"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.
She did a great job with all the characters however she did an exceptional job conveying Carol's hatred and dissension towards Emma.
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.
Emotional, Romantic, Courageous
The very end. I don't want to spoil.
Both Evan and Emma were great, but I love Evan's devotion.
Evan just holding her even when he didn't fully understand.
This is just an emotional journey but I loved every minute of it.
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.
“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!
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.
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!
I do love Audio books and this one was great.
Love when Evan first meet Emma. The sparks start flying.
The abuse from Carol made me so angry.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
The tight friendship that was shared between Emma and Sara.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
Emotional roller coaster!!
This book made me cried when I was reading about the abuse. It's sad to see how cruel Emma's aunt was.
This is a tear jerky and heartrending book. I couldn't believe how cruel one can be to another human being. Emma lost her father and was forced to live with her uncle and aunt b/c her mother was an alcoholic and was not able to take care of her. While she lived with her uncle, aunt and 2 little cousins, she was physically, mentally and emotionally abused by her aunt. Her uncle chose to turn a blind eye about the abused. Emma endured the abuse b/c she did not want her cousins to lose their mom. It showed that she was selfless. But by doing this, she enabled her aunt to keep doing it to her. As the book go on, I wondered how much more can Emma take. She was so strong. She did not let the abuse to get her down about life. Don't get me wrong, she felt down about life at times but she continued to get back up. In her own way to fight back, she did not let her uncle and aunt ruin her future. She did well in school and involved in many school sports and activities. I thought this was really smart of her. She realized that this was her way out.
Then came Evans. Evans was Emma's sunlight in her dark world. He slowly weed his way in to Emma's life whether she liked it or not. He gave her the reason to hope and be happy. Evans did not let Emma's securities or distrust b/c of her situation to deter him from falling in love with her. Because of her distrust and securities, Emma and Evans struggled in their relationship.
Everyone should have a Sara in her life. Sara is Emma bff. She would do anything for Emma including hiding the abuse. Sara is a spit fire who does not afraid to deal with things head on. She's the sounding board and confidant to Emma. Emma is lucky to have a friend like Sara.
This is a well written story and very sad. I hope Emma's journey will turn out well for her. I look forward to start the 2nd book.
Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.
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.
"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.
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