Review: Don’t Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.
Joy can take his words—tender words, cruel words—until the night they go too far.
Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe…if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.
Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.
Don’t Breathe a Word is so utterly compelling and honest that I was speechless after turning the last page. This is the most horrifying yet captivating story of abuse that I have ever read. Holly Cupala enthralled me with her flawless writing and engaging characters. Don’t Breathe a Word is one of the best books that I have ever read.
Don’t Breathe a Word is a daring tale about Joy, and how she goes to extreme lengths to get away from her abusive boyfriend. She runs away to live the life of a homeless teen and changes her whole persona. She adopts a street name, Triste, and does all that she can to make it in this tough life. Creed, May, and Santos, fellow homeless teens, bring her into their circle and she becomes a part of their misfit family. As Triste adapts to her new life, she begins to open up to her “family” and slowly starts to heal from the emotional (and physical) wounds Asher inflicted upon her.
Triste is such a brutally honest and open narrator that I took an immediate liking to her. I cringed at her flashbacks to Asher, and how he so easily manipulated her and tore her down. Asher is the most evil and uncaring person that I have yet to see in YA. He cuts into Triste at every opportunity, and inflict such deep emotional wounds that it takes a while for Triste to start the healing process. I understood why Triste went to such extremes to get away from him, and why she had to do what she did to protect her family.
Triste’s family of homeless teens were each heartfelt in their own way. Creed is one dreamy, charming, and affectionate guy that I fell for just as easily as Triste. He watches out for everyone and makes sure they are okay. Creed and Triste’s romantic relationship was so slow and sweet and perfect. Then there is May, who acts rough on the outside, but on the inside you can tell that she has a huge heart. Her story is a very shocking and sad one. Santos is a cutie! He is very charming and funny, but he also has his own dark past.
Don’t Breathe a Word is a highly captivating story that drew me in from the first sentence. It is so heartfelt and honest that I was emotionally involved up until the very end. Do not miss out on this beautiful story of how one special girl deals with abuse.