Breathe

Sarah Crossan, Author
Sarah Crossan. Greenwillow, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-211869-1
Reviewed on: 10/08/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
In the start of a new trilogy, Crossan explores a dystopian world in which oxygen is a rare commodity, strictly controlled by the government of a domed city that houses much of the world’s diminished population. Sixteen-year-old Quinn, a wealthy Premium, and his best friend Bea, one of the city’s many underprivileged Auxiliaries, are about to embark on a camping trip outside the pod when they meet Alina, part of a band of rebels dedicated to replanting trees and restoring the oxygen-rich atmosphere of generations past. As the three work to stay alive in the deadly outside world, their fragile bond is threatened as tensions rise to the point of all-out war and revolution. The concept of Crossan’s first YA novel has potential, and it’s enlivened by her attention to detail, the trio of narrators, and constant tension. But while the story is well-executed, with characters readers will grow to care about, its reliance on well-worn themes of governmental corruption and class warfare may make it difficult to stand out in a crowded genre. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Oct.)
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