Customer Reviews for

Reason to Breathe

Average Rating 4.5
( 450 )
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(341)

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(17)

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(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

73 out of 81 people found this review helpful.

An Intoxicating Combination of Danger and Romance

Some days Emma is thrilled to be alive. Some days she struggles to find a reason to breathe.

Emma Thomas is every parent's dream. She's an excellent student. She does her chores without complaint and helps with the younger kids at home. She's a star athlete and ...
Some days Emma is thrilled to be alive. Some days she struggles to find a reason to breathe.

Emma Thomas is every parent's dream. She's an excellent student. She does her chores without complaint and helps with the younger kids at home. She's a star athlete and a talented artist. Her best friend, Sara, is one of the most popular girls in school. So why then does she live her life in a perpetual state of fear? Emma has a dark secret about which no one, not even Sara, knows the truth. Emma is not looking for someone to rescue her. She keeps a safe distance from those around her, never wanting anyone to get close enough to discover what she's hiding. She is barely coping with the terror, but telling someone the truth would have devastating consequences.
Emma's plan is simple: survive the remainder of high school, go to college and never come back, stay "under the radar" at all costs. Emma lives her life virtually undetected by most of the people around her, or so she thinks until Evan Mathews comes along. Evan not only sees the invisible girl, he boldly pursues her, even though her defenses are numerous and fierce. Emma finds herself inexplicably drawn to him, but letting her guard down could mean losing more than she's willing to risk. She is faced with a choice between what she wants and what she believes is best. In her mind they are two completely different things. The escalating danger makes it that much harder to decide. Should she risk everything to find the happiness she never expected or stay safe in the stronghold of secrecy she's been building for so long?
Rebecca Donovan is an enormously talented storyteller, and I'm not just saying that because she let me view this novel in its infancy. When she first asked me to read her work, I was nervous. I'm a fairly critical reader, and I didn't want to hurt her feelings. But there was absolutely no reason to worry because I was completely engrossed in the story after reading the first few pages.
The story is an intense page turner from start to finish. Reason to Breathe is one of those rare stories where the love story is just as gripping as the danger. The reader wants so badly for Emma to find happiness. She's been denied any kind of love for so long, and Evan seems like the perfect person to offer that chance. But the reader also wants Emma to survive the story unscathed, and it quickly becomes clear that it will be next to impossible for Emma to have both happiness and safety.
The antagonist in this story is so well written that the reader is put on edge by the malicious character's mere presence on the page. The main characters (and even some of the minor ones) are so consistent, so well thought out; they feel as if they're people you know. You could predict what they would do in a given situation. I was particularly drawn to the friendship between Emma and Sara. It feels very real, and it demonstrates the yin and yang connection that so many best friends have. It was very easy to believe in their bond; the two girls complement each other perfectly.
One criticism I often have of teen books written in first person is that they don't really feel like a teen is the narrator. That is not the case with Reason to Breathe. I felt I was very much inside Emma's head. She second guesses herself. Sometimes she reads people incorrectly, and she misjudges the situations she's in fairly often. I could see things coming that she perhaps

posted by Nerd_Light_Books on June 16, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Anonymous

This book was geared more towards teenage reading. It was sooo chatty that I found myself skipping pages. Also, why did Emily let herself be used as a punching bag. There was help out there for her, but she felt she would ruin the lives of the two children, who weren...
This book was geared more towards teenage reading. It was sooo chatty that I found myself skipping pages. Also, why did Emily let herself be used as a punching bag. There was help out there for her, but she felt she would ruin the lives of the two children, who weren't her responsibility if word of her abuse were known. She wasn't a child, she was old enough to know that what was being done to her was wrong and that Carol clearly had some serious mental issues. So in the end it wasn't Emily who destroyed the family but the person who feared it most. The author left me wondering how the story ended. It ended quite abruptly and left me wondering. I hate when this happens, I like closure to my stories.

posted by 8429876 on July 14, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 452 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 23
  • Posted June 16, 2011

    An Intoxicating Combination of Danger and Romance

    Some days Emma is thrilled to be alive. Some days she struggles to find a reason to breathe.

