RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Breathless by Sophie Jordan


Title: Breathless
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publication Info: Avon Impulse 2012
ISBN: 9780062254290
Genre: Paranormal

Book Breathless This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Sassy Outwater. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Best Romance Novella category.

The summary:     

For Az, it's supposed to be a fun summer vacation with her family. Nothing complicated. Just a quick trip to test the waters as she prepares for a year on her own. That all changes when she rescues a drowning girl and meets Tate—the most gorgeous human boy she's ever seen.

Tate throws her heart, her plans, and her life into upheaval, but the closer she gets to him, the harder it is to hide the secret of what she is. With no hope for a future together, the last thing that can ever happen . . . is love.

And here is Sassy's review:

Books are like jigsaw puzzles. Early in the RITA® reviews, I compared them to coffee, I know, but now they're jigsaw puzzles.

So as you read, you put the pieces together:

For a YA, we have your typical rebellious teenaged girl with a good heart. She sneaks out but is still worried about her overbearing yet lovable parental units. Yep, we have those pieces too, the scholarly, bookish dad and the nosy, interfering mom.

Then there's the daring adventure our secretly fearful, outwardly courageous heroine goes on. In this instance, she finds a secluded little spot on the lake where her family is vacationing, just the perfect spot for her to swim alone and enjoy a quiet day kind of near humans… but not really. See, humans are the zoo exhibit in this book.

Which brings us to our plot twist. Our main character is a Draki, a descendant of dragons, able to shift into this amazing swiming, flying creature. Letting humans know what she is, well, of course that's not allowed. So she's out on a summer vacation, where the parentals get to find out if she can be trusted around the big bad humans.

So what does she do? Why, she supplies the next piece of our puzzle, of course. She saves a damsel in distress, who just happens to be the beautiful, Stanford-bound sister of our athletic, gorgeous human hero. Yep, there's our hero piece.

Then we meet the jealous ex-girlfriend, and the drunk football rival, and yep, there's the torturous keeping-secrets-from-each-other part, and the part where he's in love with her but she can't be in love with him.

All the pieces are there, and I liked parts of this novella, but overall, It felt like all the obligatory parts were there and… that's it. Formulaic. I wanted more. This is 3.5 in Jordan's Firelight series. i guess that means I have to go back and read book 1. Which I have since done, and I liked, so I'm previously experienced with this world and know there's more than just the fleeting glimpse we get here. The Draki are an interesting mix of human and nonhuman, and while that gets a cursory mention here, the main focus is on hiding true nature, or loving in spite of the unknown. Which is great, except… why?

These characters have had all of one quick conversation and a few brief encounters and kisses between their first meeting and that big profession of love. I don't quite see enough demonstration of why the hero loves the heroine so. We get her point of view: he's hot. He keeps pursuing her. That's great, but that usually makes for a first date, not the Big Finale.

While there were parts of this book I liked and while it was a quick taste of good things in this series, it was missing a big piece of the puzzle for me: More! More hero, more setup for the romance. The ex-girlfriend and the drunk football rival just felt shoved in there because, well, it's a YA, they have to be there. I wanted surprises and didn't get any. Still, if you take it for what it is, I liked this book enough to give it a C and yes, it has reminded me I should go get back into this series. I will pick up book 2 soon.

 This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks.

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