Friday, January 4, 2013

Breathe Review

Breathe (Breathe, #1)
Title: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Series: Breathe
Volume: 1
Genre: YA Dystopia

Why I Read It: This was a book that I wanted to read because I liked the cover. The concept is neat too.

A Quick Intro: Breathe takes place in a future where oxygen is a controlled resource  After "The Switch", Earth's atmosphere is depleted of oxygen and what remains of humanity must survive in protected domes. Without government produced oxygen, the people wouldn't survive, the government controls the only living plants. Outside is a barren No-man's land. Quinn is a Premium, one of societies wealthy class. Bea is his best friend, though she is a "Sub", or a lower class citizen whose family can barely afford enough oxygen to live on. And then there's Alina. She's part of the Resistance, stealing plants to try and return organic oxygen to the people. When she is caught, her only choice is to flee the dome with enough oxygen for a couple of days- and Quinn and Bea in tow. The outside is different from what they expect, and the truth is out there.

What I Thought: I do enjoy dystopia, and the premise of the book is interesting. Control over air  gives the government almost complete control, since no one can live without it.  We never really find out what caused The Switch, only that it is probably linked to human abuse of the planet, and that the result is oxygen depletion. I found myself wondering how far in the future this is- it seems to be less than 100 years after The Switch, but everything else about the world seems to be basically the same. Besides the market on oxygen, tablets containing trackers and biweekly vaccinations, there don't really seem to be any futuristic technologies.

The story is told from the points of view of Quinn, Alina and Bea. There's a little bit of romance, but it was never the main focus of the story. Quinn's crush (it really was just a crush) on Alina it what first inclines them to help her, and Bea's love for Quinn means she sticks with him, but, given their personalities, they might have made these decisions anyway. And there is no love triangle, really (thank goodness!). I wasn't completely drawn into the story, but it did make me think, though the plot line was a bit predictable, I still found myself rooting for our main characters. The action was decent, and I enjoyed seeing how the rebels lived. Overall, Breathe was an enjoyable read, and I will probably read the sequel when it is released later this year.

Fun Fact: Oxygen used to be toxic to many living things. In fact, it still is. And yet we can't live without it. This isn't mentioned in Breathe, but you can read more about it online.

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