Breathless by Jennifer Niven, #78 review

Publication date : 29 September 2020

Before: With graduation on the horizon, budding writer Claudine Henry is making plans: college in the fall, become a famous author, and maybe–finally–have sex. She doesn’t even need to be in love. Then her dad drops a bombshell: he’s leaving Claude’s mother. Suddenly, Claude’s entire world feels like a lie, and her future anything but under control.

After: Claude’s mom whisks them away to the last place Claude could imagine nursing a broken heart: a remote, mosquito-infested island off the coast of Georgia. But then Jeremiah Crew happens. Miah is a local trail guide with a passion for photography–and a past he doesn’t like to talk about. He’s brash and enigmatic, and even more infuriatingly, he’s the only one who seems to see Claude for who she wants to be. So when Claude decides to sleep with Miah, she tells herself it’s just sex, nothing more. There’s not enough time to fall in love, especially if it means putting her already broken heart at risk.

Compulsively readable and impossible to forget, Jennifer Niven’s luminous new novel is an insightful portrait of a young woman ready to write her own story.

After her parents announced their divorce to their only child Claude. Life has to rearrange itself and soft through new patterns. First of all, this is the last Summer Claude has with her best friend before both of them jet to different colleges in different states come Autumn. Due to the earth-shattering news, Claude has to put her Summer plans on pause and put family first by spending a month with her mother on the island where her mother’s people hail. Leaving behind a boy she almost had her first with, a best friend with her new lover and her father, Claude travels across the country to an island of adventures, bug spray, close proximity of death, the only network connection is the Mart and a boy who will change her life forever.

“Sometimes you need to write out your feeling but you don’t necessarily need to share them like maybe the person you’re mad at just won’t get it or won’t care, so sending them a big long text or email will only make it worse. As long as you get the feelings out of you.”

Breathless by Jennifer Niven

It sounds cliché, believe me when I say I was hesitant. Damn, I fell deep into the quicksand from the dunes of his eyes under the moonlight. I kept on reading the book, wanting more of them and the island. It sucked me in wholly, I felt as though I could smell the salt in the night Island air.

I think once we experience love. The real kind of love, and heartbreak. it is hard to want to go through love again with the risk of the painful heartbreak from love that was once so true and real. However, it’s like once we got taste of pure organic manuka honey, the sweetest of the flowers, golden liquor. We want more. And we’re afraid of getting stung.

The book does deal with the sensitive topic of divorce. My parents are divorced so this book slaps. I love how we get to see the different perspectives of what the family go through on their own. Claude, a mother trying to be a women and mom at the same time, the father that wants more space yet tries his best to take care of his daughter.

I like the ending of the book. It leaves readers hanging on for more possibilities, for the unknown and the uncertain. Just like life, you’ll never know when the floor will be pulled out. I was rooting for the protagonists to find their happiness at the end of the book. Claude and Miah could lose their thoughts into the magic of the island and themselves. It is also a very sex-positive book, I find their discussions on misogynistic patriarchy seen through different eyes.

If you enjoyed All the Bright Places, books that aren’t the easiest to read but very rewarding, words written that will leave you breathless, you might want to give the book a try. It is Autumn now, I’m missing salt air, waves on the shore and hot sand. Most of all, I’m missing that Summer Love. Thank you @times.reads for sending a review copy. Available in bookstores now.

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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