Resist (Breathe 2) Review

Book: Resist (Breathe 2)

Author: Sarah Crossan

I liked the first one enough to try this one and I’m glad I did because Resist exceeded Breathe in every possible way. It was action packed and paced so much better than the first novel-Breathe only really got exciting in the last two parts but Resist kept me hooked all the way through. When it ended, I have to admit I was sad it was over-not because they were loose ends that needed to be tied up because there weren’t but just because I had become attached to these characters over the course of two books and I just didn’t want the story to end. Here is a synopsis of the book:

Resistance to the pod leadership has come apart. The Grove has been destroyed but so has the pod minister. Quinn, Bea and Alina separately must embark on  a perilous journey across the planet’s dead landscape in search of the rumoured resistance base Sequoia. The welcome they receive at Sequoia is not what they expect, and soon they are facing a situation that seems as threatening as that of the Pod inhibitants.

Meanwhile the former Pod minister’s son, Ronan,  is beginning to have his doubts about the regime but as a member of the elite force he is sent out of the Pod to hunt down the Grove’s survivors. In a world in which the human race is adapting to survive with little air, the stakes are high.

The characters felt better developed in this book than they were in the last book-Bea in particular I loved in this book-you could really tell that her experiences from the last book had changed her and she became this amazing, determined girl who could stand up for herself and was unapologetic about who she was and what she believed. She didn’t seem to be as dependent on Quinn in this book which I liked-she became one of my favourite characters. Quinn is maybe the more forgettable character in the book-I liked him but not as much as the other characters. There was a new character introduced in this book, Ronan who was the Pod minister’s son who I really liked-he was quite a contrast to Quinn-he adds a different perspective to the story, someone who thought he was fighting evil but realises that the Resistance is actually fighting for something good. I liked his friendship with Bea and I was glad that the love triangle I thought was going to happen didn’t because I really liked that Ronan and Bea were just good friends. His point of view added an extra dimension to the story and whilst I was unsure about him at first, I grew to really liking him-he might be one of the privileged but he fights really hard to do what is right.

I still didn’t feel like I truly understood what happened during The Switch but maybe that is just me. The introduction of Sequoia in the book was good and it was interesting to see the the contrast between Sequoia and The Grove-I found that I worked out what was happening in Sequoia before the characters did but the final battle came as a shock to me-I knew there was going to be a big battle in this book but it’s not quite what you would expect.

Alina seemed more human in this book than in the last book-she seemed like she actually cared about the other characters more and I was genuinely shocked with the outcome of her story but having thought about it I think it was perfect-shocking and sad but the perfect way to end her story because it was so in character.

I wanted to learn more about Quinn’s dad in this book and Crossan did not disappoint. I felt that I knew Quinn’s dad better by the end of the book and it made me realise that he was not a bad person, he was just a dad trying to do the best for his son. I liked the relationship between him and Ronan, you could tell that they’d known each other for a while and I felt that Ronan really brought out the human side in Quinn’s dad. It didn’t seem strange to me that Quinn’s dad was helping the Resistance because I think he was doing it for Quinn. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I liked him but I had some respect for him by the end of the book. The book jumps straight in where Breathe left off and it took me a while to remember what happened at the end of the book so I would recommend maybe rereading Breathe before reading Resist so that the end of Breathe is fresh in your mind when you start Resist. Some of the chapters are a little short for my liking. The idea that Quinn and Ronan could live new lives as auxiliaries seemed a little strange however, since Quinn was the one who instigated the revolution and Ronan was the Pod minister’s son it seems a little unrealistic that they would be able to pretend to be someone else-it would be quite difficult to hide their tattoos and you would think that they would be easily recognisable.

I wish this had been a trilogy because although the story was exciting and action packed and fast paced it sometimes felt like Crossan was trying to cram too much into one book-although that didn’t make me love Resist any less.  I liked that Abel returned in this book as I felt his story was not quite yet finished from Breathe and yes we learned a little more about him but I didn’t really see the point of him being in the story-he wasn’t integral to the plot, he just seemed like he was there for no real reason and the plot could have worked just the same without him. In the end, all the bad guys seem to disappear with no real explanation as to where they’ve gone-I mean some die obviously but not all of them and it all just seems too easy.

