Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: Try Not to Breathe - Jennifer R. Hubbard

Where I got it: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (meh. I like the ARC cover better)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 19, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Page Count: 233p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Ryan gets out of the hospital after a suicide attempt and finds out that everyone knows. No one really knows why though. A neighbor girl, Nicki, meets him one day and starts asking him to help her. Her father killed himself and she wants to figure out why. She thinks that Ryan holds the answers. Ryan is still trying to figure things out for himself. Trying to piece  himself back together. He's in love with a girl who will reject him and his parents don't know how to treat him. Both Nicki and Ryan have a lot to learn but maybe together the trip will be easier.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It was that depressing for a book about suicide and life. I really appreciated Ryan's character. In most novels the character that attempts suicide acts depressed and/or has a really shitty life. Ryan's not really like this. He has a pretty dang good life and he acknowledges this. Sometimes depression just sneaks up on you. The fact that this took place after he got out of the hospital gave the book a completely different atmosphere. Ryan has to face the "what happens next" part of his treatment, which I imagine can be a lot more difficult than just trudging along the hospital corridors. The growing friendship between Nicki and Ryan was nice, she was sort of annoying but he apparently didn't mind. Nicki just asked a lot of question forcing Ryan to open up; maybe this was good for him. I loved the waterfall and all it represented to both Ryan and Nicki. It was a place for both of them to go, a place that called to them and for very different reasons. Ryan's other friends seemed to be there mostly for contrast. They seemed a bit more unhinged than Ryan, so it was easier to see that Ryan was getting better. I think that fans of Jennifer R. Hubbard's The Secret Year will really enjoy this one too. Another great novel about dealing with grief and life and learning to live and trust again.

First Line:
"It was dangerous to stand under the waterfall, but some kids did it anyway, and I was one of them."

Favorite Line:
"The steamy weather wrung the sweat out of me, but somehow my mouth was dry."

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