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Reason to Breathe (Breathing, #1) - Rebecca Donovan Edited review: June 18, 2013

Writing this book review leaves in an icky place, because obviously this book is about a very strong subject matter, and I don't want people to think I'm more taking the SUBJECT MATTER seriously.

This book is about a young girl named Emma who has to live with her abusive aunt, uncle, and younger cousins because she has no closer family of her own. Throughout the entire book, Emma puts up with physic and emotional abuse mainly from her mean aunt, without ever standing up for herself. Her logic in this situation is she needs to put up with being beaten... and barely eating... and getting screamed at constantly... because... she has two younger cousins and... if she tries to stand up for herself... her younger cousins will suffer.. because they'll be taken away... from their evil, abusive mother... who Emma thinks is a good mother to them.... WHAT?


That's the stupidest logic I've ever heard. A rational person would assume that if this woman is abusive to you, there's a good possibility that she might not be... the best.. ever.. parent.


She wrote as if Emma was a straight-A student, very smart, a loner, and highly intelligent and driven, but somehow overlooks this obvious logic?!

If Donovan would've come up with a better compelling reason, I might have believe it. Perhaps if Emma had completely sheltered herself, or had an IQ of a tin can, or she wouldn't report the abuse because she was emotionally fucked up from the tormented and formed some sort of sick, loving relationship towards her aunt.. BUT NO. It's because she's just illogical!

I don't even want to pursue talking about the "love interest" in this story. It might as well have never happened because it adds absolutely no value to the story.

Oh and BY THE WAY, World's Worst Fucking Friend Award goes to this girls rich best friend, Sara, who knows ALL about the abuse, but doesn't tell anyone and doesn't do anything because Emma asks her not to and is uncomfortable talking about!


Some fucking best friend you are.

Sara: "Oh I wanna go to this really sweet party. We have to go. I wanna be popular."
Emma: "No, I really shouldn't. My aunt will probably throw me down a flight of stairs if I go."
Sara: "Aw c'mon Emma! Don't be such a drag!"

This situation reminds me of a parent trying to get a child to eat their vegetables and the kid being like "NO I DON'T WANT VEGETABLES. THEY TASTE GROSS! I WANT TO EAT ICE CREAM ALL DAY, EVERY DAY" and the parent being like, "Well, alright. I know it's not best for you, but if it's what you want... OK."


Most of all, I wanted the story to end with some sort of lesson for the reader. A lesson or a moral of the story. Of any kind. From any character.

Did Emma learn to stop dealing with the abuse? No.

Did Sara finally get sick of her best friend's aunt treating her like a punching bag? No.

Did her super awesome boyfriend learn about the abuse and tell someone? Anyone? No.

I'm not asking for a happy ending, I'm just asking for some sort of development that leads me to believe I didn't waste a part of my life reading about a bunch of stupid people that learned NOTHING from an abusive situation.