Publisher: Heather Allen
Series: Just Breathe #1
Edition: eBook, 293 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranomal
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Ever Harding, an average teenager with a passion for swimming is about to turn eighteen. Out of the blue she has been dumped by her long time boyfriend, which is the ultimate of tragedies in her life. Little does she know that on that fated eighteenth birthday, she will have to make a choice that will change her life as she knows it, forever.
A month before her birthday, Ever meets Jack, a mysterious new boy with mesmerizing eyes. He affects her like no one else. This meeting sets things into a whirlwind she never would have dreamed. With Jack’s guidance she discovers a family line that leads her to the sea. She must make the ultimate choice, stay on land where life as she knows it, won’t change, or go and live in the sea as a mermaid with Jack.
Ultimately her choice sets into motion an even bigger decision, in which she has the fate of a race of people, in her hands. The people in the sea are in a feud, she will tip the balance. She must battle the ageless moral dilemma of prejudice and race. Once she comes to terms with her life changing choices, she must ask herself, did I make the right decisions? and Is Jack really who I think he is?
Just Breathe was an interesting premise with some unique ideas, however I was kind of disappointed in the overall execution. I’m starting to think that mermaid novels are right up there along side angel novels when it comes to just not working out for me. I really love the ideas but they are so rarely done in a way that satisfies me.
Ever has just been dumped and with the entirety of her senior year ahead of her she sees her future as bleak. Until she meets Jack, who turns her world upside down. Now faced with the revelation of being a mermaid she also faces the fact that an entire population now rests on her choice. Bits of the overall story are definitely not original but I feel like I could have forgiven the predictability if the unique portion had been more defined. I had a lot of issues with situations of convenience as well as oddly vague details. There was also the problem of info dumps in conversations…in some case slightly repetitive. I really wish I could have seen things in a progressive fleshed out way, instead of spaced out sections. I did like the inclusion of the mer history which despite it’s issues was still really interesting. I liked that decedents that live on land can make a once in a lifetime choice to go to the sea or stay on land. it makes for an interesting situation. Another thing I really wanted to like was the ‘wills’ or abilities that some merpeople have, however I just couldn’t get behind the correlation of things like telekinesis with being a mermaid.
I also had a lot of issues with the characters. Ever has some good traits like her perseverance in the face of adversity and her want to help people, however it was kind of lost underneath her self-imposed simpering and flip-flopping. A lot of this book deals with Ever’s loss/gain of boyfriends, not that she goes through a lot of people it’s just her focusing on the same ones even when it’s not really necessary. She also goes back and forth on things, and while it alone isn’t enough to make me disconnect with the character added onto the boy craze it became too much. I feel like I barely know Jack and Amber, and Gabbi felt really pushy though I will admit she’s quite supportive.
Overall I really wanted to like this one but it just didn’t work out. It is a really quick read though and it has some really interesting ideas. I’m not sure I’ll be continuing this series but if I ever do move on I would definitely like to see some more details when it comes to side characters.