Monday, December 19, 2011

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Have you entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card yet? Click here!

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
HarperTeen, January 3, 2012
Summary from Goodreads:
Joy Delamere is suffocating... 

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. 

Joy can take her cruel words until the night they go too far. 

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe…if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late. 

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the hurt of bullying, the meaning of family, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

I really enjoyed this book. I felt that Holly Cupala gives us a startlingly realistic glimpse into the lives of homeless teens. It's scary stuff. My town and the immediate vicinity cannot be considered big towns, so we don't have a strong homeless population--or perhaps I should say that if we do have a strong homeless population, it's not as obvious as it's portrayed in this novel. 

Anyway, our narrator, Joy, is suffering from so many issues that you just want to scoop her up and hug her. Joy has asthma, and not the seasonal kind like my daughter--she might develop a cough once or twice a year after a cold and have to take an inhaler twice a day for a couple days. No, Joy's got asthma so severe that she must always carry an inhaler (at least one, I think she usually has more with her). She constantly has to be hyper-aware of the air quality of her surroundings or risk a life-threatening lung infection. As a result of this, her parents are understandably protective.

Here's what I don't get, though. As soon as Joy was diagnosed, her well-being became her older brother's responsibility. Wait, what?  There's a difference between watching out for your kid sister on the playground and being told that it's up to you to make sure she doesn't die. No wonder the poor kid ran off to college--that's a pretty heavy burden for anyone to have to handle.

So you'd think that as soon as Big Bro heads off to college, Joy's parents would 1. ease up on Joy a little bit or 2. step up to the plate and start micromanaging looking out for Joy themselves, right? OK, but here's what they do instead--they pass the Joy baton on to Asher, son of a millionaire and not a nice guy. Hey, parents of children with asthma, here's a tip for you, courtesy of Christi the Teen Librarian! If your asthmatic kid comes home smelling like cigarettes, and you KNOW she's not stupid enough to smoke, that means her boyfriend is smoking. And if her boyfriend is SMOKING AROUND SOMEONE WITH ASTHMA, perhaps he is NOT THE RIGHT PERSON TO ENTRUST WITH THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF YOUR ASTHMATIC DAUGHTER. I'm just sayin'. And forget about the fact that, guess what? Asher is really, to put it mildly, NOT a nice guy. 

So, yeah, this book addresses tons of issues. But Holly Cupala has created a compelling story here. Obvs. if I'm this worked up about the parents of a fictional character, she knows how to create a realistic novel that manages to create hope out of the most desolate conditions. 

Read book through ARC blog tour hosted by Me, My Shelf and I. Thank you, Amber!
Enjoy your reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.