I received, “Breathe, Annie, Breathe” by Miranda Kenneally, for free in exchange for a review from goodreads. I had received this book months ago, but between my schedule and the book not catching my attention I put it off. One thing I learned and reminded myself of was that you should not judge a book by its cover. This book is captivating, entertaining, and simply put; well written and amazing. I loved this book and am looking forward to reading Miranda Kenneally’s other books. This was the first book I had read by Miranda Kenneally and I was surprised and am now a fan of her writing. A plus is the fact that Kenneally is from Tennessee and that the story takes place near and around Nashville. I live in Tennessee and have been to or heard of the towns she mentions in the story.
This story, Breathe, Annie, Breathe, is beautifully written. It is a story about running but beyond that it is a story about death, healing and new beginnings. In order to reach the point where healing can occur and new beginnings happen Annie must first take risks. She is scared about taking risks and loosing someone she cares deeply about but taking risks is part of the healing process. Throughout reading this story, my emotions were all over. I was sad, I was worried, but most of all I was happy. I was happy for Annie. Annie’s happiness leaped off the page.
When I started to read this book and discovered it was about running, I suddenly became very interested in the story. I have been running competitively for 18 years (Whoa! That’s a long time). In all my years running I have never read a book that is so much about running. It made me happy that someone finally did! Like Annie, running clears my head. If you’re worried about something, go running. If you’re sad, go running. If you’re happy, go running. Running de-stresses your life. I appreciated the fact that Kenneally really captured the atmosphere of running, and especially the running “high.” Another aspect I appreciated is how Kenneally shows issues that come with running and through the story the readers learn advice that will help; such as drinking gatorade to replace electrolytes, or using vasaline for chafing. While Annie is not someone who grew up running, she had a goal and took the proper and necessary steps to accomplish that goal. In the process she found herself.
The goal was to run and finish a marathon, a goal her boyfriend Kyle had set out to do but was unable to accomplish because of his death. Kyle wanted to run a marathon but is unable to so Annie decides to run a marathon in Kyles honor even though at the start she could barely run a half mile. Kenneally does not immediately tell her readers why Kyle died. In fact it takes most of the book to know but part of the mystery is what keeps the story going.
Kenneally does an excellent job of developing each character and showing their relationship with Annie; even repairing some estranged relationships. One of the characters, Jeremiah (Jere), has a very special place in Annie’s heart and ultimately helps the healing process not by forcing her to heal but by first being a friend (a distraction) and later a boyfriend who helps her to take risks, to do things that scare her just a little. The relationship portrayed between Jere and Annie is realistic. I love that their relationship started as friends but developed to something more.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult (YA) literature, love story and most of all an intertwinning of sports and relationships. The story will cause you to look at your relationships and maybe you’ll be motivated to train and run a marathon.
I give this book a 5/5 star rating.
Thank you for reading. Please comment or ask questions if you wish.
My next book is The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton