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Breathless

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Before: With graduation on the horizon, budding writer Claudine Henry is making plans: college in the fall, become a famous author, and maybe--finally--have sex. She doesn't even need to be in love. Then her dad drops a bombshell: he's leaving Claude's mother. Suddenly, Claude's entire world feels like a lie, and her future anything but under control. After: Claude's mom wh Before: With graduation on the horizon, budding writer Claudine Henry is making plans: college in the fall, become a famous author, and maybe--finally--have sex. She doesn't even need to be in love. Then her dad drops a bombshell: he's leaving Claude's mother. Suddenly, Claude's entire world feels like a lie, and her future anything but under control. After: Claude's mom whisks them away to the last place Claude could imagine nursing a broken heart: a remote, mosquito-infested island off the coast of Georgia. But then Jeremiah Crew happens. Miah is a local trail guide with a passion for photography--and a past he doesn't like to talk about. He's brash and enigmatic, and even more infuriatingly, he's the only one who seems to see Claude for who she wants to be. So when Claude decides to sleep with Miah, she tells herself it's just sex, nothing more. There's not enough time to fall in love, especially if it means putting her already broken heart at risk. Compulsively readable and impossible to forget, Jennifer Niven's luminous new novel is an insightful portrait of a young woman ready to write her own story.


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Before: With graduation on the horizon, budding writer Claudine Henry is making plans: college in the fall, become a famous author, and maybe--finally--have sex. She doesn't even need to be in love. Then her dad drops a bombshell: he's leaving Claude's mother. Suddenly, Claude's entire world feels like a lie, and her future anything but under control. After: Claude's mom wh Before: With graduation on the horizon, budding writer Claudine Henry is making plans: college in the fall, become a famous author, and maybe--finally--have sex. She doesn't even need to be in love. Then her dad drops a bombshell: he's leaving Claude's mother. Suddenly, Claude's entire world feels like a lie, and her future anything but under control. After: Claude's mom whisks them away to the last place Claude could imagine nursing a broken heart: a remote, mosquito-infested island off the coast of Georgia. But then Jeremiah Crew happens. Miah is a local trail guide with a passion for photography--and a past he doesn't like to talk about. He's brash and enigmatic, and even more infuriatingly, he's the only one who seems to see Claude for who she wants to be. So when Claude decides to sleep with Miah, she tells herself it's just sex, nothing more. There's not enough time to fall in love, especially if it means putting her already broken heart at risk. Compulsively readable and impossible to forget, Jennifer Niven's luminous new novel is an insightful portrait of a young woman ready to write her own story.

30 review for Breathless

  1. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    wow. this came out of nowhere. i think JN has been desperately trying to recreate the compelling magic present in ‘all the bright places.’ and this story does come close. its definitely an improvement from her previous book, thats for sure. and i think its because this particular story is very personal to JN. you can feel the emotion, the heartbreak, the confusion, the love. i think its comes across very genuine and authentic. there is also a lot of great and relatable content regarding feminism wow. this came out of nowhere. i think JN has been desperately trying to recreate the compelling magic present in ‘all the bright places.’ and this story does come close. its definitely an improvement from her previous book, thats for sure. and i think its because this particular story is very personal to JN. you can feel the emotion, the heartbreak, the confusion, the love. i think its comes across very genuine and authentic. there is also a lot of great and relatable content regarding feminism, coming of age, trusting others, sex, and everything in between. however, i found claude to be very single minded when it came to sex, borderline obsessed with it. it was just a bit much to read about and kind of deterred my interest at times. but man, the ending completely won me over. its going to be something that i will be thinking about for quite some time. ↠ 3.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aahana

    Oh my god. Oh my Lord. Jennifer Niven, what was this? This book... Warning - I have just finished reading this and I am writing a review now because I don't want to forget this feeling. I don't think anything I could write could equal the feelings I am having right now, but I'll try. Breathless is the story of a girl, Claude, who has her life planned out before her. She's 18, and it's her last summer before college. Her summer bucket list - i. Road trip with Saz ii. Hanging out with my friends iii. Hook Oh my god. Oh my Lord. Jennifer Niven, what was this? This book... Warning - I have just finished reading this and I am writing a review now because I don't want to forget this feeling. I don't think anything I could write could equal the feelings I am having right now, but I'll try. Breathless is the story of a girl, Claude, who has her life planned out before her. She's 18, and it's her last summer before college. Her summer bucket list - i. Road trip with Saz ii. Hanging out with my friends iii. Hooking up with Wyatt Jones That is, until, a few days before her graduation, her dad walks in and tells her he's "just not in the right state of mind to have a family right now" aka he and her mom and getting a divorce. And at that moment I am staring at the place where the floor used to be. All I can think is how one minute the floor was there and now it's not. How you could go through an entire day, every day, not thinking about the floor or the ground because you just assume it will always be there. Until it isn't. So, she's shipped off to a remote Georgia island along with her mother, where there is no cell connectivity and no chance of romance. And there's still the missing floor... Because after suffering a loss, you become a ghost in your own body. You observe yourself saying things and doing things that you might not normally do or say. Until she meets Jeremiah Crew. Oh, Jeremiah Crew. Barefooted, charming, Jeremiah Crew. Jeremiah Crew, who will leave this island at the end of summer, just as she will. But maybe the summer is all she needs... "So maybe we should just shake hands right now, agree it was nice meeting each other, and say goodbye." "Or we could see what happens." Before this book was released, I wrote a review. I really want to read this book! I don't think I can tho... cause one of the main themes is sex and virginity as you come of age. But I just adored All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe cause her writing style? Freaking gorgeous. You know, I'll read this. I really want to! (I won't be able cause I doubt my parents will let me read something that has "sex and virginity" in its blurb to but you get my sentiment :) But I consider myself a mature reader... ugh this is so hard! Can someone who has read this tell me if I can read it? Yes, babe. Read it. That blurb does not do justice to this book. The main theme wasn't sex and virginity as you come of age. It was life. And how it changes when you come of age. And how there will be people who will want to ruin it for you. But there will also be those who are there for you. Who can be your floor. Our eyes lock, his and mine, and it's the single most erotic moment of my short life. There's all this heat, but more than that. Something like love. Sarah, I was wrong. When I told you you will not need tissues. At that point, I was sure you wouldn't. But, hon, you will. I am not giving this book 5 stars because of it's writing style. Or because it's probably the best of her books. Or because I am so in awe of the author. Or because of any such... measure. But because it hit me. Hard. In a way that no one will be able to understand. But it did. And that's enough for me to say: One of my favorite books not just this year, but of all time It's one of the greatest of all time. Note - The rest of this review isn't more about the story. It is a collection of quotes that I never want to forget because they hit me. Hard. And never do I ever want to forget this feeling. Despite how... chaotic it is. What makes someone stop loving you? One day there's love, the next day there's not. Where does it go? Something that lived and breathed like that-how can it just vanish as if it never really existed? I imagine a room or maybe an entire planet where the love goes to live once we're done with it. Like a kind of junkyard. Little remnants of love scattered everywhere. People picking through, collecting the strongest, biggest pieces, and trying to make something of them again. Isn't this what we do every time we meet someone new or start loving someone new? Pick up the old battered bits of ourselves and try again? All the scary stuff doesn't really compare to getting lost in your own mind. But I have to stop because I don't know this person and he doesn't know me, and people don't like you to cry or talk about things that are hard or upsetting. They like you to smile and say everything's fine, which is why I gather all the pieces of me and put them back together enough that I can sit there. Here is me. All the messy unattractive things that I keep locked up inside. Every last, ugly, broken piece. And he didn't bat an eye. He just opened his mouth and showed me some of his own messy pieces. And instead of running away, he kissed me. I'm thinking about how amazing it is that you can live without knowing someone, and then they can come along and, like that, know you better than anyone. And you can't imagine what you ever did before they knew you and talked to you about all the things they've been through and all the things that matter to them. Life is an accumulation of aches. They fill you up and take your breath away and you think you'll never breathe again, but before you know it, you are just words on paper, gone quiet and asleep until someone finds those words and reads them. "Thank you." "For what?" "For you." "I don't get you" "You don't have to." I am alone in my head and alone with myself, the most dangerous place you can be. Here is where the fire started. Here is where the first brick fell. Here is where the floor disappeared. Here is where I built a new one underneath my feet. And here is where I began. I may have made some minor changes in the quotes here and there, but they are essentially Jennifer Niven's original words. Buddy read with Ayesha (my online sister) ❤️ Ayesha's beautiful review My review of All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

