Monday, October 29, 2012

Breath In, Breath Out

Published:  October 2nd, 2012
Breathe (Breathe # 1)
By: Sarah Crossan
ISBN-13:  9780062118691

Inhale. Exhale. 
Breathe . . .
The world is dead. 
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?


     The oxygen supply of Earth has become severely depleted and as a result, the remaining populace has to live inside domes supported by artificial oxygen, under a corporation by the name of Breathe.  They found a way to keep everyone from dying and promise that they're working to fix the outside environment...but are they really?  Inside the dome are three teens whose lives are about to change forever.  One is Alina, a girl whose parents are missing and who relies on the underground rebellion as a way to fight for a future that is made right.  But at what cost.  Then there are Bea and Quinn, best friends who live in the shadow of money and parental expectations.  Bea is poor and her parents can barely afford her.  Quinn has everything but is left feeling cold from lack of familial connections.  These three collide on a trip outside the dome, where Alina tags along for their oxygen supply and lands them in a whole lot of trouble.  But once Bea and Quinn learn the truth about Breathe and the outside world will they still want to go back to the dome?  And is the rebellion really as perfect as Alina thinks it is?  When things finally explode who will be left standing and where will they turn?  I went into this thinking, great yet another dystopian by formula.  I left with much the same impression.  I think the basic story would have been interesting - if it hadn't been done before so recently in Under the Never Sky and Masque of the Red Death.  The multiple points of view weren't helpful in creating three-dimensional and layered characters either.  They all felt really flat to me, because I barely got any time with them individually.  Also, the plot ended up feeling very paint by numbers, with even the cliffhanger failing to inspire me.  I liked the storyline with Maude Blue, the drifter/ex-Breathe employee.  It ended up being the reason that I finished the book at all.  She was an interesting addition the little walking party and definitely the most interesting of the characters individually.  The world building was seriously lacking.  I never understood how the "apocalypse" happened and what the "Switch" was.  When was the book set and how long ago had the switch been?  Overall a confusing setting, semi-dimensional characters and a recycled plot made for a fairly mediocre and somewhat dull read.  I will definitely not be reading the next one.  

VERDICT:  2/5  Stars

*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. It became available for purchase on October 2nd, 2012.* 

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