Written By: Sarah Alexander.
Category: Children’s Fiction | Teen & YA.
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers.
Release Date: April 26th, 2016.
Synopsis: Since her twin brother, Eddie, drowned five years ago, sixteen-year-old Elsie Main has tried to remember what really happened that fateful day on the beach. One minute Eddie was there, and the next he was gone. Seventeen-year-old Tay McKenzie is a cute and mysterious boy that Elsie meets in her favorite boathouse hangout. When Tay introduces Elsie to the world of free diving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea.
My Thoughts: I wanted so badly to love this book and all it did was let me down. The biggest issue I had with this story were the flashbacks. They would come at the strangest times and half the time I didn’t even know that I was in a flashback. It made the whole story very confusing to the point that I had to read some parts multiple times and even ask my sister about it to make sure that I understood what was going on. Literally half of the time, I did not understand what was going on. I mean looking back, I still don’t really know what happened.
Another issue I had was Elsie’s obsession with Tay. I don’t know about you guys, but I am sick of reading books about girls and women being so focused on boys/men. Elsie had so much going on in her life and so much she wanted to figure out yet, during most of the story she was so worried about where Tay was, what Tay was doing or who Tay was with. It was just so unhealthy. She was already dealing with a traumatic life experience and focusing on a boy was not going to make it better. In fact it made the whole situation worse.
The only reason I give this book 3 stars is because when I actually understood what was happening, there were some great parts. It was great to see a male character struggle with a disease that is primarily associated with women. It is very important for young people to see so that we can break that stigma. There were also some really touching moments between Elsie and her brother Dillon that had me tearing up. This book had so much potential and the author dropped the ball by trying to cram all of this information in less than 300 pages. I gave The Art of Not Breathing, 3 Stars.
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