I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #5
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on 2014-07-15
Genres: Death & Dying, Love & Romance, Sports & Recreation, Young Adult
Source: the Author
Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Book Depository
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.
“Breathe, Annie, Breathe is an emotional, heartfelt, and beautiful story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love. It gave me so many feels. Her best book yet.” — Jennifer Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You.
I’m so excited to be a part of this tour!! And I’m even more excited because I’m pretty sure Miranda Kenneally and the Hundred Oaks books just keep getting better and better. I was really surprised by Catching Jordan, loved Racing Savannah, but turned into a big puddle of mush within the pages of Breathe, Annie, Breathe. I loved it the most of all. Plus it’s always great fun to see the older characters show up in the newer books. My only complaint is this: while the cover of this book is beautiful and I love it as its own cover, it STILL doesn’t match the other books! I know they went through several covers and this is by far my favorite and an absolutely beautiful cover, I don’t understand why they didn’t want to give us a cover that matched the other four books in this series. But now that I’ve said that, let’s move on and talk about how amazing this book is!
Breathe, Annie, Breathe introduces us to Annie. She’s a senior graduating from high school and lost her boyfriend of three years after they broke up. In order to honor his memory, she has decided to train for the marathon he was meant to run before he died. But Annie isn’t a runner like Kyle was and training is very difficult. She is introduced to a training group and starts on a program that is guaranteed to get her to finish the marathon. While training, she meets Jeremiah. He is completely different from Kyle and Annie is still dealing with a lot of leftover emotions from their relationship and his death but Jeremiah makes her feel things she never thought she’d feel again. Training becomes more difficult as the miles increase and injuries happen and the feelings she has around Jeremiah make her feel guilty and alive, and then guilty again. Annie needs to learn how to remember Kyle without feeling guilty and figure out how to move on and love again.
I want to first talk about the characters because they make up the most important part of this story and without the characters being who they were the story would not have affected me the way it did. Annie is the main character and felt so real to me. Her sadness and her guilt over Kyle’s loss was moving and complex. She continued to dwell on the guilt of the breakup and blamed herself for his death for much of the book. And I could understand why. Though as both an adult and an outsider to her story I would never have blamed her, if I had been in her situation I know I would have felt exactly the same way. Also, I really loved her determination and the way she dedicated herself to her new lifestyle and finishing the marathon in honor of Kyle. It was heartbreaking to see her blaming herself and not being able to move forward and reliving both their high and low moments. But all of it created such a real and deep relationship that it was impossible not to feel all of the emotions along with Annie.
Then we have Jeremiah. One thing I do wish is that we could have gotten a better feeling for his past. He is such a great guy to Annie but I got the impression that he was not always that way. We get some information from his family but a lot seems to be implied by his tattoos and the way he dresses and his addiction to adrenaline. I just wish we could have learned more about his past and how he became the way he was. But we plenty of information about his past and present to fall for him. And I think my feelings stem from just wanting more of him in any form. From the moment he sees Annie on the trails to the last moment in the book, he was a great guy. My favorite things about their relationship were how slow it went, their real attraction to each other without falling into the insta-love trap, and that they seemed quite honest with each other about their needs. Jeremiah knew why Annie was running the marathon and she was upfront about her needs from their relationship. He showed her how he felt and honored her wishes. Even though their relationship might not have started off on the greatest foot and their were times that Annie was probably leading Jeremiah on a bit too much, their relationship is one of my favorites and Jeremiah is an amazing book boyfriend.
I also want to talk about the story. It was a truly amazing and inspiring story and one I definitely plan on rereading. When the book opens we have Annie already dealing with the loss of what she believes was her soul mate. I can’t imagine dealing with a loss like that at 18. The growth that Annie makes over the course of the book is amazing. It’s also heartbreaking and difficult and inspiring. It (almost) made me feel like going out for a run. And the way Annie and Jeremiah meet and start to care about each other and the friendship that develops between them is beautiful. Sometimes we just happen to meet the right people at the right time. I love how both Annie and Jeremiah seemed to come into each other’s lives at just the right time and became the person that helped them through some difficult times.
Overall, this was my favorite Hundred Oaks book so far. It’s also a great ya contemporary romance that could be read completely on its own. If you’re looking for an inspiring, hopeful, emotional book that will also leave you feeling all kinds of swoony, I highly recommend Breath, Annie, Breathe.
And lucky for you, there is a giveaway available as part of the Breathe, Annie, Breathe Tour!
Giveaway Ends July 29th:
-2x 50$ B&N Gift Card
-3x Signed copy of Breathe, Annie, Breathe