Series: Yes, #1
UK Publisher: Bloomsbury
UK Release date: 11th October 2012
Kindly given by the publisher for an honest review
Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . . The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air. And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to? (Goodreads)
Oxygen and breathing is something we take completely for granted despite how essential it is to our survival. In Breathe, oxygen is a luxury only the rich Premiums can afford. The poor have their lives' controlled by the amount of oxygen they use, and for them energetic lovemaking and exercise isn't something they can enjoy freely. Their world within the Pod seems so barren, without trees or greenery, and with so many restrictions on how they can live. But the reality of a world where trees have been cut down and oxygen levels have been depleted doesn't seem that far-fetched, which makes the Pod seem scarily realistic and all too possible. I almost wish everyone would read this, so that they can start appreciating nature a little bit more and the vital role trees play in our lives.
In Breathe, the story is told from the perspective of Alina, Bea and Quinn. Each has a very different background and belief system. Quinn for example is a premium and used to have a life of luxury with as much oxygen as he wants. I often found him to be childish and naive, which is probably normal for someone of his upbringing. It was only towards the end that he started to show some real backbone and gain a bit of favour with me. However the two girls really stood out for me. Although Bea was more quiet, reserved and obedient, like would be expected of an auxiliary, I really liked her. She had strenth and courage when it was needed, but she was also caring and compassionate. And because I liked Bea, I was automatically hesitant to like Alina because she was unwittingly a rival for Quinn's attention and affections. At first glance she seemed very forthright, passionate, brave and a little dangerous. But as I started reading from her perspective, I saw her in a totally different light. She would sometimes put on a brave face and a bit of a front to create a certain image, so it was really interesting to hear her thoughts and see the real her.
The plot is packed with fast paced scenes, tension, and nervous energy, especially when Alina, Bea and Quinn are in the wastelands and facing a whole host of dangers from a lack of oxygen to drifters. There were some unexpected moments I had expected the Hub to be some idyllic place, filled with hippy types. But as the home to the resistance, they could be ruthless and cruel too especially their leader and her strange rather creepy pet. But their ideals were very honourable - if I was Alina or Bea I would be right behind saving and growing trees.
Breathe is dystopian with a scarily real feel to it. This could be our future.
Here is the trailer for Breathe: