Cheryl Renée Herbsman. Breathing. New York: Viking, 2009.

Savannah Georgina Brown lives on the coast with her mom and younger brother in a small two-bedroom house. Her father walked out when she was three, and that’s when her asthma attacks started.

It’s the summer before her junior year of high school, and Savannah has a job at the local public library.  One day at the beach, with her inhaler at home, Savannah has a severe asthma attack.  She’s rescued by Jackson, a dreamy surfer staying with his cousins for the summer.  He rushes her home, and her breathing eases.  As their relationship develops, the pains of her past and her asthma begin to lessen.  Their romance is cut short when Jackson has to leave to help his family.  With Jackson gone, Savannah must learn to cope with her asthma and the trials of a long term relationship.  This coming-of-age novel also explores family relationships.  Savannah’s mom, a single parent, deals with her only daughter beginning to date and the summer mischief that her 12-year old son creates.

Breathing is Herbsman’s first novel, and is loosely inspired by the vacations Herbsman spent on the North Carolina coast.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Herbsman, Cheryl Renée, New Hanover, Romance/Relationship

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