Book Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan



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Author: Sarah Crossan

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Series: Breathe (#1)

Genre: YA / Science Fiction

Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hard-core band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.

I first bought Breathe at a book fair at school. I quite liked the cover, and after reading the book, came to the conclusion that it’s actually quite fitting for the theme and setting of the book. The cover gets a smiley sticker from me.

As for the actual book…

I feel like when people read Breathe, they either love it or hate it with not much in between. I probably fall into those one percent of people who neither love it nor hate it. It definitely needs more recognition, though, as I feel like it is a good book to make you want to venture more into the Science Fiction genre.

To sum it up, trees are no more. There are a few major cities in the world surrounded by a giant dome of sorts that encloses man-made oxygen, and that is where the people live. Oxygen is expensive, but not everyone is wealthy enough to comfortably afford it, so the community is divided into two categories: the Premiums and the Auxiliaries. The summary at the back of the book is a fair fit, so I won’t delve into that further.

The plot was somewhat interesting, and the root of the problem was unlike one that I’d ever read before, which is a wonderful thing. It was a nice story, but the basic structure of the plot was one that we read in most sci-fi/dystopian books: there are a few teenagers that know the real truth about what the government is hiding, the government dudes are the bad guys, the teenagers try to lead a rebellion/become part of a rebellion, and the commonfolk live in oblivion. When you look at it that way, it isn’t very appealing.

One thing that I’m going to be honest about here is that I expected a lot more of the characters. I feel like they were just the tiniest bit flat, and maybe needed to have a little more… personality.

Overall, I like Sarah Crossan’s writing, and I don’t know what it is about it but there was some magical thing (not literally, guys) in Breathe that made me want to continue reading it, if only so I could find out what happened at the end. So, Breathe it by no means a bad book; but it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to buy it! But give it a chance. You could end up loving it to bits.

3 stars

Personal Rating: 3/5 stars

It was nice



Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


Throne of Glass

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Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Series: Throne of Glass (#1)

Genre: Fantasy

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, Celaena, an assassin, is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

One of my first thoughts about the book, before I’d even read it, had to be: the cover sure does the summary justice. It’s beautiful, and the model is perfectly manipulated. The book is about a teenaged, lady assassin, and that’s exactly what the cover depicts. Even the feel of the book in my hands was simply amazing. And for just those two categories alone, I’d rate it 10/10.

The protagonist of the story’s name is Celaena Sardothien, and we find out within the first couple of pages that she’s been captured and forced to work as a slave in the salt mines of a place called Endovier. It’s clear from the start that she has had a rough background and was once a notoriously famous assassin.

The King decides that he needs his own personal champion, and goes about finding the best one in the land by hosting a tournament. Various councilmen and nobles are to choose a champion representative of their own to add a little more fun into the whole ordeal, and the King’s own son Prince Dorian Havilliard has his eyes laid on Celaena.

So, together with the Captain of the Guard (Dorian’s best friend) Chaol Westfall, they go about extracting her from the mines and placing her in the competition, with the promise that if she were to win the tournament, she would only work for four years as the King’s assassin before they would grant her freedom.

Celaena doesn’t realise that she’s signing up for a whole lot more than a mere tournament.

Overall, the book has a strong plot and wonderfully crafted characters. Sarah J. Maas’s writing is beautifully descriptive and draws you in so much that you’ll probably be pulling an all-nighter trying to get to the end of it. Only to find that there are five more books to read, to your relief. It works together like clockwork to create an unforgettable tale.

5 hearts

Personal Rating: 4/5 hearts

I really liked it