Breathe by Elena Dillon

Breathe by Elena Dillon Purchase:

    This book pulled me in from the very first line: “Most days I can almost forget someone murdered my sister.”

    Jasmine’s life wasn’t normal for a 16 year old girl. It hadn’t been normal since the murder of her older sister, Daisy, two years ago. Her life had been changed forever. The monster that murdered Daisy was never caught. That was the reason her family decided to move away from their hometown in Southern California, to start over. Hopefully in a place where the last name Rourke wouldn’t bring on staring or judgment or morbid curiosity.

    In Lafayette, Louisiana things are quite a bit different but in a good way. Good manners, Cajun accents and a whole lot of Southern Hospitality all make her think things are going in the right direction. On top of that the most gorgeous boy she has ever met is interested in her. Her new friends are better than she could have hoped for even if she is worried about what they might think when they find out who she is. Life would be perfect if odd things didn’t keep happening. Creepy phone calls, texts, and flowers in her locker start adding up quickly to something terrifying. Could the Monster have followed them to Lafayette? Was he coming after her this time? Maybe she was just worrying unnecessarily…or not.

    Review by Clare Chu:

    Elena Dillon
    Elena Dillon

    This book pulled me in from the very first line: “Most days I can almost forget someone murdered my sister.”

    Jasmine wanted to be an ordinary teenager, like everyone else, but the fact that her sister’s murderer had never been caught and the incessant media attention on her and her family meant they were always on edge. She and her family moves from Burbank, California to a small town in Louisiana. For the first time, she could be anonymous, the new girl in school, unburdened from her past.

    I cheered for Jasmine as she made new friends, took on a lot of responsibility for her younger siblings, and falls for the hottest guy on campus. Little things disturbed me and I knew the drama would not be over. However the author painted life in the small town vividly and still gave time for pranks, pep rallies, and normal girltalk. She contrasted the familiarity of the small town where residents knew each other for generations and were often related, with the impersonal atmosphere of California.

    Once I hit 55% I knew I wouldn’t sleep until I completed the book. The villain was cold and calculating, and the story unfolded in an edge-of-your-seat cat and mouse game. The narrator’s voice was authentic and engaging, and I absolutely loved the boys in the story, from the loquacious Trenton to the bratty younger brother to the heart-throb boyfriend.

    Extremely well done and fast paced, with a heroine you can’t help loving and rooting for.

    Review by Missy Frye:

    This book is immensely hard to put down once you start reading. From the first line the reader is pulled into a world with both jubilant and nightmarish characteristics. There’s no time to pause; you must continue on the journey you began without rest, just as the main character does. And what a character she is…

    Jasmine is a perfectly blended personality. She’s real. Believable. She’s a teenager with the same worries and fears as her peers. Does the cutest boy in school like me? Will I make the track team? But there is also something dark inside, a survival instinct that her friends have never needed to cultivate.

    The story moves quickly and the plot points are flawlessly placed. Dillon uses the setting to create an atmosphere both idyllic and terrifying. She uses southern charm to its fullest and as someone from the South I can say she hit the nail on the head. (Though there are plenty of folks the complete opposite of the characters, just as in any region)

    Breathe is a near faultless work of reading enjoyment and I recommend it highly.