This novel is the type of book you pick up when you are in a reading slump, and that is exactly what I did! I wasn't really feeling any of the books I had from the library, so when this came in my Black Friday Book Outlet purchase, I immediately picked it up and didn't put it down. I read this book in less than three hours and I'm still riding the high six days after reading it.
Breathe into me follows Lacey St. James, and her ongoing bad luck. She lives in a trailer park with her brother, mother, and abusive grandmother. Talking about abuse, when the novel opens, Lacey is in a relationship with an abusive boyfriend. Everything changes when she meets this mysterious guy who makes her realize that she deserves better.
Most of this book focuses on the romance between Lacey and Everett, said mysterious guy. I really loved their dynamic and chemistry. They really fit each other and make each other better people. The part of the plot I really loved though was the tension between Lacey and her family. I found it really interesting to see how her life got so messed up. Some of my favorite scenes are the confrontations between Lacey and her family.
There is something you should be warned about though before getting into the book. It does take a deeper and darker turn, so if you are uncomfortable reading about self harm, suicide, or abuse, I would say that this book isn't for you. Breathe Into Me features all of these subjects in a really good way, but I would say read another book if you are uncomfortable with it or it might trigger something.
Another aspect of the story I just really enjoyed was Everett's familial drama as well. There was a big reveal with about 75 or so pages left, and I was not expecting it! This was actually a great experience, because unfortunately, the books I have recently begun to figure out the twist before it happens. The other thing that sets this apart from some other new adult books is that it doesn't just focus on the romance. Yes, it is definitely prevalent in the story, but it also focuses on Lacey as a person as well and her evolving into a person who is more sure and confident in herself. Lacey is struggling throughout the book to get her life together.
The only big issue I had with this book was that if kind of felt like Lacey's life only changed and became for the better when she met Everett. I wish that this wasn't the case because it warps the message of the novel into something reliant on a male. I'm all about female power and I wish I didn't see the common trope of a girl only changing her life for the better after she meets the guy. Another thing that I was kind of bothered by was the change in view after Lacey and Everett got together. The focus shifted into their relationship and not as much Lacey's family. I wish we got to see more of her brother and learn more about how everything was solved. We hear about it, but we don't necessarily see it in the novel.
Besides that, I don't really have any more complaints. There was this one scene where Everett said that his summer was so relaxed and I was so shocked. This book is chock full of drama! How was it ever relaxed? Two aspects I really loved about the novel was the friendships in the book. Sometimes female friendships are shown as catty and superficial, and this wasn't the case and I really liked it. There were also two MAJOR twists that I completely didn't see coming and I absolutely loved it. After the first twist, I thought it was it and then we learn some more about Everett's past and I was completely blindsided. This really made the book so much better in my eyes.
To say I liked this book is an understatement! No, it wasn't perfect. But, it was really entertaining and I loved the story. If you are new to new adult like I am, I would recommend this book. I haven't read much of new adult as I started reading it this year, but I say pick it up! It's definitely underrated and I don't see too many people talking about it either on the book community.
With that, I give this book
4.25 out of 5 Stars!