Thursday, 21 March 2013

Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

Summary from Goodreads

A passionate love. A brutal betrayal. Unwavering hope.

In a town 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, pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises. Emma doesn't want anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is.

When Emma unexpectedly finds love, it challenges her to recognize her own worth - but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she's desperate to hide.

Paperback, 524 pages
Published January 17th 2013 by Razorbill (first published May 9th 2011) 
My Review
It's hard to know where to start with Reason to Breathe, I have such mixed feelings about this book!
I will start off by saying that this is a brutally honest book that pulled on my heart strings, had me on the edge of my seat and made me angry all at the same time. I don't think I have ever been so conflicted before by a book and I suppose it's positive thing, but I just wished that I could of sorted out how I felt and stuck with it!

The characters are beautiful and I think Rebecca Donovan has done a fantastic job bringing them to life as well as she has! I cared what happened to them so much that my heart was breaking in parts.
Main character Emma is so challenged, but she fronts it out even when things get really tough. To be completely honest I was really annoyed with her decisions and I just wanted to yell at her but by the end of the book, I totally respected and understood her decisions - even if I didn't agree with them at the time!
Evan is such a sweet guy with a bit of a cheeky side, I will admit to having a bit of a crush on him. I was rooting for him the whole way through and he had me sighing throughout.
The storyline is such a tough one, it is extremely violent, wicked and definitely not for the faint hearted. I felt every kick, punch and blow Emma received, and it really was gut wrenching but I couldn't manage to tear my eyes away - I had to know what was going to happen next!
Emma only ever wanted to blend in and get by without being noticed. Because being noticed is a very dangerous thing for her. But when her head is turned my new guy, Evan, everything about her changes and she not only needs to hide her bruised body from him, she will need to hide him from her tormentor or there will be hell to pay.....
This is a heartbreaking but beautiful book about finding love in the darkest of times and how that love can make you stronger and give you hope!
The ending nearly killed me to be honest and I couldn't quite believe what I was reading, I understand that abuse happens more than people might think in everyday life - but it's still shocking and unbelievable to read about! My heart was shattered by the end and I immediately went upstairs and grabbed the next book, because I just had to know.....
This is a tense, tough and emotional read that will test your emotions to their limits. I think the pacing was a bit on the slow side but that didn't really matter because I just couldn't put it down!
3.5 / 5 Stars!
*Special thanks to Penguin for the review copy*
Carly :)


  1. I don't think I could stomach such a story, in all honesty. It sounds far too heart-wrenching for me. I'm glad you were able to invest in the characters so well though. Great review, Carly!

  2. I am with Sam, I just don't think I could handle this one. I read to relax and escape at night and reading something like this would be so hard. I know full well horrible abuse exists that is why I have a degree in psychology. that part of me is itching to read this but the other part is a screaming no. It sounds like an intense read. Thanks for sharing, Carly.


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