Monday, February 9, 2009

Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson


"I need to see you. Please come right away We have to finish."

Life should be sweet for Frances Robinson. She has a quirky best friend, lives in a McMansion with a loving, adopted family, and has just met a dreamy new guy from Louisiana, Nix, as charming and exotic as evening on the bayou.

So why is she terrified of ambulances screaming by in the night? And what makes her so uneasy about the coming of spring?

Frances has a secret-the most terrifying secret in the world. A secret that has haunted her for eleven years: her birth mother, Afton Jelks.

Afton is the mother who laughed, sang, and made up stories for Frances and her three sisters when they lived in Fireless, a place of mystery and imagination. A place where Afton led them deeper and deeper into darkness, until one horrific morning in April when Fireless overtook the real world, and Afton committed an unspeakable act.

Now Afton is back, and Frances' secret horror threatens to rip her happy world apart all over again. She sees one chance to regain her life: confront the monster in its lair and find peace-or die trying. She and Nix embark on a desperate clandestine journey that will become the most dangerous quest of her life when she discovers just what it means to finish. (from back of ARC)


Before reading Breathe My Name, I had seen a couple of stories where the mother or father had killed their children after facing a big form of depression, but I had never really given it much thought to what it must be like to be the child left behind, the one who was saved. So, when I began this I didn't really know what to except from Frances. I wondered if she would have an all around pity party for herself constantly, pretend it didn't happen, or just deal with the consequences.

Within the first chapter it was established that she just dealt with the situation and tried not to think about it much. No pity party for her, I was happy. Anyway, I felt Frances was an extremely strong character given what she had to remember every day for the rest of her life. Also, she was likable along with the rest of the characters.

My favorite part of the story was Nix, though. He was just an all around happy and sensitive guy who didn't care what other people thought. Also, he had a couple of funny lines in the story. The only problem I had with him was that he was too perfect sometimes. He just seemed to always be the all around good guy. Frances and him never got in fights, he was constantly their for her even when he had his own problems and so on. I just felt that maybe R.A. Nelson should have given at least a couple of faults.

The main problem of the story( Frances having to deal with her past and have to deal with her birth father and mother) was complex and interesting. I liked seeing the alternate chapters, ones sit in Fireless and ones set in present day, I felt that without seeing what Fireless was all about the story would be lacking and you wouldn't really understand what had happened.

Overall, R.A. Nelson has created a excellent novel that makes you feel that your right there with Frances ever step of the way. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

Grade: B+

Breathe My Name is out now in paperback. You can find out more about it here. Also, be sure to check out his website and myspace.

* Much thanks to JL, yet again, for sending me this wonderful book!


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