Series: Breathe #1
Release Date: 11th October 2012
Synopsis: When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.
Review: I received a review copy of this from the publisher. It's a book i had seen around a lot on fellow bloggers sites so I was very excited to get my hands on a copy. Breathe is a very interesting book, it's set when all the trees have died and the oxygen levels have plummeted. Only the select few can live inside the Pod. It's been years since the switch but inside the Pod is still split into three classes. The rich get to have extra oxygen tanks to keep fit, whereas the poorer people can only barely survive with what they have. Crossan has created an interesting world and the scary thing about it is that if we keep destroying the earth there is a possibility that this can happen. How scary is that? Not being able to depend on the one thing that keeps you alive.
If you can't tell, this is a dystopian novel all about survival in a world where oxygen is running out. It's also about the harsh reality that no matter where you go someone will always want to be in control. There is no escaping that wherever you go. We see how the leaders of the Pod are keeping secrets from the citizens. They are keeping them trapped and hiding the truth, why? So they can remain in control. Only the resistance know the truth but once you're labelled a terrorist there's no getting back in the pod and spreading the truth. Breathe has the bad guys, the leaders of the pod and the good guy, the Leader of the resistance. They aren't so different. All they have worked for is threatened and this will make people do crazy things. It's interesting seeing how two leaders thoroughly against each other can both harness the harsh and cruel facade that they have come to embrace. Despite that we see the leader Petra of the resistance's humanity shine through. Where as those leaders of the pod are just harsh and cruel because they are motivated by greed. Petra is motivated to do the right thing and she will not let something so small crash down upon her hard work.
Breathe is told from three perspectives. Bea, Quinn and Alina. Each character is very unique. Crossan is a master at writing multiple narratives. Each chapter you can tell who is narrating. Each character has a unique voice making it easy to tell them apart. This is probably the best novel I've read where the different perspectives flow flawlessly and it works perfectly.
Breathe follows Bea, Quinn and Alina. Alina is a tough girl and part of the resistance. She wants out of the pod where she can finally be free. Instead she's stuck inside the pod where her insider knowledge is invaluable. That is until she's caught as a terrorist. Running for her life she escapes to the Border where she stumbles into Bea and Quinn. She needs them to get pass the security but she doesn't realise just how valuable they will become to her. Quinn is a premium, he's lived a life of luxury and now he wants to spend some quality time with his best friend on a camping trip outside of the Pod. Bea is Quinns best friend but she is a auxiliary. Her life is hard, her parents try to make it easier but there's nothing they can do. Bea takes a test to become a premium and she fails. The leaders will never trust an auxiliary. Leaving with Quinn they meet Alina. Bea loves Quinn she always has but he has never noticed. Instead Quinn flirts with Alina, the stranger. Bea is heartbroken but she just can't leave him. We watch as they all begin to depend on each other and in the end come to trust each other. The class divide falls away and together they became a team. A team to reveal the truth.
Breathe is a spectacular novel. It's full of suspense and action that leaves the reader tense. Crossan is a writer to look out for, her ability to write multiple narratives so flawlessly is a very unique gift that I hope we will see much more in the future. Crossan has mastered the different perspectives and I'm sure she will be a name we will see frequently in the future. I can't wait to see where the group are headed in the next book, but I have a year to wait. So during that time I will be here persuading you to buy this book! You'll miss out if you don't!