  3. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    This is one of those slice of life contemporaries. It's a journey of losing your footing in your quiet, happy, safe life and growing up all in a rush. The setting definitely caught my heart. The island, the sea, the way Claude and Jeremiah Crewe could lose themselves in this seclusion from their real problems for just a summer. They lost and found themselves in each other, even though they knew their romance could only be temporary. It's very sex-positive and honestly I found their relationship/ This is one of those slice of life contemporaries. It's a journey of losing your footing in your quiet, happy, safe life and growing up all in a rush. The setting definitely caught my heart. The island, the sea, the way Claude and Jeremiah Crewe could lose themselves in this seclusion from their real problems for just a summer. They lost and found themselves in each other, even though they knew their romance could only be temporary. It's very sex-positive and honestly I found their relationship/discussions quite healthy. Miah has a certain wildness to him -- no shoes and a love of the land and a quiet separation from a life of hurt that he's healing from. He was quite lovely. Claude did a lot of growing up, and getting outside her privileged perspective, and learning life is not so black-and-white, and that change won't end her. Thoughtful and introspective, it is a perfect summer read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Well, it's settled. I have to move to Georgia now.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Here is where I began. Oh. My. God. This book. T. H. I. S. B. O. O. K. . . . . . This is THE. BEST. first love/first time story I have ever read. It made my old Boomer heart grow three sizes and I even squirted out a couple of tears for nostalgia sake. It was either that or the alternative . . . . But yo girl ain’t about wasting no liquor. The story here is about Claude. Ready to graduate high school with the rest of her l Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Here is where I began. Oh. My. God. This book. T. H. I. S. B. O. O. K. . . . . . This is THE. BEST. first love/first time story I have ever read. It made my old Boomer heart grow three sizes and I even squirted out a couple of tears for nostalgia sake. It was either that or the alternative . . . . But yo girl ain’t about wasting no liquor. The story here is about Claude. Ready to graduate high school with the rest of her life ahead of her, she hopes to road-trip with her bestie and hook up with her longtime crush before heading off to college in the Fall. But life doesn’t always work out as planned and instead Claude finds herself spending her Summer on a remote Georgia island after her parents separate. With no WiFi, no motorized vehicles and nothing to do except continue working on her neverending puppy squisher novel draft, Claude eventually ventures out and discovers the local teens – in particular Jeremiah Crew. The remainder of the book is about their 28 days together. About falling in love. About becoming an adult. About adapting to change. About the reality of what happens when you meet the love of your life a decade too early . . . . It’s about one unforgettable summer. It made me feel things I haven’t felt since . . . well, I already said I’m a Boomer so that’s all you get. Simply put, it was perfect . . . . “I could love you,” I whisper. “I might already love you. I just thought I should warn you.” It reminds us all that . . . . THIS IS A BRIEF LIFE, BUT IN ITS BREVITY IT OFFERS US SOME SPLENDID MOMENTS, SOME MEANINGFUL ADVENTURES. Every Star.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elvina Zafril

