beyond with this tale of the worst nightmare that, a school, parents, teachers and a town should ever endure. She had me gritting my teeth ...
Heather Gudenkauf has amazed me before with her poignant and oftentimes difficult to read novels, but this time she goes above and beyond with this tale of the worst nightmare that, a school, parents, teachers and a town should ever endure. She had me gritting my teeth and holding my breath from the first page had me so entranced that I read it in one sitting. She brought me characters that had my sympathy, my empathy and my respect from the beginning and by the end I knew each one intimately. Her storyline is one that you could easily find on any media source local or national and as she tells her main tale she intersperses mini stories of the lives and challenges of her amazing characters and in doing so makes stars of them all. Her narrative is succinct and pull no punches and her dialogue gives perfect voices to her players.
If you’re looking for a novel with substance and depth, a read that will make you think and relish the quote “there for the grace of God go I” this is your one Must Read of the summer.
In a small farming community in Iowa disaster is about to strike on the last day of school before spring break. With a snow storm brewing and temperatures falling to frigid a desperate man walks into the Broken Branch K-12 school building and begins his reign of terror. More than a thousand miles away a woman is painfully recovering from burns suffered from a fire who thought sending her children to her childhood home in Broken Branch Iowa would be safe and has no idea what awaits them. A local policewoman dreads time off without her daughter not knowing what her last day on the job before vacation will be bringing her. A grandfather struggling caring for his grandchildren who were virtual strangers has no idea what he or they will face this day. A third grade teacher is about to learn what sacrifice really is. An angry misplaced teen right in the middle of it all will learn about bravery. All these people will be connected in a way that no person should ever have to experience and “One Breath Away” is all it takes to change these lives forever.

posted by dhaupt on June 26, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Not at this time.

I can not possibly read this book after the school shootings that just happened in Conn.

posted by moonmatrix on December 18, 2012

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  • Posted May 1, 2014

    This was a page turner!

    This was a page turner!

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  • Posted April 29, 2013

    DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK.

    This book was really slow. Not my favorite.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    Titokaca

    Scary story line. I was reading it when the Newtown, Ct shooting happened and it really was relevant.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    recommended

    This story about a gunman holding children and a teacher hostage is an interesting novel, with believable characters, told through five of the characters. While I can't say it's a great read, it is a good one.

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  • Posted February 20, 2013

    It¿s difficult to paste an age group onto this book. It can be r

    It’s difficult to paste an age group onto this book. It can be read by young adults and older, and some of the main characters fall within that age category. However, the theme is very dark, more than half of the main characters are adults, so I would classify it as an adult book, but not necessarily something that can be read by adults only.

    In Broken Branch, the tight-knit community never suspected an armed gunman would break into their school and hold their children hostage. When the unthinkable happens, police officer Meg is relieved her child is with her ex-husband when all hell breaks loose. Even though so, she feels a strong connection with the children trapped inside the school with the mad man, and is determined to find them and rescue them.

    The book ties in closely with the real-life shootings in Connecticut and other places, and the reality of it all made this book all the more gripping for me. Just the thought that it could truly happen sends shivers down my spine. However, even that can’t make up for what this book so greatly lacks. Suspense and drive.

    The book is told from the POV of five different characters. That would’ve been fine, if the characters had actual personalities and narrative voices distinguishing them from another. They have, but only up to some point; I foun that some of them read more-or-less the same. They were also too superficial,and it was hard for me to guess their emotions, their drive, why they were doing what they were doing. I would’ve liked more character depth and emotions, as it would’ve made me more sympathetic toward them.

    The plot itself was pretty straightforward and predictable, even if there was a game of ‘who is the gunman’ for the first half of the book. I guessed the gunman’s identity early on, so I wasn’t surprised by the ending. What did surprise me – and all right, this may be a bit morbid, but hang on – is that it seemed like things were tomed down. It is pretty horrifying if a gunman breaks into your school, regardless of whether someone actually gets hurt, I’ll give the author that. But, and here’s a major spoiler, it seemed unrealistic that not more people would’ve been hurt. Maybe that’s just me, and trust me, I don’t like to see people get hurt, not in real life but not in a book either, but it would’ve made the story more plausible.

    I did like the small-town mentality, and how the book covers only a few hours but seems to take an eternity to get to the point. It’s nice symbolism to the slowing tension the characters must’ve experienced from the moment the gunman entered their school. I liked how we got to see the entire story from different points of view, but like I said, a bit more character and plot development would’ve done wonders.

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  • Posted September 28, 2012

    Entertaining

    A pretty good plot and unique style.

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  • Posted August 9, 2012

    OK Book----ending was not that much of a surprise.

    This book really needed about 70 pages YANKED from the middle. It was too long to get to the point. Otherwise, not too bad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Only One Breath

    Normally, I don't mind different narratives, but in this case, I do think it slowed the story down a tad. But it did have a good climax, and a good enough plot to keep you guessing, all the while not trivializing the tragedy. But why the title of One Breath? Does every story of a school shooting have to have an abstract title like that? There was no memorable prose about the value of every breath that I can recall.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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