Breathe by Elena Dillon
Publication Date: December 14, 2012
Jasmine’s life wasn’t normal for a 16 year old girl. It hadn’t been normal since the murder of her older sister, Daisy, two years ago. Her life had been changed forever. The monster that murdered Daisy was never caught. That was the reason her family decided to move away from their hometown in Southern California, to start over. Hopefully in a place where the last name Rourke wouldn’t bring on staring or judgment or morbid curiosity.
In Lafayette, Louisiana things are quite a bit different but in a good way. Good manners, Cajun accents and a whole lot of Southern Hospitality all make her think things are going in the right direction. On top of that the most gorgeous boy she has ever met is interested in her. Her new friends are better than she could have hoped for even if she is worried about what they might think when they find out who she is. Life would be perfect if odd things didn’t keep happening. Creepy phone calls, texts, and flowers in her locker start adding up quickly to something terrifying. Could the Monster have followed them to Lafayette? Was he coming after her this time? Maybe she was just worrying unnecessarily…or not.
Thanks to a Netgalley and Mark My Words Publicity for providing me with a copy of this title.
When I first got my hands on Breathe I assumed it was an ARC. Once I realized that it was published in 2012, I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of it. This book provided romance fit for young adult readers and a true-to-life mystery full of suspense.
After the death of her sister, Jasmine and her family uprooted their lives and moved to Small-Town Louisiana. Daisy's murder went national two years prior, and now that the dust had settled, Jasmine hoped to start anew.
There were elements of this story that were realistic. Daisy's murder could have easily been something aired on mainstream news, especially since the killer was never captured. That, for me, was what made this book a page turner. Not only did I want to know whodunit, but seeing the aftermath of such a tragic event and the toll it took on the family, was engrossing.
While the story itself revolves around Jasmine, who she is, her life at a new school, with new friends, and a family nothing short of paranoid, the real tale was the one between her and Easton, a Southern-gentleman, who was introduced at the beginning of the story.
Easton is perfect. Too perfect. Like, "bring a resume to your parents, references included" kind of perfect. He was smart, attractive, gentlemanly, and attentive. I loved how protective he was over Jasmine, and even the way he worked so hard for her family's acceptance. However, I found his perfection far fetched and drab. His brother entertained me more.
Each character - from Jasmine's younger siblings to Easton's many cousins - adds a welcomed addition to the story, that made it not only heart breaking, but heart warming, as well.
Throughout the book there were hints at suspense, but it wasn't until a third of the way in that things really started to take flight. The last quarter of the story left me on the edge of my seat, and if I'm honest, creeped out. There were no questions left unanswered, which I was grateful for.
The simplistic, yet, engaging writing style of Elena Dillon was refreshing and entertaining. If you're looking for a true YA read, I recommend picking up Breathe.