    Emma Thomas is every parent's dream. She's an excellent student. She does her chores without complaint and helps with the younger kids at home. She's a star athlete and a talented artist. Her best friend, Sara, is one of the most popular girls in school. So why then does she live her life in a perpetual state of fear? Emma has a dark secret about which no one, not even Sara, knows the truth. Emma is not looking for someone to rescue her. She keeps a safe distance from those around her, never wanting anyone to get close enough to discover what she's hiding. She is barely coping with the terror, but telling someone the truth would have devastating consequences.
    Emma's plan is simple: survive the remainder of high school, go to college and never come back, stay "under the radar" at all costs. Emma lives her life virtually undetected by most of the people around her, or so she thinks until Evan Mathews comes along. Evan not only sees the invisible girl, he boldly pursues her, even though her defenses are numerous and fierce. Emma finds herself inexplicably drawn to him, but letting her guard down could mean losing more than she's willing to risk. She is faced with a choice between what she wants and what she believes is best. In her mind they are two completely different things. The escalating danger makes it that much harder to decide. Should she risk everything to find the happiness she never expected or stay safe in the stronghold of secrecy she's been building for so long?
    Rebecca Donovan is an enormously talented storyteller, and I'm not just saying that because she let me view this novel in its infancy. When she first asked me to read her work, I was nervous. I'm a fairly critical reader, and I didn't want to hurt her feelings. But there was absolutely no reason to worry because I was completely engrossed in the story after reading the first few pages.
    The story is an intense page turner from start to finish. Reason to Breathe is one of those rare stories where the love story is just as gripping as the danger. The reader wants so badly for Emma to find happiness. She's been denied any kind of love for so long, and Evan seems like the perfect person to offer that chance. But the reader also wants Emma to survive the story unscathed, and it quickly becomes clear that it will be next to impossible for Emma to have both happiness and safety.
    The antagonist in this story is so well written that the reader is put on edge by the malicious character's mere presence on the page. The main characters (and even some of the minor ones) are so consistent, so well thought out; they feel as if they're people you know. You could predict what they would do in a given situation. I was particularly drawn to the friendship between Emma and Sara. It feels very real, and it demonstrates the yin and yang connection that so many best friends have. It was very easy to believe in their bond; the two girls complement each other perfectly.
    One criticism I often have of teen books written in first person is that they don't really feel like a teen is the narrator. That is not the case with Reason to Breathe. I felt I was very much inside Emma's head. She second guesses herself. Sometimes she reads people incorrectly, and she misjudges the situations she's in fairly often. I could see things coming that she perhaps

    73 out of 81 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2012

    Wow! This book was really INTENSE! I went into it thinking it

    Wow! This book was really INTENSE! I went into it thinking it was about a sweet love story and it was but it is also about a girl suffering abuse at the hands of her Aunt. Emma is a great student and an extrodinary athelete in 3 different sports but has a horrible homelife. Her father died when she was really young and her mother became unable to care for her because of alcoholism. Emma has to move into her Uncle and Aunt's house. At the beginning of the story, Emma is extremely closed off and has only one friend because most of the time she tries to remain invisible. Emma's life is all about trying to get through High School in order to escape into college. She is determined to make it through the abuse for the sake of her small cousins. Her aunt is crazy, unpredicable, and cruel. Emma is forced to most of the housework, doesn't get enough to eat, and tries to go unnoticed at home.

    Then, Evan begins to notice her by commenting to her. Evan is new but has been in most of Emma's classes since the beginning of the year when he inserts himself into her life. I loved Evan's persistance and determination. Emma continues to push him away because she cannot have others find out her secret. She is hardly let out of the house and dating is absolutely out of the question. Even when Emma tells Evan that they can just be friends, he continues to disrupt her world. Evan and Emma have a sweet love that will have to loving Evan.

    I cried all the way through this book but couldn't seem to put it down. I was so moved by this story that I had to explain to my husband why I kept crying. It is not something I would have sought out to read but I am glad I read it. This is such a moving story about a fantastic girl caught up in an awful situation. I have to admit without spoiling it I hated the vagueness of the ending --I wanted my happy ever after--I live for that. I would recommend this book as a well written look at abuse and what it does to people. However, it is not for the faint of heart and I don't think I would recommend it for younger teens.

    25 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    I was so amazed by how great this book turned out to be! I foun

    I was so amazed by how great this book turned out to be! I found it on the nook book store and I thought it sounded interesting but I never thought it would be as great as it was! THIS IS A MUST READ!!!!!

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    Omg

    Loved it ... sadly i can relate it to it

    12 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    WOW!

    I could not put this book down. The whole book was such a rush of emotions....sad, anxious, scared, love, and so many more. It really felt as if I were right there looking through Emma's eyes the while time.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Not forgetful!

    I read this book last year and have been anxiously waiting for the sequel. This book stays with you, after i read i couldnt let it go i wanted to know what happens. I have checked Rebecca Donovans blog regularly to get updates on the sequel. It is due to release this may! I am sure it wont dissapont and there is going to be another book after that so a triology! This book is wonderful but keep in mind the ending will leave you wanting more!

