Mundie Moms

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Review: Out of Breath

By: Blair Richmond
Published by: Ashland Creek Press
Released on: October 11, 2011
Source: book from publisher to review
2.5 stars: I wanted to like it more than I did
Purchase from: Amazon| Barnes & Noble

Deep in the hills of Lithia brews an epic battle between evil and nature...

Nineteen-year-old Kat Jones has been a competitive runner since she was a young girl, but after her mother’s death, the path her life was supposed to take begins to crumble around her -- until one day, she finds herself on the run in a literal sense, this time in a race for her very life…

Kat’s journey takes her to the Pacific Northwest town of Lithia, the place of her last good memories, of the days when her mother was still alive. But soon after her arrival, strange things begin to happen in Lithia -- and when one of her new friends disappears under mysterious circumstances, Kat begins to realize that Lithia’s inhabitants are not all of this world. Worst of all, she is falling in love with one of these otherworldly locals, and the friend who hopes to save her has secrets of his own…

As Kat tries to rebuild her life, she is also training for a race that will turn out to be her biggest challenge yet, as she must outrun not only the demons of her past but the demons of the here and now, who threaten her very existence and that of the entire town…

At once a paranormal love story and an environmental allegory, Out of Breath offers an exciting new voice in young adult fiction. -quoted from the publisher's site

Out of Breath is a quick paranormal read with a beautifully captivating Northwest setting, has a few vampires, a love triangle and a little element of mystery to it that kept me turning the pages. I really liked the concept of this story and I of course loved the setting! I'm a sucker for an outdoor, specifically one that takes place in the Northwest like this book does. I think this setting worked great for this story and I liked that Blair was able to blend the way of life in the Pacific Northwest, which is very outdoor driven, heath conscious and eco-friendly, and the quiet little town feel into his book well. All of these things are both a big part of this story, and the character's life. The only thing that bothered was how often being a vegan is mentioned in the story. After the first few times I felt it was completely distracting to the story line to have it brought up as often as it was.

I liked that Kat, the main character turned to running as a way of healing from her past and what she's running from. I found her story was a bit fascinating and from the get go I wondered how she was able to go just "get by" the way she was. She's definitely one of those resilient characters who just makes do, and makes things work for her, and I admired that about her. Unfortunately, as the story went I found that's all I was able to like about Kat. It's not that she's not likable per say, but I really needed to have some sort of connection with her to like her the way I had excepted to, and I didn't get that. I adored Alex, one of the first guys in town that Kat meets, but what irritated me about their relationship is how quickly they went from really just meeting to all the sudden he becomes overly protective of her, and has this need to warn her about the other love interest Roman. Roman was a very hard character for me to like.

I'm the type of reader who needs character connection and a believable love story. As much as I wanted that from Out of Breath, I didn't get that with Kat, Alex or Roman. I felt like there was something missing with their character development that kept me from feeling that connection to them. I did however really enjoy the relationship between Kat, Stacey and her boyfriend David have. I liked that Stacey and Kat hit it off from the moment Kat comes to town and meets her. That relationship played well into the turn of events that happen in Lithia, and leave Kat questioning whether the impossible is really possible in this small town. The paranormal element with the vampires, the outdoors and Kat's history was a bit unique and I liked the elements that Blair uses to tell his story.

I'm a little torn on where I stand with this book, because there were times I liked it and other times I thought it was just okay, which is due to my feelings through out the story. For me, there were times I felt like either the plot line was missing something or it felt a little flat and there were others times I liked the little elements of surprise that Blair added to the story. Though I loved the setting and the way it wrapped into the story, overall I felt like too many little things were missing from the plot and the main characters for me to really like the book/connect with it, like I had hoped to. I can certainly see why others would love it, but it just wasn't a book that connected with me. Though I didn't like it as much as I wanted to, this is a book I'd recommend to older YA readers who enjoy paranormal reads.

Don't miss the Halloween book launch Ashland Creek Press is hosting on Halloween, Monday October 31st, 2011. Please go here to find all the details.

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