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Reason to Breathe: Breathing, Book 1 | [Rebecca Donovan]

Reason to Breathe: Breathing, Book 1

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 - 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 - at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.
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Publisher's Summary

"This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. 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 - 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 - at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.

One girl's story of unspeakable cruelty, life-changing love, and her precarious grasp of hope, Reason to Breathe is the first installment in the acclaimed Breathing Series.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (770 )
5 star
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4.1 (710 )
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Story
4.2 (712 )
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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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  •  
    Nancy Devault Woodburn, OR United States 08-01-13
    Nancy Devault Woodburn, OR United States 08-01-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    146
    ratings
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    Story
    "Awesome"
    What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

    She did a great job with all the characters however she did an exceptional job conveying Carol's hatred and dissension towards Emma.


    Any additional comments?

    Wow! This is a very intense angst filled story. Be prepared to feel an array of emotions. I was totally emotionally drained by the end. The story contained true to life descriptions of what each character was feeling at the time. I could feel every single emotion! Truely a great story! Can't wait to read the next book.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tonya Saint Charles, MO, United States 07-17-13
    Tonya Saint Charles, MO, United States 07-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Such a great story"
    If you could sum up Reason to Breathe in three words, what would they be?

    Emotional, Romantic, Courageous


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Reason to Breathe?

    The very end. I don't want to spoil.


    Which character – as performed by Kate Rudd – was your favorite?

    Both Evan and Emma were great, but I love Evan's devotion.


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

    Evan just holding her even when he didn't fully understand.


    Any additional comments?

    This is just an emotional journey but I loved every minute of it.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cyndi Clinton Twp, MI, United States 07-12-13
    Cyndi Clinton Twp, MI, United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
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    22
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    Story
    "WOW....Just WOW!!!"

    I loved this book!!! I was almost breaking my Ipod by pushing the forward button when it ended! Thankful that I already purchased the 2nd book in this series so i didn't have to wait.

    This is a very emotional story about a girl who spends her days trying to disappear in plain site until a new boy come into school and won't let her fade into the background. Slowly she starts getting more comfortable in her own skin and starts to find "reasons to breathe". Without giving away an hints about the ending....be prepared to be wrecked emotionally when this book is over.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lia Sutton, Australia 08-15-13
    Lia Sutton, Australia 08-15-13 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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    "Surprisingly Good"

    This book is a YA listen which is not my usual choice. I thought I would give it a try as the book was recommended by a friend and the ratings it has recieved.
    I really enjoyed this book though it was tough to read in parts due to the abuse that Emma suffered at the hands of her Aunt.

    I felt that the author dealt with abuse in a fairly realistic way, though thankfully I have never suffered myself I have had friends who did.

    I know some people felt that either Emma herself or one of her friends should have said something but it's not that easy.
    Her aunt had her believing that she was so worthless & she also loved her cousin's & didn't want them to have to grow up without their parents as she had done.
    And her best friend Sara did try to tell but Emma threatened to use info on her to stop her from doing so.

    Evan was a great love interest, as he was new to the school he didn't have any experience with Emma's ways over the years. Often we have a girl who claims not to know how beautiful she is or why anyone would have any interest in her (which is very annoying IMO) but in this case because of the mental abuse she receives from her aunt it is believable. I love that he never gives up on her when trying to get to know her no matter how many times she rebuffs him.

    On the downside I did find myself skimming on occasion as the author got overly descriptive in parts, it felt a bit like she was trying to fill out the book which I didn't feel was necessary.
    I also never really understand why her aunt hated her soooo much & why she reacted in such a brutal way to her without any previous history of being violent, I could have done with a bit of back story on this. Also a bit more on George, did he know what was happening, if so did he not care or did he not want to believe it could happen.

    If you find after you have read a few chapters that you are enjoying this book as much as I did, I would recommend you have book 2 Barely Breathing at the ready as this ends on a bitch of a cliffhanger.
    Kate Rudd was outstanding in the delivery of the story.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Camille United States 09-16-13
    Camille United States 09-16-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Emotional Story - Well Written"

    This book was full of heart wrenching moments that made you gasp out loud. It also had a great story line that was a tad slow at times. The majority of the story takes place in the eyes of a junior in high school going through typical things that high school girls experience but also has some hidden secrets that are gut wrenching. Readers beware! The first book ends in a huge cliff hanger wanting you to read the second book immediately! The reader for this book is wonderful with a beautiful voice that carried the story well. Enjoy!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne ANN ARBOR, MI, United States 02-17-14
    Joanne ANN ARBOR, MI, United States 02-17-14 Member Since 2013

    Tell us about yourself! I enjoy diffrent authors. Some of my favs are the Ken Follett series, some suspense and mystery .

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worst pick ever!!"
    Would you try another book from Rebecca Donovan and/or Kate Rudd?