    Breathless is a well written story about a girl facing her parents divorce and exploring sex and virginity. Claudine is 18 year old girl who is dealing with anger and frustration due to her parents separation. It sets on a beautiful remote island where there's no internet connection. A good place to connect with real human and to disconnect from modern technology world. The characters were great. Claudine and Jeremiah are like-able characters. The most coolest character I think is Saz, Claude's b Breathless is a well written story about a girl facing her parents divorce and exploring sex and virginity. Claudine is 18 year old girl who is dealing with anger and frustration due to her parents separation. It sets on a beautiful remote island where there's no internet connection. A good place to connect with real human and to disconnect from modern technology world. The characters were great. Claudine and Jeremiah are like-able characters. The most coolest character I think is Saz, Claude's best friend. However, I do hope there's more story about Jeremiah than we were given. The plot was good and I loved almost everything about it. This story is based on the author's experience. But am I the only one who disturbed about how Claudine is dealing with her emotions? Because she always think about her first time and somehow it was very disturbing because we know that she is dealing with her parents divorce. So, personally I thought her emotions didn't match her situation that she was in. Overall, it was a quick and nice read to me. Happy Book Birthday to Breathless! Thank you Times Reads for sending me a copy of Breathless in return for an honest review. This book is available from 29th September 2020 onwards.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    Thank you, Jennifer Niven, for writing the book that I needed as a teenager, and showing that, even though the results may not be exactly what you want, you have to be open to the possibilities life offers. Breathless starts slowly, and while I was enjoying it I didn’t think it was going to cause the emotional gut-punch it did. It’s a book about love, learning to accept yourself and to have the confidence to take risks as they hurt but can bring wonderful things. The main character in this, Claude Thank you, Jennifer Niven, for writing the book that I needed as a teenager, and showing that, even though the results may not be exactly what you want, you have to be open to the possibilities life offers. Breathless starts slowly, and while I was enjoying it I didn’t think it was going to cause the emotional gut-punch it did. It’s a book about love, learning to accept yourself and to have the confidence to take risks as they hurt but can bring wonderful things. The main character in this, Claude, is a curious character, who definitely grew on me. She starts the book in a fairly safe place with certain expectations, then learns that things don’t always go to plan...but it can be okay. She is definitely feeling uncertain as she’s about to head to college, her best friend has started a relationship she didn’t know about and things are changing/she’s losing control of the things happening around her. Her summer begins in an unsettling way, with her parents announcing they are going to split up and she is expected to spend the summer on an island with her mother. Cut off from everything she knows, this actually opens Claude to the possibility of new experiences. She takes solace in the immediacy of the wonderful natural environment around her, she learns to ride a bike and she starts a relationship with someone who changes her in ways she couldn’t imagine. It would be so easy to reduce this to a summer romance category and make what we watch between Claude and Miah seem trite. That would, I think, be missing the point. It might not be exactly what we’d wish for either, but in its own way it’s beautiful. I will be urging everyone to read this upon its September 2020 release, and would like to thank the publishers and NetGalley for letting me read it early.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    I’ve found this to be a hard one to find a comfortable rating and so I’ve settled at the 2.5 point after much pondering. Reading BREATHLESS proved to be a frustrating experience. The main character Claud felt all over the place and while she had reasons, the drama whiplash was severe at times. I felt a little more settled in the story when Claud got to her island summer home, I liked the vibe of the place and the eclectic mix of people. Claud however, remained chaotic and sex-obsessed when she go I’ve found this to be a hard one to find a comfortable rating and so I’ve settled at the 2.5 point after much pondering. Reading BREATHLESS proved to be a frustrating experience. The main character Claud felt all over the place and while she had reasons, the drama whiplash was severe at times. I felt a little more settled in the story when Claud got to her island summer home, I liked the vibe of the place and the eclectic mix of people. Claud however, remained chaotic and sex-obsessed when she got there. I did feel that she seemed written a little young for her character’s age. Sadly the story, whilst it had some definite highlights like the parental story line and Claud’s relationship with her father, there were a lot more dull periods. And then there’s the ending, which I hated as much as drinking a glass of sour milk. Sadly, this book didn’t hit the spot for me and there was more I disliked than liked. There are triggers for days in this book, so if you need that information, please go and look for warnings. Thank you to Random House for the early review copy. This review can be found on A Take From Two Cities Blog.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ayesha

    Rating:- 4.5 stars to be more specific ( can be turned 5 any time in future ). Guess who can make you long for a weird island with beautiful stories, which does not exist?? Her Gorgeousness, Jennifer Niven and our ( her and mine ) all time favourite Harry Styles!!! Umm...Does anyone ever longed for the island named Eroda?? Just me?? Okay. Jennifer Niven did that to me again, made me feel everything all at once. It was awful in a weirdly amazing way. Breathless is about unexpected events in our Rating:- 4.5 stars to be more specific ( can be turned 5 any time in future ). Guess who can make you long for a weird island with beautiful stories, which does not exist?? Her Gorgeousness, Jennifer Niven and our ( her and mine ) all time favourite Harry Styles!!! Umm...Does anyone ever longed for the island named Eroda?? Just me?? Okay. Jennifer Niven did that to me again, made me feel everything all at once. It was awful in a weirdly amazing way. Breathless is about unexpected events in our lives that change us and make ud what we never imagined ourselves to be. Like the quote I posted a few days ago... Defining moment: that moment when life suddenly changes and you’re left picking up the pieces. She says it’s actually how you pick up the pieces that defines you. Claude Henry, always the person who had her life sorted out. And suddenly everything changed for her when her parents decided to separate. She had to leave her hometown and ditch a road trip with her bestfriend as her mother needed her to live on an 'island' with her for the rest of summer. 'The island' has a mass of stories about women ( who were apparently Claude Henry's ancestors ) leading their brave and mysterious lives. And if I have not mentioned it before, this book screams FEMINISM in every chapter. It is obvious because topics like female virginity, sex and pleasures are mostly covered under feminism. And Jennifer Niven has talked about it in every beautiful way. When Claude thought that her life will not be same again and she will never be the same person again, she changed, for better. She came out of her comfort zone and for her mother and embraced the changes ( with great difficulties ) within her and her life. All through which Jeremiah Crew ( my barefooted hero ) helped her and saved her from herself. He had suffered what she was suffering and he knew what it was like, how people end up damaging themselves. Sometimes you do things just to make it worse. Back when I was thirteen and life was at its absolute shittiest, I wanted something to numb the pain and I found it. It worked for a little while, but the problem is, you want more, you need more, and before you know it, you can’t feel anything.” He stares down at his hands. “But you know what I finally figured out?” He looks up at the fire again. “You have to feel it. You have to feel it even if you think it’s going to kill you.” He made Claude open up to him. Listened to her when she needed to be heard. And maybe it’s this strange, magical night or the way his voice has gone soft or the flash of his smile in the dark or his bare feet, but for whatever reason, I do something I haven’t done in weeks. I open my mouth and talk. I tell him without editing. And he listens. And listens. He was basically the person we all need. The person we all should become. We never no what anyone is going through. It was like an epiphany. Imagine what a beautiful world it would be if we all can accept our pasts, heartbreaks and the person we used to be?? And move on, become a better person, someone who can love as if their heart has never been broken. It started with Zelda Fitzgerald quotation in epigraph; my love forBreathless. And suddenly it was everything I love, a feminist who is an aspiring writer, surprising turn of events, beautiful characters and a great writing style. What more a heart wants?? Except that it had more than that. Words like right nows and almostness. And quotes like... Little remnants of love scattered everywhere. People picking through, collecting the strongest, biggest pieces, and trying to make something of them again. Isn’t this what we do every time we meet someone new or fall for someone new or start loving someone new? Pick up the old battered bits of ourselves and try again? “Where do you think love goes when people stop loving you? Do you think there’s, like, a junkyard where all the lost and discarded love is collected?” I open my palm and arrange the teeth in the shape of a heart. “Where love goes to die?” “Yeah, or waits to be recycled.” “Recycled love. Now, that’s something to think about. I don’t know. Maybe it’s even stronger because it’s forged from all these different types of love, all the parts that survived.” And again matters like suicide, heartbreak, trust issues, anxiety and depression are explained with such complex and amazing style. They felt relatable, so relatable that I had to shut the book and because it felt like my own story and my eyes itched with curious tears. Saying that Breathless is all about sex and virginity will be disheartening, though it was a part of it. An important part actually; writing of first sex for young adults must have been a tough part. It was measured but at the same time not-so-measured. I have so much more to say, however I should end it here like Claude would have, "I loved this book more than rainbows, my crescent-shaped scar and sunflowers." Buddy read it with Aahana. She is just so sweet!! <3 Looking forward to read more books with her. :D Aahana's review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    Worst 2020 book cover award goes to...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    This is my first book by Jennifer Niven and having picked it up on a whim, I'm so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It's filled with raw, messy character figuring out life and all the hardships, changes and challenges that come with it. It's about grief and first love and family and heartbreak. I instantly warmed to the cast of imperfect but loveable characters and the multiple complex and individual relationships between them. The plot was endearing, heartfelt, honest and the settin This is my first book by Jennifer Niven and having picked it up on a whim, I'm so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It's filled with raw, messy character figuring out life and all the hardships, changes and challenges that come with it. It's about grief and first love and family and heartbreak. I instantly warmed to the cast of imperfect but loveable characters and the multiple complex and individual relationships between them. The plot was endearing, heartfelt, honest and the setting was wonderfully immersive and added everything I'd hoped it would to this remote island/small town story. The discussions surrounding sex and virginity was overall pretty great in its feminist message and clearly tried to be inclusive towards non-hetero relationships which, for the most part it was. However, there was unfortunately quite a few moments of, (I'm sure unintentional but never the less present) asexual erasure but honestly? I think that was my only qualm with this book. Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable, warm, honest and easy read and one I'm so glad I decided to pick up. (Also the audiobook narration is fab.) TW: discussion of suicide

