Breathless by Jennifer Niven

I’ve read a couple Jennifer Niven books; after being introduced to her as an author through Zoella’s book club, and always enjoyed them. Therefore, I preordered this book really looking forward to an easy reading YA romance.

Breathless is a coming of age story about Claude and 18-year-old virgin who’s summer before college plans her quickly cancelled when her parents announce they are separating. Not only has the floor disappeared from under her feet due to the news, but she is being whisked away to an island off the coast of the Carolina’s for the summer with her Mom. Claude is furious, however what she doesn’t anticipate is that whilst on the island she would not only discover herself but also her first love and be reminded of how great her Mom is.

In the acknowledgements at the end of the novel i learned that Breathless is based off Niven’s own experience of her parents separation and being forever to spend the summer somewhere. I don’t know whether this is the reason that I found then writing style different in this book than her previous stories but I definitely did not love this book.

The first two chapters were so awkward and if I hadn’t already enjoyed books by Niven I would’ve been tempted not to finish. As I had just felt like this reading The Book to Two Ways by Jodi Picoult just before this book I felt like it really might improve and I might learn to love it. It did improve but I didn’t learn to love it. I found the story to be lacklustre and Claude was really infuriating and petty. At one point she says ‘I want to fling my phone into the water and have a full-on Kindergarten tantrum’ and to be honest there is exactly how she read to me. There was also a bit of forced feminism I felt which just didn’t suit.

I’m disappointed but you can’t win them all I guess! I gave Breathless 2.5/5 stars.

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