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Sneddon Try Not To Breathe cover

I actually read Holly Seddon’s book Try Not to Breathe on Groundhog Day…highly appropriate, since there was so much about it, both in plot and tone as other things I have read recently (esp. Girl on the Train).

There are several interesting characters in the book, especially the two women Alex and Amy, who are connected in the present day by a horrific event that happened fifteen years ago and left Amy is a vegetative state. Alex, a journalist who seems to be trying to resurrect either her career or her sense of self-worth (or both?), is working on a story about Amy and comes across Jake, who was Amy’s boyfriend back in the day and who has continued to visit her pathetically sad space nearly every day since. Of course, there is a mystery surrounding the events that led to Amy’s current situation, and there is sort of a mystery about Alex’s messy life and whether or not she can get it together, and what the hell is Jake hanging around for? (a question his pregnant wife is also asking).

It was a quick read, and the characters were compelling, but I cannot say I LIKED the book. It was more the train wreck, I just couldn’t look away! I am not bothered by alternating points of view or shifts in time, and I think the author did a great job portraying the pain caused by Alex’s addiction. So, if you want a book that will grab you in terms of mystery and wanting to know why characters do what they do, grab this one! I give it four stars for interesting plot and well-drawn characters, but there was a boatload of willing suspension of disbelief that had to happen (esp in terms of Alex still being alive after her self-destructive history and how Jake can chase people down while on crutches etc. – but overall, a thought-provoking read. Thank you, Net Galley, for an advance copy in return for my review.

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