Bistro Book Club

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Breathless by Jessica Warman (2 reviews)

Reader: Robin M.
Age: 18
Today's date: 09/28/2009
Author: Jessica Warman
Title: Breathless
Publisher: Walker Publishing Company
Publication date: 2009
My review: Breathless, a novel by writer Jessica Warman, is a book that ties an emotional connection to the young adults and teens fighting to leave their mark on the world as they venture out of adolescence and travel the distance to adult hood and success. The author had an exceptional way of relating the characters with the generalities of many high school cliques. Her creation of the main character Katie Kitrell, expressed the emotional and physical conflicts that young woman may face as she endures and conceals a troublesome home life, all the while struggling to create an image of stability.

The setting for this book changes from her large home in a small and uninviting town to a ritzy boarding school. The difference between the characters in each location is distinctive. The individuals in Katie’s small town are vulgar and inept compared to those at her boarding school. Her successful parents, atypical in the shoddy town of Hillsburg, determine that Katie is an exceptional swimmer and this talent leads her to a path made for success. Despite her Olympic bound talent for swimming and the pressure she feels to integrate with the fellow students of her boarding school, Katie struggles with the relationship she has with her brother.

Warman successfully created the antagonist of this book as the main character’s schizophrenic older brother Will. Will, even though he is devoted to caring for his little sister Katie, causes inconsiderable amounts of pain and struggle for his family. As Katie Kitrell perseveres through the pain of her home life and tolerates the agony of keeping it concealed, she develops from a young lady, naive in many ways, to a mature and versatile woman.


Would you nominate this book for an award?: yes
How much do you read?: I read a couple books a month
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
I would also like to say: This book was well written and as a cause of this I have developed an intrest in the author.
I picked this book because (check as many as you like): I liked the cover. I heard someone talking about it, Reading expert.
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Reader: Katie D.
Age: 16
Today's date: 9/29/09
Author: Jessica Warman
Title: Breathless
Publisher: Walker Publishing Company
Publication date: 2009
My review:: At boarding school, Katie tries to focus on swimming and becoming popular instead of the painful memories of her institutionalized schizophrenic older brother. However, she can never seem to get him out of her mind, and when one of the other girls at school finds out about her family's problems, everyone treats her differently, badly, for lying about her brother being dead.
This story deals directly with everyday problems in high school life, in a not-so-everyday setting. The combination shows that no matter where you are, we all have the same issues, as well as all our hidden little secrets. Warman does an excellent job bringing all her characters to life, as well as forcing us into this realization.
Would you nominate this book for an award?: no
How much do you read?: I read a couple books a week
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
I picked this book because (check as many as you like): I liked the cover. A librarian recommended it. Just grabbed it. Other: The title sounded good.

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