Just Breathe by Heather AllenEver Harding, an average teenager with a passion for swimming is about to turn eighteen. Out of the blue she has been dumped by her long time boyfriend, which is the ultimate of tragedies in her life. Little does she know that on that fated eighteenth birthday, she will have to make a choice that will change her life as she knows it, forever.
A month before her birthday, Ever meets Jack, a mysterious new boy with mesmerizing eyes. He affects her like no one else. This meeting sets things into a whirlwind she never would have dreamed. With Jack's guidance she discovers a family line that leads her to the sea. She must make the ultimate choice, stay on land where life as she knows it, won't change, or go and live in the sea as a mermaid with Jack.
Ultimately her choice sets into motion an even bigger decision, in which she has the fate of a race of people, in her hands. The people in the sea are in a feud, she will tip the balance. She must battle the ageless moral delimma of prejudice and race. Once she comes to terms with her life changing choices, she must ask herself, did I make the right decisions? and Is Jack really who I think he is?(le
I've never been a huge fan of the merfolk, but the way Heather detailed her side of the ocean was great!
Going through her first break-up with her first love, life at 17 seemed to be at it's worse for Ever. Her brother has been getting moody and her best friend is finally with the guy she has been wanting to be with for a couple of years.. who is also best friends with her ex - and watching Michael with his new girlfriend?!?! GAH!
Ever tries her best to pretend like she's ok. for everyone else's sake.
But when the new guy shows up and sits in Michael's old seat in class, she can't help but feel excited as those little shivers of electricity run though her body. That can't be real!
Not only is the new guy hot - he's kind of weird. She saw him at the lake the other day. She was swimming, and something had caught her eye from the water. Sneaking up, she saw this same guy laying on his back with light coming out of his hands?!? Seriously? Was she imagining it or what?
Jack feels the same electric charge when they're close together. and when they actually touch? WOWSERS!
There is defiantly something about Jack that Ever doesn't know.
When Jack ask's ever to drive up to the ocean with him, she gets even more excited. She had never been to the ocean before.
Swimming for competition was what Ever loved. Being in the water was just refreshing for her.
Things couldn't be more perfect. Until she opened her mouth and started asking questions. Jack was very truthful with his answers.
And he told her about his life under the water.
Well yeah that's a bit much for anyone to take in. but then he throws in the big whopper... She's just like him. When she turns eighteen in a few weeks, she is going to have to make the ultimate decision. To live on land, and forget she knew about the Merfolk, or join the sea folks and forget about her life on land.
Thta's going to be a hard decision for any girl her age. But luckily her Gram-aw was the same as she was, and was able to help her make her decision... well pretty much Gram-aw demanded that Ever stay on the land and have nothing to do with the Mer-folks again.
But Ever didn't know if she could stay away from Jack.
The dreams were getting more intense and she had no idea what they meant. But she knew she couldn't leave Jack. Not when he needed her the most.
I loved the world Heather Allen created under the water. This isn't just a girl turning into a fish and living happily ever after. She has her work cut out of her. No one wanted her in the sea - there is something bout her that scares all the others, and they will stop at nothing to make sure she doesn't cause problems.
Looking forward to the next book. there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, - well ok it's very unfinished and I'm ready to find out what happens :)
Barely Breathing book #2
by Heather Allen
Now she finds herself alone, having to make a huge choice. She must decide whether to defend others against the choices she has made or fight for the freedoms of a population, she has just become a part of.
Ever's brother James, became a part of the sea not by any choice of his own, but he is willing to embrace it as long as a certain long legged, beauty is by his side. But as his sister found, things are not always as they seem.
In the end what they feared the most comes to reality, the battle, waged between staying true to life in the sea or changing a race of people to become more powerful and diverse. Will Ever and James survive the lines drawn in the sand or will they have to battle each other for what they believe?
Little do they know the battle in the end, will be something entirely different than what they were ready for.
