Release Day Review: Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan

October 2, 2012 Review 5

*This title will be released on October 2, 2012*


(Breathe, #1)
by Sarah Crossan

Genre: Dystopian YA |
Excerpt: YesBook Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Publisher

  • Reading level: Ages 14 and up
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062118692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062118691


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content



In a world without air, what would you do to breathe? In a barren land, a shimmering glass pod houses the survivors of the Switch, the period when oxygen levels plunged and the green world withered. A state lottery meant a lucky few won safety, while the rest suffocated in the thin air. And now Alina, Quinn, and Bea—an unlikely trio, each with their own agendas, their own longings and fears—walk straight into the heart of danger. With two days of oxygen in their tanks, they leave the pod—and everything they know—behind. What will happen on the third day?

Set in a perilous, devastated world, Breathe is a novel of adventure, revolution, yearning, and of opening your eyes and rising to your greatest potential.


Few things are more frightening than a world without breathable air, which is why it makes for a near perfect setting in the new dystopian series from Sarah Crossan.  In BREATHE, the world’s air supply was depleted when the trees and oceans were destroyed.  Those who survived have built new societies in massive domes where air is currency and only the wealthy Premiums can afford enough to exorcise and have children.  The tension between these classes is just delicious.

There are three protagonists in BREATHE who each represent the three people groups in this world: Quinn the privleged Premium, Bea the poor Auxiliary, and Alina the member of the rebel group. These three end up together outside the dome on the run from just about everyone: Premium soldiers, crazy isolationists, Government officials.  The characters all have distinct–and likeable–voices. I never felt impatient while reading one over another (something I usually do with multiple POV books).

As cool and creepy as this dystopian world was, the romance was rather anemic.  The description (and cover) hinted at love triangle, but there really wasn’t one–at least not for very long.  When the couple does get together, it seemed to happen in a vacuum without any real reason or explanation.  They literally had a run-to-each-other-and-start-kissing moment.  Because the story is told in rotating point of view, I expected that at least one of them would explain why they decided they were in love, but it never happened.  I even checked my ARC to make sure I wasn’t missing a few chapters (as far as I could tell everything was there).

The resolution of the romance didn’t kill the book for me by any means since it isn’t a huge part of BREATHE, but the ending came off as a little rushed, with a few logical inconsistencies which did knock it down a rating. Still, the writing is solid, the characters equally compelling, and the dystopian world is perfectly unsettling.  Fans of DIVERGENT and UNDER THE NEVER SKY should definitely get their hands on BREATHE and be ready to pick up the next book in the Breathe series, RESIST, on October 10, 2013.

Titles in Series

  1. Breathe
  2. Resist

Similar Titles

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5 Responses to “Release Day Review: Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan”

  1. Bookish Brunette

    Breathe sounds freaking AMAAAZING!! I’m a bit put off by the “never explains WHY they were in love… I dislike that greatly! Lol

    • Abigail

      The romance is tertiary to the world building and characters, so even though it didn’t work for me, the other more important aspects of BREATHE were awesome. Definitely check it out.

  2. Rie

    I clicked on this review because of the beautiful cover. I have added to my TBR pile because it sounds fantastic.

    Dystopians always jump out at me, and with the very tangible threat of suffocation and a unsettling world promised I am looking forward to this winging its way to my Kindle.

    Great review!

    Love Rie