Book Review: Breathless by Jennifer Niven

Title: Breathless
By: Jennifer Niven
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 384
Release Date: September 29th, 2020
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary from Goodreads:

From Jennifer Niven, the New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places, comes an unforgettable new novel about a sensitive girl ready to live her bravest life--sex, heartbreak, family dramas, and all.

Before: With graduation on the horizon, budding writer Claudine Henry is making plans: college in the fall, become a famous author, and maybe--finally--have sex. She doesn't even need to be in love. Then her dad drops a bombshell: he's leaving Claude's mother. Suddenly, Claude's entire world feels like a lie, and her future anything but under control.

After: Claude's mom whisks them away to the last place Claude could imagine nursing a broken heart: a remote, mosquito-infested island off the coast of Georgia. But then Jeremiah Crew happens. Miah is a local trail guide with a passion for photography--and a past he doesn't like to talk about. He's brash and enigmatic, and even more infuriatingly, he's the only one who seems to see Claude for who she wants to be. So when Claude decides to sleep with Miah, she tells herself it's just sex, nothing more. There's not enough time to fall in love, especially if it means putting her already broken heart at risk.

Compulsively readable and impossible to forget, Jennifer Niven's luminous new novel is an insightful portrait of a young woman ready to write her own story.


I have mixed emotions about this book.

The story was amazing. I loved everything about it. When the main character's life falls apart when her dad decides he doesn't want a family anymore, the mother and daughter duo take a summer trip to an island where their family once lived. Its a coming of age story that fills the heart and makes you cry.

For me, it was the main character that brought the story down. She felt selfish and distant. Her emotions didn't really match with the situation that she was in. All she wanted to do was have sex and think about sex. Do 18 year old girls really think about sex this much? If she didn't refer to sex as much and actually dealt with her emotions by the end of the story, I might have been able to give this book a higher rating.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

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