As I climb the steps I notice the bench swing moving. I glance over and see Sara with one leg dangling over the edge and the other pulled under her. She's reading again. She must not have heard us pull up because she hasn't looked up yet. I stand there and take in the sight. Her wavy, golden hair is hanging across her face. One hand is touching her pink lips as if she's deep in thought. And that leg, just peeking out of her dress, it goes on forever. It's moving the swing just slightly.
She must feel my eyes on her. She glances up and notices me. She jumps as if I startled her. My eyes meet hers. I could get lost in them, like they're a mirror of the ocean. She pushes her hair behind her ear and closes her book looking down over the edge of the swing to find her shoes and slips into them as she climbs off the bench.
As she walks slowly toward me I glance away and fumble with my keys, trying to unlock the door. She reaches out her hand to stop me. I glance back down at her.
"How long were you standing there?"
I shrug my shoulders, caught, "Not long."
She licks her bottom lip, I can't help but notice. Something in me does a tumble and I suddenly can't breathe. She takes her hand away from my keys so I look down trying to find the right one. Ugh, how long does it take to open a door? Finally, I find the key and open the door letting her go first. I stand there for a few seconds longer trying to catch my breath.
Damn James, get it together.
Author Bio :
Heather Allen lives in Melbourne, Florida with her husband and three kids. She has been a teacher for fifteen years now. Most recently, teaching reading, exclusively. Her dream has always been to write a book. She is an avid reader of just about any genre. When she's not reading, she is usually at the beach or out on the water with her family.
You can also find her:
on her blog: http://heatherallen127.blogspot.com/
Playlist - Barely Breathing- Book 2 in Just Breathe Trilogy
How it Comes is How it Goes - Jay Malinowski
Numb - Sia
Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez
Set My World on Fire - Paris Music
Follow the Arrow - Rosi Golan and Human
Each Coming Night - Iron and Wine
Lovely - Sara Haze
Dead and Done - Bobby Long
Breakable - Ingrid Michaelson
Seaside - The Kooks
Sweet illusions - Ryan Adams and The Cardinals
Hold Heart - Emiliana Torrini
Rising Sun - Rusted Root
Stole You Away - Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Roslyn - Bon Iver
Million Dollar Bill - Middle Brother
A Beautiful Mine - RJD2
I Can Barely Breathe - Manchester Orchestra
Feels Like We Only Go Backwards - Tame Impala
Karma Police - Radiohead
Breathing Underwater - Metric
It's Time (Paaion Pit remix) - Imagine Dragons
Gravity - Sara Bareilles
Wandering Star - Kid Beyond
Requiem for a Tower - Escala
Betrayal - Fiction Family
Wake Up - Arcade Fire
Jen's review -
Cute story - I enjoyed reading both of these.
In the first book, things didn't go that well for Ever - now she's stuck in the Sea without Jack and she's miserable. She wants to go home, but most of all, she wants Jack. he still has her heart .
But when Alex shows up to help with her training, she can see his interest in her, but she tries to keep him in a friend category.
Training starts to go well, until she starts to miss her Grand-mw too much and accidentally leaves the Sea.
James - I love reading about teenage guys in their POV :)
He is a typical 17 year old guy. Trying to do what's right, but screwing everything up.
Add in being forced to live in the Sea - on the Dark side to boot - But James can see the good in things - and he is actually enjoying his time in the sea - until he wakes up one morning in his bed at home...
James ends up being grounded, but he's home, and that's ok with him. He didn't realize how much he missed it until he was back.
At school, he meets Sara - Now Sara is his guardian from the Sea - she is there to make sure he trains and is safe. But she knows who Ever is, and she doesn't want these two to get too close.
Ever and James haven't really gotten along in their lives, but when they finally piece together their problems, the upcoming battle , and they're going to fight each other, they start to plot - they don't want to fight each other... but the're not going to switch sides either.
So what are they going to do??
Prom comes and goes, and finally school is out - Back to the Sea they go where things really start to get good :)
This was a cute story - I will be recommending it to my girls (ages 12 and 14) because I think it will be something they'd like to read :)