Thursday, 10 October 2013

Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan

Breathe (Breathe, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can't? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan's gripping and original dystopian teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope that will appeal to fans of Patrick Ness and Veronica Roth.

Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected . . . or trapped? Or controlled? Alina's a revolutionary who believes we can save the environment. Quinn's a Premium who's never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who's never worried about anything but having enough air. When the three cross paths, they will change everything. Sarah Crossan's thrilling and provocative novel is about passion, about yearning for something better, and about breaking free for the very first time.

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

My rating: 3.38 of 5 stars

Breathe (Breathe, #1)(Source: I received a copy of this book as a gift.)
In an oxygen starved world, where people live in a pod pumped full of artificial oxygen, 16-year-old Alina is a member of the resistance, and wants to help grow new trees, and take the people’s freedom back from the hands of the government.

16-year-old Quinn is a Premium, and gets as much oxygen as he wants, he never considered that the government, and even his father might be lying to him about the way they ended up in the situation they are in with regards to oxygen.

16-year-old Bea is an auxiliary, and her parents work constantly just to pay for the oxygen tax to keep them alive. Bea’s mother wants nothing more than for Bea to marry Quinn so that she doesn’t have to worry about oxygen any more.
What is really going on though? Are the government lying and why? Is the resistance the answer? And can people survive outside of the pod?

I really wanted to love this book, but the plot holes just became ridiculous.

Alina, Quinn, and Bea were all okay characters, but I found the shifting perspectives a little annoying, and having finished the book I can’t say that I really grew to love any of them.

The beginning of this book was pretty good, but as it went on I just had more and more questions, and so many things were just silly.
I initially thought that the ideas in this book were good – although I couldn’t quite believe that anyone would be stupid enough to remove ALL the trees from the Earth. I mean really? We have known for long enough that we need trees for oxygen that this future should not be possible, which makes the overall storyline here a little questionable.

Anyway, we then learn about life in the dome or ‘pod’, and how people are taxed for the amount of oxygen they use. All very well and good, but what is to stop people from just being out of the house? The climate in the pod was controlled, why wouldn’t people just stay out of the house all day to decrease their oxygen consumption? At several points it is mentioned that people ‘train’ in alleys, and even have sex in alleys where the oxygen consumption is not an issue, so why isn’t everybody out there enjoying the free air? And if it is known that people do this in the alleys, why are the alleys not policed more?

As the book moved on we also got more silliness. How stupid do you have to be to burn your dead when there is an oxygen shortage? How stupid do you have to be to steal an enemy vehicle, and drive it straight to the door of the resistance? Is it not obvious that the army will track said stolen vehicle and find the whole enclave? How silly is it to worry about the size of your manhood when you are trying to not get killed? How stupid do you have to be to walk through deep snow, and then claim to have been walking in the opposite direction when you bump into someone? Is it not obvious which way you have come by the tracks you left in the snow? And doesn’t smoking around oxygen tanks run the risk of them exploding?

Other than these annoying things, the story was alright, and there were things that I didn’t see coming. I thought the idea of the world being oxygen-deprived to be an interesting one, and I hated how trapped by your need for oxygen you would feel in this sort of situation. I didn’t really appreciate the love triangle though, and a lot of the decisions made seemed a little short-sighted and na├»ve, which was disappointing. I was also a little disappointed by the ending. So much was left unresolved, and this is not the kind of story where you can choose whether to read the second book or not, this ended with a bit of a cliff-hanger ‘everybody is still in danger’ sort of situation.
Overall; a great idea, but poorly executed.
6.75 out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, Plot holes? So annoying. I want to read this one though, eventually.