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Barely Breathing: Breathing, Book 2 | [Rebecca Donovan]

Barely Breathing: Breathing, Book 2

“I’ve spent most of my life trying to make it to a future that still hasn’t happened, or avoid a past that won’t let me go. I don’t remember when I’ve ever just stopped to live in the present, to hold on to the seconds I’m in.”Emma Thomas’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart-pounding conclusion in the final chapters of Reason to Breathe, the first installment of The Breathing Series — Rebecca’s Donovan’s bestselling romantic thriller (USA Today). Now her secret life has been exposed, and her tormentor can’t hurt her anymore. Yet, some are still haunted by that night. The bruises may have faded, but scars and fears remain. How will she reclaim her life when she’s barely breathing?
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Publisher's Summary

“I’ve spent most of my life trying to make it to a future that still hasn’t happened, or avoid a past that won’t let me go. I don’t remember when I’ve ever just stopped to live in the present, to hold on to the seconds I’m in.”Emma Thomas’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart-pounding conclusion in the final chapters of Reason to Breathe, the first installment of The Breathing Series — Rebecca’s Donovan’s bestselling romantic thriller (USA Today). Now her secret life has been exposed, and her tormentor can’t hurt her anymore. Yet, some are still haunted by that night. The bruises may have faded, but scars and fears remain. How will she reclaim her life when she’s barely breathing?

©2012 Rebecca Donovan (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (544 )
5 star
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4.5 (503 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Tonya 07-17-13
    Tonya 07-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    46
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    "Again, what a great story."
    Where does Barely Breathing rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This series is one of my favorites.


    What other book might you compare Barely Breathing to and why?

    Pieces of You by Cassia Leo because of the personal struggles of the character.


    What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

    I thought Kate did a good job with this story. She wasn't my favorite narrator that I have heard, but she was good.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The swing.


    Any additional comments?

    This book followed the emotional roller coaster as well, but I loved it all.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-24-13
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-24-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    511
    ratings
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    223
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    "A……MAZING!!!!!!"
    Any additional comments?

    Never read many books where the second is even better than the first. What an incredible book and wonderful story. I highly recommend thie series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tweetyct2 Phoenixville, PA, United States 08-26-13
    Tweetyct2 Phoenixville, PA, United States 08-26-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    145
    ratings
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    46
    46
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    FOLLOWING
    29
    18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intense, heartache and full of turmoil"
    Any additional comments?

    WOW, what's a follow up for the Breathing series. It's so intense, heartache, turmoil, etc. I am amazed that Emma could take so much. This book explained some of the events toward the end of Reason to Breathe. Emma got away from her abusing aunt to head straight in to another abusing relationship with her mom, Rachel. Although, Rachel may not physically abused Emma, she did it mentally. Emma endured the abuse b/c she loved her mom. Again, she hid the abuse everyone including both Evan and Sara this time. I know that Emma is young and is still learning about life but for a smart girl, you would think that she learned from what happened with her aunt. I think this is where Barely Breathing drove me crazy.

    Emma and Evan's relationship struggled in this book b/c Emma constantly pushing Evan away. She sought out comfort with Jonathan who was Rachel's boyfriend. This is where I felt it was a little twisted but maybe a little bit realistic? Granted Jonathan may be closer to Emma's age, he was dating her mom. He fell for Emma b/c he felt the connection because both were abused. Emma strung both Evan and Jonathan along. From someone who claimed that she loves Evan, she lied to her teeth to him. This is very hard for me to take. She constantly reached out to Jonathan. I felt that Emma turned in to a not very nice person. She took her guilt out of Jonathan. She was mean to him and was verbally abusive. It looks like the vicious cycle repeating itself. My heart broke for Evan when Emma left. Maybe it was the best decision she made by being honest.

    This book was well written, full of turmoil and heartache. I look forward to Out of Breath for the conclusion of this series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cyndi Clinton Twp, MI, United States 07-13-13
    Cyndi Clinton Twp, MI, United States 07-13-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
    ratings
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    25
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    Story
    "Another WOW!!!!!"

    This book was as good if not better than the 1st book. I LOVE this series and will be recommending this to all my friends. Again I was so glad that I had already purchased book 3 before I finished book 2. Kate Rudd does a good job narrating too.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jody Elk Ridge, UT, United States 06-01-14
    Jody Elk Ridge, UT, United States 06-01-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    57
    11
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    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "SO SAD- but oh so GOOD!"
    Where does Barely Breathing rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks in my top 5 favorite overall books!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the continued great story writing from the author. She does such an amazing job with the story line.


    What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

    Kate Rudd does a great job with voice/personality mix- you feel every emotion of each character.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I can't say I was moved, but heart broken for Evan and Emma toward the end. I just cried and cried.


    Any additional comments?

    I think this series is worth several credits!!! I will listen again to this series as soon as my heart settles and the tears stop.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ezinwanyi Dallas, TX USA 05-06-14
    Ezinwanyi Dallas, TX USA 05-06-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    170
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    "Emma hasn't changed that much"

    3.5 stars.

    This book had the same kind of pain but in a different form. In book one, the family member hurting Emma was her Aunt Carol and by his silence, her Uncle George. In this book, Carol was being hurt by her mother Rachel.

    After her ordeal at the hands of her guardians, Emma decided to move back in with her mother because she wanted to "fix us". At the end of book 1, Her mother Rachel seemed to put her alcohol addiction behind her and was holding down a job. She even had a boyfriend now.

