Breathe Annie Breathe (Hundred Oaks, # 5)
By: Miranda Kenneally
Published: July 15th 2014 by Sourcebooks Fir
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.
But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.
"Breathe, Annie, Breathe is an emotional, heartfelt, and beautiful story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love. It gave me so many feels. Her best book yet." — Jennifer Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You
Breathe, Annie, Breathe was a book that I had decided I probably wouldn’t invest my time in initially. There was nothing wrong for me with the cover or the book description, but you know, there is a limited amount of time to read, right? Well that was until I started seeing Breathe, Annie, Breathe get some really good reviews. I can’t remember anything specific except I think I saw one person who said that this book made them cry.
I’ve been in a real Contemporary mood lately, and after picking up a mystery/thriller that had such a slow start, I needed something that I could finish quickly. I wanted a book to give me all the happy feels that I’ve come to associate with my love of reading. And Breathe, Annie, Breathe did just that. It did not, however, make me cry…at all…in case you were wondering. Maybe I was misremembering what someone else said. I'm not sure.
As the description says, Annie’s boyfriend Kyle died recently. He had been training to run a marathon. Annie feels a level of guilt over Kyle’s death that was a bit annoying. I mean it’s easy for an outsider to see that obviously Annie was in no way responsible for Kyle’s death, but it’s also easy to see how Annie gets stuck into the traps of asking “what if”. While I found myself rolling my eyes over Annie’s guilt, I was thankful that Miranda Kenneally didn’t dwell on this issue to the extreme of completely turning me off to what Annie was feeling.
Annie does decide to run the marathon that Kyle was aiming for, and so she signs up for training under Matt. Matt has everything planned out. Each day has a run scheduled by distance, he provides a meal plan, and I have got to give Annie kudos for sticking with this plan. I’ve done workout programs in the past, but the meal plans just aren’t always doable for me. Annie finds the training to be much more difficult than she expected it to be. Her stomach revolts against her and she also has issues with her knee. I don’t want to spoil too much here, but I will say that I was terrified that something really wrong was going on with Annie’s body. I really loved how Miranda Kenneally worked this aspect. It wasn’t too obvious. Just enough conflict. Nothing to have me rolling my eyes over.
Matt’s brother, Jeremiah, also helps with Matt’s clients. Jeremiah is a pacer. He helps to train the athletes looking to achieve a certain finish time in each race. He’s basically an adrenaline junkie. Jeremiah is game for any and every extreme sport out there. And he’s pretty good at everything he tries. Even still, injuries happen. Annie finds herself drawn to him, but not only does she hold herself back for fear of moving on from Kyle, from the guilt she feels over Kyle’s death, but she also fears opening up to someone who seeks out dangerous situations. I could really understand how she was feeling when it came to this. When you’ve been hurt in a specific way before, I think it is human nature that our brains seek to protect us from that same pain ever happening again.
Breathe, Annie, Breathe was my first Miranda Kenneally experience, and since finishing I’ve added all the other Hundred Oaks books to my TBR list. I’ll definitely be checking out more of her work. Breathe, Annie, Breathe has some language and some sexual situations. There wasn’t anything too graphic for me, and I was appreciative that the cursing wasn’t overboard, but if you’re sensitive to these things then be aware.
Ultimately, I think Breathe, Annie, Breathe was exactly what I needed. I picked it up and finished it within 24 hours. It gave me all the feels I was looking for, and I didn’t find myself groaning too much over the repeating patterns I’ve been seeing in YA/NA lately. I also loved that even though Annie wasn’t training for the purpose of getting fit, she was active, and Miranda Kenneally did a good job showcasing the difficulty but rewarding nature of a good workout. Breathe, Annie, Breathe gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Breathe, Annie, Breathe? What did you think? Let me know!