Breathe by Sarah Crossan Book Review

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

The trees have died. Humanity was saved by entering pods, dome like structures where oxygen is created and regulated by the organization Breathe. The terrorist organization RATS want to destroy their way of life. Alina is part of the resistance, but she isn't terrorist. Unlike Bea and Quinn, Alina knows the truth. Breathe is purposefully killing the trees, making life outside the pods impossible in order to secure their power. When Alina convinces Quinn to help her escape the pod, he and Bea are both sucked into a world that offers a glimpse of hope, but they will have to fight for it.

It is never a good sign when I have a difficult time getting through a book. Considering I can finish a book in only a few hours, when a book takes me nearly a month to make my way through, you know there is a problem. At first I couldn't really pinpoint why the story wasn't holding my interest. After all, despite some scientific implausibilities, the plot was fairly interesting and wasn't ponderous. The problem therefore lies with the characters. Alina and Bea, despite being two very different people often read exactly the same, meaning that I had to check the chapter headings sometimes to figure out which character I was reading. Quinn felt rather inconsistent. One minute he is the complete gentlemen and the next he is talking about staring at "Alina's ass". These moments felt forced, as if the author didn't want us to forget that this a teenage boy. Beyond inconsistencies though, none of the characters were very compelling. Alina is supposed to be a bad-ass, but it quickly becomes clear that she is just as incompetent as the rest of them. During the "battle" at the end, I found her new found training abilities to be rather laughable. Divergent this book was not. Of the three characters, Quinn turns out to have the most chutzpah, but a fighter he is not.

All that said, it would be interesting to see where the author goes with this. With books like Maze Runner, Hunger Games, Divergent, and Legend the characters are not just part of the resistance, they are fighters too. Bea and Quinn are definitely not there yet and I wouldn't exactly trust Alina to lead anything either, mostly because she doesn't think before she acts. If one of these three characters could be punched up a bit, I think the series (for a series it is going to be) may have hope.