Thursday, July 9, 2015

Breathe by Elena Dillon

Breathe by Elena Dillon

First in the Breathe series

2 stars

Jasmine used to live a normal life. Two years ago everything changed when her sister, Daisy, was kidnapped and brutally murdered. To find normalcy her mom has decided that uprooting from California to another place would be best for both Jasmine and the twins. Jasmine couldn’t agree more and picks out the town of Lafayette, Louisiana to be their new home. Everything seems to be working out for Jasmine in Lafayette. People don’t know she’s the sister of the murdered girl on TV, she’s making friends, and there’s even a charming Southern boy interested in her. Until the man who killed Daisy starts leaving behind evidence that he’s found them and Jasmine is next. The first thing Breathe made me do was pause upon reading the first sentence.
"Most days I can almost forget someone murdered my sister.”
This sentence is simple, but it completely grabbed my attention. It lead me to keep reading and I read 14% of the novel in one day, which is rare for me when reading on my Kindle (because I’m easily distracted).

The best thing about Breathe should be the fact that this is set in my home town.

This is incredibly rare. Louisiana is semi-popular in books, but to find one set in my town (even if it is one of the heavier populated cities) is a rarity. Naturally, that means that I’m going to be expecting this to be done right. There was an unrealistic representation of the setting, the accents, and the high school life. Yes I do have an accent, but I don’t talk like I’m completely uneducated with a thick accent. All people in Louisiana have an accent and some just have thicker dialects depending on the region. The misrepresentation of high school seems silly, but the thing that sets apart public schools in Louisiana to most states is mandatory school uniforms. I’m sorry, Jasmine but that outfit from Urban Outfitters is going to be worn on the weekend not for your first day of school. I think that a basic Google search was needed. Besides my problem with the accent misrepresentation, the dialect between characters was way too proper for teenagers. Just because I’m Southern doesn’t mean I don’t use the same slang terms and horribly stilted sentences that is common at the time. Southern people are not all swoon. Yes, the boys are gentlemen and girls are polite, but only because of upbringing. (This is a completely true fact, I went to Chicago and someone rolled their eyes at me for being polite.) Southern hospitality is true, but to an extent. Also you can be a sophomore on varsity in sports; it’s not a rare thing at all. This book also being set at the rival school also does not do it any favors. The writing is too formal. Everything reads like a formal conversation. The writing also had the tendency to peter off and become bland and not very entertaining.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 2.5

The main female character is Jasmine. I don’t hate Jasmine, but I definitely don’t like her. Her actions are stupid and she didn’t win me over while trying to keep she was a secret. Her being secretive wasn’t smart, it was stupid and annoying. So annoying.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2

The main male character is Easton. I never thought a Southern boy’s politeness could make me want to gag, but this guy’s did. He didn’t make swoon at all. I was constantly rolling my eyes at Easton’s attempts to win Jasmine over. He brought recommendation letters of his good character over to Jasmine’s mom.

NO ONE would do that, especially not in the South. That is something that would have people laughing at and would become the joke of the school for a little while. He also uses pet names (i.e. sugar). It’s like I’m supposed to hate him.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 1

The Villain- Lackluster. This villain should make me cringe because of his brutality. I should feel as uncomfortable as I do watching Criminal Minds, but instead I just kind of rolled my eyes at his shenanigans, which isn’t what you’re supposed to do when it comes to a stalking killer.

Villain Scale: 1

The characters are all annoying. Everyone from Jasmine’s friends made me cringe. I did like Easton’s family and Jasmine’s brother and sister, but they weren’t all that memorable. Although, I did enjoy Jasmine and her brother’s prank wars, that was fun to read about.

Character Scale: 3

I do like the plot of this book, though. It’s just hard to please me because it’s set in my home town. The plot is entertaining and I kept reading, but the story isn’t suspenseful enough for the genre. This is supposed to be a suspense novel, but halfway through it became a cliché teen romance with a looming secret. This book wasn’t bad, it was just unfulfilling. It had a lot of potential and as the story went it on it kind of lost its momentum.

Plotastic Scale: 2.25

Cover Thoughts: I don’t really like the cover. I mean it’s not horrible, but I don’t love it.

Thank you, Netgalley and Mark My Words Book Publicity, for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read this book? Do you plan to? What are books that you have read set in your hometown? Did you judge those a little bit harder because of that? Let me know down below in the comments!

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