Book Review- Breathe

Saturday, 18 April 2015
Title: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Published: October 2nd 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow
Pages: 373
Series: Breathe #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, YA, 

Rating: 2.5/5

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 that will appeal to fans of Patrick Ness and Veronica Roth.

National Book Award Finalist Kathleen Duey called Breathe "An amazing story! Sit down. Inhale. Now, while you still can." 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. Sarah Crossan's thrilling and provocative novel is about passion, about yearning for something better, and about breaking free for the very first time. The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books proclaims it an "action-packed dystopian series opener to watch out for."-Goodreads

I purchased this book last year, during my dystopian love affair, but somehow I never got around to reading it. I finally decided to pick it up this month, partially because the cover caught my eye when I was looking for something to read! Unfortunately, the story inside the book just doesn't live up to the stunning cover. 
My main emotion when I had finished this book was "meh", that was it. I didn't hate this novel, but I certainly didn't love it either. 
This is the story of Alina, Bea and Quinn, their chance meeting, and their journey in a dystopian world where all oxygen has to be bought. 
This novel is written in three point of views between our three main characters. I quite enjoyed this split P.O.V as it allowed us access into the characters, their situations, their thoughts and feelings, and their sides of the story. 
I also liked the fact that all three characters came from different social situations; poor/rich etc. which added an interesting dynamic to the story, especially when your oxygen supply depended on how much you could afford. 
Another aspect of this novel I really enjoyed was the writing style. Crossan has a lovely style of writing, very lyrical and expressive, and it was quite refreshing to read a YA novel that was written to such a high standard.
The main problem I had with this novel was the predictability of everything. The world was predictable, there was a government with a secret, and when our main characters discovered this secret they were changed and became revolutionaries too. When haven't we heard this plot line before? *sigh* 
I would have also liked more explanation about the world. I'm sure this will be explained in later books in the series, but I still need a basic knowledge of the world to fully understand the story, and I felt this was lacking. I don't fully know what caused the loss of oxygen, how they built the big dome thing they live in, and other such basic questions.
Another predictable aspect was the plot. I felt like I knew exactly what was going to happen, and how each character was going to react before any of it had happened.
I also disliked many of the characters in this novel, Alina is the rebel who is trying to escape the dome and return to her rebel friends, and ends up taking Quinn and Bea with her. I found her to be quite annoying, she was supposed to be this strong kickass character (think Katniss in The Hunger Games), but instead she just came across as cold and mean. 
I thought I could put up with Alina because Bea was such a great character in the beginning, she seemed kind and warm hearted, which contrasted nicely with Alina, they were polar opposites of each other. However she ended up being really frustrating as this kindness soon turned into her not having any opinions or spine, and becoming a huge pushover to the rest of the characters.
Quinn wasn't a great male protagonist either, the author made him out to be a handsome, generous, rich heart-throb but he just seemed like a huge douche to me. His fleeting crush on Alina was so superficial and he wouldn't leave her alone even after she said no, that never sits fine with me. 
Apart from the lacklustre characters, there were also quite a few inconsistencies and questionable plot lines that didn't really make sense to me. The whole plot strand with Abel made no sense, will it be solved in the next books or is it completely forgotten, it feels like its forgotten! Also a certain character's death (no spoilers!) seemed bizarre to say the least, for such a important character it was glazed over so quickly it didn't seem real.
Overall I wouldn't recommend this novel, there are plenty better dystopian novels out there, and chances are you're getting a bit sick of them anyway!! 

Thanks for reading :)
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