Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Breathless by Tara Goedjen. Read on to learn more about the book and what I thought about it!
The Breathless – Synopsis
No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.
Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day before. Ro’s sister Mae wouldn’t believe him, except that something’s not right. Nothing’s been right in the house since Ro died.
And then Mae finds the little green book. The one hidden in Ro’s room. It’s filled with secrets—dangerous secrets—about her family, and about Ro. And if what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever.
And maybe there are secrets better left to the dead.
The Breathless was one of those books I think I put too much pressure on to be my next favorite book.
I initially said yes to this blog tour over the summer because I thought the book would be a nice, spooky read for October. Over the next few months I couldn’t wait to dive in once October hit, snuggle up in bed, and be creeped out by this Gothic/horror/paranormal/mystery novel. Ultimately, I was left largely disappointed.
Perhaps this might be due to the fact that things don’t scare me easily, but The Breathless didn’t have me on the edge of my seat. There was nothing chilling about it. There weren’t really any super grotesque things involved. And the attempt at suspense ultimately fell through.
The characters? Honestly, a little boring if I’m being completely honest. Ro? Eyeroll. Mae? Sweet, but I felt like she could have been explored more, especially being that she’s sort of the main character. Elle? Girllll, I’m only bummed I didn’t get to see the B&B and it was wasted on Lance. Speaking of Lance? Creep. Cage? Dude. Tough break, but also you were annoying. Sonny? BYE. Fern? Give me the book from the point of view of this little one, please. She and Mae’s grandpa were my absolute favorites and the only characters I really looked forward to seeing.
The relationship between Mae and her grandpa was one of the few redeeming qualities of this book. I can’t quite put my finger on why I loved whenever they interacted, but I had such joy when they did. The outcome of their storyline broke. my. damn. heart. I couldn’t keep away the tears, and while there are other parts that should have moved me to tears, or at least make me feel somewhat sad, this part of the book was the only one to do so.
The only reason I finished the book was because I forced myself to do so. About halfway through the book, I didn’t necessarily care anymore about my questions being answered — which is not something that you should feel when reading a mystery novel. I finished it out of guilt — I would feel like a horrible book blogger if I committed to a blog tour and review, and then didn’t even finish the book. So I persevered, didn’t care for the ending or any character development (or lack thereof), and was not shocked, surprised, or even in the least, emotionally invested.
I can’t, in good conscious, recommend this to anyone, because I genuinely just did not enjoy it. Maybe I would have at a younger age when I personally didn’t hold books to such a high standard. But at 21, when I want my books to be diverse, challenging, and worth investing myself in, I can’t.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ = Okay.