  12. 5 out of 5

    Léa

    Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review. After adoring Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Places as a teenager, I was hoping to love Breathless... but I wasn't too sure how I would feel reading it as an adult. I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed Claudine's character and her flaws. The complexity of her family is something I'm sure many readers can relate too and she dealt with the theme of divorce so delicately. I also loved the discussion of virgini Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review. After adoring Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Places as a teenager, I was hoping to love Breathless... but I wasn't too sure how I would feel reading it as an adult. I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed Claudine's character and her flaws. The complexity of her family is something I'm sure many readers can relate too and she dealt with the theme of divorce so delicately. I also loved the discussion of virginity and how it is a social construct and ideas around 'your first time.' However, I wish we saw more of the relationship between Claudine and her mum, as well as the friends Claudine made on the island. I would have loved this book a lot more reading this as a teenager and my age definitely influenced my disconnect to the story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leighellen Landskov

    “Here is where I began.” Oh my goodness. This book, you guys!! It gave me all the tears! And made me feel all the heartache I remembered feeling during the summers I spent on Cape Cod as a teen. Jennifer Niven so perfectly captured the turmoil, hope, and beauty of life at 18 during that “in between” summer when you graduate from High School and before heading off to college. All of the unknowns, all the sadness of the endings and the anticipation of what’s next. “Is this a defining moment for me “Here is where I began.” Oh my goodness. This book, you guys!! It gave me all the tears! And made me feel all the heartache I remembered feeling during the summers I spent on Cape Cod as a teen. Jennifer Niven so perfectly captured the turmoil, hope, and beauty of life at 18 during that “in between” summer when you graduate from High School and before heading off to college. All of the unknowns, all the sadness of the endings and the anticipation of what’s next. “Is this a defining moment for me? And if so, what will I do with all these pieces?” This is a compulsively readable story of a young woman ready to write her own narrative. It follows 18 year old Claudine Henry as she’s preparing for high school graduation and trying to decide if she’s ready to lose her virginity, maybe with her boyfriend or maybe with the boy she’s had a crush on forever…only to find out her incredibly happy parents who never fight are separating. Her best friend has a new love interest and her mom is whisking her away to a remote, mosquito-infested island off the coast of Georgia. Basically her life is a hot mess. “What makes someone stop loving you? One day there’s love; the next day there’s not. Where does it go? Something that lived and breathed like that - how can it just vanish as if it never really existed?” 
 As she struggles with the realization that her life isn’t what she expected it to be and what does that mean for her future, she also tries to figure out her new relationship with her parents. What does it means to know her parents lied to her? Does that mean they don’t love her anymore? “Where do you think love goes when people stop loving you? Do you think there’s like a junkyard where all the lost and discarded love is collected?” But then Jeremiah Crew happens. She meets “Miah” when she arrives on the island. He is a local trail guide with a passion for photography and a past he doesn't talk about. He's brash and mysterious and so perfectly what she needs at the time. Her practical brain tells her there’s not enough time to fall in love but maybe she is ready to reinvent herself. Maybe she can give herself to him and not become attached. “Love complicates everything. It makes you hurt and it makes you doubt and it makes you wish you didn’t love. It makes you want to be watchful so that nothing bad or surprising ever happens. It makes you never want to love anyone again because they’ll only hurt you. ” Instead of running away, she allows herself to press into her feelings. The two spend time over the next 4 weeks of summer getting to know each other, hiking, biking, swimming…and yes, exploring their bodies together. They decide to be honest with each other, but what happens when summer ends? “This is the closest I will ever come to having someone see me for me. The me I really am and all that me encompasses. The things that I like about myself and the things that I don’t.” I loved this book so much. I almost DNF’d in the beginning due to the brash nature of the high school kids and the blunt sex talk in the lunch room. If that stuff bothers you, I encourage you to push through. Once Claude is on the island, the book settles into a more natural, thoughtful rhythm as we see the inner turmoil and dialogue of what Claude wants for herself and why. There’s also an incredible historical side story about Claude's ancestors on the island, as well as Miah’s love of nature and photography that add depth and connection. This one left me breathless and plenty of tears were shed in the end. Jennifer Nivel did a fantastic job capturing the hopeless yet hope filled moments of wonder in adolescence. “Use your voice. Let others in. Choose your future. Choose your body. Choose yourself.” Thank you to @knopfteen and @storygramtours for sending me a copy of the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dayla

