Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.
But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
(Hundred Oaks #5)
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: July 15th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Annie, several months after her boyfriend’s death, has decided to run a marathon in his name because she feels guilty for wanting to go thirty minutes away to college instead of marrying him right out of high school. So she gets herself a running coach (I had no idea there was such a thing outside of high school and college) because she obviously has no idea what she’s doing.
Enter Jeremiah Brown, younger brother of Matt Brown from Kenneally’s Things I Can’t Forget, who is one of my favorite YA book boyfriends. Matt is Annie’s running coach and Jeremiah, now 20 and in college, is working for him. Annie and Jere have this instant attraction to each other, but there are several obstacles, including Annie’s grief and Jere’s inclination to dangerous activities like bungee jumping and motorcross, that keep them separated.
So Annie and Jere begin a tentative friendship, which is less than Jere wants but she cannot seem to let him out of her life. Annie and Kyle’s relationship, as well as the pitfalls of growing up, has caused her friendships to slide away, so Annie doesn’t have anyone other than her family. She needs to be interacting more with other people her age and get ready to move away. Annie is not really the type to put herself out there, and she is a little jealous of the friendship of other girls at school, so when a couple of them reach out to her, she tentatively moves in that direction.
This book is about grief and it’s effects. Annie is quite young and losing Kyle was devastating, but the people in her life don’t want her to wallow in the pain. Her mother and brother were very sweet, but they were ready for Annie to get back out there and not miss out on life and anything that might come her way. I loved how cute they were when Jere was around and Annie had to keep reminding them that they were JUST FRIENDS.
Overall, it was a bittersweet book about Annie finding the courage to move on after the love of her life dies. She’s still reeling the from guilt and loneliness that comes with something like this. Annie was brave, though, deciding to do something that she’d never even contemplated doing before and stuck with it, despite all the pain and complications. I loved that about her.
This book brings in a lot of characters from the other books in the series. Most of them, Matt and Jordan, have grown up and it was really sweet seeing them older and what direction their life has taken. Savannah, from Racing Savannah, was one of the girls that Annie becomes friends with, so she was the same age (I haven’t read that book yet, I need to get on it because she was adorable). It’s been so long since I read the other books, that I didn’t remember a lot of what and who were in them, so I think a reread might be in my future.
This book is less about the romance, though that was definitely there, than about Annie moving on and growing up. Jere is there for her in both ways and was a real prince. I loved their friendship as well as the other friendships she develops over the course of the book. A lot of times, friends are more important than family and I know, leaving this book, that Annie will be just fine because of all the people she has in her corner. Sometimes a book and it’s characters will make an impact on you in a way that makes you want to think about how you’re doing in life and what you could do to be a better person and more happy. Breathe, Annie, Breathe is definitely that book for me and I think it could be for a lot of people.
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Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.