Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Breathless-- Jessica Warman

I have to admit that I love this cover. Something about those underwater shots always grab me. Anyway, on to the book!

Katie's family wasn't always rich. They used to live in a cottage, hang out together, and be a "real family." But as her father started to make more money, he became more controlling... her mother in now an alcoholic, and her brother suffers from drug induced schizophrenia. When he tries to kill himself, Katie's father decides to ship her off to boarding school rather than deal with a family embarrassment... and her brother is shipped off to a mental institution.

Swimming has always been Katie's escape. When the captain of the swim team at her new school asks Katie what her best swimming stroke is, Katie shrugs and says all of them... and it's true. We follow Katie as she succeeds at swimming, but basically fails at the rest of her life. Compelling supporting characters, like her roommate Mazzie and her brother Will, really round out the story. I was tricked into thinking this was going to be another one of those rich girl boarding school books, but it's not... it goes deeper than that and teen readers will likely become engrossed in Katie's struggles.

I would recommend this to teen girls who like family dramas, boarding school books, stories that include lots of teen partying, and sports (swimming especially).

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