Try Not to Breathe

Posted January 2nd, 2012 by in *Review / 4 comments

Title: Try Not to Breathe

Author: Jennifer Hubbard
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: Jan 2012
Classification: YA Novel
Challenge: Outdo Yourself
Summary from Goodreads:
Ryan spends most of his time alone at the local waterfall because it’s the only thing that makes him feel alive. He’s sixteen, post-suicidal, and trying to figure out what to do with himself after a stint in a mental hospital. Then Nicki barges into his world, brimming with life and energy, and asking questions about Ryan’s depression that no one else has ever been brave enough—or cared enough—to ask. Ryan isn’t sure why he trusts Nicki with his darkest secrets, but that trust turns out to be the catalyst that he desperately needs to start living again.
My Thoughts:
This book starts off by introducing the reader to Ryan, who just recently got out of a facility for trying to kill himself. In the beginning I was instantly wondering why Ryan’s life was so bad that he had tried to kill himself in the first place, also Ryan has a secret that he has never told anyone, not even the doctors. So I instantly wanted to know more about Ryan and I thought it would be cool to read a book that is written in the male perspective.
As the novel goes on Ryan has flash backs about his time in the facility and the friends he made there. Ryan also meets a girl named Nicki who claims he is the only one who can help her understand why her father killed himself. It is fun to watch these two try to help each other through the problems that they are both experiencing. There were a few hang ups for me on this novel though.
The hangups included the fact that the reasons behind Ryan wanting to kill himself just didn’t really seem that real to me. It seemed like he took his situation and expected the worst even though he was just barely trying to handle his situation, it was like he didn’t even try at life before he decided he wanted to quit. I know that not everyone is as mentally strong as other people but his reasons just didn’t seem valid. Also Nicki was never the girl that anyone was expecting, if anything she was the one who needed to be in a facility instead.
Overall, this one had a really good message in the end but I’m getting a little tired of novels lately having to have these big messages. Yes, it is important for teens to know they are not alone and that they can get help, and life has its ups and downs, but it just felt too preachy to me. I appreciate the message but sometimes I just want to read a book for enjoyment, not to have a profound message. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood for this one so it only gets 3.5 hearts from me.



4 Responses to “Try Not to Breathe”

  1. Tara

    I've really been looking forward to this, I've been in the mood for a good Love Story….which I totally thought it was.

    I hate when some YA books take themselves too seriously. It's true not EVERY book has to have a life-altering message. Sometimes it's just enjoyable to read a normal, sweet story.

    Thanks for this review!

  2. Candace

    This book sounds amazing and I think I'd want to read it when I'm wanting a real life changing and tough story. I'll definitely be watching for it even though you had a few hang ups with it.

  3. Erica

    I really enjoyed this one – I finished it the other day and I thought she grew a lot as a writer from her first novel. I definitely see a lot of your points though.

  4. Liz. R

    I've heard a lot of good things about this one, but I've never really been desperate to read it. I get what you mean about not being in the right mood – sometimes I'm just not in the right mindset to enjoy certain books. Will keep an eye for this but I'm not sure if I'll end up reading it – thanks for the review! 🙂

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