After the brutal cliffhanger of book #1, Reason To Breathe, I was both excited and absolutely terrified to start this. I knew I was in for a roller coaster ride and boy was I right!!
So many parts of this book infuriated and frustrated me to no end but I could. not. put. it. down!!
The book started off six months after the ending of the first one. Given the circumstances of that ending, this actually made a lot of sense. But when a person goes through that kind of trauma, it not only leaves marks on the body, but also on the soul.
“I don’t know what I went through… All I care about is that I’m breathing.”
And life went on. Recovery… healing… time… and surrounded by her loving friends, Emma got herself to a better place. Things began to change and for once there was a glimmer of hope that maybe things might turn out okay.
Evan was still perfect as ever. Seriously – that man just personified patient and understanding. He was just like a dream!
I shook my head and mouthed, “Where did you come from?”
“What?” he laughed.
“How did I end up with you? I mean, my life’s so messed up and then… And then there’s… you. I couldn’t have made you up if I’d tried.”
In an effort to rekindle a relationship with her birth mother, Emma decided to move in with her… but really, she’d just traded an abusive home for a dysfunctional one as became surrounded by the guys her mother brought home. In particular, a guy named Jonathan who was young, gorgeous, intense, mysterious and while he was nice on one hand, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy around him… especially given his overly friendly interest in Emma.
But there was something else up with him… I had my suspicions in the beginning but as the book progressed, they only continued to grow. The more I learned about him though, the more I warily began to warm up to him as a person despite hating him on principle for the threat he represented.
“I like this,” Jonathan said suddenly, before I could walk away, “talking to you. I feel like I can tell you things… things I usually keep to myself. Most people don’t understand.” …
Until that moment I hadn’t realized what was happening. I was able to share the demons that wrestled with me in the night, and Jonathan understood in a way that no one else did. He was fighting with them himself, and that had drawn us together.
You should know that there is no actual cheating in this book. There were some lines crossed to be sure, and situations that made me extremely uncomfortable but thankfully they never fully crossed the line because my Kindle might not have survived otherwise.
I was not okay with a lot of the things that happened in this book. I didn’t like a lot of the characters’ decisions amd I wanted to throttle or slap nearly everyone at one point or another but dammit I just couldn’t stop flipping those pages. I can’t really blame any one person more than the other though for the issues in this book. Everyone was at fault to some extent.
“The next thing you know, the people you always thought would be there aren’t. And the person you thought you could trust with everything, isn’t the person you ever knew at all.”
I did wish there was a little more of Evan in this book though. He went on a lot of trips and I missed him. He was like the bright light in all of this, he kept me going.. and he was a huge part of what kept Emma going too even. But still… they had a lot of miscommunications in this book that left me freaking the hell out!!
There were points where it literally felt like the whole thing was one giant string of “oh he did not just DO that!” , “ughhhh why won’t she just TELL him??”, “why is he…” , “why won’t she…”
This book did a number of me. Seriously. The drama!! The angst!! Not to mention a few shockers and twists I did not see coming!
Read with Xanax. Lots and lots of Xanax.
But then… then came the swoon. Towards the end, things began to look up again as the issues were discussed and worked through.
“I’m here, Emma. I’ll never let you go,” he whispered in my ear, holding me tighter.
“We can contemplate the meaning of your life all you want, but know that you’re my meaning… the reason behind just about everything I do – and I would never want to change that.”
Ahhhh!! Doesn’t that just melt your heart??
I absolutely loved seeing Emma and Evan have their moment of peace and happiness towards the end. Finally I could breathe. I just wanted to keep them in their happy bubble forever!
“I breathed for you… I begged for you to breathe with every breath I gave to you. I kept pleading for you to breathe over and over again. And then… then you did.”
*heart clench* I just love Evan.
I was really on the fence about this book at some points though. I couldn’t decide if I loved it or was infuriated by it. I think in the end it was a combination of both. I loved the characters but seriously – they all had epic moments of stupid that frustrated me to an extreme (I’m talking Kindle-throwing levels of frustration here). But in the end, my love for them won out over the frustration. Looking back on the book, I feel good about it. It was just one hell of a bumpy road.
This was a quick read for me. Again, like with the first book, despite it being over 500 pages, I actually read it in one sitting due to my inability to stop flipping the pages.
I have to say I knew this one was another cliffhanger but I did NOT see the events of this one coming! I really wasn’t expecting it to go to that extreme or even in that direction at all… but it did. I should have learned by now that Rebecca Donovan pulls no punches and dammit if I’m not going straight on to book #3.
I need a Xanax. Or ten.
Looking forward to the final book!
I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to show you my status progress as I read the book. There are no spoilers but it does give you a little better feeling for my ‘experience’ while reading this book:
SERIES READING ORDER
This is a completed trilogy.
BOOK #1: REASON TO BREATHE
BOOK #2: BARELY BREATHING
BOOK #3: OUT OF BREATH