    I received a copy via the publisher. I will be doing an instalive interview with Jennifer Niven over on the Indigo Instagram page on Oct 1st at 7pm EST! Give me a hot second while I wipe away the tears from my eyes. I made the decision to listen to a song that was at the heart of this book while I read the last page and a half, and it felt so incredibly fitting. Claudine is having a really rough summer. I think what made this so great for me was how her character was just a teen girl trying to fi I received a copy via the publisher. I will be doing an instalive interview with Jennifer Niven over on the Indigo Instagram page on Oct 1st at 7pm EST! Give me a hot second while I wipe away the tears from my eyes. I made the decision to listen to a song that was at the heart of this book while I read the last page and a half, and it felt so incredibly fitting. Claudine is having a really rough summer. I think what made this so great for me was how her character was just a teen girl trying to figure out her place in her new reality. Was she rash? Judgmental? Sometimes self-important about her suffering? Of course! She’s a teenage girl who, as mentioned in the book, had the floor she once stood on taken right out from under her. None of us can say that we would act completely ourselves if something like that happened to us. Our experiences change us and it is in these changing moments that we sometimes face the worst parts of ourselves before we can find the best. She is writing her life story, even if it’s rocky at first. Also, I want to emphasize that this is an honest book for OLDER teens. This explores sexuality in various forms. This also explores the way in which we all differ from each other, but sometimes are so similar at our core. I think this was a beautifully written book about what it means to grow up, and how no matter how hard we try, we can never be perfect. As Claudine’s mom said when Claude told her she was perfect, “[...] No one is, thank God. Otherwise what a boring world this would be.” Happy reading!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Abbie

    As hard as it is, I've had to come to terms with the fact I am probably not the targeted audience for this one (somehow I turn 25 in December, even though I'm pretty sure last time I looked I was turning 18?), however, that didn't take away from my reading experience of this one. Claude is left blindsided when her Dad announces that he is leaving and that her parents are getting divorced. Claude and her mother decide to spend summer on a remote island. She's devastated to be leaving her friends b As hard as it is, I've had to come to terms with the fact I am probably not the targeted audience for this one (somehow I turn 25 in December, even though I'm pretty sure last time I looked I was turning 18?), however, that didn't take away from my reading experience of this one. Claude is left blindsided when her Dad announces that he is leaving and that her parents are getting divorced. Claude and her mother decide to spend summer on a remote island. She's devastated to be leaving her friends behind and is in a state of despair. That is, until she meets the mysterious Jeremiah. They're drawn to each other, as things start to accelerate, they promise each other this is just a summer fling. But what if that isn't enough? In the acknowledgments Niven mentions this is the book she needed at 18, and I can't put it any better myself. This is passionate, raw and an honest insight in to first loves. It really portrayed the constant overthinking and self doubt as you enter a relationship. I loved Claude and Jeremiah, they were complex in their own ways, but felt authentic. Also, big applause for consent being discussed in this! I feel like it is often overlooked in YA. The separation and divorce element in this was also well done. I really felt for Claude as she came to terms with her emotions. I also loved how the ending was everything I wanted but also everything I didn't want (it's hard to explain!). I even shed a tear or two.. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Penguin for providing me with a copy to read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tilly

    2 stars TW: Talk of multiple suicides, drowning, parental separation, worrying negative behaviour, use of alcohol as a crutch, sex talk and sex scenes. I went into this book SO excited and with a great start filled with feminism and open positive talk about sex, I thought this may be a new great YA book. I was unfortunately completely let down. I have enjoyed Jennifer Niven's books in the past but for me, this book was a bit of a mess. If I could sum up this book in three words it would be pretent 2 stars TW: Talk of multiple suicides, drowning, parental separation, worrying negative behaviour, use of alcohol as a crutch, sex talk and sex scenes. I went into this book SO excited and with a great start filled with feminism and open positive talk about sex, I thought this may be a new great YA book. I was unfortunately completely let down. I have enjoyed Jennifer Niven's books in the past but for me, this book was a bit of a mess. If I could sum up this book in three words it would be pretentious, confused and lacking. Breathless is about an 18 year old girl called Claude and her mum who after her Dad's decision to separate with the mum are for some reason shipped off to a random island. The mum HAS to have Claude there, ruining all her summer plans with her best friend but then barely spends time with her daughter when they are there and is constantly researching a new book. Claude meets a guy called Miah and the story begins. I won't be giving away any spoilers but here are my general thoughts. The characters seem way too self important. Claude is incredibly selfish. Both Claude and Miah have obvious issues that they bond over and become the basis for their romance. I found it really unhealthy. Claude displays a lot of very worrying emotions and actions which noone picks up on and they seem to be glamourised rather than called out as wrong. I found both characters to be rather pretentious and constantly talking a load of hot air. The storyline was questionable. Even once I got over the reasons leading them to be on this island, the major plot lines seemed to end up nowhere and the ending was an absolute cop out and incredibly disappointing. I didn't see why so much time and effort went into the background of Claude's ancestors as it simply didn't lead anywhere. I could have gotten over alot of my grievances if the ending had been better. What I did enjoy is the island. The wildlife and nature sounded incredible and I got a real sense of being there and immersed in the sounds of nature, the smell of the ocean and the feel of muggy heat. The writing was also decent which helped with the overall atmosphere. This obviously wasn't for me and personally I don't think this is YA book as it talks ALOT about sex and so should be a 16+ book. I am hugely disappointed and sadly won't be recommending it. Please note that I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kerran Olson

    3.5* A cute 'summer romance' read. I have to accept that I about ten tears off the target audience for this book, and I'm feeling it. Claude is just SO dramatic and sex-obsessed that I found her hard to connect to, and I feel that she acted quite young for 18. But, I guess she was quite sheltered and naive and her parents seperation kind of hit her out of nowhere, and I did like her a bit more once she stopped pouting around so much. Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I would have liked more frie 3.5* A cute 'summer romance' read. I have to accept that I about ten tears off the target audience for this book, and I'm feeling it. Claude is just SO dramatic and sex-obsessed that I found her hard to connect to, and I feel that she acted quite young for 18. But, I guess she was quite sheltered and naive and her parents seperation kind of hit her out of nowhere, and I did like her a bit more once she stopped pouting around so much. Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I would have liked more friendships to be explored, as well as the mother-daughter relationship. I feel like Niven has put a lot of her own experiences and emotions into this book, but for me it doesn't translate that well to someone who hasn't had those experiences, and left me wanting a bit more substance. Good, but I don't think this will be a very memorable book for me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Rein

