Friday, September 4, 2015

Novel Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance; Abuse, Homeless
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 2012
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Joy Delamere is suffocating.

From asthma, from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. She can take his cruel words, his tender words...until the night they go too far.

To escape, Joy sacrifices her suburban life to find the one who offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, to its rules of survival, and to love—-a world she won’t easily let go.

Set against the backdrop of the streets of Seattle, Holly Cupala’s power­ful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the secrets we keep, and the ways to redemption. But above all, it is an unflinching story about the extraordinary lengths one girl will go to discover her own strength.

The Cover:

I don't mind this cover. I think that the color of the title is eye-catching, and the image of the girl works for the book. But it's not particularly pretty to me.


Joy can’t take it anymore. From her severe asthma and her overprotective parents, to her abusive boyfriend. She needs to get out. And when she meets a homeless boy, she takes the chance and runs away. It’s tough, but she finds friendships with Asher and his group, and they’re handling it.
This is definitely a harsh, realistic look at being homeless. Joy and them are homeless in Seattle, and they have a hard time getting money, finding food and shelter, staying clean. There are pimps and women who are abused and whored out. Stealing stuff is an inevitable, and they have a hard time of that. Asher plays music for money when he can, the other do what they’re able to. And Joy doesn’t really fit.
The homeless part definitely made me look at it differently. Which is good, that it changed my perspective a little. But it also made the ending a little less believable.
I wanted all four of them to have a happy ending, of course. They’d been through terrible stuff, and I wanted them to be okay. But after everything, I had a hard time believing it was that easy for them to come out okay and start working. I’m happy that they did, but still. The way Joy stood up for herself to her ex-boyfriend at the end, though, also seemed too easy.
It took a while for me to feel the chemistry between Joy and Asher, too, but I liked where they were at the end.
There were parts that didn’t quite work for me, but I do think that it was worth reading if for nothing else than the look at being homeless.

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