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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Breathe is a well-intentioned, if a tad clunky, post-apocalyptic adventure that explores the meaning of freedom after a natural disaster. There's a fair amount of violence -- a beating, some fatal shootings, a knife attack, a riot -- but the depiction of these incidents is neither graphic nor gratuitous. The infrequent language and minimal sexual content will prove unobjectionable to most teen readers.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Within the pod owned by the Breathe Corporation, Quinn and Bea have enough oxygen to survive, even if Bea is lower-class \"auxiliary.\" But when they help outsider Alina escape from her pursuers, they put themselves in extreme danger outside the protective walls of their pod. With only two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, the trio must face drifters, outwit soldiers, and come to terms with the brutal strategies of the Resistance.
Is it any good?
This has many of the components of the modern post-apocalyptic YA novel, but it never quite ignites as a first-rate adventure story. Perhaps it's that the constant threat of suffocation isn't sufficiently compelling or that the point of view is split among three characters, none of whom truly shines as a protagonist.
With a villain named "Caine Knavery," subtlety isn't Breathe's strong suit, and the dialogue and prose would benefit from more originality and less melodrama.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Breathe measures up as a post-apocalyptic adventure. How does it compare with other sci-fi stories about the struggle to survive after a natural disaster on Earth?
Why do governments keep secrets from their citizens? Are they ever justified in doing so?
Do you think it would be possible for humanity to survive on an Earth almost devoid of trees?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.