Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Joy Delamere is suffocating.

From asthma, from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. She can take his cruel words, his tender words . . . until the night they go too far.

To escape, Joy sacrifices her suburban life to find the one who offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, to its rules of survival, and to love--a world she won't easily let go.

Set against the backdrop of the streets of Seattle, Holly Cupala's power-ful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the secrets we keep, and the ways to redemption. But above all, it is an unflinching story about the extraordinary lengths one girl will go to discover her own strength. 

Description taken from Goodreads

My Review 

I seriously had to put this book down so many times.  Not because I didn’t like it but because it affected me so much.  Don’t Breathe a Word focuses on two topics (abuse and homelessness) that are so hard to read about and are unfortunately a big part of today’s culture.

Joy aka Triste was extremely relatable, which made it very hard to read the book.  You could feel every emotion that went through her.  It was really amazing writing.  Cudos to Ms. Cupala. 

I also have to say, as someone with asthma, that Cupala definitely nailed what it was like to have asthma.  Always wondering what would happen if you ran out of medicine.  Always wondering if it was safe to do this or safe to do that.  It’s pretty scary and I couldn’t imagine how it would be for me, personally, if I had to live on the streets not knowing if I would be able to get an inhaler.

Don’t Breathe a Word is a very depressing book, it definitely hits you right in the feels and teaches you that you can find hope in new ways.  It’s not always the right way.  But if you can find that one ray of sunshine through the downpour then there must be a whole rainbow somewhere.  It really is unique; I’ve never read anything like it before.  Sure, there are books about abuse but never the aftermath of it and then Triste living on the streets.  It takes you down this road that is rarely traveled and it was beautiful.  Don’t Breathe a Word is all about finding yourself, finding your inner courage, finding a voice.

Beautifully written, you’re right there with Triste, Creed, Santos, and May.  You feel for every character that you’re introduced to, and makes you think twice about all the people you might see the next time you venture into a city.

It was so dark that I thought I would never see a light at the end of the tunnel but I knew I just had to keep reading.  Eventually, I found it and I was not disappointed.  I did, however, find the end to be a bit rushed and wanted a little bit more explanation in the last twenty or so pages of the book.

All in all, Don’t Breathe a Word was heartbreaking and heartwarming, it was a culture shock and makes you feel really grateful for what you have in life.

If you enjoy gritty contemporary books then you should definitely pick up Don’t Breathe a Word.

 4/5 hearts

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