Title: Try Not To Breathe
Author: Holly Seddon
Date finished: 2/24/16
Genre: Fiction, thriller/suspense
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Pages in book: 368
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
Some secrets never die. They’re just locked away.
Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down. Every day is treading water, every night is drowning. Until Alex discovers Amy Stevenson. Amy Stevenson, who was just another girl from a nearby town until the day she was found unconscious after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. Amy Stevenson, who, unbeknownst to her doctors, remains locked inside her body, conscious but paralyzed, reliving the past.
Soon Alex’s routine includes visiting hours at the hospital, then interviews with the original suspects in the attack. But what starts as a reporter’s story becomes a personal obsession. How do you solve a crime when the only witness lived but cannot tell the tale? Unable to tear herself away from her attempt to uncover the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she’s not just chasing a story—she’s seeking salvation.
Shifting from present to past and back again, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer until its heart-stopping conclusion. The result is an utterly immersive, unforgettable debut.
My rating: 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book will count towards my “Holiday 2015 Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “2016 Debut” square, since this was Seddon’s debut novel and it was released in 2016. This book is kind of jointly about Amy Stevenson and Alex Dale. Alex is a freelance journalist and professional alcoholic. Seems to me she only works about 2 hours every day, she goes for a run after she wakes up and then she has to be home by noon to lock herself away and turn off all her phones and electronics so that drunk Alex doesn’t get barely sober Alex into any trouble.
Lately she has been writing medical columns, which is how she ended up coming upon Amy Stevenson in the Bramble Ward at the hospital. Amy was abducted at fifteen and beaten almost to death and she was basically left in a vegetative state. Recent research by Dr. Haynes though, suggests that about half the “vegetables” of the world are actually fully conscious people who simply can not move, maybe due to paralysis or something else. This is the case with Amy, she has thoughts and memories and can hear what people are saying to her but she can’t figure out why she can’t talk back. Alex starts to investigate what happened to Amy that put her in this hospital, the case has been left unsolved for fifteen years. Along the way she interviews many people who knew Amy when she was fifteen and Alex can feel herself getting closer and closer to the truth.
Overall I really really liked this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat pretty much through the whole book, and I honestly just did not want to put it down. I couldn’t wait to figure out who the bad guy was and what had happened to Amy and what was Alex’s story. Alex is a severely flawed character but she is also deeply lovable not just in spite of but because of her vulnerabilities. There were a couple characters in the story that I wasn’t thrilled with overall but they each had their part to play and the plot overall was honestly just great. I thought it was well paced and interesting at all times and was just such a great debut novel, I can’t wait to see what else this author has in store!
The bottom line: Oh my gosh what a great book. Riveting, I didn’t want to put it down!! Alex was such a flawed main character but I loved her and I loved learning Amy’s story.
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page