86. Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

This was one of the 12 psychological thrillers I ordered at the beginning of the month. I took this with me on a hen party this weekend and managed to finish it in two days. Again, I didn’t see the ending coming and was surprised when I learnt the secret.

Synopsis (as taken from Amazon) is as follows:

Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she’s cut herself off from everything but her one true love – drink. Until she’s forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy.

Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She’s as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands.

Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in the coma…

Ability to read – I didn’t realise how many POVs and different time years this book would have. I’m always a little cautious of books that have them because I’m not always sure I’ll be able to process them correctly. That being said, I actually had little problem when it came to reading this. The different POVs did slow me down but I was so hooked on the story that it had little impact on my enjoyment.

Characterisation – I didn’t fully realise how much time I would have with the characters or how well I would get to know them. Between the POVs of Jacob, Alex and Amy, I felt I learnt more about them than I would normally learn about a character and the way the past had haunted and shaped them was interesting to read. I also thought the POVs of Amy trapped in her mind were exceptionally well-done and fully embodied what it must be like for many coma patients whose minds are still active.

Visualisation – For all the POV jumping the book does, the scenes are restricted to only a handful. So, following and identifying them was very easy. This book has more character development than scene building but I think it worked in its favour as it allowed me more freedom to interpret.

Uniqueness – I felt a rush of adrenaline and anxiety when reading this but it was a good surge rather than a bad one. It was a new direction for me in terms of solving a cold case and I liked how real it felt and how raw and vulnerable the characters were. It added a layer of depth I wasn’t expecting. I did find the book a little darker than what I expected but I mostly enjoyed it.

Star Rating – ★★★.5

Extra – The only gripe I had about the book was that the plot didn’t bare much resemblance to the blurb on the back of the book. In the case of this book, it was the blurb that had me interesting in reading it, so to discover that the blurb was just words was a little disappointing. While the book did take me on an addictive and emotional journey, I didn’t ever feel like Alex was in any danger and she certainly hadn’t been forced into writing the article.

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