Author: Sarah Crossan
Series: Breathe #1
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can't? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan's gripping and original dystopian teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope that will appeal to fans of Patrick Ness and Veronica Roth.
National Book Award Finalist Kathleen Duey called Breathe "An amazing story! Sit down. Inhale. Now, while you still can." Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected . . . or trapped? Or controlled? Alina's a revolutionary who believes we can save the environment. Quinn's a Premium who's never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who's never worried about anything but having enough air. When the three cross paths, they will change everything. Sarah Crossan's thrilling and provocative novel is about passion, about yearning for something better, and about breaking free for the very first time.
Oh boy, this isn’t going to be easy. The idea behind Breathe is great! I think the underlying message is an important one, and I completely stand behind the lesson. That being said, this book drove me crazy! It still does. Honestly, Breathe should have been a DNF for me, but it was like a car crash that I couldn’t look away from. After I got about 20% in, I told myself that I was going to quit reading it literally after every chapter. I would stop, but I’d eventually have to go back and see what was going to happen, even though I would end up annoyed all over again.
In Breathe, the oxygen on Earth has reached tremendously low levels due to deforestation. This caused The Switch, where millions of people died because of lack of oxygen. Thankfully a huge pod called Breathe was built, where people could seek refuge. While everything on Earth died, people continue living in the pod, waiting for Earth to repair itself enough for it to sustain life again. Unfortunately, there are forces at work who want to stop that from happening.
The story is told from three point-of-views, including Quinn, Alina, and Bea. First of all, this is another example of the type multiple POV writing I dislike. Written in first-person makes it difficult sometimes to keep track of whose POV you’re reading from. Secondly, I could not stand any of the characters. None. There were qualities in many of them that could have made them interesting and likeable, but all they did was irritate me. Quinn especially got on my nerves. He said and thought such stupid stuff, that I wanted to take his oxygen tank away from him and let nature take its course.
There were so many incidents with the characters and certain situations that were beyond ridiculous. If I had been reading an actual book instead of my kindle, I would have thrown it numerous times. Plus, I can’t stand inconsistencies, and this book is riddled with them. I usually don’t say anything when there are minor ones, but this was too much. Now, to be fair, I did read an ARC copy of this, so all of that might be cleaned up once the final book is released. I hope.
Overall, I can’t say that I liked this book. Like I said, the overall idea of Breathe is great, but the execution of it didn’t work for me. I usually try not to write negative reviews, but this book seriously brought it out in me. There’s actually a lot more that I didn’t mention, but I’m so ready to be done with this. I know there will be a lot of people who love this book, but I most definitely am not one of them.