Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Review of Breathe by Sarah Crossan published by Greenwillow BooksBreathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Genre: Young Adult
Format: ARC
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: 10-2-12
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.
Alina 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.Quinn 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. Bea 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? – Goodreads

Many dystopian novels come from the idea of environmental ruin where an essential element is restricted.  The idea of air being the controlled and limited commodity lent a very brutal and cruel element to this story.  Things such as how quickly you walk, how much you talk and even intimacies are all controlled by the fact that when you do those things you use air.  It was a very interesting idea that was well developed in the world building.  Told in three points of view, the story gives a good degree of detail about life for the privileged, the poor and the rebellion.  While I always like multiple points of view, I found the voices to be similar at times which caused a little bit of confusion while I was reading.  The three protagonists were likable and interesting.  While Alina was much more knowledgeable about survival, Bea and Quinn struggled to reconcile their life which had been very cushy compared to what they found on the outside.  The romantic element seemed a little weak but I think that’s because I wanted to get to know everyone a little better.

Breathe had plenty of action and suspense as people battled not only to breathe, but to escape a cruel regime that kept some very damaging secrets.  The world outside of the dome was eerie and the people that that Alina, Quinn and Bea find on their journey were both scary and interesting. There was definitely a good and evil in all of this, but I still found that even the “bad guys” had some humanity, which made them much more interesting as characters.  There is nothing more boring than 100% evil, I always say.  On the flip side, the rebel leader who could have been painted as a hero, was not all good, either.  I see this as something that will probably play out as the series develops, which tells me that things are going to get very interesting.  Overall, I thought that Breathe was a very interesting idea set in a well developed world and I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series develops.

This book eanred 3.5 birds, rounded up to 4:
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I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Kate @ Ex Libris

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