Plot: Breathe is set in a dystopian, science fiction-esque society that is reminiscent of Ally Condie’s Matched series, Morgan Rice’s Survival trilogy, and Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky series. If you loved any of these series, Breathe is well worth the read. In the Breathe society, everyone lives in a pod full of oxygen. Outside the pod, all the trees have been destroyed, nature is gone, all animals are dead, and the oxygen level in the outside atmosphere is at 6%. Inside the pod, there are three zones; first is the premium section, those marked with an identifying purple circle on their ear. The premiums are the rich, élite, who have the most oxygen and places within the government or authority within the Ministry. Zone 2 belongs to the stewards, these are the people who patrol the border, act as cops, regulate people in general. Zone 3 is where the rest of the population is, the people who work to afford oxygen, who can’t dance or play instruments or even exercise because they can’t afford the amount of air. Both inside and out of the pod there are “terrorists” known as RATS or the Resistance. These are the people who recognize that the government have placed a monopoly on air to keep the population of the pod prisoners to the government. They also know that the government is behind destroying nature and preventing the oxygen levels on the outside from increasing.
Breathe is told from three different perspectives. It follows the lives of Alina, Bea, and Quinn. Alina is a member of the Resistance aka RATS, she has big green eyes, missing parents, and an attitude. Bea is an intelligent debater, best friends with Quinn, compassionate, and risks her lives for those weaker than her. Quinn is a privileged Premium who does not really pay attention to the social hierarchy set up in Breathe and is part of a very important family within the government.
These three characters team up and go through a series of obstacles before the climax of the story which caused me so much anxiety that I rushed through reading to get past the horrific events I knew were coming.
- Likeable characters
- Wonderful plot
- Thrilling with just the right amount of scary
- Adorable love story
- Fearsome leaders
- Powerful women
- Very KGB with the methods of interrogation, the disappearances of people, informants, not sure who is on what side
- Just enough guessing to keep your attention but not make you so angry you throw the book in frustration
- Tree love and conservation
- Petra was very confusing
- Don’t quite know what the deal with Maude Blue is