Here's the summary from Goodreads: Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . . The world is dead. The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air. Alina 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. Quinn 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. Bea 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?
What I Liked: 1) This seemed to be a new twist on the post-apocalyptic books that are out there. Since the trees and plants have been killed off, there isn't enough oxygen for people to breathe and survive outside of the pods that have been built. This was something completely new and unique to me, which always gives my imagination lots of room to run wild. 2) The Grove. The Grove is a place that you won't visit until late into the book, but it was fascinating. I am not going to tell you much about it because I want you to be able to experience it first hand like I did, but know that it is a fun place to explore, and you really get to spend time in a lot of different places. I hope that in future books we get to know more about how it was designed because it seems to be pretty ingenious. There are some puzzles to solve here, which were definitely intriguing. 3) The main characters. At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about any of them. They seemed a little flat. But as the story progressed, they opened up more and became much more interesting to me. I think because of the nature of the world they were living in, they were all so much more guarded about who they were and what they were thinking, Alina especially. But they form a neat little trio as they are traveling the Outlands.
What I Didn't Like: Hm...lets see if I can explain this in a way that makes sense outside the confines of my brain. This book reminded me of a black and white movie. Not like a classic black and white movie like Casablanca or It's A Wonderful Life that's just better in the original black and white. The kind of black and white where you genuinely feel like something is missing, where all the emotions that you want to jump off the screen feel dull. That was Breathe, for me anyway. I was desperately wanting to feel something more from the characters, and for their plight, but there was just something missing that was causing a lack of connection for me, and not just to the characters, but to the story itself.
Overall Thoughts: Pure curiosity drove this book for me. It wasn't a need to cheer on the characters, or even to see where we'd go next in the journey. But the scientific and political questions that are raised in this world stand out as the most intriguing parts of the story. Luckily, there was plenty of that to keep me interested, and have convinced me to check out the next book when it becomes available. I am hoping to see a little more relationship development between some of the characters, secondary included, because I like to know how their lives are being affected by the plot twists. But overall, Breathe has brought a new idea to the world of post-apocalyptic stories, and we'll surely see more questions than answers before the series ends.
My Rating: 3.5 shots
Once again, Happy Thanksgiving my friends!