Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Review: Rebecca Donovan's "Out of Breath."

5 Hearts Review of Rebecca Donovan's "Out of Breath."

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/14toVOp
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/12oGpYX 


Emma leaves Weslyn and everyone in it behind to attend Stanford University, just as she always intended. A shell of her former self, she is not the same girl. She is broken, and the only way that she’ll be whole again is through forgiveness. Emma must find a way to forgive herself and recognize her own worth before she can receive the love she deserves. This final installment will have readers holding their breath until the very last page

Review: Surj Harvey

The first two books in Rebecca Donovan's  "Breathing Series" affected me deeply. Both stayed with me for days, moments from each creeping up on me when I least expected it. I found myself  thinking about the characters and some of the situations and I literally found myself questioning what I would do if I were them. Life can really be a bitch sometimes. It can be cruel and it can be ugly but I really hope that those who finds themselves in darkness, finds the light they truly deserve. And this is what I wished for with Emma from the moment I met her. 

After finishing "Barely Breathing," I was left broken. My head was a mess and so was my heart, not only for Emma but for Evan and Sara. Their lives would be changed forever not only with their moves to different colleges but also with the decisions that had been made at the end of book #2. 

"Out of Breath" started 18 months into college and as soon as I'd read the first few pages, I knew I had to put my big girl panties on because this book was going to kill me emotionally:

A rush of painful emotion coursed through me, forcing me to feel more than I had in the past 
year and a half. I couldn't utter a sound. It was as if I were being flayed, every nerve exposed.

At college, Emma had tried so hard to fade into the background, her focus remaining college and football. Her guard was up and no one got close, including the girls she lived with. Only Meg knew some of what had gone on and that was only through Sara who had been  worried about leaving her best friend. Emma had shut everything out, trying desperately not to feel, the numbness allowing her to get through each day. From the minute her room mates had opened "Pandora's box", it was as if all hell had broke loose and there was no going back. I saw such a shift in Emma's character there were times I wondered if she was the same girl:

I needed to be distracted from the voices that were suddenly whipping around in 
my thoughts. I needed to find my way back to being numb. 

If distraction was what Emma needed, by god that girl hunted it out. She went to extreme lengths to ensure she got it and at times it wasn't pretty. In fact it hurt to read:

I didn't care when he thrust his tongue in my mouth. i didn't care when he ground his 
hardened body against me and groaned in my ear. And I didn't care when 
he slipped my t shirt over my head and let me fall back onto his bed. 

Even those she loved the most were at a loss. The anger I'd felt in towards the family that had hurt her kept resurfacing, growing stronger as I progressed through the book. They were gone but still played such a huge part in Emma's life, haunting her and stopping her from being truly happy. I hated them and as awful as it sounds, there were parts of this book that gave me a sense of over-whelming relief. 

There were a number of new characters I was introduced to, some I loved (Evans' friends and Emma's house mates) and some I didn't!!! As lovely as Cole was (to most he would've been the ideal boyfriend), for me, he just wasn't the ONE!!! Every time I read his name, I wanted it to say Evan. Cole just wasn't right for Emma and I kept hoping that whatever it was they had would soon be over. For Emma, he was just another way to forget. She knew it was wrong but she couldn't help it. 

And so we come to Evan. Where the hell was he? Chapter one... nope! Chapter two... nope!!! He finally made an appearance in chapter FIFTEEN!!!! My heart did a little happy dance and all was forgiven. Better late than never right?  I just wish it had been under better circumstances. Was he over Emma? It had been a long time. What did he want? Despite what he said, I got butterflies knowing full well these two belonged together. Of course he just wanted closure! Yeah right? 

It was one thing to convince myself I was over her and needed to move on, 
but another thing when she was standing right in front of me.

Having read the first two books, I honestly thought Emma had been through the worst of it.  No such luck. Sometimes words can hurt more than actions and that's exactly what happened in "Out of Breath." I kept wondering how she would survive blow after blow. But that last blow literally took the air from my lungs. I honestly didn't think she would survive but Evan's words held true:

Within the silence, his words were as clear as if they were being whispered in my ear. 
"Hold on to this life, Emma. You're so much stronger than you think you are."

As much as the first two books were about Emma surviving, this book was about Emma's journey towards "Living." It wasn't plain sailing and she definitely rode out some big storms but this girl was a survivor. I'd taken one hell of a journey with Emma from the moment I met her in her bedroom, her eyes swelling shut in "Reason to Breathe" to the ending I got in "Out of Breath." She was finally home. She'd found her place in the world, she'd found forgiveness and she had found love. I felt such an over-whelming sense of peace for her. Everything was how it should be, Emma was finally out of the darkness that had suffocated her and had finally found the happiness she deserved:

And I chose to live, I chose to love. I chose to breathe

Now I've gone all emotional again!!! Lump in throat... tears are on their way!!!! Bugger!!!!

Another top Marker.... 5 Massive Hearts

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