Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally


Breathe, Annie, Breathe
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 15th 2014
Purchase: The Book Depository | B&NAmazon 
Blurb:
Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

"Breathe, Annie, Breathe is an emotional, heartfelt, and beautiful story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love. It gave me so many feels. Her best book yet." — Jennifer Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You 



This is only my second Miranda Kenneally book after reading Catching Jordan a few years ago and I'm berating myself for taking too long to follow it up. I adored her debut and promised to keep track of her new releases, but school happened and I'm a forgetful person. But better late than never, right? Going into Breathe, Annie, Breathe, I have a slight idea of what I can expect from it but I'm also hoping to be taken by surprise. In the end, this book delivered everything I loved in this genre and will go down as my favorite Miranda Kenneally book by far.

And what a poignant yet uplifting contemporary this was! It was the type of story I needed: something to fully lose myself in and that in the end, will make me feel light and happy. While Breathe, Annie, Breathe satisfied those expectations, it is also not quite what I expected because there's more to this book than fluff and feel-good; it's can also be a little dark, very emotional and beautiful.

I absolutely loved how driven and determined Annie is. I first admired her character for stepping out of her comfort zone by committing to join the Music City Marathon. The book opened with her at the early stages of marathon training. It's not a secret that she's doing it on behalf of her deceased boyfriend, Kyle, who had always dreamed of running a marathon. What people around her doesn't know is that it is also to distract herself from thinking about him. To be honest, I was more conflicted and impatient at first with the mystery that surrounds Kyle's death but I soon realized that it's one of the things that made this book stand out. Kyle became a fleshed-out character through Annie's memory and we see a glimpse of their relationship throughout the book. It was so easy to feel for Annie's hurt and love for him. I can only imagine the heartbreak she was going through while harboring guilt over his death, and my respect for her grows with every step she took to honor him. The story progressed with Annie running the distances required to train for a marathon and I was hit with another dose of hard reality as I witnessed how grueling and physically taxing training could be.

And the romance? One of the most convincing I've read in quite a while! I love Jeremy and his growth arc with Annie. He has easily won me over with his charm and distinct personality. He's a complex and imperfect character; into extreme sports and an adrenaline junkie. That said, I understand where he's coming from and the reason why he's always chasing the next thrill.
"If you don't put yourself out there, if you don't take risks, you can't truly feel. 
And I'm ready to feel again"
I enjoyed the sweet, slow-burn romance between him and Annie that only deepened with time. It ultimately became a part of Annie's emotional healing and acceptance, and of her letting another person in. I can't think of anything I didn't like about this book. How can I when I was so completely immersed from the first page? I adored the characters, the fast-paced writing, and the story that is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.


P.S. I think it's time to binge on Miranda Kennelly's other books in Hundred Oaks series!



  



About the Author
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.

Follow her on these sites
  



13 comments:

  1. This is coming up soon to review and hearing the romance is convincing and its a powerful book makes me fell more excited to read it.

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  2. I haven't had much luck with her other books, to be honest. But I'm optimistic that this one will turn it around for me. I like the sound of it for one, and the idea that we'll get to see some mature characters from her other books excites me as well. :)

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  3. I'm actually reading this book right now. I don't really feel the chemistry and romance between Annie and Jeremy unfortunately but I'm glad you do. :) It's my first book by this author but I think as well that I'll read the other books (if I end up liking this one.) Sport themed books are not that popular so whenever one looks interesting, I read them. ^^ Nice review!

    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

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  4. I absolutely love all of her books and can't wait to get to this one as well. This series is just so much fun and so heartfelt.

    Wonderful review and I am so glad you enjoyed this!

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  5. Dea, Breathe Annie Breathe sounds like a beautiful story! I really need to check this out. Your review is lovely, too, you made my heart feel all heavy for Annie :)
    Have a great weekend, and happy reading.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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  6. Awww, wow, so much love for this book! I don't think I've seen a single negative review on any of the blogs I've seen that reviewed this book (not sure about Goodreads). I haven't read any of Kenneally's books (yet?), but if I do, I'll start with this one. Excellent review, Dea! :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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  7. This author is new to me, so thank you for introducing me to her and her books. I'll definitely read Breathe, Annie, Breathe (especially since I hate running too!)

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  8. Music City Marathon? So this is set in Nashville (my town)? LOL Sorry I got too excited there.

    Sounds like an inspiring story. I'd like to run the marathon someday however my right leg has issues so I'll stick to 5ks for now. :D

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  9. I am so happy you liked this one Dea. Personally, I didn't like it as much as I want to. I enjoyed the training aspects and how Annie developed throughout the novel, however I felt like the romance overpowered the whole story. Nevertheless, lovely review Dea!

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  10. I think I need to berate myself as well, since I've not read a single one of Miranda Kenneally's books! I keep reading about how good they are, but never pick them up. I'm determined to change that, though, especially since I've been reading even better reviews for this one. Great review! :D

    Rachel @ Paper Cuts

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  11. Oh it's nice to see you had a great time with this one. It's the second good review I see. And I totally relate for the forgetting part but at last you remembered to try it, it's a good thing lol. Great review!

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  12. Wonderful review! I feel like I'm missing out by not reading a Miranda Kenneally book before! YAY for slow burning romances! Great review!

    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms .

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  13. Miranda Kenneally's books are all amazing! I'm so glad you liked Breathe, Annie, Breathe. I really do need to pick it up and read it! I've loved all the other books in this series and have no doubt I'll love this one too!

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