Review: OUT OF BREATH (Breathing Series #3) by Rebecca Donovan
Emma leaves Weslyn and everyone in it behind to attend Stanford University, just as she always intended. A shell of her former self, she is not the same girl. She is broken, and the only way that she’ll be whole again is through forgiveness. Emma must find a way to forgive herself and recognize her own worth before she can receive the love she deserves. This final installment will have readers holding their breath until the very last page.
Abby’s Review: 5 amazingly fantastic stars
This series is easily my favorite series. I have read Reason to Breathe and Barely Breathing more than once and after reading Out of Breath, I am certain that a reread of all three will happen.
I feel that I really need to start this review with a THANK YOU to Rebecca Donovan. From the start of my reading experience with this series, I was moved, felt things, cried, was inspired, made me want to blog about it, made me want to write and use my own voice. So thank you Rebecca Donovan because without your words I am certain that Up All Night Book Blog wouldn’t have formed. Your story was so powerful to me that I felt the need to try and tell everyone about it, so I started this little blog and eventually met my blog partner, who is my reading soul mate.
Reason to Breathe for me was about Emma’s pain. Barely Breathing is about Emma’s struggle to be okay with herself after her trauma., but in reality her trauma didn’t stop there. Out of Breath is about forgiveness, redemption and love.
These stories have all been personal to me in some way. I grew up in an abusive home and so much of Emma’s story has been a personal experience for me. In Out of Breath it deals with the aftermath, you know how someone tries to hang on, cope and do everything they can to deal with the aftermath of being a survivor. Emma makes some outrageous choices. She puts herself in harmful situations. You start to see her as a bit self destructive. You understand why though because it occurs to you that Emma isn’t breathing, she isn’t living, she is Out of Breath and has been since she walked away from Evan.
We get to see the same strong relationship with Emma and Sara. At one point Sara and Emma are on the phone…
But I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. Just close your eyes, and it will be like I’m right next to you. We’re facing each other, and I’m holding your hand. I’m there, Sara.”
We also get introduced to Emma’s other roommates, Meg, Peyton and Serena. I loved Serena. Even though Emma makes crazy decisions, she does know how to surround herself with friends that love her and become her surrogate family.
When you open this book, you want there to be an instant reunion with Emma and Evan, you want it to be simple and that he runs to her immediately, but that is not what happens. nearly two years pass.
Everything that happens keeps you intrigued and wanting your HEA. When Evan and Emma finally see each other you want it to be simple but you know life isn’t. It’s messy. Emma needs forgiveness. She needs Evan’s but mostly she needs her own. We see her spiral and we see her inner strength.
Oh Evan! How I missed him this last year. In ways the two years have seemed like they have made him stronger but more cautious. I love him. I love his strength. I love his courage. I love his, well….Love.
This is one of the stories that feels well thought out. It feels purposeful and deliberate. Out of Breath finds the raw beauty in pain and it leaves you with something so much more….Hope.
Dawn’s 5 Star Review
Deep breaths…Deep breaths…
Oh my 5+++ stars!! Brilliant! Amazing! Perfection! I could go on and on with words to describe Out of Breath! This is the perfect conclusion to the series. Perfect because it ends exactly how it needs to end. I was left speechless and emotionally raw and so deeply touched after finishing it. I’m not sure how soon I can recover from this book hangover!
From the moment I began reading Out of Breath, I found myself holding my breath and gasping with the turn of each page. Each word and phrase held me captive and drew me in. I didn’t want to eat or sleep or do anything else until I was through.
Out of Breath wraps up Emma’s story and left me finally breathing. It is a story about friendship, forgiveness, passion, love, guilt, hate, self-acceptance, choices, peace, and hope. The path is not always easy for Emma and for those who love her (including me!). The journey she takes, the choices she makes, in Out of Breath had me moved to tears so many times, happy and sad tears. Through it all, I felt every moment, every impact of her journey. There were moments where I questioned Emma’s decisions but in the end, I saw how they helped her cope and deal. They were all part of what made her Emma.
Through it all, Emma is surrounded by friends, past and present. I loved the relationships that developed and the people that have become part of Emma’s life now and how they fit with those from her past, particularly Sara and Evan. Sara is Emma’s sister of the heart who forever has her back but also needs Emma when she’s at her lowest. And Evan…he has a strength about him, yet he is also fearful of being hurt. Seeing the story partially through his eyes and his POV really allowed me to love him so much more by seeing his vulnerabilities and his capacity for love.
Truly, I don’t feel I have the words to describe the beauty and brilliant execution of Rebecca Donovan’s writing. My heart ached and my heart was filled up. And I may have put the book down this morning when I reached the end, but it will linger with me for a very long time.Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing your amazing gift with readers like me!
Book provided for honest review
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About the Author
Optimism seeps from every pore of my body. I truly believe that what’s supposed to happen… will! In that regard, I don’t know how to give up; it’s not part of my biological make up.
I’m a passionate (and some would say, overly enthusiastic) person. I learn by doing (and have been burned more times that I’d like to admit), but I will always throw my entire self into whatever I do – fail or succeed.
I think this is evident when I write, leaving nothing behind and spilling it all out on the pages. I give it all to my readers – love it or hate it.
The path I’m on is very often my own, veering off the beaten path at the sight of something more interesting or captivating, getting caught in the vines and thorns in order to experience the beauty and intrigue others often pass by. And I always meet the most interesting people along the way.