Thursday, July 24, 2014

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Release Date - July 15, 2014
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 306 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.
Breathe, Annie, Breathe is one of those books that is both heart crushing and healing all at once. A beautifully touching novel of how those we lose never really leave us, and how we learn to let someone else in after a devastating loss, one little step at a time.

Annie's guilt is crippling. It feels like an oppressive force holding her down. It trickles from the pages until I could almost feel it myself. Losing someone is never easy, and blaming yourself is even worse. Her character heaps on more guilt as she begins to let someone else into her heart. Her journey is one filled with remorse, determination, and eventual understanding. All of Miranda Kenneally's characters are wonderfully flawed, and Annie has her share of them. Part of her journey is forgiving herself, and others for things in her past. It's all about making amends and learning what it means to truly live life.

It's hard to get into a new relationship when a significant other dies. Miranda Kenneally delicately shows that letting someone new in doesn't lessen the previous love. The way Kyle is woven into everything is achingly beautiful. It evident that he'll always be in Annie's heart. The relationship that blossoms with Jeremiah is separate and different, but no less important. The author manages to make of these boys both vital to Annie's story without diminishing either of them.

Running becomes a character in it's own right over the course of this novel. It's such a force within Annie's story that it becomes all encompassing. The author obviously loves running, particularly distance training, and it shows. Seeing it through Annie's eyes, and the rush she gets from it, you begin to see it in a new light. The good, the bad, and the ugly parts of it are all lovingly splayed out and dissected.  It's like a wonderful love letter to running. One that even fully embraces those ugly parts.

Annie and Jeremiah balance each other. He helps her loosen up a bit. He gets her to take some risks. He helps her see what it's like to live again. She helps calm his recklessness, and centers him a little. It's this balance that made their relationship work. I immediately understood why they would be attracted to each other, and what being together gave each of them. I admit that in novels like this I tend to get attached to the wrong relationship. I have a hard time connecting with the new love interest. I stubbornly hold on to the one who died. In this case, as much as I liked Kyle, it just made sense that Jeremiah would be in her life.

Jeremiah is crafted as the perfect compliment to Annie's character. Fans of Miranda's previous novels know that her boys are always pretty incredible, and he is no exception. Flawed, endearing, and supportive. He's exactly what Annie needs.

The brief cameos that pepper these novels make me feel like I am reuniting with old friends. Getting a chance to check in on characters we've grown to love in previous novels is the icing on an already awesome cake. It's always a thrill when one of those characters makes an appearance, and it's one of the most endearing aspects of the novel. Every author cares about her characters, but Miranda knows her readers do too.

A delightful addition to this series, and one of the best out of these companion novels that started with Catching Jordan. It offers a realistic look at guilt, loss, and moving forward. Breathe, Annie, Breathe captures the heartbreak of losing someone, and the bittersweetness of learning to love again.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments. Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you even more for leaving me a comment.

I have decided to make this an awards free blog. I appreciate the gesture, and love that you thought of my blog, however I simply can't pass them along as required.

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...