Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander

The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
Since her twin brother, Eddie, drowned five years ago, sixteen-year-old Elsie Main has tried to remember what really happened that fateful day on the beach. One minute Eddie was there, and the next he was gone. Seventeen-year-old Tay McKenzie is a cute and mysterious boy that Elsie meets in her favorite boathouse hangout. When Tay introduces Elsie to the world of freediving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea.


Publishes in US:April 26th 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: ya contemp
Source: earc from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via edelweiss
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.
Series? no

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I wanted to read this because I like stories that deal with grief and also the ones that have a new person to come into their lives and help them realize a new way to live.

The characters
the family is definitely present but there's a rough dynamic between Elsie and her parents. She also had a very rocky relationship with her brother but they do have moments of bonding, mostly through memories shared of their brother Eddie who drowned since their parents are silent.

The grief
Elsie dealt with her grief in some pretty bug ways she steals some stuff, overeats, and she smoke cigarettes and she keeps tho herself a lot.
She feels invisible at home, especially on her birthday, they go silently to eddies grave and her mom promises they will celebrate later but never do. She feels like getting attention involves her stealing or when she.ways tho much, even if they are negative attention.
She has really low self esteem and doesn't do her homework or do well in school.
Her brother's grief is touched upon with his eating disorder.

The new guy
They first meet at Elsie's hideout, and again when she is having tea and talking with his father about free diving, and he then asks her to come with him.

The mystery
Okay, one part is figuring out what exactly happened to Eddie when he drowned. Elsie doesn't remember, it's all foggy, but things start to come back to her as she is in water.
Another part is whether or not Elsie has mental issues, since she says she feels Eddie inside her and talks to her. Or if it's a bit supernatural or just some part of her grieving process.

What I didn't like
The abrupt flashbacks are annoying. They should have a section break or chapter break or something to alert you its not in the present anymore.

The ending
Didn't really see some of the things coming, but glad about wrap-up overall.

Bottom Line: Look at grief and loss and how it effects a family.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Ever  been diving?

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