The Breathless by Tara Goedjen

The Breathless

No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day befor...

Title:The Breathless
Author:
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Edition Language:English

The Breathless Reviews

  • Karen McManus

    This is a darkly beautiful book, imbued with echos of the past in its lush Southern setting. Mae Cole is still living in the shadow of her golden sister Ro, almost a year after Ro died. When Ro's former boyfriend knocks on the door of their historic home with no memory of the past year, his return sets off a haunting, magical mystery. I tore through this book, especially as I got toward the end, and I never saw the last few pages coming. Tara Goedjen writes gorgeously and weaves a suspenseful ta

    This is a darkly beautiful book, imbued with echos of the past in its lush Southern setting. Mae Cole is still living in the shadow of her golden sister Ro, almost a year after Ro died. When Ro's former boyfriend knocks on the door of their historic home with no memory of the past year, his return sets off a haunting, magical mystery. I tore through this book, especially as I got toward the end, and I never saw the last few pages coming. Tara Goedjen writes gorgeously and weaves a suspenseful tale of secrets, obsession, and love.

  • Katie Nelson

    A page turning, gothic mystery!

    Mae's sister Ro mysteriously died, and life has been hard for her family ever since. Her father is obsessed with finding Cage, her sister's boyfriend who disappeared the night of her death, but comes back almost a year later with no memory of the events. Ro doesn't want to help, but she desperately needs answers and with the help of Cage, and a little green book full of family secrets, she just might uncover the truth.

    This book was atmospheric and suspenseful and f

    A page turning, gothic mystery!

    Mae's sister Ro mysteriously died, and life has been hard for her family ever since. Her father is obsessed with finding Cage, her sister's boyfriend who disappeared the night of her death, but comes back almost a year later with no memory of the events. Ro doesn't want to help, but she desperately needs answers and with the help of Cage, and a little green book full of family secrets, she just might uncover the truth.

    This book was atmospheric and suspenseful and full of gorgeous writing that made me keep turning pages late into the night. The southern setting felt oppressively hot and dark, but so real. The mystery unfolds skillfully, with a combination of present day and past family secrets, but the real heart of the novel was the strong relationships between the sisters and their fierce love for family.

    The ending was masterfully done, and as soon as I read it, I went back to the beginning to re-read several parts. It's the kind of book you want to pass to all your friends, just so you can have someone to talk to about the book. I can't wait to see what comes next from this talented author!

  • Amanda Searcy

    Keep the lights on! This story is engrossing, suspenseful, and complex. I loved the setting and how it jumps back and forth between time periods. There are secrets at every turn, and a young woman who is trying to figure it all out while dealing with her grief and helping a friend. A one-sitting read and a great mystery! Perfect for fans of Beautiful Creatures!

  • Caroline Graham

    The Breathless is a gorgeous, atmospheric mystery that skilfully captures the gothic South. Goedjen’s world is rich, dark and full of intrigue and it is populated with characters that are as strange as they are compelling. The book’s central mystery is the death of Roxanne (Ro) Cole and the wake of grief and suspicion she leaves behind, but the narrative reaches so much deeper than this. It explores the boundaries between life and death, the complicated threads that bind a family together and, t

    The Breathless is a gorgeous, atmospheric mystery that skilfully captures the gothic South. Goedjen’s world is rich, dark and full of intrigue and it is populated with characters that are as strange as they are compelling. The book’s central mystery is the death of Roxanne (Ro) Cole and the wake of grief and suspicion she leaves behind, but the narrative reaches so much deeper than this. It explores the boundaries between life and death, the complicated threads that bind a family together and, through its equal-parts damaged and hopeful characters, what it takes to unearth the past and face the truth.

    This is a dark, suspenseful narrative that is as smart as it is heartfelt and complex—it’s beautifully written to boot. I loved it!

  • Suzanne

    Obviously I have not read the book yet but I heard about it from those in "the know" and I am eager to read it! I like mysteries and this sounds like an intriguing one with several unexpected twists. Looking forward to its release!

  • Elise (thebookishactress on wordpress)

    left me... breathless. Because of the annoyed sighing.