    But as the book progressed, Emma's mom was still haunted by her demons. Emma continued to enable her by keeping all Rachel's actions a secret AND clean up her messes. Emma had gone to therapy for what happened to her, but I don't really see a sign of true recovery. She does most of the same things in this book.

    I don't know that the author's aim was in writing this book, but she could have cut out a lot of stuff. Everyone was still looking out for Emma--and Emma was still Emma. Going through the motions, giving people just enough to keep them close but really giving them nothing.

    I didn't feel satisfied after reading this book, but I wasn't pleased enough to rush and continue to book 3 immediately like I felt compelled to immediately read book 2. I don't think there is anything Emma can do to continue to deserve Evan and it would have been better if the author ended this book now with Emma going to Stanford. But I will eventually read book 3 and see if she truly opens herself up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lia Sutton, Australia 10-01-13
    Lia Sutton, Australia 10-01-13 Member Since 2009

    I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "LOVED IT but so frustrated with Emma!"

    Okay, now I've listened to #1 & #2 of this series back to back and I have to say I'm a little blown away by how much I've enjoyed these books especially given the subject matter. I am usually not a fan of YA but this series is good. Again the characters intrigue me, even the ones who weren't very likable and RD really is a wonderful weaver of tales. I enjoyed seeing the progression of Emma and Evan's relationship as well as the circumstances and emotions that continued to trip them up. I'm delighted that Sara's character also grew and changed as well. I had a lot of trouble with the relationship between Rachel and Emma. I'm a mother of a teenage girl who is also reading this series and I have to say there were some scenes between these two characters which literally made me cringe and unable to read until I'd calmed down. I haven't really had that kind of visceral reading experience very often. It makes me think that RD perhaps without even realizing it has given us a story that could help so many people experiencing the kinds of emotional devastation the book talks about. On that note, I'm really not sure how I feel about the Jonathan character but that fact alone makes me glad he was included in this story. I read a lot and it's not unusual for me to lose my attachment to a story shortly after finishing it. I don't think I'll be forgetting Emma and Evan's love story anytime soon and I'm hopeful for their happiness. Sigh...now I wait for Out of Breath like everyone else. Well maybe now at least I can get some sleep until it comes out.
    Kate Rudd was outstanding with the delivery of the story.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelle LeTarte 12-15-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Teenage Angst and Emotional Immaturity"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Teenage, angst-filled girls.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Rebecca Donovan again?

    Probably not.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Kate Rudd's performance was fine, considering what she had to work with.


    Any additional comments?

    Despite it's many good reviews, this book was clearly written for teenagers. It's filled with high school ridiculousness and agonizing situations all driven by emotional immaturity. I can't explain why I kept listening…perhaps I was hoping the Emma would grow up and stop being a martyr. I won't be listening the third book in the series as I've already wasted too much of my life on the first two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leyla rock hill, SC, United States 12-15-14
    Leyla rock hill, SC, United States 12-15-14 Member Since 2010

    Well it's 2014 & since 2010 I've listened to over 600 books - I'm a confectionary artist of Just Get Baked & audible helps my every day!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    250
    15
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    1
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    "Can't wait for the 3rd -IT MUST WORK OUT!!!"
    Any additional comments?

    This one was really hard due to the additional turmoil the future holds. There's a bit of detachment that was weird, but SOOOOO many ups and down with kinks in a perfect plan that will definately keep you listening. Although..... the ending....oooohhhhh the ending......where's the third - NOW!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margarita New York, NY 10-04-14
    Margarita New York, NY 10-04-14 Member Since 2013

    All business but contemporary fun!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    146
    77
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    2
    2
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    "Struggle to the max!"
    Any additional comments?

    This book describes the evolvement of Emma's life after the first book's horrific finale that literally took your breath away. Emma's struggles intensify as she finds herself in yet another less than ideal home environment when she decides to live with her mother until she goes to college. Her relationship with Evan is tested to the limit and suspense peaks by the end of story. I personally got exhausted by all her struggling but having read the series last book, I can claim that this drama prepares you for what comes next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Janine
    BRACKNELL, United Kingdom
    12/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magnificent"

    Emily (Emma) is a young woman trying to survive. She survives an awful mother and the death of her father. Survives unspeakable abuse in her foster home. Survives day to day as her decisions hurt herself.

    The agony Emma endures in book 1 is a torment. Book 2 picks up a few months after the events of Book 1. She survives, against the odds, her aunt's attack and attempted murder, but she's broken. Her spirit and her body is crushed, but she's so good at going through the motions that she deceives everyone around her.

    She decides, in a knee jerk reaction to abandonment, to move in with her mother. This proves to be disastrous and once again, Emma survives, one day at a time as her mother's alcoholism destroys any chance they have at reconnecting. Emma hangs in, trying to build a relationship and trying to cope with the abuse dished out by her mother.

    Through all her struggles, Evan and Sarah stand by her, loving her and saving her from herself. A strange connection with her mother's boyfriend is both a gift and poison and Emma is too vulnerable and broken to make wise decisions about their friendship.

    I can't say more about the end. It's heartbreaking.

    This story is 5* . It is beautifully written with magnificent imagery. Ms Donovan is a talented writer. Why do Americans insist on using scorn as a verb without the object? It's so clumsy.

    Kate Rudd is, along with Kate Reading, the best female narrator out there. She is gifted, excellent, outstanding... not enough superlatives! She's 6* !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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