[Review + Giveaway] Only A Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

Only a Breath Apart  
   Title: Only a Breath Apart
   Author: Katie McGarry
   Publisher: Tor Teen
   Release Date: January 22, 2019
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Jesse Lachlin is cursed. 

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic.

Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…
If you follow me on either twitter or here on my blog, you should know by now just how much I adore Katie McGarry (she is one of the nicest authors I have ever interacted with!), and how much I love her writing. Her debut, Pushing the Limits, is a favorite, and is something I recommend often to readers of all ages. Not just that, Katie's last few releases have been magnificent, and a lot of them have made it to my list of favorites of all time (special shout out to Say You'll Remember Me and Walk the Edge). It's almost impossible to find an author whose books I all love, but Katie has somehow achieved the impossible.

(Spoiler Alert: I received an ARC of Only a Breath Apart, screamed when I saw it on my kindle, started reading, and was just a mess of feels all throughout. So yes, like all Katie's books, I LOVED Only a Breath Apart!)

Okay, okay, let's back up a bit. Only a Breath Apart is about relationships, and at its heart is Scarlett and Jesse. They started out as childhood best friends, and once high school began, that friendship morphed into dislike, and now, at seventeen, they are forced to help each other out despite their unresolved feelings. We slowly understand how wary Scarlett is of Jesse - though she is also aware of how much she misses him - and we see how Jesse will do just about anything for Scarlett. It's a complicated situation, especially given how Scarlett has the power to make sure that Jesse inherits or does not inherit his family farm, and Scarlett's parents aren't fans of Jesse.

I loved reading about how Scarlett and Jesse's relationship progressed. Their relationship never had the chance to turn romantic when they were younger, but now, it almost seemed inevitable.  It's impossible to deny their feelings towards each other, but their relationship was still paced perfectly. Despite all past misgivings, Scarlett and Jesse learn to communicate and be honest with each other, and we also learn why Jesse froze out Scarlett when they were younger. I was a bit scared that the relationship aspect of the book would be a bit too angsty for my taste, but that's not the case. Scarlett and Jesse sort out their issues early on, and now, they lean on each other to solve each of their problems - Jesse and his farm; and Scarlett and her relationship with her father.

Katie has always had a knack of portraying teenagers going through realistic and emotionally scarring situations, and she does it again here in Only a Breath Apart. Scarlett and her father used to be close, but now, she can't deny how controlling he is, and how scared she is for herself, her mother, and her sister, because she knows just how much her father is capable of. Her family has always maintained an image of perfection in town, and it's difficult for Scarlett to realize that her family is anything but, and that she has no one she can lean on. That's where Jesse comes in. Scarlett's parents - her father especially - have never allowed her to make her own decisions, while Jesse is clear that he will support her no matter what she decides.

Reading about Scarlett's home situation was emotional, to say the least. I found myself tearing up and so scared for Scarlett - I can't even imagine going through what she's going through, and she can't even rely on her mother to accept that what's happening is wrong. She's in this alone. All their lives, Scarlett and her mother have taken the blame for her father's actions, and Scarlett now realizing that she has no fault whatsoever is incredibly powerful. Scarlett's character development is amazing - she grew into someone who is not afraid to be brave, of doing the right thing, and doing what she can to help her family.

All his life, Jesse has believed that he is the victim of a curse, and the only way for him to beat the curse is to live his life on his family land. He fully expected to inherit the farm once he turns eighteen, but that might not be the case. All his life, Jesse has always been independent, and it's difficult for him to accept that his fate is partly in the hands of two adults. Jesse has never been close with his Uncle, and now, he has to learn to navigate that relationship so that he can keep all that he knows. Jesse is wary of opening up to people, and it's only to Scarlett that he can express all he feels.

Other than Scarlett and Jesse, we have more intriguing supporting characters who are also part of their lives - Jesse's three best friends; Jesse's cousin Glory who becomes Scarlett's boss; Scarlett's mother, father, and sister; Jesse's Uncle Marshall; and local Pastor Hughes, and we get to experience how Scarlett and Jesse navigate their relationships with all of these characters. One thing I like about Katie's books is that she emphasizes that there will always be adults willing to help, and she does that again here. Despite all of Jesse and Scarlett's troubles, they have concerned adults who know what's right and who are willing to help them out.

All in all, Only a Breath Apart is a beautifully written and thought provoking read that once again proves Katie McGarry's prowess as a YA author. She is at the top of her game, and her books have only gotten better and better. I can't wait to see what else Katie has in store for us!


6 comments:

  1. What a great review! This was such a thought provoking read. I really liked how deep it went.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Deanna! Katie is such an amazing write, and I love how she doesn't shy away from tough topics.

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  2. makasih gan buat infonya dan semoga bermanfaat

    ReplyDelete
  3. bagus bos artikelnya dan sangat menarik

    ReplyDelete
  4. keren sob buat infonya dan salam sukses selalu

    ReplyDelete
  5. mantap mas infonya dan salam kenal

    ReplyDelete

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