    This book is written for a pre-teen girl. The narration was like a bad soap opera. The story was so uneventful and poorly written. This book makes the Twilight series look like a physics book


    What was most disappointing about Rebecca Donovan’s story?

    The entire thing was not for me!! The only reason I listened to it was because I didn't want to waste my money and not listen to the book


    How could the performance have been better?

    Diffrent story and narrator


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not for me


    Any additional comments?

    Pretty clear to me the target audience is 12-15 yr olds, wish it would just say that

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rene GAINESVILLE, VA, United States 09-12-13
    Rene GAINESVILLE, VA, United States 09-12-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Crazy addictive!"
    What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

    Kate did an amazing job on this series!!! She portrayed each character as if if were different people reading the story. Great inflection and tone!!!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Emotional roller coaster!!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S Mandel S. Calgary, Alberta Canada 08-25-13
    S Mandel S. Calgary, Alberta Canada 08-25-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    22
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    "GREAT LISTEN. WOW"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Reason to Breathe to be better than the print version?

    I do love Audio books and this one was great.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Love when Evan first meet Emma. The sparks start flying.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The abuse from Carol made me so angry.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 07-21-13
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 07-21-13 Member Since 2010

    I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    153
    ratings
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    182
    175
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    9
    3
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    "Young People-True Problem"
    What made the experience of listening to Reason to Breathe the most enjoyable?

    The tight friendship that was shared between Emma and Sara.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I found that the topic of child abuse was very compelling. Emma was a stalwart young teen, who found the courage to survive under the hate, cruelty and pure evil of her Aunt Carol.


    Which character – as performed by Kate Rudd – was your favorite?

    Emma was my favorite character as performed by Kate Rudd. Emma was brought to life through Kate Rudd. I saw her grow from a very insecure, fearful teen into a young girl who knew and now understood that she needed to leave the home of her Aunt Carol and Uncle George, in order to stay alive. She could no longer fade into the background, trying to hide herself away from her own existence. Emma was attempting to live as a ghost but her Aunt Carol would always bring her back to the reality that a ghost, she was not.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, I did have an extreme reaction to this book. Although this book was not written for an adult, I did continue to the end. However, there were quite a few very descriptive scenes of abuse. I will not describe them here, but know that I felt emotions that I have rarely felt. The anger was over-the-top and flowed into a soul filled with hate. That is such a strong word, I know. However, I have no other word to describe the anguish I felt in my soul. And, yes, there were tears. Listening to the words of hate that spewed from Aunt Carol to Emma, such as whore, unimportant, better to have never been born or to have died when born, spawned tears. The many times that Emma was slapped or punched are too numerous to account for. Emma didn't invoke any reason to be hit on her back with a metal spoon, except to be seen by the evil that lived in the soul of her Aunt Carol.


    Any additional comments?

    I realize now that this book was written for the 11 to 13 age group. I know, in my heart, that not all but most children that age, wouldn't be able to understand what was happening in this book. I would truly hope not but who am I, there may very well be many children who comprehended the words with full understanding. Having said that, choosing topics to write about have intertwined into the issues that are confronting the masses of today's world. Jodi Picoult, would be the author of adult books who deals with today's issues. These books evoke very strong emotions in my soul. I wish the ending could actually be wrapped up in paper and tied with a bow and the world would carry on. However, knowing that not to be true only makes me hope for the impossible dream, that the world and its people could live in peace.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katheryne MD, United States 09-23-13
    Katheryne MD, United States 09-23-13 Member Since 2009

    Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3449
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    "Tearjerker for sure! And a bit frustrating"

    This was a hard book for me to listen to and I had to stop and walk away several times. Not only is the subject matter difficult but the choices made by the main character (Emma) was difficult to believe. I just didn’t understand her indecision and wavering back and forth on taking some action in her life. For a smart girl who participated in so many sports and other activities I just couldn’t reconcile her behavior at this point. Emma made so many stupid decisions that it just became too frustrating.

    I did enjoy the romance between her and Evan but it just wasn’t enough for me. Not to mention the ending is horrible! Another huge cliffhanger.

    Can’t say I liked it or hated it, but I won’t be getting the sequel for this one.

    21 of 27 people found this review helpful
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  • Janine
    BRACKNELL, United Kingdom
    1/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Haunting - a must-read"

    A beautifully written heartbreaking story about a young woman fighting for her life.

    It's one of those stories that will have you sobbing uncontrollably. You'll want to read book 2 but you'll also want to walk away from the gut wrenching ache.

    There are so many books out there that have the potential to be great but the author isn't talented enough to raise it from the herd. This isn't one of them. The writing is superb - good enough to be considered a classic. Abuse is always tragic and Rebecca Donovan deals head on, no flinching. This novel should be a set work for high school kids.

    The narrator is... There aren't enough superlatives. Kate Rudd is the perfect voice for this story. Very, very good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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