Book Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Breathe (Breathe, #1)Title: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Series: Breathe, #1
Pages: 373
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Date of Publication: 11th October 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Inhale. Exhale.
Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

My Thoughts:
Breathe is the first in a series that I think would be perfect for fans of YA dystopian fiction. Set in a world where there's only ever been no trees and it's all down to luck whether or not you have enough oxygen to live, it's difficult for Alina, Quinn and Bea to believe that everything they've believed their whole lives has been a lie.

I'm not going to lie, but while I really liked the idea of the book (it made me want to read it, didn't it? :P) I did find it all a little bit ridiculous. I'm still trying to wrap my head around why anyone would get rid of trees?! Anyone who knows anything about plants knows that they release oxygen and take in the harmful carbon dioxide in the air... Right? I mean, even if someone was a crazy, super evil bad guy, they wouldn't be stupid enough to get rid of the trees, would they? I know it was explained - they needed more land space for crops and to house the population and stuff, but the crops would give out oxygen too, right? And there's no grass anywhere either? I just found it difficult to imagine a world literally without any plants or nature. Or maybe I'm wrong and misunderstood? I don't know. Sorry. I'll stop ranting now... *grumbles*

Once I'd got over my... slight annoyance... at the plot, I actually did really enjoy the story. I found that the plot was engaging and it really didn't take me very long to read once I was settled down and had half an hour or so to myself. Something was always happening to keep me interested, and the jumping from the different narratives kept me reading to make sure that a certain character would make it out alive, or would get together with another character, things like that, etc. There were a few slow parts, inevitably, but they weren't boring - they were good breaks from the action, if you like.

However, the different narratives... There were three - Alina, Bea and Quinn. And they were so confusing! I knew that the point of view switched every chapter, but I'd forget and start reading a chapter not realising that the point of view had changed and then get all confused. The voices weren't different enough to be three different people, and I couldn't really tell the difference between them. It literally took me about half the book to finally get my head around who was who once and for all. And then once I had, it didn't take me long to realise that I really didn't like Quinn. He was just a bit rubbish really, nothing remarkable about him at all. I liked Bea and Alina though - they were far more interesting :)

Breathe was actually a really good read, despite what I've said. If you take the time to work out who's who and ignore the strangeness of the idea (I don't know, maybe you don't find it weird, maybe that's just me...), I think you'll really enjoy it, if YA dystopian is your thing. It's intriguing, most definitely! If you're looking for something similar to The Hunger Games and Divergent, then you should go for this one, because it reminded me of those while still being able to stand on its own. Bare in mind that it does end in a massive cliffhanger - I've got a long year of waiting ahead of me!

*Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book.


  1. I have this book on my wish list. Although you list some cons, I'm still really excited to read it! I also have to get used to different narratives, but I also like it! Thanks for the great review!

  2. I believe science thinks it can maintain life without nature. At least, that's the vibe I've been getting from recent YA Dystopian novels.

    Thanks for your review, I'm really excited about the multiple POVs, don't ask why though.

    Thanks for your lovely review Bella!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre


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