Author: Rose J. Bell
Publication date: October 1st, 2013
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Some truths can leave you breathless...
Two years ago Ree Coleman's life imploded, when her life was taken away from her. Now Ree is a "living dead girl", trying to survive each day, when it's just a struggle to breathe.
After the unexpected death of her father, Ree and her family lose everything. As they are forced to leave the rich Upper East Side, they find themselves living in the slums of Bronx. Ree must figure out ways for her family to get by, and she tries to accept her father's death. However, his death prompts many questions, including what really happened to him.
Meanwhile she meets Logan Marquez, a boy with a dangerous reputation. Knowing that boys are dangerous, Ree tries to stay away from him, but Logan insists on trying to earn her trust and friendship.
Soon, dark and dangerous secrets are revealed, and one explosive secret will shatter both their worlds.
Due to heavy subject matter, graphic scenes and sexual content this book is intended for mature readers.
I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review.
I was approached by the lovely Rose J. Bell about reading and reviewing her new book, Breathless, via e-mail and at first I was a worried I wasn't going to have the time to give it the time it deserved because I had recently gotten a TON of books for review from NetGalley. But I decided to take a chance and give it a gander anyway. I was intrigued by the emotional subject matter that seemed to encompass the story of Ree and her traumatic life. I was curious to see how she dealt with such hard situations.
Ree's world was destroyed when she was abducted one day when she just happened to receive a flat tire. She was held, tortured, and raped repeatedly by her kidnapper for three months when she was seventeen-years-old. She escaped somehow and attempted to continue on with her life despite the numerous scars all over her body and in her heart from her experience.
The only person she even remotely trusted is her father who took her abduction and torment the hardest, second to Ree herself. When her father commits suicide Ree struggles to understand why he left her when she needed him the most. Her father's secrets start to unravel Ree's world and she finds herself stuck in a dilapidated apartment in the Bronx with an emotionally shattered mother and a confused and lonely nine-year-old younger brother. It is only after meeting Logan that Ree starts to wonder if she is able to recover from her past and her changing present. Logan has secrets of his own, but can Ree see past them in an attempt to finally trust the male sex once more?
I found that the book had a firm grip on me emotionally. When I watched Ree breakdown and fight for her sanity, or even her very life, I was swallowing tears. I could understand how the things she experienced during her abduction would make her fearful and cautious about people, and men most of all. I felt like I was Ree and I was LIVING her life. That was a particularly enjoyable situation when it came to her interactions with Logan, of course :)
This book has a LOT of instances of suicide, attempted suicide, or suicidal thoughts throughout it's pages. When I was 50% of the way through the book, six different people have encountered suicidal situations. It seemed a little excessive. I know that suicide happens a lot in this world, but that often?
Another drawback was the fact that every character was connected in some way. It would be a bit more understandable if the story took place in a small town, but this is taking place in New York. That is a rather LARGE area for every character to have some connection to the other in some random and odd way.
I liked Breathless alright. There were parts I enjoyed and others that I struggled with. The only thing I can recommend to those that choose to read it, be prepared to have you heart shattered left and right by the twists and turns of Ree's life.
Breathless is a heart-stopping tale of recovery and strength. It toes the line of tough topics and shows that the beauty of life is worth living for and all you need to do is breathe.
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