Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

This past weekend was epic in terms of reading progress! I started my Friday with Sarah Crossan's latest, Breathe. Yep, started. It was an insomnia night so I was up at 2am reading this one!

People have destroyed the forests and poisoned the seas. As a result, Earth's oxygen levels have been vastly depleted. Breathe now controls the quality and amount of air available to citizens lucky enough to have earned a spot in the pod. For Quinn and Bea, this is their life. They've never known any different. Quinn's father is a high up with Breathe and their family are Premiums. Bea, on the other hand, is an auxiliary. Since excess oxygen is an expense, only Premiums can afford excess. Auxiliaries are ticketed for running and fined for using more than their allotted oxygen. The Resistance means to change all of this. But their acts are akin to terrorism in the eyes of Breathe and the Ministry. When Bea and Quinn set off for a two day camping trip outside the pod, they run into Alina, a fellow teen and a member of the Resistance. If Quinn and Bea help Alina at all, they could be punished harshly for aiding the Resistance. But everything in their lives is about to change. The Resistance and Breathe are gearing up for a confrontation and the two friends find themselves stuck in the middle.

I really liked this one. The setting is a bit original and the characters -- in particular the female characters -- are especially great. Bea and Alina are both very strong female leads. They're believable in their setting but they're also believable teens.

I'm a fan of anyone who can put an interesting twist on a dystopian world and setting as well. Here, the environmental message is strong but not overwhelmingly so. The bad guys grow increasingly bad as you learn more and the cliffhanger ending definitely left room for some great follow up possibilities.

Breathe is out on shelves today.

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