REASON TO BREATHE by Rebecca Donovan (5 Stars)
Blurb from Goodreads: "No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. 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 while 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 - but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.
Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope.
This is what others would call, abuse to the extreme, but then it wouldn’t be a good story without it.
Emma has been careful all her life. Since living with her aunt and uncle, she’s been extra careful not to upset both of them, especially Carol. She’s grown up, used to how Carol treats her. She never tried to stand up to them. She did her best at school, academically and in sports. Yet she’s always been invisible in the crowd, and she liked it that way. But she never thought she’d encounter someone like Evan. Evan who keeps trying to talk to her, and for once she’s starting to see what she’s been missing.
Reason To Breathe was something of a surprise. I had no idea that it was something like this, I knew that it talks about abuse, and I’ve read a few books that already had these kind of problems, but this is by far one of the best.
The plot of the book wasn’t really original, I knew that from the start, but I never expected myself to be so into it. I felt a dozen of emotions while reading this, one of them is fear. I never felt fear for a character until now, what Emma experiences is terrifying and brutal.
At first I don’t understand why Carol hits Emma, it just doesn’t make sense. Emma’s smart, a known athlete and a great artist, every teacher is proud to have her. Yet I don’t see where Carol gets all her anger towards Emma. I pretty much hate Carol because she’s cruel and maybe even evil. He hit Emma, hard with several things, a bat, a belt, ugh… it gives me chills everytime she hurts her.
Yet the main question would be: Why would Emma put up with this? Well, she knows that she doesn’t deserve what she’s getting, but at the same time she thinks of other people instead of herself. This is what made me love her. Emma adores Carol and George’s children. She knew if she said anything the first person that will get hurt will be them. I admired Emma because of her genuine martyred character, and I love how she’s a martyr because its true. She isn’t trying to just be a martyr, she just truly cares for the children.
This doesn’t mean though that people don’t’ notice. Sara, Emma’s bestfriend, knows what’s happening. Sara, has got to be one of the most truest friend I’ve ever known. I loved her a lot because of this, her devotion is just heartwarming and touching. I loved her more because of how she support Emma, how she always got Emma’s back, how she continues to be friends with Emma, despite her baggage. I can easily say that many people would admire Emma a lot.
Then there’s Evan. At first I didn’t understand him. He always smirks, grins and makes cocky faces. He kept hanging out with Emma despite her irritation with him. I found it amusing to see him so devoted on pissing off Emma but I loved him more when I saw that he isn’t just in it to be with Emma. He really cared for Emma, he wanted to do everything to protect her. I really adored how he spent time with her, their banter and very cute arguments were adorable, then their talks and conversations made them more than just friends, the attraction was already there. But them hanging out made them a very lovable couple
Though, sometimes I found myself confused with what’s happening to the story. In between all that is happening in the story, I couldn't detail EVERYTHING that happened.
I never thought that I could actually feel actual fear for a fictional character, everytime Carol’s in the scene, I feel fear for what’s going to happen to Emma. I am emotionally attached to the story, especially when I'm reading, I couldn't help but have knots in my stomach. All through out the book, I was completely enraptured with it. I couldn’t try and stop.
WHY DO I RECOMMEND IT?
It made me feel a dozen of emotions. I saw another side of extreme, I felt actual fear, and it would for sure make you shriek with what’s happening.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Optimism seeps from every pore of my body. I truly believe that what's supposed to happen... will! In that regard, I don't know how to give up; it's not part of my biological make up.
I'm a passionate (and some would say, overly enthusiastic) person. I learn by doing (and have been burned more times that I'd like to admit), but I will always throw my entire self into whatever I do - fail or succeed.
I think this is evident when I write, leaving nothing behind and spilling it all out on the pages. I give it all to my readers - love it or hate it.
The path I'm on is very often my own, veering off the beaten path at the sight of something more interesting or captivating, getting caught in the vines and thorns in order to experience the beauty and intrigue others often pass by. And I always meet the most interesting people along the way...
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