Hold Me Like a Breath
By Tiffany SchmidtBlurb: Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.
Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.
And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.
All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.
Genres: Young Adult Retellings, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Series: Once Upon a Time Family (book 1)
My Rating: 3 stars
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I'll be honest, I think the reason I liked this more was that I knew what to expect negative-wise. I'd read a couple reviews, and so I knew the complaints about the book; and, somehow, this made me not dislike it so much. I knew Penelope was a bit insufferable at the beginning; but I also knew that she got loads better by the end, so I was patient. I knew this wasn't great on explaining the mafia-like aspect; so that's not what I planned on reading about. It just somehow worked out that knowing the negative aspects of the book helped its rating rather than harmed it, which is basically a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for me.
Like I said, Penelope does act a bit spoiled at the beginning of the book. However, she gets so much better by the end, and really matures. It's amazing how much this girl grows throughout the course of the book. She goes from being really whiny and pampered to independent and daring.
There's technically two love interests in this book, though it's not the typical love triangle at all. (in fact, it isn't a love triangle period.) No, this was not the strong point of the book; but considering this is a Young Adult novel and relationships are so idealized in almost all of this genre, I was really surprised and pleased that (SPOILER) with one of the relationships, Penelope realizes the guy is a super-jumbo toolbox and stops crushing on him. Especially since it was a comically serious relationship (oxymoron for the win) when we were first introduced to it. (END OF SPOILER)
What really tripped me up about this book is something that I DIDN'T really read about/remember in any of the reviews I had previously read. HOW FRICKING UNBELIEVABLE THIS ALL IS. Penelope manages to waltz around an entire city for I-can't-even-remember-how-long and there's like, two scenes where she actually has problems due to her condition. Other than that, she goes to museums, she makes friends with random people at parks, she finds a favorite coffee shop. Like, hello, you are in New York City, and so far we've been led to believe that even getting touched could badly bruise you...with all the people in that city, how is she able to function? It makes no sense.
The 'big reveal' near the end was really entertaining. I maybe should have saw it coming, but well, I didn't, and so I was totally blown away. No spoilers for this particular reveal; this purposely vague paragraph is all you get.
This wasn't bad like I had been bracing myself for. It was actually pretty enjoyable. I do see why people had problems for it, but in the right mood, this could be a nice read.