Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: 18 August 2009
When Katie Kitrell is shipped off to boarding school by her distant father and overbearing mother, it doesn’t take her long to become part of the It Crowd. She’s smart, she’s cute, and she’s an Olympic-bound swimmer who has a first class ticket to any Ivy League school of her choice. But what her new friends, roommate, and boyfriend don’t know is that Katie is swimming away from her past, and from her schizophrenic older brother, Will, who won’t let her go. And when he does the unthinkable, it’s all Katie can do to keep her head above water.I didn't really have too many expectations when I started reading Breathless. I had heard a few things about it, but I didn't have any interest in reading it until a friend sent it to me. She suggested it, so I thought I would give it a shot.
Katie Kitrell is a very bland character. She doesn't seem to have much of a personality. She has a secret, she's an incredible swimmer, she drinks, smokes, and parties too much. That is pretty much the extent of this character. She doesn't really grow throughout the book, or learn from her mistakes. Nothing bad ever happens to her that causes her to view the world differently. I just followed her last three years of high school, which were very repetitive and made me like the story less and less. I didn't realize at first how much time this book encompasses, but I felt like it started to drag on and on.
Katie came from a dysfunctional family, and a relatively small (also dysfunctional) town. She can't wait to escape the confines of the town and her family, but she doesn't do anything to help herself either. Her parents gave her an opportunity to get away, and to use her swimming as an advantage, but she squanders all of the amazing things that are literally thrown her way. Everyone can see her potential, but she's more concerned with how her friends-who-aren't-really-friends view her.
The only person I actually liked in this book was Katie's roommate, Mazzie. She seemed slightly more realistic as a character, and she's probably the only reason I finished the book in the first place. I like how motivated she was despite the problems she was facing. She didn't get caught up in the popular crowd, or the partying, and she remained a loyal friend no matter what happened.
Breathless just wasn't a book for me. I couldn't make myself care about the main character or her self-inflicted problems. Her brother's condition would have been hard on her, sure, but that doesn't excuse her behavior for three years. She's a swimmer, so she should know how detrimental smoking and drinking can be to her future, but she just seems so willing to throw it all away. And for what? I have absolutely no idea. It wasn't for the perfect boyfriend she didn't care about. It wasn't for the distracted and distant family that she never talked to. It wasn't for her absent, sick brother. I could not, for the life of me, figure out why Katie was being so self destructive. It never made any sense.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? I really wanted to like it, I did, but I couldn't help feeling bored halfway through the book.
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I Swim for Oceans