Breathe

Breathe

3.7 32
by Sarah Crossan
     
 

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Inhale. Exhale.
Breathe.
Breathe.
Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen–rich air.

Alina has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful,

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Overview

Inhale. Exhale.
Breathe.
Breathe.
Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen–rich air.

Alina has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

Quinn should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Bea wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the start of a new trilogy, Crossan explores a dystopian world in which oxygen is a rare commodity, strictly controlled by the government of a domed city that houses much of the world’s diminished population. Sixteen-year-old Quinn, a wealthy Premium, and his best friend Bea, one of the city’s many underprivileged Auxiliaries, are about to embark on a camping trip outside the pod when they meet Alina, part of a band of rebels dedicated to replanting trees and restoring the oxygen-rich atmosphere of generations past. As the three work to stay alive in the deadly outside world, their fragile bond is threatened as tensions rise to the point of all-out war and revolution. The concept of Crossan’s first YA novel has potential, and it’s enlivened by her attention to detail, the trio of narrators, and constant tension. But while the story is well-executed, with characters readers will grow to care about, its reliance on well-worn themes of governmental corruption and class warfare may make it difficult to stand out in a crowded genre. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“This joins the ranks of Roth's Divergent and Wells' Partials as a provocative, character-driven, and action-packed dystopian series opener to watch out for.”
VOYA - Sharon Martin
Breathe presents an intriguing premise for an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it story. Increased agriculture led to deforestation, which led to toxic run-off, which led to ocean pollution and death, which led to de-oxygenation of the atmosphere, which led to the vast majority of humanity living in the Pod. A group of rebels is training to live outside the Pod (in reduced oxygen) and away from the corrupt government feeding the citizenry oxygen-rich air to keep them in the Pod. Two friends (Quinn and Bea) find themselves thrown together with a rebel (Alina, a friend from school) who is escaping from the Pod. The story is told from their perspectives through alternating chapters. Their friendships deepen and strengthen throughout the course of the story, as do they themselves: Quinn comes to understand that the privileged life he has led until now has come at a price he is no longer willing to pay; Alina steps into her leadership role; and Bea finds strength to carry on despite her grief. A novel concept for a serviceable book, this is an addition to dystopia that is a pleasant read. There are moments of suspense—especially when Quinn confronts his father—and the romantic triangle is appealing. Give this to teens who want to read anything dystopic. Reviewer: Sharon Martin
Kirkus Reviews
An imaginative, convincing dystopian world dominates this intriguing debut, in which the population lives in domed cities after most of the oxygen has escaped the atmosphere. Further difficulties continue in the totalitarian city under the dome, where the Premium class gets most of the money and oxygen to spare, while the working-class Auxiliaries must conserve their oxygen or pay a fine. Brilliant Bea, an Auxiliary, hopes to win a spot in an advanced school, but she learns that the authorities have rigged the game. Her Premium boyfriend, Quinn, wins a spot despite an obviously inferior performance. Nevertheless, Quinn arranges for them to take a trip outside the city, wearing oxygen tanks, where they meet and befriend Alina, an escaping rebel. Not only the oxygen-depleted world, but also the power-hungry authorities threaten Alina, Quinn and Bea at every turn. Crossen keeps the pace at a steady clip as she builds her desperate world. She tells the story through chapters alternating among the three protagonists, each written in the now-standard first-person present. Although the villains remain stereotypical, the sympathetic characters stand out well, especially the crazy drifter, old Maude Blue, who knows a thing or two about surviving outside the dome. The well-realized, ruined world takes center stage throughout, however, as the author leaves room for just a bit of hope and a possible sequel. A solid post-apocalyptic tale. (Dystopian romance. 12 & up)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This joins the ranks of Roth’s Divergent and Wells’ Partials as a provocative, character-driven, and action-packed dystopian series opener to watch out for.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

“This joins the ranks of Roth’s Divergent and Wells’ Partials as a provocative, character-driven, and action-packed dystopian series opener to watch out for.”

ALA Booklist
“Short cliff-hanger chapters alternate between the three teens’ points of view and build to an ending that will leave fans breathless for the next one.”
Horn Book Magazine
“Sci-fi fans with an environmental bent will find this book particularly engaging.”
Kathleen Duey
“An amazing story! Sit down. Inhale. Now, while you still can.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This joins the ranks of Roth’s Divergent and Wells’ Partials as a provocative, character-driven, and action-packed dystopian series opener to watch out for.”
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The survivors of the Switch are sealed within a domed city, dependent on oxygen supplied by the government according to their social status. Chapters rotate narration among freedom-fighter Alina, privileged Quinn, and empathetic Bea. Quinn and Bea are friends, but he doesn't notice her the way she wants to be noticed. A planned camping trip in which Bea hopes to gain his affection goes awry when beautiful Alina tags along. The relaxing getaway turns serious as the group tries to avoid government forces chasing Alina and heads for the safety of a rebel stronghold. Once at the base, the story hits its only sour note. The leader and her psychopathic, orphaned child sidekick are repulsive characters. Much of the sympathy for the rebels and their just cause evaporates in their leader's lunacy. Woven throughout the trio's perilous adventure to discover if the government has lied and humankind can survive outside the dome is a thoughtful romance. Secondary characters are fully realized. Pacing is quick, but allows the tension to build. While echoes of The Hunger Games lessen the originality of the story, it won't diminish readers' interest.—Cindy Wall, Southington Library & Museum, CT

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062118691
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
323,982
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
Lexile:
HL700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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Kathleen Duey

“An amazing story! Sit down. Inhale. Now, while you still can.”

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