How did my life get so broken? It’s a question Lacey St. James asks herself every day. Stuck raising her little brother in a trailer park while she works a dead end job at a grocery store, she has a stalker ex-boyfriend, a bad reputation, and no way out.
And then she meets Everett, whose presence changes her entire existence.
Everett is an outsider to her small community, in town for the summer house-sitting one of the grand mansions off the Mississippi coast. When he saves her in a bar one night, she’s grateful but wary of his intentions. Lacey doesn’t trust most men in her life, but for reasons Lacey can’t understand, Everett is completely captivated by her. He’s determined to show her that life can offer more than she’d ever hoped for, if only she believes in herself. As she works with him to free herself, Lacey desperately yearns to trust him, to move on and perhaps start fresh.
But what happens when she finds out that everything he’s told her about himself was a lie?
Lacey has had a hard life. Until she was 15 she lived in Oregon and had a good life with her mother, father and then eventually her little brother. Then when she was 15 her father died and she found out he was her step-father. Her mother moved them into her maternal grandmother’s trailer in Mississippi and then proceeded to drink herself silly. Lacey has to deal with her now non-existent mother (as she’s usually drunk and passed out) as well as her incredibly belligerent grandmother who treats Lacey like crap.
When the story begins Lacey – age 19 – is with her boyfriend Macon and from his first appearance on the page we can tell that’s he’s a complete ass. Controlling and physically abusive are just two of his finer traits. Ug. Lacey is headed out to a night on the town with a friend when she meets Everett. She’s attracted to him but with all the crap in her life she knows she should really remain friends. After an altercation with Macon at the club Everett gives her a ride home and that begins their friendship.
Lacey is hopeful that she can get her GED and get the hell out of town. She never finished high school after she was roofied and raped. Of course the small town spread rumors about her that make her out to be a slut who asked for what she got. She’s ready to stop being the social pariah but Everett makes her look at herself in a new light and they soon become more than friends. Unfortunately Everett’s not entirely truthful with Lacey as to who he is and why he’s in Mississippi (he’s from New York) and when that truth comes out it may be the end of their relationship.
Breathe Into Me was the story of two people who have serious issues individually finding each other despite their misery. I was happy that both Everett and Lacey had someone to go to that understood their pain and the story was well written but I honestly wasn’t thrilled with the book.
Lacey’s situation was heart-wrenching yet seemed SO horrible it was almost unrealistic. I guess I felt it was over the top – not saying this doesn’t happen in real life as I’m sure it does – and I found it to be a bit much to take. It’s horribly on paper – the only father she knows dies, she’s taken from everything she knows and has to live in a place where she’s hated just for being alive. Her mother turns into an inattentive drunk and then as if that’s not bad enough she’s roofied and raped and then painted as a whore as no one believes her THEN she has a physically abusive boyfriend who’s a controlling jerk? Wow. Just…wow. Everett helped her considerably, and Lacey did grow during the book but I felt the author just laid too much on one character.
Everett had his own issues with his family but I felt that in some circumstances there was no need to lie to Lacey or evade her questions. So he used to live their as a kid and was rich – why was he hiding that? IDK and couldn’t figure it out. He was a good guy though, for the most part, and I was happy he could help Lacey and in turn she could help him.
Overall it was a high drama/high angst story. I couldn’t get invested in the characters too much and that put a damper on my overall enjoyment of the book.
Rating: 3 out of 5