Reason to Breathe by Rebeca Donovan
~~~"No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"
In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection while pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises - not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth - but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.
Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope.
ReviewReason to Breathe is an emotional rollercoaster. The idea and the story was very good, but the writing was abrupt and ill explained. Emma, the main character, is living at her Aunt and Uncle’s house. For starters, it takes a very long time to figure out why she can’t live with her parents. And so it makes the situation she is in less accessible. Now say perhaps you got past that hurdle and you ran straight into her aunt’s abuse and ridicule. The level of abuse her aunt unleashes on her is obscene, and after each and every brutal beating we are expected to believe she (the aunt) can leave the room and be a loving and caring mother to her own children and never lash out? It seems extremely unlikely. And when Carol would throw “surprise attacks” at Emma the lack of reason and level of violence kind of made it difficult for me to take the situation as seriously as the author perhaps wanted me to. Once I started looking at Carol through the lense of an emotionally unstable psychopath I could take the events marginally more seriously but I still wish that the events where written about and integrated, somehow, more smoothly.
Emma is a stubborn little chick. And I can’t decide if its stupidity or misplaced chivalry that keeps her in the situation she is in. She knows how to leave her life behind. She knows that one call will get her into a better home. She knows that she can walk out of the doors and not come back but she can’t. But despite this fatal flaw she is a. O.K. character. Truth be told, she is a little boring. She doesn’t really talk, and when she does it’s either about Evan or saying something rude… to Evan. She is- understandably- wrapped up in her home life, or lack there of, and it makes for a bad conversationalist and no real sense of humor. I think the main reason I kept reading this book is for Evan and morbid curiosity about the abuse situation.
Evan is a fun-loving guy who brings out the best (and worst) in Emma. He is the interesting one, the funny one, the bearable one. I mean, seriously, all of the good attributes was given to the guy. Oh well, he does them justice. Now I really liked Evan. He had a good head on his shoulders, he made good conversation and he is really sweet. One issue I had is he is a bit of a whiner and he made a (few) butt-head move(s) but he thoroughly apologises for them and you can see the remorse so I don’t hold all of them against him.
Sara, the best friend, was one dimensional and not the best influence. I mean, who forces their ‘best-friend’ to go to a party she doesn’t want to go to and then ditches her? But she tries to be there for Emma the best she can, though, and always listens to her. So I’ll leave it up to you whether or not to like her.
The book was overall O.K. the questionable parties and frequent summaries of lengths of time passing both took from it. And like I stated earlier some of the events were hard to take seriously. If you really want a good romance about a girl from a broken home I suggest Emerge or Seeking Havok by Lila felix, or Pushing the Limits by Katie Mcgarry.
“I love that picture, he admitted softly. I think it's because I love the girl in that picture.” ~Rebeca Donovan (253)
Liberty Bay Books: Reason to Breathe