Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

“No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?” In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection while pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises – not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth – but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide. Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope.
This book is intense, beautiful and dang powerful. My emotions were haywire. I have never experienced lack of sleep because of a book. I mean, I was up the whole night because I just couldn’t stop reading and my eyes, oh my eyes. I was a cry-baby. My heart shuttered into million tic-tac pieces and I felt like punching a wall because of full on rage. In other words, I was disoriented and lost after reading this book.

“In the balance of love and loss, it was love that made me struggle to breathe.”

I have never felt extreme anger towards a character. Her aunt is someone I would want to use my steel bat on to. What she does to her is unacceptable and no amount of apologies could change the scars, the welts of the leather belt, the tears and the feeling of wanting to die. The way the antagonist is portrayed and written is powerful to the point that it’s terrifying how effective her character is. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who sympathize with Emma and want to help her. Her aunt screams cruelty beyond repair. I don’t even wanna think about her because it only makes me feel like strangling someone. I crave for justice for Emma. No person deserve such treatment. I tell you. No person should feel inferior towards these kind of people but rather stand and take all the courage to tell someone. I mean, you’re never alone. Never think that.

“Love helped me live life instead of just survive it.”

I found myself crying through every page I read. I even sobbed. And I’m not even a crier myself. It just proves how the story, the struggles and pain of the character really cuts deep through every reader’s heart and soul. I know that there are people who goes through this kind of situation in their life that’s why this makes it even more hurting to read because at the back of my mind, I feel so helpless to those people in actual need like this. This is why no one should judge anyone. No one knows what the other is going through. People should be aware of other people. Be more sensitive. Gosh, I’m really preaching here. This just really hits right in my heart. And counting days til she leaves for college? BAM! More tears and piece of my heart stomped over and over again.

I salute Emma for being so strong, I know there is a downside on her character in this first book. People would say she didn’t show much of a bravery because she didn’t fight back or anything but we can’t really judge her. We’re not in her shoes so it’s hard to tell. It’s easier said than done. There are things to consider.

I love how Evan just sweeps in the picture. He might be considered as the “Knight and shining armor” but this is the kind of cliche stuff I love because Pete knows how Emma badly needs someone to be there for her, see right through her and even if she wants to be invisible, I bet a 100 bucks that she, at least, want someone to be her shoulder. And that, ladies and gents, is Evan’s purpose.

His entrance doesn’t focus on wooing her but rather helping her and that’s what is amazing with this. The development of their relationship is slow, concrete and well-adjusted. Rebecca didn’t hurry them. She build them thoroughly and that what’s makes their relationship much more appealing and lovable. Despite the darkness of the issue, there are rays of light and hope. His determination and willingness to know more of her are extremely something to be noticed and take pride of. I enjoyed their little moments. I was happy for them. That even though the situation is brutally terrifying, they have found peace with each other. I feel like I was part of every scene like I was living them with them. My heart raced because I know that at the end of the day, she has to go back to that house and face the evil music. The situations are very realistic. I love how it is played because I could actually walk through the scenes in ease with the characters and I could understand them full and feel every bit of it.

I love Rebecca’s writing style because the writing may not be as graphic (to the point that it would scare you) but it sure still gives you the full context and essence of the story and it works your imagination just like a snap of a finger. I commend Rebecca and I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has the heart and soul to take up this challenge of reading such “serious but not too dark but definitely heartbreaking story”. Please do prepare your eyes and heart for some serious damage.

I was left breathless here.