Monday, September 8, 2014

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally Review

In Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally, we are introduced to Annie, a recent High School graduate who is training for her first marathon. But she isn’t running for herself. She is running for her boyfriend…who died before he could compete in the marathon. As Annie completes her training, she not only has to deal with the repercussions of pushing her body to the limit, but the death of Kyle. Will Annie be able to successfully complete a 26 mile marathon? Will it help her say goodbye to Kyle?

I checked out Breathe, Annie, Breathe because a friend and fellow librarian gave it rave reviews via Goodreads. First off, I feel that I need to state that I’m not a runner. I’m not in to running and I never plan to enter a marathon. I would probably only run if someone was chasing me, but then I would only have to be as fast of someone else who was with me.  I didn’t know if I would be able to relate to Annie. What do I know about running? I have NO desire to run. Would I enjoy a book that was centered around marathon training? Kenneally holds nothing back about the brutality of training for a marathon. She covers the vomiting, the blisters, and even the constant trips to the bathroom. All that aside, I have such a profound respect for runners now. I’m so glad she covered the grotesqueness of the training process. It made it real and it made you root for Annie that much more.

Another subject that Kenneally doesn’t shy away from is the fact that these characters, like most normal teens, are sexually active. I am a big supporter of sex in YA novels, as long as it is real and relatable to the story. In Breathe, Annie, Breathe the characters are sexually active and there is no shame in that. Annie does have a scene where she is laced with guilt but not because she is sexually active. It deals more with her moving on from Kyle, her deceased boyfriend. Her guilt from being sexually attracted to another guy is logical and worked for where Annie was in her life.  Kenneally did a wonderful job of working this into the story. She did not use graphic details but the addition of sex and sexual innuendos was completely natural for the characters.

I found myself instantly relating to Annie. Not about the dead boyfriend part or the training for a marathon, but how she was dealing with all of this on top of trying to get ready for college. It brought back nostalgic feelings of buying dorm decorations and finally moving in. I was reliving it all with Annie. Besides having those nostalgic feelings, all the characters in Breathe, Annie, Breathe were real and played an important role in the story. My hands down favorite character is Jeremiah, the brother of Annie’s trainer. Annie knows this hot adrenaline junkie is bad news, but she can’t help herself from slowly opening up to him. It was patient and lovely.  As Annie’s story progresses, she learned more about herself than anything. Yes, there is a romance, but this story is about a young woman’s struggle to let go of the past and learn to be happy.

I highly recommend Breathe, Annie, Breathe and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Reading Breathe, Annie, Breathe was part of my YA/NA September Challenge. Though this novel is more likely to be grouped in the Young Adult section, I personally think that is has more of a New Adult feel. 


Librarian Lavender said...

I would love to read this book, it sounds great!

Eileen said...

This one is on my TBR and I'm thinking of moving it up my list! Thanks for the review :)

Eileen @ BookCatPin

J. Wright said...

Move it on up! It is a quick read and it is impossible not to love Jeremiah! :)

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