Out of Breath (Breathing #3) by Rebecca Donovan ✰✰✰✰

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Emma leaves Weslyn and everyone in it behind to attend Stanford University, just as she always intended. A shell of her former self, she is not the same girl. She is broken, and the only way that she’ll be whole again is through forgiveness. Emma must find a way to forgive herself and recognize her own worth before she can receive the love she deserves. This final installment will have readers holding their breath until the very last page.

My Casting

Ok, I think this is a prime example of it being so long between books that you kind of forget what happened.

3.5 stars!

“To breathing!” Serena raised her shot glass to mine.

 

I remember feeling as though I’d had my heart ripped out of my chest, at the end of book #2, but I couldn’t remember a lot of the details, because an awful lot happened. So, seeing as book #3 focused a lot on the things that happened in book #2, I spent a lot of Out of Breath racking my brain. I had a quick flick through the last book, but didn’t want to have to read the whole thing again.

So, because of that, I think that I didn’t connect as well to the story as I might have otherwise. I wish I’d waited and read all three books at once, because I do think that this is an epic series. There is so much heartbreak and anguish. Honestly, how one girl can survive so many horrific experiences, I don’t know.

Every choice had a consequence. I’d earned every aching beat that pounded in my chest.

In the third and final instalment of the series, we see Emma really struggle to cope. If she thought she was struggling before hand, that was nothing to the pain and guilt she is feeling now.

 

This book begins two years after book #2 finishes, with threw me for a loop! So two years have gone by since she has seen or spoken to Evan.

She is getting through college, but she is closed off and a shell of her former self. She has a great group of room mates who are on constant Emma Surveillance, which seemed a little bit mad to me. They make she doesn’t drink too much, or get upset by anything, or do anything stupid.

Out of Breath takes place over the summer, where Emma is finally forced to confront her past, stop hiding away and make some decisions.

I was so tired of fighting. Tired of hurting. Tired of the guilt that would never release me, and the regrets that could not be changed. I didn’t want this life.

Enter Cole. He is the first to push Emma to make decisions. He wants Emma and relentlessly pursues her until she gives in.
Sooo…. we’re all waiting to read this book about Emma and Evan getting their HEA… and in wanders Cole, throwing a spanner right into the middle of the works.

I needed him in a way that probably wasn’t healthy for either of us. He was my fix. Even if he could never fix me.

Argh! To say I was frustrated was an understatement. But as Cole and Emma’s ‘relationship’ developed, I had totally conflicted feelings. I wanted Evan! But Cole is such a sweet, likable character, and Emma puts him through hell! So, I knew I wanted Evan, but I knew, for that to happen, Cole was either going to have to turn into an asshole, or get seriously hurt. OR, maybe she doesn’t end up with Evan!!!… and I was like ‘Argh, no, I don’t want ANY of those things to happen.’ So, it was inevitable, someone was going to end up in tears… my money was on me!

“I don’t want you to hate me. I want you to forgive me. I want you to love me again. But I don’t know how to let you if I can’t forgive myself. It always comes back to forgiving, doesn’t it?”

Anyway, never fear, Evan makes his come back. And, oh, how I love him.

All because of a girl with a fiery attitude and a blush that let me know exactly what she thought of me. That’s all it took, and I was hers.

He is kind, caring, protective, but also very very broken, now. He is mistrusting, cautious, wary… and who can blame him.

“I only exist because of you, Evan. You’ve saved me more times than you know. I’m so afraid I’m not worth the breath you gave me.”

So, the story continues as Emma tries to deal with the re-opening of those deep, painful wounds. Cole tried to work out whether there is any place for him in Emma’s future. And Evan attempts to understand and forgive Emma’s actions of two years ago.

“I’m not supposed to live without you. And you’re not supposed to live without me. We’re in this life together. Without each other, we’re not really living.”

 

I felt like I didn’t recognise Emma’s character in this book, but I do think that that was kind of the point. The events from her past had left her unrecognisable and unable to carry on as she was. It was frustrating as hell and sometimes, I wanted to stab her in the eyes at so many points in the book… but then, if you’d been through everything she’d been through, how do you think you would fair? I don’t know that many people would be entirely sane, given the circumstances.

I love him more than he will ever know. And because of that, I choose his happiness.

 

I did kind of feel that it went around in circles a little bit. Something set her off, she lost control, got drunk/went running/went skinny dipping/cliff diving/[enter other crazy coping mechanism here], someone picked up the pieces and off we went again… I don’t really know what I wanted from this book, but then it isn’t my job to come up with the story and I do think this fell a little short of my expectations, having had such a rollercoaster ride with books one and two. The first two books were so bold and the storylines were so defined and purposeful, that this book didn’t match them, in my opinion.

So, feeling a little ‘meh’ right now. I really really want to recommend this series, as #1 & #2 were just insanely awesome… but book #3 was just… okay.

 

Out of Breath Statistics
Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥
Ending: HEA
Series: ✓
Reading Order: 
Book #1 – Reason to Breathe
Book #2 – Barely Breathing
Book #3 – Out of Breath
Can this be read as a standalone? No
Themes:
Child abuse (first book)
Grief
Guilt
Alcoholism
Second chance love
Warning. This book includes…
Thoughts of suicide
Alcoholism
Death
Writing: Good

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This entry was posted in Angst Overload, Breathing, College Romance, Death, Love Triangle, Mental Health, NA, Out of Breath, Rebecca Donovan, Series. Bookmark the permalink.

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