Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Breathe by Sarah Crossan

The trees are gone. The surviving citizens live inside a glass Pod. Mostly. There are those who live outside, believing that the Earth can one day be a safe home again. And there are those who live inside and are determined to do whatever they can to fix things.

Does that description sound a bit vague and possibly a bit lame? Good. Okay, maybe that's unfair. The book isn't bad and I'm starting to think I've hit a saturation point as far as YA Dystopians are concerned. There are a lot of them about and I've read a lot - there are at least two more sitting in my To-Read pile. I like YA Dystopian, but they're all starting to sound a bit same-y.

This one, Breathe, had what I consider to be quite an original premise. Something vague and bad happened - this is not the original part - and all the trees died. There is literally not enough oxygen left for humans to survive on, only a lucky few were able to buy/win entrance to the Pod, and are now charged for every bit of oxygen that they consume. This to me sounded great, but the actual book didn't meet my expectations.

The story is very much typical of the genre - the people who run the Pod are evil, the people in the Pod have no idea how evil their government is, a couple of teenagers find out the truth and decide to fight, a war looms but never actually happens, the book ends without anything really having happened because it's the first in the series.

And as for the three main characters... The book's told from each of their perspectives, in first-person, a chapter at a time. And, unfortunately, all three voices sounded pretty much the same to me. I frequently had to figure out which person was narrating, which at least distracted me from how bored I was of the story.

It's not a terrible book. I'm probably being a bit unfair to it just because as YA Dystopians go, this is nothing special. Not bad, but not particularly good either. Maybe I'll give it another try once I've read something completely different for a while - okay, we all know that's not actually going to happen. I'll just have to cross my fingers that Crewel and What's Left of Me are a bit more impressive.

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