Firstly, thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for this review copy <3
Date Read: June 18 - 21 2015
Date Released: April 7th 2015 (this edition)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: NetGalley via publisher
"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 can definitely say that Breathe, Annie, Breathe is my favourite Kenneally book so far. I’d read two of her earlier works and didn’t connect as much or understand the MCs and also thought they followed a similar formula. Breathe, Annie, Breath is quite different from these and I enjoyed it a lot.
Unlike Kenneally’s other female protagonists, Annie is not naturally gifted at sport. This made me connect with her immediately because I’ve become less sporty over the years. As a way to honour her dead boyfriend, Annie decides to train to run in a marathon and complete for him what he was never able to do. This made me like her even more because Jesus 42.2km is a VERY long distance to run and it takes so much preparation to run as the story shows. I admired Annie’s resilience because it wasn’t easy going from someone who hated running to following a strict regime and running miles every day in the months leading up. There were so many points in the book where she encountered difficulties not only emotionally, but physically too. Throughout all of this insane training, she was dealing with not only her grief, but a life without her best friend as Kyle was not just her boyfriend, but the person she’d been doing everything with for the past 3 years. I admired her strength of character and she was just so real for me.
As Annie faces a life without Kyle, her eyes are opened to the people around her – those that have always been around her and also new people she meets through her running training. I loved the support her family were always willing to give her and their unconditional love. The friends she made while on her training program provided her with a mature network of adults who also shared her struggles of running and had their own life problems. Her coach Matt was just plain awesome and I liked his fun but also take-no-shit attitude. I was also intrigued by her relationship with ex-best friend Kelsey and the way this was explored and developed over the book. Communication, people – very important.
And then there’s Jeremiah who is the complete adrenaline opposite to Annie’s calm. While Annie’s internal thoughts were panicky a lot of the times, I got the feeling she exuded this stability and calm despite everything around her and happening to her. Jeremiah was like the Energizer Bunny – constantly in action, never stopping, always looking for a new thrill to get his adrenal high. He’s such a good though. Caring, willing to give Annie space and I just like it when a guy knows what he wants and doesn’t play games. He was obviously into Annie and he wasn’t afraid to show his interest and let it be known he was pursuing her. At the same time he knew when to take it slow and that she wasn’t ready. Where’s my Jeremiah?
I breezed through Breathe, Annie, Breathe because it was such an enjoyable read with great characters, an engrossing and heartfelt story and a really fantastic, relatable protagonist.