Friday, 16 August 2013

Breathless by Jessica Warman

Blurb (From Goodreads):
When Katie Kitrell is shipped off to boarding school by her distant father and overbearing mother, it doesn’t take her long to become part of the It Crowd. She’s smart, she’s cute, and she’s an Olympic-bound swimmer who has a first class ticket to any Ivy League school of her choice. But what her new friends, roommate, and boyfriend don’t know is that Katie is swimming away from her past, and from her schizophrenic older brother, Will, who won’t let her go. And when he does the unthinkable, it’s all Katie can do to keep her head above water.

Breathless by Jessica Warman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Breathless(Source: Purchased on kindle from
15-year-old Katie hasn’t seen her brother (Will) in months, not since the beginning of his latest stint in a psych unit, but now that he’s home, they’re back to their old tricks; namely sitting on the roof of their house smoking.

Will has drug-induced schizophrenia, and every so often he comes off his meds and ends up back on the psych ward, not that this stops his from smoking weed all the time.

After Will attempts suicide, Katie’s parents decide that they should get her away from his drama, and enrol her at a boarding school where she can do what she loves most – swim.

Whilst at her new school Katie finds that she’s got other things to worry about other than Will, getting a scholarship, getting into Harvard, hanging out with her best friend Mazzie, and finding the right boy.
Will Will ever get better? Can Katie use her swimming to get somewhere in life? And is Drew the right boy for her?

This was an okay story, but I felt like the storylines didn’t mesh well together.

Katie was an interesting character who was obviously troubled by her brother and his actions. I personally found some of the things that Will did a bit disturbing, and I think Katie did too. I did feel that Katie liked to hide from her problems a lot of the time, and it seemed that things most often didn’t go her way.
As for the other characters; Will was quite disturbed, Drew liked to try and force his ideas on Katie, and Mazzie also had her problems. Every single character in this book was flawed in some way, which I guess made this more realistic.

There were three main storylines in this book – we had the storyline concerning Katie’s brother Will, the storyline of Katie at school, and also a romantic storyline. While each of these storylines was okay in its own right, I felt that they just didn’t fit together very well. We would have a chapter that focused mainly on Will, then another where Will was forgotten and Katie would go on about Drew, and then another chapter where both were forgotten in favour of something else. I’m not 100% sure why the book felt like this, but it really did feel a bit disjointed because of it.

I was also a little surprised that there wasn’t more about schizophrenia in this book. Admittedly Will’s schizophrenia was thought to be drug-induced, but schizophrenia does have genetic connotations also, and as Will had it, Katie was at risk of getting it too. That being said, if I was Katie, I would seriously not be smoking dope – you would think that she would have been told that she was at risk of getting schizophrenia too, and would have stayed away from drugs seeing as they were what triggered Will’s illness, but that point was never raised even once in this book! This was quite surprising for me, and I really think that the author dropped the ball on that front.

The ending to this one was okay, and I liked that some things were tied up, and we got a happily ever after of a kind. I did wish that the author would have told us how Mazzie’s mom died though! Very annoying to not find that out!

Overall; an okay, if disjointed YA contemporary romance novel.
6.5 out of 10.

No comments:

Post a Comment