I received a free eARC in exchange for my honest review. Not surprisingly, I loved this book! But that is probably a big part because I used to be a runner in high school. However, I never ran more than 7 miles at a time, so I am very impressed and in awe of Annie. For a girl who hates running and to be able to run 26.2 miles? I am very envious of her dedication and hard work. I also really like the reason she started training for this marathon. I don't think it was her fault for Kyle's death, but she wanted to honor him by running the marathon he never ran. That alone showed how much she loved and cared for him. Plus she never gave up, even though her knee wasn't cut out for distance running and she had a very weak stomache. During this entire book, all I wanted to do was go out and start running. Good thing I didn't since I'm horribly out of shape, but this book definitely got me in the mood to start taking care of myself and doing something good for my body. And Jeremiah. Oh, Jeremiah the adrenaline junkie. I completely understand Annie's hesitation to be anything more than a friend to Jere. After just losing a very close person, who would want to risk their heart if they cared for another person who liked to do dangerous things? I was so happy to read about Jeremiah's story! And I love how Miranda Kenneally doesn't keep this in the same time frame - Jordan Woods is now a coach and a teacher! She moves the novels at the right pace and we see how each character has a small part into the next books characters. So happy I got this early! And it was by far my favorite novel in the series (yes, being biased because of the sport topic. Oh well.) The only negative thing I have about this book is the cover... Really? Keep it with the other 4 novels, please? I like the previous covers and they FIT together! This cover just doesn't do it for me. And if the only thing I complain about is the cover...? Well I would call that a very successful novel! If you haven't read this series you should. It will get you hyped up on sports and wanting to join a team to get all of that energy released!
Breathe, Annie, Breathe
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Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Fire
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I received a free eARC...
Breathe, Annie, Breat...
"Breathe, Annie, Breathe" Is the story of Annie Winters, Annie hates running, she gets bored easily, her legs get wobbly, her breathing becomes uneven. She doesn't find passion in it like most runners, nor does she appreciate the silence that accompanies running. However Annie isn't running for herself, she's running for Kyle. But no matter how fast she runs Annie cant outrun the guilt that weights her down. The little voice in the back of her head that whispers to her, if only she and Kyle hadn't broken up he would still be alive. While training Annie meets Jere, a self proclaimed dare devil, always on the hunt for his next adrenaline rush. They are instantly attracted to one another and sparks fly both on and off the trails. Yet Annie can't seem to let her guard down. She knows what it's like to lose someone and with Jeremiahs crazy stunts she's afraid she'll lose him like she lost Kyle. In "Breathe, Annie, Breathe" Annie pushes her body and heart to the extreme and in the end learns that while crossing the finish line is important, it's just as important whose waiting for you once you do. Do you ever finish a book, read the last page, slowly close it and then spend the next twenty minutes staring at the wall? I have a love/hate relationship with these kinds of books. On the one hand, they are amazing, I could read them over and over again and never tire of the characters, the story, the quotes. I instantly want two copies. One to keep pretty on my bookshelf, displayed for everyone to see. One to keep in the bottom of my purse, the edges frayed, the pages highlighted. On the other hand they give me the worst book hangover. Any book I pick up for the next couple of weeks just can't hold a candle to it and thus I get in a reading slump. I end up comparing every book to the one I've put on a pedestal. I have to force myself to put it aside and simply pray that the author is currently drafting another masterpiece. (Someone please tell me Miranda Kenneally has a new book coming out sometime soon!) "Breathe, Annie, Breathe" is most definitely one of my favorite books that I've read this year. It had everything I could possibly hope for. Love, love lost and love found. Heart, determination and adventure. Challenges, family, friends, emotions, feelings and conflicts. All intertwined together with just the right amount. It left me breathless, as if I was the one running 20+ miles, I kept forcing myself to put it down so I could draw out the story, yet I couldn't stay away for long. Ten minutes later my nose was back in the book. This book gave me one of thee worst book hangovers I have ever had. I desperately want to throw my to-be-read pile out the window and just re-read Annie's story over and over again. The only downside to this book and is that it makes me want to run. The entire time I was reading it I kept looking over at my running shoes giving them the evil eye and shaking my head no- hell no. After finishing it though and reading the acknowledgments I've decided if Annie and Miranda can do it then so can I. Time to lace up those shoes, pull my hair back and silently remind myself to breathe, just breathe. And while I'm running you should run too, run over to Barnes and Noble or better yet your local bookstore and grab yourself a copy of this book! You won't regret it! Until next time, Ginger
I was pleasantly surpr...
