Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

Wow!  This book was really INTENSE!  I went into it thinking it was about a sweet love story and it was but it is also about a girl suffering abuse at the hands of her Aunt.  Emma is a great student and an extrodinary athelete in 3 different sports but has a horrible homelife.  Her father died when she was really young and her mother became unable to care for her because of alcoholism.  Emma has to move into her Uncle and Aunt's house.  At the beginning of the story, Emma is extremely closed off and has only one friend because most of the time she tries to remain invisible.  Emma's life is all about trying to get through High School in order to escape into college.  She is determined to make it through the abuse for the sake of her small cousins.  Her aunt is crazy, unpredicable, and cruel.  Emma is forced to most of the housework, doesn't get enough to eat, and tries to go unnoticed at home. 
Then, Evan begins to notice her by commenting to her.  Evan is new but has been in most of Emma's classes since the beginning of the year when he inserts himself into her life.  I loved Evan's persistance and determination.  Emma continues to push him away because she cannot have others find out her secret.  She is hardly let out of the house and dating is absolutely out of the question.  Even when Emma tells Evan that they can just be friends, he continues to disrupt her world.  Evan and Emma have a sweet love that will have to loving Evan. 
I cried all the way through this book but couldn't seem to put it down.  I was so moved by this story that I had to explain to my husband why I kept crying. It is not something I would have sought out to read but I am glad I read it.  This is such a moving story about a fantastic girl caught up in an awful situation.  I have to admit without spoiling it I hated the vagueness of the ending --I wanted my happy ever after--I live for that.  I would recommend this book as a well written look at abuse and what it does to people.  However, it is not for the faint of heart and I don't think I would recommend it for younger teens.

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