Book Review: Breathe by Elena Dillon

21698048Title: Breathe

Author: Elena Dillon

Format/Length: eBook/103 pages

Publisher/Date Published: Mark My Words Book Publicity/19th August 2014

Category/Genre: Young Adult/Mystery-Thriller

Source: Netgalley and Mark My Words Book Publicity — thank you!

Description: Jasmine’s life wasn’t normal for a 16 year old girl. It hadn’t been normal since the murder of her older sister, Daisy, two years ago. Her life had been changed forever. The monster that murdered Daisy was never caught. That was the reason her family decided to move away from their hometown in Southern California, to start over. Hopefully in a place where the last name Rourke wouldn’t bring on staring or judgment or morbid curiosity.

In Lafayette, Louisiana things are quite a bit different but in a good way. Good manners, Cajun accents and a whole lot of Southern Hospitality all make her think things are going in the right direction. On top of that the most gorgeous boy she has ever met is interested in her. Her new friends are better than she could have hoped for even if she is worried about what they might think when they find out who she is. Life would be perfect if odd things didn’t keep happening. Creepy phone calls, texts, and flowers in her locker start adding up quickly to something terrifying. Could the Monster have followed them to Lafayette? Was he coming after her this time? Maybe she was just worrying unnecessarily…or not.

one of five stars

I requested this from Netgalley on a pure impulse. The description looks cool, the cover — well, let’s face it, the cover could probably do with some work, but overall, it’s not bad. Who doesn’t like a flower on their cover? And besides, I’m a sucker for mystery whodunit novels, so of course I requested this — and was so excited to read when I got accepted.

But oh, boy, was I in for a surprise. And not a nice one.

I like lists, so I’m going to list some of the issues I had with this novel.

Sorry, Mark My Words Book Publicity, but I felt as though this novel is nowhere near ready for publication.

workaholics animated GIF

To me, this was just-another-murder-mystery-novel.

There was nothing fresh and different to other mystery novels I’ve read. In other words, the story was rather forgettable; when I read a mystery/thriller novel, I want it to be heart-racing, exciting, full of mystery and intrigue, but this book offered the opposite. Not only was it awfully predictable, but I found myself wanting to skim through the paragraphs for something… interested to happen. There were a few rather eventful moments — like the end, for example — but the majority of it passed without me really caring. The good thing about this novel? It was short. Only 103 pages long; though, a lot of the story was told. (“He looked angry”, ect.) The novel could have been a) lengthened, if more things were shown, and b) I might have cared more for the characters if their emotions were shown better. I did not feel the main characters fear, her grief, her anger.

The romance was both unrealistic and irritating.

The main character faints, and falls into the arms of a gorgeous guy within the first chapter of the novel. First off? That’s awfully cliché and eye-rolling worthy. And secondly? Fainting seemed to be portrayed as cute. Fainting is not cute. I’ve fainted twice in my life, and it’s scary as hell, thank you very much. Not to mention that Easton — the love interest — was perfect. Come on! Where are the flaws? The things that make him realistic? He was so dang perfect that even the main character states this more than once. I don’t want to read about perfect characters; I want to read about characters I understand.

yawn animated GIF

And, well, partly because of this, I did not like the characters.

Characters are important, yes? Heck, they carry the novel. If there are not going to be good characters, then most likely the story is not going to be good, either. Without spoiling anything (though in this novel there’s hardly much to spoil…) I will just say that there end-ish of the novel was supposed to be intense and thrilling, but I couldn’t look past the dullness of the main character to really care what happened to her. The same goes with Easton, and any other character that was involved there.

unimpressed animated GIF

Yeah. Not a great novel — and not something I’d recommend. It had potential, that was for sure, but I couldn’t enjoy it because of the issues listed above.

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Breathe by Elena Dillon

  1. Awww, shame you didn’t like this one. I would probably rage-quit a book if a girl fainted into some guy’s arms in the first chapter – so good on you for sticking it out :) plus, I’m always a bit dubious of one-word titles so I probably wouldn’t have read it in the first place.

    Lovely gifs, though :P

    • Haha, thanks, considering it was given to me for review, I thought I should at least give it a proper chance! And besides it was really short, so there’s that. :P I so get what you mean by one word titles. They have to be really unique for me to like them — and I’ve seen Breathe used for several different YA novels. On top of that, the term “breathe” didn’t really have a direct link to the novel… I mean, it was used a couple of times, but eh. Wasn’t a fan of that title.

  2. Ugh. I’m sorry, but ugh…that cover looks like someone whipped it up on paint or something. >_< (Sooorry! I'm probably being to harsh with my cover-judging, but I really don't expect that from an actual publishing house.) The book definitely sounds undercooked. And I agree with you on the fainting! I've only fainted once and it absolutely goes down as one of the most scary things that's happened to me. And I felt SO FREAKING SICK afterwards. Why do they always leave that out of books??? Fainting seems like a neat little nap in books, urgh. Facts, people, facts.

    • Nah, I totally get what you mean. It’s very amateur-ish, like it’s been made the day before it was published without much real thought. xD Yes, fainting is terrifying! I always found that it’s so disorienting, and yeah, makes me feel sick too.

  3. Dang! Never heard of this one, but definitely not going to read it NOW. Plus, 100 pages is too short for me. I know that sounds stingy, but… I haven’t read a book that short in a really long time unless they stories were compiled into a bigger book or a novella. I think my minimum is around 200 to be honest. I’m particular. And I don’t think I can handle the “he looked angry” phrases… I’m sure I have them in my UNEDITED novels, but you know. Maybe it gets better as a published version since you read an ARC? Sorry you didn’t like it :l

    • Yup, not something I’d recommend! Maybe because it was an ARC it was unedited? I don’t know, I really don’t. But those sorts of telling phrases were uses so so so so so so many times through the novel it was so frustrating. And yeah, I know I have definitely used them, too, but urgh, it’s not fun to read.

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