    I’m not sure how I feel about Breathless by Jennifer Niven. Let me start by saying a major theme in this book is sex and virginity. As a YA book, I enjoyed it and it was honest and real. Teens need a book like this!! As a teacher, I don’t think I’d use this book as a book club book. Students can talk about the book with each other, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about some of it with my students. They have their lives and I have mine. I’m a little disappointed in this book as a Jennifer I’m not sure how I feel about Breathless by Jennifer Niven. Let me start by saying a major theme in this book is sex and virginity. As a YA book, I enjoyed it and it was honest and real. Teens need a book like this!! As a teacher, I don’t think I’d use this book as a book club book. Students can talk about the book with each other, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about some of it with my students. They have their lives and I have mine. I’m a little disappointed in this book as a Jennifer Niven book. She does start the book by saying how personal it is to her and why she wrote it. All the Bright Places gutted me, and this read more like a Sarah Dessen book, and I love Sarah Dessen. They just aren’t soul crushing like I am sometimes looking for. The main character Claude has the floor ripped out from under her, as she states it, but as a reader I didn’t get the floor pulled out from under me like I wanted it to. Claude is visiting an island off the coast of GA with her mother after her father tells her that he’s separating from her mother, “he isn’t ready for a family anymore.” Claude is just graduating HS and planning a summer road trip with her best friend Saz and really likes a boy named Wyatt. She has all these grand plans before college and now everything has changed. On the island she meets Jerimiah Crew, not to be called J. Crew, a handsome shoeless boy who quickly steals her heart, mind, and virginity. Claudia has to figure out who she is now and who she wants to be after this summer. The days are counting down until the summer ends and Claude goes to school in NY, Saz goes to school in Chicago, and Jerimiah, also goes by Micha, is vague at first on where he will end up next. For fans of Sarah Dessen 7/10

  19. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Meagher

    The ending was.... entirely anticlimactic. I really love Jennifer Nivea’s books. Or at least I loved all the bright places. Her books are hard to categorize because while they are young adult fiction there are many more themes that I relate to. I think the word I have to use for her books is nostalgic-like I wish I had them when I was actually in high school because they’re bringing up feelings I never realized I had. But maybe I’m just headless because I can’t bring myself to care about romance The ending was.... entirely anticlimactic. I really love Jennifer Nivea’s books. Or at least I loved all the bright places. Her books are hard to categorize because while they are young adult fiction there are many more themes that I relate to. I think the word I have to use for her books is nostalgic-like I wish I had them when I was actually in high school because they’re bringing up feelings I never realized I had. But maybe I’m just headless because I can’t bring myself to care about romance novels, and that could be because I’ve only had failed relationships but I wanted more of the setting and her than I did about Claude being obsessed with sex. Maybe it’s because I don’t like sex that I couldn’t relate to that either. But when Niven slows down and explores the tougher subjects it’s actually quite enlightening-even though I didn’t especially like the main character I still highlighted more in this book than I normally do which says something. So mostly I am just conflicted about how I feel about this book. Thanks to the publisher for an early copy of the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    AF

    This book was a whole bag of mixed emotions. I found the main character to be infuriating but very real. I thought the romance was beautiful but heartbreaking. I wanted to know what was going to happen, so I didn't put it down, but now I miss them. I felt like they all seemed to be very mature - I don't know if I have had open conversations like that with anyone, but it wasn't unbelievable; it just made me want to find that. And that end! Ugh, it was unexpected but utterly perfect. See what I'm This book was a whole bag of mixed emotions. I found the main character to be infuriating but very real. I thought the romance was beautiful but heartbreaking. I wanted to know what was going to happen, so I didn't put it down, but now I miss them. I felt like they all seemed to be very mature - I don't know if I have had open conversations like that with anyone, but it wasn't unbelievable; it just made me want to find that. And that end! Ugh, it was unexpected but utterly perfect. See what I'm saying! Mixed emotions. And maybe that is the sign of a truly good book. I think that fans of Jennifer Niven's books will find what they are looking for in this book. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this one early!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    My heart! Jennifer Niven has done it again. Breathless is a novel that you read and read, unable to put it down. It feels like a warm summer day, and love, and sunshine. Claude and her mother leave Ohio for an island off the coast of Georgia. Claude meets Jeremiah Crew, and her world changes for the better. Claude and Miah create a beautiful world together. They are a lovely couple. I read this in a hurry to see how it ended, then went back to re-read all the lines I loved. Thank you to the publ My heart! Jennifer Niven has done it again. Breathless is a novel that you read and read, unable to put it down. It feels like a warm summer day, and love, and sunshine. Claude and her mother leave Ohio for an island off the coast of Georgia. Claude meets Jeremiah Crew, and her world changes for the better. Claude and Miah create a beautiful world together. They are a lovely couple. I read this in a hurry to see how it ended, then went back to re-read all the lines I loved. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to be an early reader. (This will make a perfect movie.)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Courtney (courtneyandherbooks)

    Breathless is about Claude, a girl who goes to live on a remote island for the summer after her parents separate. Her life feels like it is shattering, especially as this was going to be the last summer with her best friend, Saz. On the island, she meets Jeremiah and from there the summer begins... I enjoyed this one. It was a nice romance to read about, although I really wish we got more about Miah than we were given. I don't think the book went deep enough and so my investment in the relationsh Breathless is about Claude, a girl who goes to live on a remote island for the summer after her parents separate. Her life feels like it is shattering, especially as this was going to be the last summer with her best friend, Saz. On the island, she meets Jeremiah and from there the summer begins... I enjoyed this one. It was a nice romance to read about, although I really wish we got more about Miah than we were given. I don't think the book went deep enough and so my investment in the relationship was mostly there, but not wholehearted. I felt as though a little bit was missing. Another thing I wish I got more of was the friendship between Saz and Claude as at the start of the book it sets it up to be a big thing, but she really doesn't feature nearly enough! What I did really enjoy was the setting of the island and the way it was inherently disconnected. We got to focus on adventure and the important things which made a nice change. I think this book dealt really well with the topics of sex and virginity. The way things were discussed and handled was appropriate and that's important in a young adult novel so massive props to Niven for that. Following on from that, I believe this is a bit older than YA due to the amounts of sex and some detail present in the novel and the age of the characters being 18. So, good for 16+ I would say, but a mature 14-15 year old could also read it and take in the themes well. Having said that, please no electric toothbrush please it isn't safe Thank you to Penguin NZ and NetGalley for the eARC copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own

  23. 4 out of 5

    Blue

    Want to see more... Bookstagram Website Thank you Penguin Random House for this book in exchange for an honest review After reading All the Bright Places I knew that Breathless would be just as amazing! Whilst Breathless doesn’t have the emotional pull that All the Bright Paces does, it is still a wonderful story that anyone will enjoy. Claude lives with her divorced mum who decided that they a summer vacation and head to a remote island. You read the heartache and the raw emotion around Claude’s Want to see more... Bookstagram Website Thank you Penguin Random House for this book in exchange for an honest review After reading All the Bright Places I knew that Breathless would be just as amazing! Whilst Breathless doesn’t have the emotional pull that All the Bright Paces does, it is still a wonderful story that anyone will enjoy. Claude lives with her divorced mum who decided that they a summer vacation and head to a remote island. You read the heartache and the raw emotion around Claude’s broken life, with the loss of friends, the struggle to fit in and now this remote island that doesn’t have any wifi. Whilst on the secluded island, Claude comes across Jeremiah and that’s where the love aspect of the book comes to play. Niven perfectly captures that teenager attitude with the roughness of life. I have to admit that all the characters were really likeable, but I felt that there could have been more to Jeremiah, it was as though we only got a snippet of his character. Overall, it was a cute romcom contemporary that is a light-hearted yet raw read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Baylee Klingler

    4.5 ⭐️ I had really high expectations for this book because All the Bright Places is one of my favorites of all time. This book didn’t disappoint. She described things so well I felt like I was on the island. I fell in love with the characters and felt like I was living in Claude’s head. I wish the ending told a little more, but I loved it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fiona Mackie

    E-Arc received from Penguin New Zealand. Review to follow, but be prepared to be utterly overtaken by this incredibly personal book - it left me in tears.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura Mitchell Hutchinson

    I loved this book more than oreos and cinemas and sunsets. This is the story I needed at 18 years old, and I think I benefited just as much at 26! Such a beautiful book, I really felt like I was on an island, re-living that awkward yet magical few months between graduation from high school and Whatever Comes Next. 4.5 stars from me. The only reason I had to deduct half a star from the otherwise flawless rating is that the main love interest... doesn't wear shoes! I get that he's all fancy-free but I loved this book more than oreos and cinemas and sunsets. This is the story I needed at 18 years old, and I think I benefited just as much at 26! Such a beautiful book, I really felt like I was on an island, re-living that awkward yet magical few months between graduation from high school and Whatever Comes Next. 4.5 stars from me. The only reason I had to deduct half a star from the otherwise flawless rating is that the main love interest... doesn't wear shoes! I get that he's all fancy-free but I am not a fan of feet and it creeped me out, held me back from truly loving Jeremiah Crew. So petty of me, I know, but that's the honest truth! Haha. I want to gift this to my bestie – my own Saz! – who was there for me in my own Jeremiah-and-Claude moments, as well as anyone I know who is currently in that 17–22yo bubble of wonder and chaos.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ayesha

    Rating:- 4.5 stars to be more specific ( can be turned 5 any time in future ). Guess who can make you long for a weird island with beautiful stories, which does not exist?? Her Gorgeousness, Jennifer Niven and our ( her and mine ) all time favourite Harry Styles!!! Umm...Does anyone ever longed for the island named Eroda?? Just me?? Okay. Jennifer Niven did that to me again, made me feel everything all at once. It was awful in a weirdly amazing way. Breathless is about unexpected events in our Rating:- 4.5 stars to be more specific ( can be turned 5 any time in future ). Guess who can make you long for a weird island with beautiful stories, which does not exist?? Her Gorgeousness, Jennifer Niven and our ( her and mine ) all time favourite Harry Styles!!! Umm...Does anyone ever longed for the island named Eroda?? Just me?? Okay. Jennifer Niven did that to me again, made me feel everything all at once. It was awful in a weirdly amazing way. Breathless is about unexpected events in our lives that change us and make ud what we never imagined ourselves to be. Like the quote I posted a few days ago... Defining moment: that moment when life suddenly changes and you’re left picking up the pieces. She says it’s actually how you pick up the pieces that defines you. Claude Henry, always the person who had her life sorted out. And suddenly everything changed for her when her parents decided to separate. She had to leave her hometown and ditch a road trip with her bestfriend as her mother needed her to live on an 'island' with her for the rest of summer. 'The island' has a mass of stories about women ( who were apparently Claude Henry's ancestors ) leading their brave and mysterious lives. And if I have not mentioned it before, this book screams FEMINISM in every chapter. It is obvious because topics like female virginity, sex and pleasures are mostly covered under feminism. And Jennifer Niven has talked about it in every beautiful way. When Claude thought that her life will not be same again and she will never be the same person again, she changed, for better. She came out of her comfort zone and for her mother and embraced the changes ( with great difficulties ) within her and her life. All through which Jeremiah Crew ( my barefooted hero ) helped her and saved her from herself. He had suffered what she was suffering and he knew what it was like, how people end up damaging themselves. Sometimes you do things just to make it worse. Back when I was thirteen and life was at its absolute shittiest, I wanted something to numb the pain and I found it. It worked for a little while, but the problem is, you want more, you need more, and before you know it, you can’t feel anything.” He stares down at his hands. “But you know what I finally figured out?” He looks up at the fire again. “You have to feel it. You have to feel it even if you think it’s going to kill you.” He made Claude open up to him. Listened to her when she needed to be heard. And maybe it’s this strange, magical night or the way his voice has gone soft or the flash of his smile in the dark or his bare feet, but for whatever reason, I do something I haven’t done in weeks. I open my mouth and talk. I tell him without editing. And he listens. And listens. He was basically the person we all need. The person we all should become. We never no what anyone is going through. It was like an epiphany. Imagine what a beautiful world it would be if we all can accept our pasts, heartbreaks and the person we used to be?? And move on, become a better person, someone who can love as if their heart has never been broken. It started with Zelda Fitzgerald quotation in epigraph; my love forBreathless. And suddenly it was everything I love, a feminist who is an aspiring writer, surprising turn of events, beautiful characters and a great writing style. What more a heart wants?? Except that it had more than that. Words like right nows and almostness. And quotes like... Little remnants of love scattered everywhere. People picking through, collecting the strongest, biggest pieces, and trying to make something of them again. Isn’t this what we do every time we meet someone new or fall for someone new or start loving someone new? Pick up the old battered bits of ourselves and try again? “Where do you think love goes when people stop loving you? Do you think there’s, like, a junkyard where all the lost and discarded love is collected?” I open my palm and arrange the teeth in the shape of a heart. “Where love goes to die?” “Yeah, or waits to be recycled.” “Recycled love. Now, that’s something to think about. I don’t know. Maybe it’s even stronger because it’s forged from all these different types of love, all the parts that survived.” And again matters like suicide, heartbreak, trust issues, anxiety and depression are explained with such complex and amazing style. They felt relatable, so relatable that I had to shut the book and because it felt like my own story and my eyes itched with curious tears. Saying that Breathless is all about sex and virginity will be disheartening, though it was a part of it. An important part actually; writing of first sex for young adults must have been a tough part. It was measured but at the same time not-so-measured. I have so much more to say, however I should end it here like Claude would have, "I loved this book more than rainbows, my crescent-shaped scar and sunflowers." Buddy read it with Aahana. She is just so sweet!! <3 Looking forward to read more books with her. :D Aahana's review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Davies

    * Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin for gifting me an advanced reader copy in exchange for this review Breathless is a slow simmer of a book - it's like the first moments of summer break where you've got weeks of endless time stretching out in front of you, it's like the sea dropping off into the horizon, or the endless hours of sunlight before nightfall. It becomes the sudden flurry of activity and the scramble to do things before normalcy returns, and the change in pace is so subtle it's like a r * Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin for gifting me an advanced reader copy in exchange for this review Breathless is a slow simmer of a book - it's like the first moments of summer break where you've got weeks of endless time stretching out in front of you, it's like the sea dropping off into the horizon, or the endless hours of sunlight before nightfall. It becomes the sudden flurry of activity and the scramble to do things before normalcy returns, and the change in pace is so subtle it's like a ripple in the water. We follow Claudine - Claude - who's family dynamic has shifted by her parents' impending separation, who spends the summer in a remote island in Georgia with her mum. Having just graduated, this summer was meant to be about one final adventure with her best friend before starting college in different states, instead she spends her time in a far-off disconnected place - both figuratively and literally. The book really tackles the emotions Claude feels, especially when hearing about change, she says it's as though the floor has be taken out from underneath her. This is is quite fitting considering this becomes her summer of change, but not in the way she expected. I compulsively sunk into the descriptions of the weeks spent languidly on the island, her routine, and the people who Claude now orbits in this strange in-between phase. As she's cut off from everything she's familiar with, she becomes more open to the possibility of new experiences. There's a solace to be found in the bug-infested heat, and a calm to be found in the turtle breeding grounds, and an excitement to a tepid summer romance with a boy, Miah. As you know there's an expiry date on the pair, it makes the descriptions of their budding, blossoming feelings to be raw and heartbreaking from the very offset. It's like there's a melancholy taint, like floating in the sea - it's calm at first, but soon a wave comes to disturb that peace. The main themes of sexuality and virginity are tackled well - and the descriptions are not far apart from those of the warm summer days and the hazy heat. There's no earth-shattering moment, there's no hyped up fantastical element to the concept of virginity and it's certainly not a ritualised moment like in other YA fiction. Instead we see it through Claude and her inherent disconnection from the world and society not only in her literal location, but in that it's just a societal construct. She can choose having sex for the first time to define her if she wants to, just like how she can let her summer on the island define and change her if she'd like it to. Reading this story is bittersweet, especially with all that Claude endures from first-love, self-discovery and struggling to make friendships go the distance, it really struck a cord with me. This is a poignant story, and one who's moments I savoured as I knew all too soon they were going to end, yet I couldn't stop myself from reading just a few pages more. This book had me feeling nostalgic - it feels like the kind of book I'd read on my own summers away from school or during university, and it had the same cosiness and 'sink-in' moment I associate with summer romance films like The Last Song and Safe Haven. It's emotional, and heartfelt and a modern take on female sexuality, growth and adulthood. This coming-of-age story is unlike anything I've read in a long while, which I think is part of its charm. Certainly Niven's best piece of work

  29. 5 out of 5

    Leona

    "Sometimes things end, even if you don't want them to..." This is how I felt about this book. I love it more than words and it's one of the best books I've read, ever! I've never highlighted so many passages in a book before. I feel like I was meant to read this book, that somehow the universe knew I needed it. I only started NetGalley a few weeks ago and this popped up. I loved All the Bright Places but I didn't expect to get approved for this review. When I finished I was a mess. Emotionally and "Sometimes things end, even if you don't want them to..." This is how I felt about this book. I love it more than words and it's one of the best books I've read, ever! I've never highlighted so many passages in a book before. I feel like I was meant to read this book, that somehow the universe knew I needed it. I only started NetGalley a few weeks ago and this popped up. I loved All the Bright Places but I didn't expect to get approved for this review. When I finished I was a mess. Emotionally and literally - with tears, snot and body-wracking sobs. My heart was sore; it's still sore. I've even pre-ordered my own copy because I need this book on my shelf. As Claude graduates high school she finds her world is suddenly turned upside down and the floor has been yanked from beneath her. She's feeling lost and ready to just spend the summer coasting on a remote island with her Mum. What she doesn't plan for is Jeremiah Crew, a boy that will make her reevaluate and face her problem whilst also teaching her how to fall in love with life again. A fantastic five-star read that's so very relatable. I love how much this book means personally to Jennifer, as she explains in the acknowledgements, and reading that made me ball all the more. It touches on many relatable issues, such as virginity, sexuality, divorce, adultery and choice. It doesn't portray the characters as perfect but instead as human - mistakes and all. I'd recommend this for young adults, new adults and even us older readers. We can all find something in this book for ourselves. For me it was a nostalgia, so effortlessly brought to life by Jennifer's favoulous writing style. Memorable Quotes: > Here we laughed. Here we fought. Here we loved and dreamed. > I'm going to kiss you right now because I've been thinking about kissing you all morning. > Hemingway once said, "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know." > I will decide my life. No more waiting for other people to decide things for me. I'm writing it right now. > Not talking with you when both of us are here, under this sky, is better than talking with anyone else about anything. > I've got a few more things to do and then I'll come find you.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    BREATHLESS is a book about change, secrets, and the aftermath. Claudine (Claude) is about to graduate high school, and she knows her life will change with college, in no small part because she will be far away from her BFF who she relies on for emotional support. Then, her parents tell her they are getting a divorce, and suddenly Claude is reeling from it all. To make things worse, her parents ask her to keep it a secret and her mother takes her to a small island off the coast of Georgia to get BREATHLESS is a book about change, secrets, and the aftermath. Claudine (Claude) is about to graduate high school, and she knows her life will change with college, in no small part because she will be far away from her BFF who she relies on for emotional support. Then, her parents tell her they are getting a divorce, and suddenly Claude is reeling from it all. To make things worse, her parents ask her to keep it a secret and her mother takes her to a small island off the coast of Georgia to get away. Claude is still finding her footing in this world where her father does not want to be married to her mother, and it seems to her as if he is rejecting them both. She also finds out her BFF has been keeping a secret about a relationship that also has Claude second guessing. She desperately needs to talk about the things going on in her life, but she lacks the space and safety to do so. This book largely takes place introspectively, and I liked going deep into Claude's mind. Many of the scenarios she finds herself in will resonate with YA readers. The things her parents say and the way that Claude feels are at odds, and the changes that seem to permeate her life have her feeling uncertain. She felt very genuine and real, and her problems are not unusual. There are also themes around virginity that were interesting and presented throughout as an undercurrent. Claude is able to make the best of her situation and overall approaches her parents and friends with love that will resonate with readers. It is not always an easy read, and the beginning moves slowly. The book is quite introspective and mainly captures Claude's thinking and interpretations of her experiences. The summer romance felt to me like a smaller piece compared to Claude's mental anguish, later leading to acceptance of change and space to feel what she feels. As such, this will resonate with an older YA contemporary audience. Would recommend for people looking for a deeper character study of a young woman who is flawed but genuine. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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