Hold Me Like A Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance, Thriller
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Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.
Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can’t protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.
And in her family’s line of work no one can be safe forever.
All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.
Privileged Penny, the daughter of a crime family known for human organ trafficking, lives on the family estate and is confined to all that’s inside of it. Due to an autoimmune diseases that makes her bruise easily at the slightest touch, Penny isn’t exactly brought up as the next leader of the pack and she barely knows how to take care of herself when her entire world is turned upside down.
I enjoyed going on this adventure as slowly and then all at once, Penny’s life becomes one where she’s alone and on the run, trying to survive and looking for answers, a way to come out of hiding and heal in more ways than one.
What’s so great about this is that even though Penny is forced outside of the walls of her family estate, long before this happens, she longs to break free from the hold that her family has on her due to the fear of her condition getting the best of her. She knows the risks and is willing to face them and while she comes to face them in a much more complicated way than she ever thought she’d have to, she does. She’s no longer held down by guardrails and she grows towards a place where she’s able to hold her own.
In the beginning of the book, it was great to get to know Penelope’s brother, Carter and see their distant but present sibling relationship as well as get to know Carter’s best friend, Garrett through Penny’s eyes and get a (very) brief overview of the reputations of other notable crime families in this world.
Once the world is set up and we get comfortable with Penny and her life, all hell breaks loose. A family is divided. There are power shifts, unexpected allies and enemies. There’s romance, there’s mystery. It’s all very exciting. So much so that I read this in one sitting.
The story is inspired by the fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea which, I really don’t remember the last time I read that tale and if you can’t either, maybe the movie musical, Once Upon a Mattress starring Carol Burnett will ring a bell. Anyway, Hold Me Like A Breath is a fun story with thrilling fairytale like action and romance.
Now…yes, towards the middle of the book, a love interest is introduced and at first it feels like it’s all happening too fast but after thinking about it, I actually really like how it doesn’t shy away from the fact that Penny is vulnerable. At a time when everyone she loves is not within reach and as she aches for affection, she meets a boy. And she gets distracted. And she falls for him. It’s completely realistic not to mention, this is fairy tale inspired so it’s either going to take awhile for the romance to develop or the romance will sprout quite quickly. So. It makes sense and I didn’t mind it. I also like that this is an interracial relationship which I haven’t seen anybody talk about but it’s definitely something to acknowledge.
Penny does let love lead her more than a clear mind and that lack of balance irked me a little but keeping in mind her vulnerability plus what passes in fairy tale land and the goals here, I can accept the way things played out. I do wish we got a bit more of Penny grieving…it feels like it essentially stopped after the love interest was introduced. But other than that, no major concerns here.
Overall, there was plenty to enjoy, whether I guessed it or not (there are a few surprises here!) and I’m glad that I finally got to this book which has been sitting on my shelf unread for about a year! If this book is on your shelf or to read list, go ahead and knock this one out!
Hold Me Like A Breath by Tiffany Schmidt is available today.