Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

A good, eye-opening dystopian about a world with no trees.

Breathe Summary

The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can’t? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan’s gripping and original dystopian teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope.

Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected… or trapped? Or controlled? Alina’s a revolutionary who believes we can save the environment. Quinn’s a Premium who’s never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who’s never worried about anything but having enough air. When the three cross paths, they will change everything.

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Breathe review

I went into this one with mixed expectations. It sounded right up my street – a dystopian, apocalyptic YA by an author I’ve loved before (One is fantastic). But it only has a rating of 3.70 on Goodreads which is on the cusp of my cutoff for books when I’m sorting out my TBR, so I imagined it would fall short.

Thankfully, I can safely say that I enjoyed Breathe. There’s nothing particularly surprising in store, but it’s a solid, entertaining dystopian that fans of Divergent and Delirium are bound to like.

Our three main characters are all so different from one another, but their contrasting personalities and backgrounds make the dynamics between them fascinating to read.

It’s topical too, with climate change and environmental issues a huge concern right now. Imagining a world with so few trees is frightening but not unbelievable. I felt as though I was struggling to breathe myself as I read. It’s an eye-opener.

Breathe didn’t blow me away, but it’s one to add to the list of good dystopians if that’s what you’re after. I’ll definitely read Resist, the second and final book in the duology.

My rating

**** 4/5 stars

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The Rain by Virgina Bergin

Slated by Teri Terry

Ashes by Isla J. Bick

The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling


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