Saturday, 27 April 2013
Review: Breathe by Abbi Glines
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Released: May 16th, 2011
Sadie White's summer job isn't going to be on the beach life-guarding or working at rental booths like most kids her age. With her single mother's increasing pregnancy and refusal to work, Sadie has to take over her mother's job as a domestic servant for one of the wealthy summer families on a nearby island. When the family arrives at their summer getaway, Sadie is surprised to learn that the owner of the house is Jax Stone, one of the hottest teen rockers in the world. If Sadie hadn't spent her life raising her mother and taking care of the house she might have been normal enough to be excited about working for a rock star. Even though Sadie isn't impressed by Jax's fame, he is drawn to her. Everything about Sadie fascinates Jax but he fights his attraction. Relationship's never work in his world and as badly as he wants Sadie, he believes she deserves more. By the end of the summer, Jax discovers he can't breathe without Sadie. But can their love overcome the disparity in their lifestyles? Or will they have to learn how to without each other breathe again?
Hmm, where to start with this one? I read Breathe straight after reading The Vincent Boys series, also by Abbi Glines, which was excellent and far, far superior to this book. I've since done some research and realised that Breathe was Abbi's first novel, which does explain some things that bothered me. While there were a couple of elements of the story that I liked (some of the secondary characters and the Alabama setting) I disliked this book for the most part.
Now don't get me wrong, I can read a sappy romance as well as the next person. I really can, and I can appreciate them. But I need it to seem real, and Breathe didn't. Sadie met Jax and within two weeks he was insisting she was "his air", he couldn't breathe without her and that she was his whole life. Sadie declared similar things, including that he was the "reason her heart beats", among other equally eye-rolling sentiments. At no point in the book did I become attached to either character, or believe in their life-altering romance. It was all very mechanical and melodramatic, which are two things that really don't go together. I also never picked up on any chemistry between Sadie and Jax and instead was left frustrated and puzzled by their unbelievable insta-love.
Another thing that really got on my nerves was the dialogue. There were basically NO contractions used, so characters ended up talking in a ridiculous, stilted manner. It made the whole pace of the book slower, and was genuinely difficult to read. I'm putting that particular problem down to this being Abbi's first book, as I've noticed she has no qualms using "I'm", "we're" etc. in her other offerings. I think this style of writing is possibly the most annoying for me - I don't know anyone else, but it strongly puts me off!
Now onto Jax and Sadie. At first I thought they were okay, if a little stereotyped. Jax was a famous teenage rock star, Sadie a girl struggling to make ends meet who ends up working at his summer house in Alabama (possibly my new favourite setting for romance stories). I soon ended up disliking both of them though, which was a shame. It's almost as if the author tried to squeeze in too much, from employment struggles to first love to new babies and depressed mothers. It didn't flow right and a lot of what was going on seemed out of place. I liked Jax more than Sadie, though even him I could live without. It was like Dawson's Creek dialogue all over again, and not in a charming I-love-you-Pacey way.
I lost count how many times I almost deleted this book off my Kindle, but I persevered and got to the end. I've heard the rest of the Sea Breeze series is actually quite good, and I do have the remaining three books to read as they've just been electronically published in the UK. Breathe definitely wasn't for me and I'm just hoping I enjoy the other books more. This one has plenty of good reviews flying round all corners of the internet, so do seek some of those out before making a decision on whether you want to read it or not.