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Although the central character is engaging, the story just doesn

    Although the central character is engaging, the story just doesn't ring true. Her stepmother always is able to surprise her and beat her to a pulp. Again and again. For a 4.0 student that's a slow learning curve. She stays in the abusive situation to protect two younger children. Are we asked to believe that a bright girl wouldn't have researched abuse and found that it would most probably be transferred to the younger children once she was gone? I question the character of the boyfriend. He seems to be too good to be true but at the same time ineffectual. For me the final straw was that never, ever did Emma fight back although she is a trained athlete in competitive sports. The ending isn't, you must buy the next book to find out what happened. I really resent that kind of manipulation of the reader. I believe a story ought to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This goes on and on like a runny nose.




    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Love this book!

    I had a similiar childhood as Emma. I could relate to a lot of feelings and events that Emma felt and went through. I wanted to cry for her and fight for her so many times. I can't wait for the final book to be released. I believe if these books were to become popular enough they could be made into movies.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Anonymous

    This book was geared more towards teenage reading. It was sooo chatty that I found myself skipping pages. Also, why did Emily let herself be used as a punching bag. There was help out there for her, but she felt she would ruin the lives of the two children, who weren't her responsibility if word of her abuse were known. She wasn't a child, she was old enough to know that what was being done to her was wrong and that Carol clearly had some serious mental issues. So in the end it wasn't Emily who destroyed the family but the person who feared it most. The author left me wondering how the story ended. It ended quite abruptly and left me wondering. I hate when this happens, I like closure to my stories.

    6 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Best book ever!

    This book is the best that I've read so far this year. It had a combination of pain, love, deceit, and trust. There is going to be a 2nd book but I don't know when it will come out.
    I instantly fell in love with this book and have to reread it every month.
    If you are contemplating buying this book, do it. You will not regret it, I swear.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    <3

    Wow , leaves you wanting more -- speechless . Although the ending left me kinda upset i loved the book ,

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Disappointed

    I chose this book because of the numerous gushy reviews but after having finished it I'm left wondering why? It was so much drivel. The conversations not to mentio actions between Emma and her friends were so unrealistic. It felt like a bad "made for TV" movie. I wonder if the authors own numerous friend list may have been the authors of these reviews. Very disappinting.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2012

    Seriously manipulative ending. The main character, Emma, is s

    Seriously manipulative ending.
    The main character, Emma, is seriously abused throughout the ENTIRE book, and the ending is the worst part of all. Just don't buy it if you want a happy or even a satisfying story. It's not either of those things. It's depressing and just downright ugly. I wish I hadn't bought this book.

    4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2012

    Amazing

    This book is sad and wonderful at the same time. Can't wait for the next one to come out.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Epic story...left me breathless!

    Its dificult to explain all the emotions this booked surfaced in me. It was heartbreaking, inspiring, and one of the most powerful stories of love I've read in a long time. For days afterwards I thought about these characters. The love story was epic and broke little pieces of my heart off, especially when Evan walked away that one time because of Emma's trust issues. Truely beautifully written! I had read the reviews prior to purchasing the book and the frustrations that were expressed about the ending. I was nervous that I too would investment myself in this story only to come away disappointed. Just the opposite! Yes, the ending was heartwrenching and yes, I found myself ghasping at what was happening - but I actually walked away with the biggest feeling of HOPE from the epilogue. I can't wait for the sequel. Make sure to check out deleted scenes on the author's website. Bravo Rebecca Donovan!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    It was great! But..

    It was a wonderful book, the only thing is that i was hoping for an ending a little more optimistic.
    Through out the book Emily had gone through one awfull moment after another, and i was really hoping that the story would end with her being saved.
    The book was filled with emotion and filled me with emotion
    I did love thisnbook despite my view on the ending, and im sure if u really takw the time to read thid carefully it might even make you cry:)

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    Loved this book, could not put it down! Just disappointed that t

    Loved this book, could not put it down! Just disappointed that the 3rd one is not out yet.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    Very Intense

    I think the author did a great job presenting the teenage mindset. The book is chatty at times and Emma and her friends make some bad choices that lead ultimately to the end. However, I think this is realistic considering the main characters are all Juniors in Highschool. I found the book intense, nearly impossible to put down. The ending, however, realistic is upseting. This is certainly not a feel good love story, but I am hooked.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    AMAZING best book i have ever read

    Even though Emma goes through tough times she fijds a way to make the best of her times away from her abuser. In the end she finds her reason to breath.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    Great book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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