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I picked it up on a total whim (having received an ARC) and really enjoyed it. First, I have to state that apparently this is part of Kenneally's "Hundred Oaks" YA series, which I didn't know. It definitely can stand alone, however.Annie is finishing up high school and training for a marathon. She's never been a runner - in fact, she hates it. However, Annie is running in honor of her late boyfriend Kyle, who never had a chance to run the marathon for which he was training. Annie is a very mature kid, which took a bit of getting used to. She was definitely in a very developed relationship early in life and she came across older than her years. However, we learn that she's been on her own a bit - her dad was never around and her Mom has been busy working multiple jobs to keep the family afloat. So her maturity works, overall. Annie is struggling with guilt over Kyle's death. She starts to find relief in her marathon training. She also starts to find relief in Jeremiah, the brother of her training coach. Jeremiah is unlike anyone Annie has ever known. This was a simple, YA love story. You pretty much know where it's going to go. But it was surprisingly sweet and touching and well-done. Annie is an extremely likable character. Her maturity lends her some credence not always found in YA characters. I also found myself quite swept up in Jeremiah (not unlike Annie), who was also different from the typical YA beau. Finally, the running element was a fun add to the book. As someone training for a 5K (nowhere near a marathon, but I like to pretend, ha), it was enjoyable to watch Annie progress toward her goal. Overall, this is probably really a 3.5 star novel, but I just enjoyed the story so much, I bumped it up to 4. (Note: I received an advanced copy of this book via Netgalley in return for an unbiased review.)
Annie Winters, 18 and ...
Annie Winters, 18 and formerly a total non-runner, is now training to participate in the Country Music Marathon in Nashville to honor her former boyfriend, Kyle, who died six months previously. They had dated for three years, and both thought eventually they would marry. Running a marathon was Kyle's dream, and Annie blames herself that Kyle couldn't finish it. She hired a marathon trainer, Matt Brown, and he drives Annie relentlessly. Matt is assisted by his younger brother Jeremiah ("Jere"), 20, who seems to have fallen into InstaLove with Annie. Annie is attracted to Jere, but Jere is into extreme sports, and Annie is terrified to get attached to him; what if something happens to him too? The risk of caring is too high, she thinks, and insists they just be friends. As it happens, Jere attends the same nearby college - Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), where Annie is starting in the fall. So it seems like the stars are aligning in their favor. But then something does happen to Matt, and Annie has to come to a realization about her life and how she should live it. Discussion: Kenneally is an appealing writer, using just the right mix of teenage patois to make her characters sound authentic. I also enjoyed the way the format of the book resembled a runner's journal. The details of training for the marathon were made interesting enough, and integrated well enough into the story, to add a lot of interest (as well as to make me feel guilty for sitting on the couch to read about it). There were some issues left dangling: possible eating disorders of her roommates? the not-totally-resolved tension between Annie and her BFF Kelsey? the cause of and/or resolution to Jere's addiction to extreme sports? Evaluation: There is a lot good about this book. I really liked the relationships portrayed between Annie and her family, and especially, between Jere and his family. I loved the ending too; it seemed just perfect. I would have liked the book overall a lot more had it not been for the curious case of Jere's InstaLove.
Miranda Kenneally is a...
Miranda Kenneally is a great writer. I thought the first in the series was okay but I think it takes an author a bit to find his/her flow of things. She has it here in spades and has really developed her own voice and style. Im hooked! Annie was such an inspiration to get after my own couch to 5k. Her personal development was compelling. She learns about herself by training to run a marathon including how to let go through an altruistic goal. I love her inner determination, grit, example of second chances, and how to live bigger and brighter than her own demons and guilt. It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud at a book and this had me doing it repeatedly. I have to read Miranda's other books now. Ill also be reacquainting myself with my own running shoes.
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