***4 Stars*** Oooooweeee. Okay. So, I had an idea of what I was getting into when I dove into this baby, but Whoa. Things get quite heavy, distressing and even disturbing at times and yet all of that upheaval was tempered by sweet moments and a whole lot of grit and heart and a feeling of hope that kept me turning the pages until the very end. I really liked Jesse and Scarlett. I did. They were very much teens on the cusp of young adulthood, trying to figure out who they are and what their next steps in life were going to be. Unfortunately they both have way more on their plates than just passing tests and writing papers and watching them both struggle against all they’d ever known and believed was all at once heartbreaking and yet the sense of hope that things would work out for both of them was strong. As for their journey. It was all kinds of sweet, second chance romance and I honestly enjoyed watching as they worked through what happened in the past and learned to trust each other again, or in their cases, more than they had before their friendship fractured and I liked where they were at, separately and together, when the book ended. This is my first read by the author and I really enjoyed it. The writing was engaging, pacing good and dual first person POV was well done. As I said, things in this one get quite heavy, and uncomfortable, with the issues that both Jesse and Scarlett deal with but they were realistic and I like the way everything was handled. As for the secondary cast of characters, some I liked, some I wanted to Gibbs smack while some I wanted to hurt, but they definitely gave depth to the story and made things feel real. Glory was my favorite and I really enjoyed how she looked at and utilized her psychic abilities. ~ Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley & voluntarily reviewed ~
Jesse believes that they are cursed, and he must not leave the land. However, in the event of his grandmother's death, she made stipulations before he can inherit his family farm. One of it was the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl whom he drove away freshman year. Glory, the town's fortuneteller believes that Scarlet has the gift. Scarlett doesn't believe it. Not when she can feel the land breathe with her, or when she feels the aura of the person next to her. She can't be. What she is a young lady who just want to get out of her father's controlling attitude and everything happening at home. She has hope now though, but problem is, it all lies in the boy who cause her first heartbreak. I just love them both. They both need all the love that they can give. Jesse was loved by his mother, but his mother died. His gran died. He literally doesn't have anyone but his friends, and Glory, if you count her. But I am just astounded of his passion for his land, and his dreams for it. As for Scarlett, she's a dear, and she deserves more than what her parents can offer. I am perplexed by her strength to withstand the trials that crossed her paths and the fact that she survived it. This book wasn't just romance - it discussed the taboo topic of domestic violence. The cycle that we keep on turning our back on, but is happening in the society. Sometimes, it isn't easy. But sometimes it might just take one phone call, one concern person to survive, or to escape the cycle. I rarely read YA nowadays, but this book - had me mesmerized and completely breathless. It wasn't an easy read. No. Too much emotions, too much anticipation, and too much ache in there - that you'd feel your heart might bust anytime soon. And yet, that beautiful hope that springs between the pages, the rebuilding of both trust and friendship and discovering love made all of it worthwhile. To say I love it is an understatement. I devoured the book, read it slower than what I expected because somehow this book demands to be consumed unhurriedly, each pages, each passage, each dialogue draws you to the story. The characters passion, fight for everything and anything, and their survival would make you hooked to each page. Only A Breath Apart is a story of love, hope, and forgiveness. It's a story of strength, courage and survival. It's a story you wouldn't want to miss.
I have no words – Only A Breath Apart has left me with an emotional hangover and completely speechless. Katie McGarry is a genius to be able to weave such tragedy into the narrative without ever losing the thread of hope that hangs off each word. Only A Breathe Apart wraps it’s words around you, cocooning you in emotion, absorbing into your bloodstream and directly into your heart. It isn’t an easy story to read but it is necessary to show there are ways to overcome the emotional baggage we pick up along this journey we call life. A lot of the way in which we process emotions and react to situations is a direct result from the nurture we experience in our formative years. Both Jesse and Scarlett drew the short straw when it comes to positive parental role models. Only A Breathe Apart is a coming-of-age story as well as covering so many other issues along the way. There is a Gothic element to the plot with psychics and curses as well as the imagery of the land and trees woven through the descriptions. Everything from physical/emotional abuse, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, friendship, family, faith, character development, survival and a soul-mate type romance are all within the pages of Only A Breath Apart. Only A Breath Apart is a necessary tale which ultimately shows the courage and strength it takes to become the person we most want to be even when we are unsure of who that person really is. Although this is Jesse and Scarlett’s journey it can also help identify strengths and weaknesses in ourselves, allowing personal reflection and growth as a result. 💖