Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Don't Breathe a Word
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.

Publishes in US: January 3rd 2012 by HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: won
Series? No.

Buy it:  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  IndieBound

Find Holly online: site book site  Facebook Twitter    book trailer

    This is a powerful book where the main character Joy goes on a desperate journey to figure out who she is without an overbearing boyfriend and her hovering parents. To learn to breathe on her own. Literally. She has severe asthma which her parents micromanage. When she first met Asher, it felt dangerous, fun and like a break from the controlling--boy was she surprised when he begins to question her, be obsessed with her every move, and even hurts her. 
    She takes very dramatic precautions to escape, and I couldn't believe the minute details that she thought of in order to pull it off. It shows a world that I haven't gotten much exposure to, especially in the ya genre. 
    The flashbacks are a little jolty, but overall I liked the character that it shows, how she got where she was, and why she felt that way. I could see the measures she took and the end picture, and then little by little what got her into that situation. I just wish there was more indications when the time frame was changing to orient me a little more. 
    I really loved reading the dynamic and loyalty with the Aves. The lengths they go to protect and care for each other as well as what they're running from and what they have to do to survive really takes my breath. It is powerful, gritty and I couldn't get enough. 
   The ending wasn't what I expected, but I was still satisfied with the emotional wrap up and the depths of emotional development. It was sweet and powerful, and perfectly imperfect. 

Bottom Line: Powerful and emotional, character driven contemporary.

Books similar to Don't Breathe a Word:(links go to my review) Tell me a Secret by Holly Cupala, In Too Deep by Amanda Grace,

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever felt suffocated?


  1. i had heard of this book when it came out but didn't give much though to it, but this really sounds amazing....

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  2. You know, I was looking at this one on my shelf the other day and wondering if I should squeeze it in soon. You've made me think I should! Great review!

  3. Lord, please tell me that she took her meds with her when she ran away. If she didn't and she doesn't have a major asthma event, then that would kill the story's believability for me. I speak as one who has severe chronic asthma so I get cranky when authors get it wrong.

  4. Oh, I love that cover! *stares* I haven't heard of this one before, but I'm so glad it took you by surprise at some parts and you liked it so much. Eeek! It's so great to discover new books. Thanks for sharing:)

  5. I like the cover and the plot sounds interesting despite the flashbacks, so glad you enjoyed this one!

  6. As an asthma sufferer myself part of me longs to read this to find out for myself just how that aspect of the story s dealt with and yet another bit of me is loath to do so.

  7. You know, I liked this book. I thought it was gritty ad very real, but the ending was so unrealistic that it kid of ruined it for me, to be honest....

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  8. I've had this book for over a year, and still haven't even opened it. I'm really glad you liked it, Brandi. Great review!

  9. I've had this book on my shelf for awhile, so I'm really glad to read such a positive review! I'll have to start it soon,

    Great review! :)

  10. I have this book and just haven't gotten around to it, but I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it. I need to move it up my TBR pile! To answer your q, I have definitely felt suffocated at various times in my life, but I always get myself out of situations where I'm feeling that consistently. Lovely review!

  11. I'm curious about this book. Not too many contemporaries catch my eye, but I like the sound of the main character. Sounds like a lot of potential growth. I enjoy that.

  12. Oh! This looks like a good one!! Definitely like a book that has a powerful character. Great review!!

    Magen Corrie
    ~Corrie the Book Crazed Girl

  13. Sounds great! I love the unique cover to it as well. I love the name Joy - am always drawn to it because it's a beloved aunt's name of mine who first got me to love the color purple. I feel bad that she thought she was leaving a smothering situation only to get into a worse one. Certainly intriguing- great review! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

  14. I really enjoyed this one too! Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  15. I've had my eye on this one. Thanks for the great review.

  16. I haven't read any of the recommended books, so I don't know if it's for me, but I love an emotional book that pulls all you strings and make you feel. I think I would really like this one. Thanks for the wonderful review, Brandi!

  17. Sounds lovely! I very much enjoyed Tell Me A Secret, so I think I would enjoy this, as well. Great thoughts, Brandi!

  18. I have been wanting to read this one since Holly is a local author, but I haven't gotten around to it. Spunds like it packs a punch!

  19. Oh I heard great things about this one, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  20. I've heard really great things about this book, so I'm glad that it left such a great impression with you Brandi! Great review!

  21. I have heard of this book but haven't had a chance to read it..I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Great review~ :)

  22. This sounds really interesting.

  23. I have seen this, but didn't really know much about it. Sounds like a fairly emotional book. Great review.

  24. Oh, I like powerful, emotional (even a little gritty) stories. I don't always like reading flahbacks, but Joy's emotional journey is something I think I'd enjoy following.
    And "perfectly imperfect" sounds perfectly like what I need :)
    Thanks for the review!


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