    First of all, it's a suspense novel that is

    . There are moments where the book mentions dead horse bones and snake skins and whispering names and yet I was basically just begging it all to end. If you're writing suspense, you need to make your reader feel unsettled; yet I felt completely cold.

    To make matters worse, the writing style is

    and turns otherwise cre

    left me... breathless. Because of the annoyed sighing.

    First of all, it's a suspense novel that is

    . There are moments where the book mentions dead horse bones and snake skins and whispering names and yet I was basically just begging it all to end. If you're writing suspense, you need to make your reader feel unsettled; yet I felt completely cold.

    To make matters worse, the writing style is

    and turns otherwise creepy scenes dull and boring.

    A not-very-creepy book can always be remedied with good characters, but none of the characters here are morally ambiguous or intriguing; in fact, none of them felt as if they had personalities. I can honestly say that

    I'm not sure I can name a single solid trait of the protagonist's.

    To make matters worse, the

    here is a doozy: dead sister's ex-boyfriend who probably murdered her vs. a guy who had a crush on her sister. Just to make this clear:

    In fact, Cage's point of view makes it clear that he's attracted to Mae because she looks like her dead sister. Listen, I think it's maybe supposed to be some deep message about loss, but in reality,

    . Why did no editor read that and cross it off with the annotation "what the fuck"?

    Besides all the structural issues, there are general issues of sloppiness; for example, those changing tenses changing tenses are

    supposed to be a literary device, but it honestly just feels sloppy. The author uses present tense for flashbacks and past tense for what's happening right now, and it sounds like a cool idea, but on page, it comes off dissonant and annoying. Dissonant tone and a book that just doesn't seem to fit together is the result.

    And then... there are a few issues with the handling of slavery. It's ironic that reviewers on the page have decided to come for me on this one with the defense "but the word slave was never used!" 1) It actually was and 2) guys, this is a novel following a plantation, complete with slave cabins, and with very little diversity. The fact that you can read this book and miss that major characters are American slaves is part of the point; this book does, in my opinion, a terrible job of demonstrating the actual reality of slavery. The romantic tone taken to a relationship between a black American slave and her white master was uncomfortable, to say the least. The slaves doing evil magic trope was really just the icing on the cake. All in all, the whole thing left me with a slightly bad taste in my mouth.

    Calling out a book I didn't finish for racism strikes me as

    slimy, and I'd like to note that this could have been totally remedied and subverted in the second half of this book. It's also been brought to my attention that some of this may have been changed from the arc version, which, shockingly, DOES NOT give you the right to harass me!! Unfortunately, the editor's note is telling me this was, in fact, meant to be a jerkoff session to slavery. And I think it's interesting that all of the replies to my review have been "but they're not black!" rather than "but the ending turns everything on its head."

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  • Melanie Thompson

    Mae's life changes when her older sister dies mysteriously. Her father is obsessed with finding the boy he believes to be her killer while Mae and her twin sister live in the shadow of Ro's death. The discovery of a secret family journal sends Mae into a dark series of revelations and life-changing events. This Southern Gothic tale twists and turns and ultimately surprises with a page turning thrill. Magic and mystery imbue the pages with a delicious, heart-pounding suspense. YA readers who like

    Mae's life changes when her older sister dies mysteriously. Her father is obsessed with finding the boy he believes to be her killer while Mae and her twin sister live in the shadow of Ro's death. The discovery of a secret family journal sends Mae into a dark series of revelations and life-changing events. This Southern Gothic tale twists and turns and ultimately surprises with a page turning thrill. Magic and mystery imbue the pages with a delicious, heart-pounding suspense. YA readers who like dark stories will enjoy this story.

  • Sandra Mather

    This atmospheric Southern tale weaves a mysterious spell where the past lives on and affects the present. The redolence of dark magic hangs as heavily in the air as the fragrance of the coastal waters or the night-blooming jasmine. In the tradition of Anne Rice, this book will enchant you.

  • Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)

    Great cover on this one. Good representation of the story. Good use of graphics. Great comosition and title work as well.