Overall Resist was a good book, it kept me hooked all the way through and I wish it was the second of a trilogy because I feel like some of the loose ends could have been tied up a little better. Still I would recommend reading both Breathe and this sequel because they are enjoyable books and quite different from your usual dystopian novel-I can honestly say I’ve never read a book quite like this one before, and I don’t think I ever will again.

My Rating: 4/5

The next book I will be reviewing is Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie-she’s one of my favourite authors, so I have high hopes for this book!

 

 

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Breathe review (Breathe duology)

Book: Breathe (Book 1 of 2)

Author: Sarah Crossan

This is a book that a friend recommended to me and I wasn’t entirely sure about it-the concept of a world without trees so everyone is entirely reliant on the government to provide their air for them. I’d never heard of it so I wasn’t sure if it was going to be any good or not but I’m always willing to try new books and I love dystopian fiction so I thought I’d give this book a go. The concept was something that seemed completely new to me-I’ve never read any books like this before. One thing that I didn’t realise until later in the book because I didn’t feel that Crossan made it very clear is that the book is actually set in England-which I thought was really cool because most dystopian novels are set in America. The book did have some of the characteristic features of a dystopian novel-a love triangle (although it’s between 2 girls and a boy which makes it slightly different) and of course the character who is rebelling against the government as usual has to be a girl. Here’s a synopsis of the book:

Years after The Switch, The Pod has moved on. A poor auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime are labelled as terrorists and are ejected from the Pod to die.

Sixteen year old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, who or what are they protecting the trees from?

The concept of the book was interesting but I felt that the story dragged a little at times-the beginning part of the novel was a little boring, it picked up in the middle and got really exciting towards the end-the book is split into five parts and the part four is particularly exciting with lots of action scenes. I didn’t feel like The Switch was fully explained and I didn’t exactly understand why they got rid of all the trees-this version of the future seemed a little unrealistic to me as we know that we need trees for oxygen to live. The idea of everyone living inside a dome and some people being outside seemed a little too close to Julianna Baggott’s Pure to me.

The book revolves around three teenagers, Bea Whitcraft, Quinn Caffrey and Alina Moon in their shifting perspectives which I quite liked as we got to see what each character thought at different points in the novel. I don’t know whether I can say that I really fell in love with any of the characters, Bea seemed a little weak to me to start off with, but I liked her better as the novel went on. I didn’t like the chapters where she was obsessing about Quinn a lot but the romance wasn’t completely shoved in your face and the love triangle was resolved by the end of the book which was good. Bea is an auxiliary and it was interesting to see the parallels between her life and Quinn’s-I obviously had more sympathy with Bea as her parents have to work themselves sick to get oxygen for her.

I liked Quinn, yes he’s privileged but he’s brave and you can tell that he really cares about Bea even though he is a Premium and doesn’t have to worry about oxygen as much as she does and I thought it was quite funny when he was obsessing about Alina’s “assets” but man was he dumb! I can’t believe how long it took him to work out that Bea liked him when it was so obvious to everyone from the start.

I didn’t find that Alina had many redeeming qualities-I usually do like feisty girls but Alina didn’t seem very human-after you see she was willing to leave an old lady for dead, you kind of lose any empathy you may have had for her. She did seem to care about Bea which was great but she seemed pretty stupid to me-why would you steal a government tank which you know can be tracked? I definitely preferred Bea and Quinn to Alina. I would like to learn a little more about Alina’s parents as we don’t learn much about them. Crossan does do well at giving the characters different “voices”-you could tell who the perspective of the chapter was from without looking at the headings of the chapter. I’d also like to learn more about Quinn’s dad as he seems like your typical villian (he works for Breathe) but there is a twist at the end.

The government is corrupt,  but the resistance doesn’t seem much better, you can’t exactly feel sympathy for people who throw people in dungeons and take orders from a nine year old girl (don’t even get me started on Jazz). I was glad, however that the author was not preaching about the importance of protecting our environment but simply showing a possible version of the future (albeit not realistic, we would never cut down all the trees).

Overall this novel has an interesting premise and the plot is decent enough, the characters do have growth throughout the book and the cliffhanger at the end means I just have to read the second one to find out what happens!

My rating: 3/5

The next book I will be reviewing is The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Nighttime by Mark Haddon.