Monday, July 20, 2015

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Breathe, Annie, Breathe
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Format I Read: Kindle
Pages: 306
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Stars: 3
Goodreads Link

You have no idea how much it pains me to say this… but this book was a bit of a disappointment. For the last few weeks, all I’ve heard about this book is gushing—gushing about the romance, the chemistry, the steam, the beauty of this book. Maybe I had high expectations. Maybe this book just wasn’t for me. Either way, it only earned 3 stars.

It was entertaining, sure. I didn’t get bored or feel that it dragged on. It just had no spark. It wasn’t a wow book.

For those who don’t know what Breathe, Annie, Breathe is about:

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

It was a great concept. I personally don’t run, but I admire people who use exercise as an escape. I loved that this book was exploring that, exploring the therapy behind running. And I loved how the book tracked her progress as she approached the big day, her marathon. I also enjoyed how the physical progress reflected her mental and emotional healing. That was really interesting to see! It was also really cool how Kenneally included Annie’s workout calendar at the end of every few chapters. That was a cool way to track the timeline and it really made the book more cohesive. I thoroughly enjoyed the running aspect of the book!

Unfortunately, it was the romance that didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It just didn’t click with me. I liked Jeremiah and Annie’s scenes together, but I didn’t feel any undeniable chemistry or any steamy sexual tension. Sure, I aww’d a few times. Don’t get me wrong, they had cute scenes. I liked their relationship. But I didn’t feel the electric charge, the sparks that I was promised. There wasn't enough development for me to get totally invested in their relationship. It was just too sudden and too forced to me.

Also… can we talk about their hookup? (This may be a mild spoiler, though it happens early on in the book. Tread carefully) They hookup on one of Annie’s early runs in her training. Out of nowhere. He takes her to the shade of some trees to cool down, they end up by a river, and suddenly their clothes are flying off. It literally had no foundation, no lead-up. I actually had to double back and reread the last few pages to see if I missed something. I felt like Kenneally just pressed the jump-start button to get the romance rolling; it just wasn’t natural.

Overall, Breathe, Annie, Breathe just didn’t strike a chord with me. It was a nice, light read that went by quickly, but nothing to write home about. Nonetheless, I recommend it for anyone looking for a relaxing read on the beach this summer!