Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan| Book Review


Genre: YA, Contemporary

Format: Audiobook

“Sometimes people hurt more than they can handle… And sometimes they don’t know how to ask for help. They’re so caught up in their own pain, they end up hurting everyone around them.”
– Rebecca Donovan, Barely Breathing

Series: Breathing Trilogy
Reason To Breathe (#1 Breathing)

Synopsis: Emma’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart pounding conclusion in the final chapters of “Reason to Breathe”. Now everyone in Weslyn knows Emma’s secret, but Carol can’t hurt Emma anymore. Some are still haunted by the horror of that night, and some must face the repercussions of their choices. Fans of Rebecca Donovan’s debut novel will discover there’s still much to learn about Emma’s life.[Goodreads]

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*Warning this is the second book in a series and this review might contain spoilers*

After the crazy intense ending that was left off in the first book, Reason To Breathe, I had to immediately pick up this book and find out what happened to Emma and what would become of her previous situation. Like how do you continue after leaving off on a cliff hanger like that. Emma died. Well I was put through the ringer once again by Donovan’s writing and story with the follow up on Emma’s story that I did not think was going to be possible after the first one. This book invoked so much emotion from me and had me wanting to throw my phone across the room many times. Although I was in love with this story and all the romance between Evan and Emma, (I have to say that Evan is one of my new fictional loves!) I did not love this one as much as the first.

I think the biggest reason for liking this one less was Emma and the way she handles situations. I understand that with everything she has been through that she would have trust issues and psychological trauma, but come on. It is like she is completely naive to everything going on and like she actually enjoys the torture that she is receiving from the events and people in her life. Evan and Sara are such strong characters and the ultimate friends that will do anything and everything for her and the fact that she won’t confide in them or let them in really made me annoyed. I did enjoy seeing the growth that Emma went through and seeing her finally stand up for herself. Okay now lets get to the romance. Evan Matthews is perfection! With all the shit Emma puts him through and all that he has witnessed and he still stands by her completely and unwavering in his complete infactuation with Emma. Not to mention he is like the ultimate romantic.

The story was so well weaved together, leaving me wanting more and unable to put it down. I was completely captivated by Donovan’s storytelling and became extremely attached to the characters and their well being. This book made me want to grab Emma and pull her to me and never let go, it was a real tear jerker. It was intense, heart breaking, frustrating, sad, emotional, swoony and overall had me hanging on every word and completely captivated on the wild plot with all the unexpected twists and turns concluding with an ending that left me just as frustrated and completely in awe as Reason To Breathe. It was a well done sequel that set up for what should be an epic ending to the trilogy.


Audiobook: 4/5



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