I am going to start this review with a spoiler alert. If you have not read book 1 “Reason to Breathe”, then stop reading this and go pick that book up because it is an un-missable experience.
Book one left me on the edge of my seat with Emma being strangled and giving into the release of death. Barely Breathing picks up six months after the horrific ending, Emma has survived and is still not finding the deep breath of safety that she is desperately seeking. Even though Carol is behind bars, Emma is still waking up screaming and gasping for air, terrified that Carol has come back for her. Emma still manages to power through it as much as she can by moving forward. She accepts her estranged mother’s invitation to move in with her, hoping to share her last year of high school getting to know the mother she never had. However Emma starts to fall into her old habits of keeping secrets from her boyfriend Evan and best friend Sara as things start to escalate to dangerous levels.
First of all, I highly recommend the Breathing Series to all teens and young adult lovers. Book one literally blew me away, and book two was an amazing follow-up. The author’s writing style is so comforting and grabbing that I was able to lose myself in her story for hours at a time. I loved being a part of her story and seeing how the characters learn deal with each situation that comes. The story stays very down to earth while incorporating real life issues of dealing with drinking, having sex and the fear of what will happens after high school is over.
"I've spent most of my life trying to make it to a future that still hasn't happened, or avoid a past that won't let me go. I don't remember when I've ever just stopped to live in the present, to hold on to the seconds I'm in."
Emma Thomas’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart-pounding conclusion in the final chapters of Reason to Breathe, the first installment of The Breathing Series— Rebecca Donovan’s bestselling romantic-thriller (USA Today). Now her secret life has been exposed, and her tormentor can’t hurt her anymore. Yet some are still haunted by that night. The bruises may have faded, but scars and fears, remain. How will she reclaim her life when she's barely breathing?