Breathe is a dystopian YA novel with so much potential to be a mind-blowing series; I seriously hope this series takes off as much I loved it.
Breathe is about a world without Oxygen. There is a supply available but only for those deemed worthy (rich) enough for it. I kind of expected, with a concept like that, for Breathe to be good but I hadn't heard much hype about it so doubted I would be blown away. I actually loved this almost as much as Divergent - it was that good! So why there is no oxygen? There are no longer any trees and why? Because the government, of course, likes a bit of control and Oxygen is a good way to get co-operation.
I liked the ideas Crossan had. Like no high levels of activity were allowed because this used up too much oxygen so you would be fined for being over-excited, jumping, running or basically for doing anything remotely strenuous in public. Except for those with oxygen cylinders provided by the government, they can do as they please. Some of these people earned cylinders as part of a "lottery" when the oxygen initially ran out and the Pod was made. Pods are where populations now live. Areas protected by a large barrier covering the entire city - the front cover is exactly how I imagined them to look.
Within the Pod there are premiums and Auxillaries. Premiums have a constant supply of oxygen for the entire family whereas Auxillaries do not (many of them teach themselves to function with very little oxygen). The story is told from three perspectives with three first-person narratives. Quinn, a premium boy with a politically important father, and his best friend Bea, who is an auxillary, are the two key players in the narratives. Bea is clearly in love with Quinn, who doesn't seem to know she exists beyond being his best friend and Bea is competing to become a Premium for her family. Alina however, is a really interesting character. Alina is also an Auxillary (so her family, like Bea's, are desperate for air and must work countless hours to earn enough air to live). What's interesting about Alina though is that she's a rebel, part of a rebel group working to overthrow the government. Alina does not believe in the Government. She doesn't buy their rules. Alina makes her own. How? By stealing seeds and growing trees!
It was such a great idea to have three very different characters, with three very different outlooks and purposes, who are thrown together into an oxygen-less environment with nothing but oxygen-deficient air to breathe. This all happens for a variety of reasons, which you'll love so I won't say anymore about them. However, outside of the Pod there is more than a lack of oxygen to fear.
I really urge everyone to read this book. I've literally thrust my copy of this book onto everyone I know because it's so fantastic (and I haven't done that for a while much to their relief) so definitely get yourself a copy! This series is going to really take off, it has to, it's brilliant.