Breathe is Sarah Crossan’s second novel, and the first in the Breathe series, the second book, Resist, is due for release in mid 2013.
Breathe is a young adult dystopian fiction novel, set in the distant future, in a world where there are no trees, and as a result, no oxygen. The world’s surviving population lives inside ‘The Pod’, an oxygenated bubble where occupants are kept safe from the vast, desolate, uninhabitable earth.
The story itself is told via three separate first person narratives:
Alina is on the run after The Ministry discovers she is a member of a rebel group, who are illegally trying to repopulate the world with trees.
Quinn, son of a Ministry employee, is a ‘Premium’ boy, part of the Pod’s most elite population.
Bea, Quinn’s best friend, is a lowly ‘auxiliary’, part of the lowest class of people in the pod, working hard to find a way into the higher ranks for an easier life for herself and her family.
Their paths cross when Quinn, fuelled by hormones, helps Alina escape The Pod. Outside, with just three days worth of oxygen, the three find themselves uncovering some frightening truths about The Pod, The Ministry, and the world they inhabit.
Breathe is a beautifully written book, I love the multiple first person narrative, because it allows us such a detailed look into the heads and hearts of the characters. Crossan paints a bleak picture of a life on earth without oxygen and at times she almost makes you feel a bit breathless yourself.
One of the best things about this story is the strength and resilience of the female characters. Alina is determined and dedicated to the resistance, unwilling to let anything get in her way, while Bea’s strength manifests unexpectedly as she protects the people around her.
I really enjoyed this story, especially the relationship dynamics of the group as they get to know each other on their journey. I’d definitely recommend this one, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens in the next installment once it’s released in 2013!
Available now: HarperCollins RRP$17.99