Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #5
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: eARC, 302 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.
But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.
I’m not entirely sure why I waited so long to read the rest of the books in Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series, but after my binge-read a couple weeks ago I’m totally kicking myself. I’m also happy I decided to read them when I did because they fit my mood perfectly and were a great break from my recent trend of reading mostly new adult and adult contemporary romance. It’s tough to put my feelings about this book into words – and I know my review won’t do this book justice – but I’m gonna give it a go anyhow. 🙂
Breathe, Annie, Breathe is Annie’s story. (You don’t say?) Annie’s training to run a marathon in honor of her late boyfriend. She’s going to run the miles he never had a chance to before he was killed in an accident. She channels her guilt and anger into running and uses that, along with her determination, to do what she wasn’t sure she would ever be able to. It’s not easy. But with the help of some familiar Hundred Oaks faces, she keeps going. All the while learning a little more about herself, and what she wants out of life.
Annie was a fantastic heroine. She was mature far beyond her 17 years and she found her way into my heart early on in the book. Her struggle was so real. I felt like my own heart was going to crack wide open as she not only dealt with the guilt and anger over Kyle’s death, but tried to reconcile the feelings she was having for Jeremiah, Matt’s (of Things I Can’t Forget fame) brother. She was dealing with a lot of conflicting emotions and I was right there with her the entire time. She was young and had her whole life ahead of her, but Kyle didn’t. Can she find the strength and determination to keep going – not just in running, but in all ways?
I loved Jeremiah just about as much as I loved Annie. He was such a sweet guy. His addiction to extreme sports and constant search for a rush made him a pretty strong contrast to Annie, but somehow they were a perfect match. The chemistry between them was through the roof. I loved how Jeremiah and his brother teamed up to help push Annie when she needed it most. Honestly, I just loved Annie and Jeremiah together. Their relationship was real and treated as such. Which, after all, is one of my favorite things about all of Miranda’s books. She’s not afraid to tackle real issues teens face and talk about them. I’m a firm believer that anything that opens a positive dialogue is a good thing. Her books do this.
Breathe, Annie, Breathe was a gorgeous story about one girl’s determination to live after a horrible tragedy. The writing was phenomenal. The feels were real. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was raw and emotional. Even just thinking about it now, I want to go back and reread it. And, I just may. It was that good.
I’m fortunate to have a review copy of the next book in the Hundred Oaks series, Jesse’s Girl. Believe me when I say I won’t be putting this one off. I’m in love with all things Hundred Oaks and plan to read it very soon.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.