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Breathe My Name book Review

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Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson

Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson

Ryley Sierra Lyons

Ryley Sierra Lyons

Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson

Ryley Sierra Lyons, Staff Writer

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“Breathe My Name” is a young adult novel written by R.A. Nelson. The story follows Frances Robinson, a junior in high school, and her battle with her dark past.

The story starts a little bit slowly and about a quarter of the way through the book, the plot begins to take off. It was a typical day for Frances until she gets home from school and finds R.C. Carruthers sitting in her home, with her parents. R.C. Carruthers informs the family that Frances’s birth mother, Afton Jelks, is being released from the Clover Mountain Correctional Facility, and being placed in a halfway home. Frances wants to come to peace with her past, and she feels as though the only way to do this, is to see her biological mother. Frances, her best friend, Ann Mirette, and Frances’s boyfriend, Nix come up with a plan to see Ms. Jelks. Along the way, Frances has to face many elements from her past, like the loss of her three younger siblings, and the reason her biological father put her up for adoption. But things don’t always turn out how they are planned.

“Breathe My Name” is kind of a hard book to follow, weaving back and forth from Frances’s childhood, and modern day. The book is exciting, but in very small doses. It does talk about serious mental illness, sexual situations, and issues of adoption, forgiveness, coping, and trust. The website commonsensemedia.org calls “Breathe My Name” a “very heavy, often disturbing book.”  Personally I didn’t find it that traumatizing, but I’m not that sensitive.  I imagine it would be stressful for someone who is sensitive or has dealt with traumatic events.  

I personally would not read this book again, or recommend “Breathe My Name” to anyone. The book is hard to follow and intense, but it’s also boring. It gives the reader teasers of dramatic events and rather than introducing them the author writes about something like the weather. It had a lot of detail missing. Certain areas of the book would just kind of end, and never really retouch on it.  It wasn’t a very memorable book.

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