4 out of 5 star Review!
If you haven’t read The Breathing Series – do not read any further.
Oh Ms. Emma – what have you gotten yourself into this time? If you haven’t read Reason to Breath – Barely Breathing – Out of Breath – read no further.
Donovan is always leaving us with a semi-cliffhanger. From Emma’s near murder in Reason to Breathe – Evan getting pummeled by Jonathan on his birthday, and Emma running off to California with out him at the end of Barely Breathing. We’re always left with the nagging WHY? What the hell happens now? And having to wait a whole freaking year to find out the conclusion? TORTURE! But that’s what kept us all coming back right?
What I was not prepared for, or saw coming is the fact that Emma’s drinking now? Trying to numb her pain from her past – resembling a little too close to her mother’s ways. She’s still tragic, and depressing always thinking the worst about herself and how no one should love her because she doesn’t deserve it – and will destroy them. It was interesting to read a little further into the future, 2 years later – after she left Evan on Decatur street on his birthday.
She’s still so messed up about Jonathan’s confessions – both about his parents and the man he beat up after breaking into Emma’s house. And it doesn’t seem she’s ever going to open up and let it go…. in walks Cole. I had high hopes for this kid, because he seemed to get Emma even though she wouldn’t open up to him – her silence answered most of his questions and he got her with out having to pry to hard. It was easy, they seemed kind of hot together – but of course something has to push them apart.
Her mother makes her grande entrance – and consequential exit. Emma has to go back to Weslyn to attend her funeral as Rachel went to the Decatur street house and hung herself from the banister. Emma has a break down – she’s drunk all the time – this is where she see’s Evan for the first time and it doesn’t exactly go well. They’ve both grown so much in the past two years both physically and emotionally, that Evan is shocked at what he finds. He still is completely attracted to her, but he’s surprised that she’s passed out in a closet with an almost empty bottle of Vodka. But of course he swoops in and rescues her… doesn’t he always?
The meeting is awkward for the next few days until Emma and Sara are ready to fly back to California for the summer – and realize Evan is coming along – staying at a friends beach house that’s just a walk down the road from Cole’s place, where Emma is staying. Cole can sense that something is going on with Evan, and he even knows the guy – because of course Emma will go to a party in Santa Barbara and have it be all of Evan’s old friends from High School. Parties happen – there’s a constant back and forth between Emma and Evan if she’ll open up to him or not – and finally towards the end we get a little more closure when after frantically trying to find Jonathan he finally texts her back – a vague cryptic message telling her he forgives her and hopes she realizes she deserves to be loved.
After Evan finally confesses all his demons – that he dated Analise and has been having nightmares since the night Emma left him at her house – beaten and then disappearing to California with out him – making decision for him with out considering anything about their relationship….. Emma opens up and admits she hates her mother and is glad that she’s dead. I saw this coming – it was all in Barely Breathing, you know she loathes her after what happened with Rachel’s drug dealer. But Emma still holds on to Jonthan’s secret and you’re waiting for the eventual confession and of course it’s chalked full of drama. She dresses, Evan is still in bed and she explains to him why he should really hate her – and tells him about the drug dealer, that Jonathan beat him to death and that she helped him dump the body at a bar; and that he eventually died as a result of the beating – but she doesn’t stop there, confessing to Evan what Jonathan had told her about his family – the fire and the death of his Father, Mother and younger brother.
Evan was just in shock – and angry that Emma would even hold a secret like that for someone – especially him…. but then she does what she always does and leaves. She flies to New York to find Jonathan – who is now in a state penitentiary, having confessed to the murders of his family and is now serving 10 years in a minimum security prison. She has a quick closure with him – too quick for my liking. They shared these horrible secrets and then basically get glossed over in one paragraph – they shared so much in the 2nd book and I felt like their relationship deserved more.
Donovan ends with a nice little bow at the end – of course Emma and Evan are back together, he’s transferred to Standford and she’s bought his parents house … as it was being sold after their divorce. Neither one of them could let go of that swing, because it always brought them back to each other..
Over all I liked the book – but I will admit I was a bit disappointed, maybe it was the length of time I had to suffer between Barely Breathing and this – but I was rolling my eyes at Emma’s break downs over and over and over – and the drinking – seriously? She spent the whole last book doing nothing but bitch about her mother’s drinking to just pick up the bottle and think nothing of it? It just seemed a bit cliche’ to me. I really thought the story between Emma and Cole could have had some more depth – but apparently it didn’t deserve it, it was just a backdrop to stir the pot once Evan came back into the picture. But when Cole disappears, only leaving a note for Emma that he won’t let her hurt him? That’s it?? We don’t know what’s happened to him, we don’t know anything – and she’s still hanging out with all of his friends the whole summer – and nothing. Seems a bit far fetched – especially since they’re all staying on the same stretch of road on the beach.
I guess I felt a little let down at the end – even though I really enjoyed the book and it’s nice to have that closure with Emma and Evan, it just seemed too Happily Ever After…. but then again, maybe that’s what Emma deserves after everything…
Evan: “I sat in the driver’s seat and looked over at her again. The pale light of the night softened the lines of her face, reminding me of the girl I once knew. She could have easily been just sleeping, hiding her haunted eyes under her lids. Watching her peaceful face, something roused inside me, and I knew I was in trouble.”
Emma: “Oh, no, no, no,” I repeated, shaking my head. The room started to spin, and I couldn’t hold my head up any longer. I collapsed back against the pillow. That’s when i saw is silhouette at the door. “I’m not supposed to be here,” I cried. “I’m not supposed to be in yesterday.”
Sara: “Evan, Emma has a life problem.” She shook her head and started to turn away. “I shouldn’t be talking to you about this anyway.” “Why not?” I challenged her. “Why can’t i know? Don’t I deserve at least that much? Tell me what happened to her, Sara!” Sara looked back over her shoulder, her sad eyes brimming with tears. “She’s just…broken.” Her voice cracked. “And I’m not sure how to help her.”
Evan: “My fists clenched, I fought the pain and anger coursing through me. I turned toward Emma’s door and set my hands on either side of the door, bowing my head. “I don’t understand. Why’d you leave with him, Emma?” I whispered, then walked toward my room at the end of the hall.”
Emma: “As soon as I turned towards the steps, my vision filled with the magnificence of the large oak tree. And there, rocking from its branch, was the swing.”
Evan: “I’ve always loved that tree, I thought to myself as I watched her run her fingers around the trunk. Her eyes lifted to take it all in. She always connected with that tree too, making it the perfect location for the swing I’d made for her. The swing that I’d hoped would keep her coming back here. Back to me.”
Evan: “This was the girl I knew. This was the girl I loved. And although I didn’t know what happened to her, I knew I had to find out.”
- Out Of Breath (The Breathing Series #3) by Rebecca Donovan (readingpastmybedtime.wordpress.com)
- Out of Breath (Breathing #3) by Rebecca Donovan (cristinasbookreviews.com)