Friday, November 13, 2020

Book Review: "Breathless" by Jennifer Niven

Jennifer Niven's latest YA novel, Breathless, is emotional and enjoyable. It's a story about love, trust, family, and friendship.

“I imagine a room or maybe an entire planet where all the love goes to live once we’re done with it. Like a kind of junkyard. Little remnants of love scattered everywhere. People picking through, collecting the strongest, biggest pieces, and trying to make something of them again. Isn’t this what we do every time we meet someone new or fall for someone new or start loving someone new? Pick up the old battered bits of ourselves and try again?“

Claudine is getting ready to graduate from high school. She and her best friend Saz have a major road trip planned over the summer before they head to separate colleges in the fall.

But the next thing she knows, Claude’s life has been upended, and she and her mother are headed to a remote island in Georgia for five weeks. The road trip is off, Claude’s trust has been shattered, and she’s angry, as she realizes how easy it is for people to lie about what they promise.

When she meets Jeremiah Crew, the last thing she wants is to have feelings for a boy, but it isn’t long before both fall for each other. Miah is cocky and confident, yet he has secrets he doesn’t want to talk about, but he sees Claude for exactly who she is. (And he's the only one.) They know this is only a summer thing, but how do you prepare and protect your heart for that?

Jennifer Niven wrote All the Bright Places, which was one of my favorite books of the last decade, so I love the way she can wring emotion and beauty from simple stories. Of course, her characters speak a little more eruditely than typical teenagers, but their behaviors are fairly genuine.

I really enjoyed this and I stayed up very late to finish it. And I might have shed a tear or two while I was reading...

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