Resist (Breathe) by Sarah Crossan

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Resist (Breathe) by Sarah Crossan

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Sequel to Breathe, a thought-provoking dystopian novel set in a deforested world where oxygen is in short supply. Lots of action, great characters, and many skilfully integrated plot threads.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: October 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408827204

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Resist carries on where Breathe left off. To catch you up: deforestation has resulted in environmental catastrophe and the world is a ravaged place in which there isn't enough oxygen to fully sustain human life. A corporation, Breathe, runs the Pod, whose inhabitants are divided into Premiums (plenty of oxygen) and Auxiliaries (barely enough). Outside, drifters struggle to survive. With one alternative to the Pod - The Grove - destroyed by the Pod Ministry, Alina, Bea and Quinn, our three central characters, set out on separate, but equally perilous, journeys to find the other, Sequoia. And back in the Pod, Ronan is rethinking the world he thought he lived in but didn't.

But Sequoia turns out to be far from the promised land. Can four teenagers defeat two dangerous enemies? Can they find a way for the world to breathe again?

A quick note before I really get on with it: Amazon is telling me that Resist is part of a Breathe trilogy. I don't think it is - this book feels as though it's achieved closure in both characters and plot to me. I hope this is the case because the story seems told and I am tiring of series - especially in this overheated dystopian genre - that go on for a book, or two books, or three books, too long. Resist packs a great deal into its three hundred-and-odd pages and I think it's the better for it.

Crossan tells the story with four narrators - adding Ronan into the mix for this second book. Her chapters are short and sharp and this adds a real sense of urgency and danger. It also absorbs the reader, who will need to concentrate. I don't want to say too much about the plot for fear of spoilers but rest assured it's tense, exciting and action-packed. Quinn, Bea, Alina and Ronan are very different characters but they are joined by a determination to fight until the very end, no matter what the cost. I liked all of them.

Crossan's world is a frightening but credible one and her picture of the drifters, driven mad by desperation and oxygen deprivation is truly horrific. It made me spookily aware of every breath I took while reading. She also has quite a lot to say about how power corrupts and the ways in which our leaders so frequently let us down. Each plot thread draws gradually together until we come to the finale, which really is rather marvellously done - no clues but I will say that it's bittersweet.

Resist comes recommended for all readers with an interest in environmental issues, who enjoy dystopian fiction, and who like their stories to be focussed and fast-moving.

Other interesting dystopian stories with an environmental background include Momentum by Saci Lloyd and Dark Life by Kat Falls.

Buy Resist (Breathe) by Sarah Crossan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Resist (Breathe) by Sarah Crossan at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Resist (Breathe) by Sarah Crossan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Resist (Breathe) by Sarah Crossan at Amazon.com.


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