Saturday, 21 April 2012

Don't breathe a word - Holly Cupala

Title: Don't breathe a word
Author: Holly Cupala
Publisher: Harper Teen
Date of publication: 3rd of January 2012
Number of pages: 299
Format: Paperback
Also known for: Tell me a secret.
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5

Don't breathe for me is a incredibly powerful and raw novel. It's sheer realism can be brutal and upsetting but it is done tenderly. The story revolves around Joy who is in a abusive relationship with her boyfriend Asher. She is suffocating both physically from her asthma and emotionally. Finally she has had enough and runs away in order to find the homeless boy who had offered her help upon witnessing Asher's controlling and abusive behaviour. He seems to be the only one who can really see her. She quickly discovers that street life is very difficult and Creed the homeless boy is none to pleased to see her.

Holly does not shy away from the realities of street life and it really pulled at my heart. I cared so much for the vulnerable teens at the center of this story. It really made me want to go out and volunteer at a shelter. Joy's tender relationship with Creed was wonderful and a pleasure to read. This book does address a number of issues that homeless teens face - sexual assault, physical assault, prostitution, drug addiction, hunger, illness and desperation. These teens are invisible. No one can see them, or people are quick to assume and label them with stereotypes. Absolutely must read if you like hard hitting but compassionate books.

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