I received this book for free from Publisher on NetGallery in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company on April 26th 2016
Genres: Death & Dying, Family, Love & Romance, Siblings, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: Publisher on NetGallery
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 freediving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea.
I am going to do something a little different today with my review of “The Art of Not Breathing” by Sarah Alexander. Usually I would give a brief synopsis and go through the review that way but I want to try a different type of review and just get down to the nitty gritty of it all. This book really makes me go back and forth on the fence or whether or liked it or did not like it.
Are you ready for the good and the bad of “The Art of Not Breathing?” I have to say that I didn’t know much about this book so I had a completely open mind until I read it. This book explores ‘Free Diving,’ which can be a super dangerous sport because this is diving without any oxygen masks. Elsie has a twin brother and her twin brother died from drowning. In a non-morbid way she is trying to connect to her twin. The story is set in Scotland, which is something else that is cool. I like that the story takes place somewhere other than America. The characters were pretty cool. I think it was great to get to know each and every one of them. The author picked some great characters names, especially with the unique spelling.
Now that I gave you some of the good, here is some of the bad. I did not like the writing at all. I feel like Sarah Alexander could have executed the book much better. I found myself finishing the book but I just didn’t really like it at all. It felt like there was no emotion in the characters especially Elsie. Now with that being said, even though I liked the characters I was not a fan of Elsie at all. She was very annoying to me and I just didn’t like her. I also think that it is weird that Alexander would not name any of the illnesses that the characters had like anorexia. What is wrong with naming the illness? It just seemed really weird to me that this was something that was being avoided.
Here is my conclusion…”The Art of Not Breathing” wasn’t for me. The story line was great but the main character was less than to be desired. I think the idea is wonderful but I was disappointed in not ever being specific about what is going on. I don’t think this is a bad book at all; it just isn’t one that I enjoyed very much. I think if someone wants a contemporary that just touches the surface than this is probably the book for them. I feel like Alexander could have done so much better.