Series: Hundred Oaks #5
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 320 (ARC)
Source: BEA 2014
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
This is my favorite Kenneally book yet. There, I said it! It feels so good to finally announce this to the world! This was one of my first post-BEA reads and I felt like all the feels that this book gave me have been waiting to be unleashed for what feels like forever. But seriously though, this book made me feel ALL THE FEELS. With several characters from previous novels making appearances, this is a super enjoyable read.
Annie is perhaps one of the easiest main characters to get behind ever. Despite being a terrible runner, she is training for a marathon to run on behalf of her ex-boyfriend. Her ex unfortunately has passed away and she blames herself. This guilt haunts her so she has to do something for him and since he was training to run this very marathon when he passed, it's only right for her to do this in his honor. It's hard not to respect her, right? This novel is her journey to self-acceptance and realizing that it's okay to grieve, but first love is not your only love and you can find love again.
The love interest, Jeremiah, is someone who may or may not be familiar to readers, if you catch my drift. I happened to love him. A supreme adrenaline junkie, he is constantly putting himself in harms way to get his blood pumping faster. He craves this feeling above all else. A reformed "man-whore" he is now doing everything in his power to be on good terms with his family and keep his job as the pacer for his older brother, Matt, and his new marathon training camp.
There, he meets Annie and both of their worlds are completely turned upside down. While their romance sparks in a really unique manner, you can't help but see that Annie is desperate for romantic attention that she doesn't think he deserves and Jere is trying to find a girl who understands him that he can really, truly be with. Their journey to love is a special one and it is so well done I can't help but applaud Kenneally for how real it seems. There are ups and downs, many mistakes, an abundance of cuteness, and struggles with coming to terms with one's self worth while the other overcomes an adrenaline addiction. And, in the end, there's perhaps the sweetest love imaginable--both romantically and for running. Man, I need myself a Jeremiah. On a side note, I absolutely adore his name!
The ending, in my opinion, was perfect for this novel. However, it came way too soon. Not because there are pacing issues, but because I connected so much with this story that I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Annie and Jeremiah. I want to follow their journey specifically. While I know there will be more books in this series, I want more books about them. This just emphasizes how well characterized they are.
This book will give any reader a love of running and a huge adoration for this cast of characters. It will only reaffirm previous loves in the series, too. Though this book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading the previous novels so you can smile at the little things and appreciate the novel even more as a whole. There's literally nothing negative I can say about this one. Kenneally has stolen my heart and took off running with it.
Warning: There is sexual instances, cussing, and under-age drinking in this novel.
FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.