Thursday, July 4, 2013

Out of Breath by Rebecca Donovan

Out of Breath (Breathing, #3)Out of Breath by Rebecca Donovan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Last fall, my friend, Daisy, told me that I had to read The Breathing Series. She was visibly torn up. She begged me because she needed someone to understand what she was feeling and someone to go through the journey with her.

I reluctantly picked up Reason To Breathe because I was selfish. I didn't want to go through an emotional journey. I wanted clean and neat, but being a good sport and friend, I started reading.

I fell in love with Emma and Evan. Their story was powerful. I read, I paced, I cried, I cringed. My heart pounded in my throat. My kindle nearly came to an untimely death as several times it was nearly flung against the wall. But hope carried me through until the story came to an end and my world came crashing down around me. How on earth was it possible for an author to create an experience that would shatter me? This wasn't just a ugly cry thing. This book reached in and grabbed my heart. I fell in love with Evan Matthews. I was on Team Emma Thomas. I rooted for them, believed in them, hoped for them.

I also thanked God that Barely Breathing was already on my Kindle. I immediately started reading. Why stop? I needed to know. I needed peace. I needed resolution. I clung to hope. The earth's rotation had shifted and life as we knew it was quickly coming to an end.

And then Rebecca Donovan did something that I didn't know was possible. She reached further into my soul, grabbing a part of my heart that wasn't available to fictional characters, and owned it. {insert profanity}. I hated this story. I hated what was happening. I hated Emma's choices. I hated the interference. I hated that Evan wasn't more present. I hated it because I loved them. I wanted them happy and whole. I wanted them healed. I wanted them to live happily ever after. But what I got was reality and it wasn't always pretty.

I read that book with my heart, pounding in my chest. The angst in this book was so intense that I questioned my sanity for wanting more, but I did. I was so invested in their lives that there was no way I could abandon them. I believe in them. I believed in love. I believed that at the end of all of this there was the hope that they would find the life they deserved. And then another crushing blow. I mean, I was certain that the planets would be colliding and the end of the earth was imminent.

I waited patiently...who am I kidding? I wasn't patient. I needed to know what happened. I didn't want to wait. My heart was ripped open, and I needed resolution, healing and closure. I needed peace. I needed to be okay. At the same time, Rebecca Donovan proved to be an unpredictable author. I didn't know what Out of Breath would bring. I was truthfully scared.

What kind of author has the ability to take a reader down a journey where you are scared to the point where you aren't sure that you'll be okay if the book ends any other way? One that has the talent to draw you in and make the characters so real to you that you feel like you know them, not just know them, but also love them.

Out of Breath downloaded onto my Kindle on July 2. I lay in bed, thinking I would start reading for an hour before I proceeded to continue working on my own novel. What I didn't realize was that I was so wrapped up into the story that before I knew it, it was 5am. I questioned whether or not I should continue reading or try t get a couple hours of sleep. I opted for sleep, but the story kept running in my head. My Kindle didn't rest. At work, I had it opened and continued reading. I couldn't stop.

For those who know me, they know I was Team Evan from the get go. In fact, I was Team Jonathan can go to Hell and take Analise with him. When I started reading and saw Emma a shell of herself in college, I was saddened. Then, the box that held Emma's memories tightly hidden deep within the crevices of her own heart was opened and the pain rushed over her. She needed to stop feeling and to forget. The partying started along with what I considered to be REALLY BAD CHOICES. What the hell was she doing?

Enter Cole. Ahhhhh. Team Evan. Remember? Oh yeah. Cole comes into the picture. Rebecca Donovan did something that I didn't know could be possible, she made me like him. I mean, I didn't think it was possible, but I did. Even though I saw that Emma found an escape with Cole, he was a good guy. It could've been much worse. I also think that Cole was a substitute Evan.

I PMed while reading the book. I shared with Savanna that I liked Cole and didn't want him getting hurt.

I wondered why so much of the book was spent on Emma's life sans Evan. Even though I was okay with Cole, I hated that Emma's life was a mess. I hated the choices she was making. I hated her state of mind. I hated that my focused, determined and goal-oriented friend was a walking disaster and quickly slipping down a very slippery slope to self-destruction.

Not everyone's path to recovery is pretty. Emma's was downright FUGLY.

Enter Evan. You'd think that the earth's axis would return to it's correct angle, but you're wrong. Say what? Oh yeah, there was no instant reconciliation. NO fucking way! Yup, I used the F word.

I couldn't stop reading. I needed more. I needed healing almost as badly as they did. One thing was clear, they loved each other and needed to find their way home.

After so much damage, so many hurt feelings, so much emotional wreckage, can true love survive? When do you let go and move on? Can you? How do you breathe when you're holding your breath?

In Out of Breath , Rebecca Donovan takes us down the bittersweet journey of our beloved Emma and Evan. I sit here with tears welling in my eyes, missing them and wanting more.

I sit on the swing, hanging from the old oak tree and hold tight to the hope that when I can't breathe, someone will breathe for me.

I LOVED this book. It wasn't what I had expected, but what I needed. The Breathing Series goes down as one of my favorite series of ALL TIME.

A must read!
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~Ana
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