Saturday, 18 May 2013

Book Review - Breathe

Title: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Series: Breathe (book 1)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Release Date: 11 Oct 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1408827192

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?

My Review
I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
I actually received this a while ago but never got round to reading it. Then I was looking for something to give my Teen Reading Group and decided this would be a good choice so it gave me the excuse to pick it up.
 We are introduced into a world of the future, there is no more trees and oxygen is running out. A select few are given the chance to live inside the 'Pod', where Oxygen levels are managed and people are provided with air tanks. It still comes down to status, the rich 'premiums' can afford more oxygen, therefore can lead better lives, whilst the poorer 'subs' are taxed for any excess oxygen they use.
First we meet Alina, a young girl trying to make a difference. As part of the resistance she is feisty and determined. Her mission is essential and she wants the resistance to win. She can come across as a bit cold at first and I wasn't quite sure what to make of her but I actually found myself liking her as the book went on. Sure she isn't exactly endearing but something about her made me like her and I wanted to get to know her better.
We then meet Bea and Quinn. Quinn is a Premium, one of high standing, his father works for 'Breathe' the government in charge, he has an abundance of oxygen, money and opportunity but he isn't a spoilt brat, he does all he can for Bea and they are the best of friends. Bea is a sub, her parents work as hard as they can just to afford enough oxygen for them all to live on. Bea hates taking money and things from Quinn but he never makes her feel bad. There is definitely tension between them in the book - Bea loves him but he's totally clueless. I loved to see how they worked together and became closer but also more independent too. Bea really grows up through the book, her eyes are opened and she doesn't back down. 
I saw some complaints about the characters but for me they were well written and worked well, i could visualize them all and they seemed to be realistic enough to me, I felt like I knew them and saw them grow and develop.
The whole idea is very well constructed and it all makes sense, it's a very scientific idea, how to run on limited oxygen etc, what would survive, but it's done really well and makes it totally believable. 
There are some questions left unanswered by the end of the book, especially who is Abel? but it is set for a trilogy so maybe we will find out in the next book. The ending of this book certainly sets you up for an exciting sequel and I can't wait to get my hands on it. October suddenly seems very far away.

My Rating

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