Don’t Breathe a Word
by Holly Cupala
Paperback, 299 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by HarperTeen
Premise: From Goodreads:
From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.
Joy can take his words - tender words, cruel words - until the night they go too far.
Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.
Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.
My Review (not very spoilerish):
My Rating: 4.5 - Caught-Me-Off-Guard GREAT book.
This book is heart-wrenching and satisfying and frightening all at the same time. It is written from Joy’s perspective and the story unfolds as her thoughts do, as she tries different ways of dealing with a horrible, controlling situation. I was furiously angry with the man who caused the problems in the first place: Asher, with his obsession for crows and his fascination for their hierarchy. He experiments with controlling an young girl and it’s sickening.
I was heartbroken over the damage he inflicted on so many levels, but the most painful, I thought, was the sexual. She was drawn to him even as she hated him. He had woken her physically and that awakening was always there, exposed, between her and men around her. Even when she ran, this sensual tension could not go away.
The danger on the streets felt so real. It was so sad how the kids only had their bodies when everything else was stripped away. They lost possessions and shelter and were reduced to using their bodies to survive, and that is a stark reality that is hard to swallow. Horrible.
I loved the way Joy changed and grew. She was completely credible to me and her decisions made sense. I was frustrated with her family, all of them. Her parents didn’t want to help or listen, not even at the very end. Her friend, Neeta, saw more, but could only help Joy as much as she would let her.
Creed is amazing and I loved all of Joy’s street friends and who she became herself, Triste, to be able to see her situation more clearly and respond more truly. And I was ultimately overjoyed with her choices because she didn’t have options.
I mean, this book really tugged at my heart as a Mom. I really wanted to step in and be there for her, point out her non-choices surrounding the Asthma when she seemed to ignore them indefinitely. (Partly because one of my kids rode in an ambulance and was in the ICU for a few days over breathing issues.) Joy was willing to take more risks than I was willing to let her!!
But I think that’s exactly how the author planned it out. As Joy took her risks, she turned into a confident person and left the victim behind.
I expected the heart-wrenching when I read this book, I guess, but I did not expect the fast pace it was delivered with. There isn’t a lull in the entire book. Only the phone stopped me long enough to grab a snack before finishing it. And I had no intention of reading it all in one day, believe me. I don’t know the depth of truth regarding the street kids, personally, but they won’t be invisible to me after this book.
Holly Cupala wrote teen romance novels before she ever actually experienced teen romance. When she did, it became all about tragic poetry and slightly less tragic novels. When she isn't making art and writing, she spends time with her husband and daughter in Seattle, Washington. These days, her writing is less about tragedy and more about hope.
Part of the author's proceeds from this book will go toward helping sexually exploited girls around the globe. TELL ME A SECRET is her first novel. Visit her at http://www.hollycupala.com.I mentioned before that I'm a raving-mad fan of Holly Cupala. I started following Reader Girlz years ago on Myspace and I remember when Holly's first book started the publishing process (although I didn't figure out book blogging 'til now! Yikes!) I was so excited for her... and then we jumped into a business venture with both feet and I lost track.
I was very happy to join the Street Team for getting the word out about Don't Breathe a Word. Holly sent me an ARC - inside the cover of the book she wrote: "Your Words Have Power" which is so true. I have to keep my first ARC ever, but I would like to share this great book with someone who would like it!!
This Giveaway is not part of the Tour copies provided by Harper. There are ARCs available to win on the tour - go here to find a list of the Tour Sites and Giveaways. I'm buying this copy for the winner - I am happy to help Holly Cupala and sexually exploited girls!!!
This Giveaway is open Internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you. If I can, I'll send some additional fun stuff to the winner, too - the bookmark is so cool!! :-)
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