January 3rd 2012, HarperTeen
299 pages, Paperback
Joy Delamere is suffocating...
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.
I’ve been hearing a lot about this book in the last two months. All really good things. I was anticipating the release and managed to borrow a copy from a friend. The cover is gorgeous in real life!
This story is amazing. We have a few homeless folks in Orlando, although I’ve never seen an actual teen. Joy’s story gripped my heart knowing that there are abused, neglected, and unloved kids out there. Joy has been sheltered all her life. She has never been given the chance to breathe because one dangerous moment of living life means she could end up in the hospital. Again. But there’s nothing Joy wants more than to escape her ruthless and controlling boyfriend, Asher. That means she must learn how to survive on her own.
She’s got a plan though. There’s a boy that is offering her a new chance at life. A boy who knows what Asher is doing to her. The events that unfold after meeting Creed, her savior, lets her have an exhilarating taste of freedom. Of safety in a family whose rough edges brought them to the streets of Seattle. Joy redefines herself into Triste. And yet, Joy is still afraid. Asher has taken a part of herself that she can’t get back.
I can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to be homeless, but I do know what the need for escaping does to a person. I’m pulled into her life as the story gives us flashbacks of her time with Asher. He seemed harmless enough and even much-liked by her parents. Asher gave her the chance to be free from her family’s worries. I was dying to find out that one thing he did that was her breaking point. When I did, it was so much harder to keep my emotions level. At least she had Creed, and with him, May and Santos. They all had broken stories to tell.
Don’t Breathe a Word is fast-paced and intense. Holly Capula does not leave much to the imagination. I have to thank her for that. Joy can hide herself from everyone she loves but she can’t hide from herself. This is the gritty truth of the streets. It’s the ending I have a bit of a problem with. I guess it moved too fast for me to gauge Joy’s reactions and emotions. I didn’t feel like I was connecting to her anymore. Maybe it was the way everything wrapped up too fast. I guess I felt a little frustrated with her non-actions, knowing she doesn’t have to be passive anymore. Still, I’m happy for the bittersweet ending. I need for Triste to be Joy again.
My compliments to Ms. Capula and her fantastically gripping book. I hope teens as well as YA contemp fans give her book a chance too.
Mover and shaker by day, book-ninja by night. Only native to Florida. Afraid of small children but has an affinity to the elderly. Beware of her sarcastic humor.