- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 26 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1534406018
- ISBN-13: 978-1534406018
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.8 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 821 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #336,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Learning to Breathe Hardcover – Jun 26 2018
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“A love letter to girls—bittersweet and full of hope.” (Ibi Zoboi, author of National Book Award Finalist AMERICAN STREET)
“This is a stellar debut.” (Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of LITTLE & LION and POINTE)
“A vibrant, essential story of healing, resilience, and finding one’s family.” (Stephanie Kuehn, author of William C. Morris Award winning CHARM & STRANGE)
“A raw, beautiful, unforgettable must-read.” (Tiffany D. Jackson, author of ALLEGEDLY)
“Poetic.” (Angela Johnson, award-winning author of HEAVEN)
“If you want to understand #MeToo for a sixteen-year old growing up on what many Americans know mostly as a tourist paradise, read Learning to Breathe. Mather is stunning as she shows us Indira's Bahamas, its landscapes, the search of a girl for herself on her island home. Indira will break your heart with her fierce voice and grit in the face of living in a family so damaged they all but abandon this beautiful girl of their own.” (Terry Farish, award-winning author of THE GOOD BRAIDER)
"Through well-crafted dialogue, fresh characters, and solid pacing, the book's mature themes are handled carefully and with sensitivity. A powerful, poignant story about refusing to let the past dictate who you are or who you will become." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Much like Ibi Zoboi’s American Street, this challenging read confronts injustice and celebrates strength of character and spirit." (Booklist)
* "This is a well-written, thought-provoking book that tackles difficult topics such as unwanted pregnancy, familial relationships, and rape, with nuance... A stirring debut for all YA collections." (SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, STARRED REVIEW)
*A Junior Library Guild Selection
About the Author
Janice Lynn Mather is a Bahamian writer with an MFA from the University of British Columbia. She has been a collector of interesting jobs: journalist, conversationalist, performance poet, and professional finger-wagger. Currently, she lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she hunches over her computer, grows vegetables, dabbles at the beach, reads in the sun, grumbles at the rain, and, most of all, writes.See all Product description
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Learning to Breathe introduces Indy, a teenager hiding more than one secret. All her life, Indy's been the girl everyone talked about. From her body to her family to her choices, everyone seems to have an opinion. From the very first page Indy's voice grabbed me and didn't let me go until the very end. When the story first begins, Indy's at a crossroads. She's forced to leave the person she loves the most, the one who also loves her the most, and go to a new place. She doesn't fell very brave, but it was easy to see that she was. Throughout the course of the story, Indy faces so many hard choices and tough situations, but she always managed to stand strong, and I admired that about her. She was resourceful and smart, more so than many gave her credit for. I loved the relationship between her and her grandmother. It was sweet and thoughtfully developed, and I feel like it was essential to who Indy was. She never wanted to disappoint her grandmother, to let her down, and while I could understand that, there were so many times at which I wish she would've gone to her for help.
Over the course of the book, a variety of characters are introduced - some good and some bad - and each had an important role to play. The biggest surprise, however, was Crunchy. When Crunchy is first introduced, he doesn't seem like he'll be very important, but I was wrong. Crunchy turned out to be such a sweet and caring individual, and I loved the friendship that resulted between him and Indy. It warmed my heart. I was so happy to finally see someone fighting for her again, some who was willing to do anything to help her. It was so different from the other people in her life. Those individuals...well, they were just terrible.
Learning to Breathe deals with tough subjects - teenage pregnancy, sexual assault, etc. I thought Janice did a wonderful job of handling each topic. Indy's story is an important one, because there are girls like her out there, girls who no one will listen to, girls that need our help, and I hope this book will open people's eyes to this. Some people have said that the ending was a bit too ideal, and while I somewhat agree, I was happy with where it left off.
In all, Learning to Breathe is a heartbreaking and gripping read, perfect for fans who love hard hitting YA contemporary. This may be my first book by Janice but it certainly won't be my last.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Learning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather. Indy comes from a dysfunctional family except for her loving grandmother who would do anything for her, but she’s not always close enough to help and doesn’t own a phone. Indy has been sexually abused and ended up pregnant and she feels alone, with no one to turn to. She’s living with her Uncle, his wife and her two cousins. Her Uncle cares for her but he’s gone a lot on business. Aunt Patrice treats Indy with disgust. Her cousin Smiley is friendly to Indy but busy being a teenage girl. Her cousin Gary is the one who abuses Indy. This story holds many messages in its pages: you don’t know who you can trust; don’t judge quickly or make assumptions; there are good people in the world; perseverance and resilience are important skills; friends can be found in the most unexpected places and your choices are your own to make. Truly a touching story dealing with some tough issues, 4 stars!
* I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration. All opinions and thoughts are my own.