Saturday, 27 October 2012

#166 Book Review: Breathe

Release Date: November 2012
Author: Sarah Crossan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy:  Fishpond | Booktopia
More Info: Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:
When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.
The cracked soils and the pod really represents the book. I like the background and how the three people on the cover stands out with the light illuminating them! It's really eye-catching.


Only 2 days worth of oxygen to survive...

Breathe is a book full of promises, starting from the premise, the combination of dystopian and theme of survival with a touch of romance. I wanted to enjoy this book as much as I thought I would but unfortunately, Breathe seemed to lack that 'something' that would have kept me hooked into the story.

I have to admit, the concept of Breathe is brilliant. I never thought of such circumstances explored in Breathe where one day, oxygen becomes scarce and a matter as simple as breathing is a challenge. It is not often that we take breathing for granted and reading this book opens my mind towards an alternative future where oxygen is the main problem. Can you imagine living the rest of your life inside a pod? The story is written from different perspectives; Alina, Quinn and Bea. However, I find the story a bit typical for a dystopian book. The story plot confuses me at times and sometimes I have to stop and grasp the ideas introduced before returning to the story. The first 80% of the book did not manage to grab me but the last 20% did. Although, what I thought stands out particularly in this book besides the concept is the theme of survival. The theme of survival enhances the strong premise of the book. When I read the book, I was not expecting romance but it is in the book. I think the romance was not fully explored and annoyed me sometimes although it does get sweet and heart-warming.

There are three main characters in this book; Alina, Quinn and Bea and the one I felt connected most with is actually Bea. Alina is a part of the Resistance and she is strong and highly-trained but I did not like her personality. The one that felt 'humane' out of all the characters is Bea. Her kindness becomes her will to survive and help out others. She is an auxiliary, not a Premium meaning that she is one of the poor people living in the Pod. She is friends with Quinn although Quinn is a Premium. There is a story of what seems like an 'unrequited love' but turns into a 'love story'. Quinn is somewhat likeable and also annoying. He is ignorant although he can be truly kind. His best moments are the events leading to the end of the book. I liked him in those moments and I wished he was like that from the beginning. Quinn's father is a surprising character. He appears as if he is the 'bad guy' but there is something more to him. There are also other characters, part of the Resistance and they are all interesting. I hope we can still meet them in the next book!

What would life be like if breathing is a challenge? If oxygen is scarce? Breathe ventures the concept of an alternative dystopian future where oxygen becomes the major problem of survival. While the premise is definitely promising, the story plot lacked that 'something' to hook me into the story although the characters are more enjoyable to read about. If you love dystopian books with a brilliant premise, then Breathe might just be for you!
3 Forget-Me-Not flowers for Breathe!
Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy!

Check out the book trailer below!


  1. Awwwwwww I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this as much as you wanted to! I think the premise sounds really promising as well...let's hope I enjoy this a little more:) Great review Celinee! <3

  2. I felt similarly about this one. I enjoyed it overall, and thought the premise was brilliant, but I failed to truly connect with it. I also had issues with the characters... and I can barely remember them now. :P

    Anyway, awesome review Celine! :)

  3. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this book either. For sure it was an interesting and a very different concept then I'm used to but it still didn't connect with me which was a real shame. Anyway a nice and honest review!

  4. I'm glad this book picked up for you towards the end Celine, it sure does have an interesting concept. I think Bea was my favourite character too I felt I was able to connect with her more. I hope you enjoy the second book more if you decide to pick it up! A lovely review Celine! :)

  5. I love the cover and concept of this book! Bea sounds like a character I'd like too. Thanks for the honest review, Celine! <3

  6. This is one dystopian I NEED to read. Sounds so good! Love your review, and hope that the relationship won't get annoying (and hopefully just remains sweet for me!).


    Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic

  7. I'm sorry to hear that most parts of this book didn't capture your attention. The whole idea of oxygen being something scares is frightening. I like the concept and the different POV's. Great review! :)

  8. Hmm, Ive heard mix reviews about this book, and reading your review, my excitement for this book toned down. But im still glad you enjoyed this even if it wasnt that riveting. Great review Celine. x

  9. I'm torn on this one Celine! I absolutely love the premise and I'm a huge fan of dystopians, but your review and several others I've read have had a rather lackluster response to the characters, and characters are always the most important part for me. I'm thinking I'm going to hold off on this one, maybe wait and see what book 2 is all about and then make a decision:)

  10. Wonderful review, Celine! I've heard mostly negative reviews of this one, so I doubt I'll be picking it up. It's always disappointing when a novel with such an interesting premise fails to really draw you in, but I'm glad you were able to enjoy this despite its flaws. Fantastic review, Celine! :D

  11. Hmm, this book seemed to have received very negative reviews from readers who's opinions I value, so I'll probably skip reading this one (even though the concept is incredibly unique). I'm a bit exhausted of the "typical" dystopian trend; it's getting a bit old, don't you think? Anyhow, extraordinary review as always, Celine!

  12. Hi Celine! I'm glad you liked this one! :) I was really looking forward to Breathe. <3 I've read mixed reviews on this one but like Keertana said, they're mostly negative so I'm happy that you gave this 3/5. :) Great review!

    Fragments of Life

  13. Oooooh, Celine, WONDERFUL review! I don't think I've heard mixed reviews about Breathe, exactly, just a fair few feeling similar to you -- that it lacked what would have taken it from 'good' to 'GREAT'.

    And I am so intrigued about this unrequited love turning to more. Seriously, Celine, wonderful, thoughtful review ♥

    First of all happy Halloween!! huhuhuhuu!! <3

    As you say, the concept sounds brilliant and it's a pitty when this kind of book with so much potential are just lacking of that "something" that makes them EPIC. I really think that the publishing industry is releasing way too much and too fast too many book (specially dystopian) it's like they want to release all of these books before the hype dies. (Just check the massive amount of Dystpian books -specially coming out from HarperCollins- that are coming out next year) It is crazy how many of them are going to be publish and truth be told, I have high expectation on any of them.

    I think if publisher would just take a bit longer, revise more and ask for one or two extra drafts, they could really come up with a new epic series as Divergent and The Hunger Games.

    Anyways, just my thoughts and you really brought it up to me when you mentioned that there was "that something" missing. I guess more drafts would have done a better job. =T

    Great review and Im glad you still enjoyed it regardless the "lackness" of something XD


    Happy reading week my dear!

  15. I meant ~ I have NO high expectations on any of them. LOL!!!

  16. It seems a lot of people would agree with you on this, because not many people were completely impressed with this book. That's ok, though, because I'm not going to be looking for mind-blowing dystopian. I'm just going to go with the flow and hope to enjoy myself. :)

  17. I'm glad you enjoyed this a little bit, Celine! I wish it were more awesome because I love the cover and have been waiting to read it, will start it soon!

  18. Hey, Celine. I also love the concept (and the cover) of Breathe that's why I'm really looking forward to reading it. But aww, too bad you didn't like this that much. I hate it when something about a book annoys me. :(


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