    This was an impressive debut novel by this author that is for sure. I enjoyed it a lot. It was well written and paced. It was atmospheric in the setting. The plot was engaging and kept me turning the pages. It was creepy and dark in places. There were twists and turns. The characters were interesting and well developed. My only issue and why I took a star off was the ending. I

    Great cover on this one. Good representation of the story. Good use of graphics. Great comosition and title work as well.

    This was an impressive debut novel by this author that is for sure. I enjoyed it a lot. It was well written and paced. It was atmospheric in the setting. The plot was engaging and kept me turning the pages. It was creepy and dark in places. There were twists and turns. The characters were interesting and well developed. My only issue and why I took a star off was the ending. It just left me confused. I assumed through most of the book that Cage had been

    Basically WTF happened at the end?? If anyone can help a girl out with answers, please drop me a line!

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  • Brina (5171MilesBooks)

    Reviewed on:

    The first thing that made me look into this book a little further was the stunning cover. The deep purple colors at the edge merging into black, and the girl in the write dress along with the white, fading writing were haunting and beautiful at the same time. When the description stated that

    was "for fans of the dark family secrets of

    " I was sold.

    When Roxanne Cole died on the beach, her boyfriend, Cage, was with her. He is also

    Reviewed on:

    The first thing that made me look into this book a little further was the stunning cover. The deep purple colors at the edge merging into black, and the girl in the write dress along with the white, fading writing were haunting and beautiful at the same time. When the description stated that

    was "for fans of the dark family secrets of

    " I was sold.

    When Roxanne Cole died on the beach, her boyfriend, Cage, was with her. He is also the only one who knows what really happend that night. But before anyone could ask him about it, he took off and hasn't been seen since. Almost a year to the day of her death, Cage returns and knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where Ro is. He claims that he has no memory of the past 12 months and no one but Ro's younger sister, Mae, believes him. Then Mae discovers a green book which contains dangerous secret about her family and Ro. If what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever. And maybe there are secrets better left to the dead.

    The book started off really interesting and set the mood for what was to come in the upcoming chapters. Throughout the story there were actually some really creepy scenes and I was thinking "Thank goodness it's broad daylight and not the middle of the night!" I'm a little chicken when it comes to horror movies or creepy stories. Okay, I am a big chicken. Anyways, although some scenes were scary, it's not that those will keep you awake a night, so don't worry about that.

    Unfortunately, the story was really slow-paced and dragged after a while and I had difficulty picking it up. I also would've loved a little more suspense.

    What I didn't expect was the dark magic in this story, the dark magic from the deep south. I was positively surprised and it was really interesting to read about. However, in my opinion the story was missing proper explanations regarding the dark magic, which led to confusion on my part. I didn't mind the lack of explanation in the middle of the book too much because I knew everything would be explained in the end. Unfortunately, nothing remotely happened. I still have comprehension questions and I don't like having those after finishing a book. The Breathless has no follow up story, it's a full-length standalone novel and this is why I, as a reader, want every question to be answered by the end of the book.

    The story is told in a third person narrative and alternates between Cage's and Mae's POV. I also noticed that Tara Goedjen used the first person narrative in a couple of scenes throughout the story. I am still a little confused why she did that, and this is only one of the many questions I still have regarding the story.

    What I really enjoyed, however, were the flashbacks to the time of Ro's ancestors in the mid-eighteen hundreds. It gave the story an even more haunting feeling.

    An issue that was brought up by a few readers was the issue of racism. Their reviews stated that a few scenes in this book were racist and shouldn't have been written by the author. I was actually surprised to find those comments in the reviews since I didn't find any scenes racist whatsoever.

    Tara Goedjen's debut novel is original and has huge potential, but unfortunately, this potential wasn't explored to the fullest. However,

    is still an interesting and solid read.

    If you want to know what happened to Ro, and what Cage and Mae have planned with the green book, check out

    yourself. It is a horror, gothic YA and releases on October 10th! Pre-order your copy with the links below.

    **********

    I'm really confused. I really don't know what I just read... I'll try to gather my thoughts and I'll hopefully come up with a decent review for this.

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