My Breakup Letter to Hold Me Like a Breath

My Breakup Letter to Hold Me Like a Breath Hold Me Like a Breath on May 19th 2015
Pages: 400

Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.


Dear Hold Me Like a Breath,

What a tumultuous relationship we’ve had. First I didn’t like you. I was confused between all the Family (Big F) versus family (little f), and then you throw a random romance my way before I even had a chance to decide if I cared. But then you began to win me over. I started genuinely liking you, I did. I mean, black market organ donations? Yes please! Weird illness that leaves Penny unable to function as a normal young woman? Consider me intrigued!

I read along thinking that this was going to be one hell of a ride. And for awhile, you didn’t disappoint me! The twists were totally shocking, and I was SO into it. We were talking about the ethics of organ donation, and the importance of it, and a weird criminal business, and Penny wanting a more active role/live, and things were happening! And then after the second, most ginormous twist… you failed meezgif-2151608276

You turned into a sappy, wholly unbelievable romance (complete with insta-love™ and a bit of a triangle to boot), and the worst part is, I can’t even fully talk about all the things that happen in it because it would be spoilers. It’s like you cheated on me, then swore me to secrecy, and I am not okay.  I knew where the romance was going with Guy #2. I knew who he was from the start, your attempt at trickery did not fool me. And what happened to all the feels for Guy #1!? Where are they!?

I know you thought I would be okay with this romantic plot point, but it didn’t work on so many levels. For one, if someone lives in a crime family, they are not likely to trust any  random dude they (literally) run into on the street. This is actually what you wanted my mind to believe. For her entire existence, Penny is told to trust no one outside the family (or Family, because hell, I can’t keep track) and then she does exactly the complete opposite. And if a girl is dealing with things like “rivals” and “black market” and “casualties” (which, let the record show, are things in your actual synopsis), she’s not going to really feel like macking on randos from the street. Furthermore, if she must be entertaining gentlemen callers, can we at least have them had a modicum of chemistry and/or feelings? Because not only did I think it was ridiculous in the first place, but I never even started to care because it was quite bland anyway. Not only that, the romance minimized every twist that had happened thus far. Huge things are happening in Penny’s life and with her health and then… no matter, romance to the rescue!

I know you think you redeemed yourself a little by the ending, but… meh. I am not convinced. Frankly, I saw the twists coming, and therefore the ending, while much better than the maudlin and befuddling romance that dominated half the book, didn’t hold a ton of weight. So, it is with great sadness that I must reject your meager attempt at reconciliation. I hope your next reader has far more success. And in case it wasn’t clear….


Regretfully yours,



Posted May 22, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , / 35 Comments


35 responses to “My Breakup Letter to Hold Me Like a Breath

  1. Yeah, I completely understand your review on this one. It started slow, then got interesting, then just got stupid. I think you read my review and that twist about Guy #2 was SO OBVIOUS. But of course they had to make Penny an idiot. I really don’t think I have enough interest in this to read the rest of the series. The insta love was SO ANNOYING.

  2. I can relate to you on this one, I gave this one a 1 star. The heroine is just so damn stupid, I agree the ending was a little better but I didn’t enjoy this book at all. Such a disappointment to that awesome cover though, wonderful honest review Shannon! 🙂

    • I was going to give it a one star but I don’t think I have ever done that before 😉 Well, on Goodreads, but not on here. Plus, I figured that the concept got a star, and then the twists got a half a star? I don’t know, I was being kind hahha. Thanks so much 😀

  3. Ugh… this was the book that really, really, really, REALLY made me SO angry as in I was a raging bull every 5 minutes while reading it. I ranted about it on GR so much! LOL I hated the insta-love in this aspect, it was so… weird. You’re on the run, your life is in danger, a guy you don’t know follows you home, and you tell him, “And I thought rock-hard jaw lines only existed in romance novels.”


    This was a clusterfuck tbh D:

    • RIGHT! Such a clusterfuck. That is the absolute only word to describe it properly. I think I nearly rolled my eyes right out of my head when she said that shit about the jaw. NO. Just no. I don’t understand how anyone can be expected to buy into such nonsense!

  4. Why is it that books with SUCH fabulous premises are so often ruined by strange romances and murky character motivations? Whyyy. (I just finished ACOTAR, which was one of those reads for me, so *weeps*)

    Such a pity, because damn, that premise was good.

    • Ugh I know, right!? This is was SO much worse than the romance in ACOTAR. I get why people don’t like that romance (I did, but I DO understand why others don’t) but this… I cannot imagine encountering a person who DID like it, honestly!

  5. Hilarious. I DNF this one about 40 pages in so I FEEL YA!
    Post scriptum – do I need to trade mark Insta-love
    Please let me know

    • Right? You made SUCH a good call, because basically all you missed was the WORST PART. Ugh, I am jealous that your mind is free of this drivel. The insta-love had to be trademarked because it was THAT formulaic, and maybe the most ridiculous case I have ever encountered 😉

  6. That was one fun break up. LOL I’m giving this one a pass. A romance just to have one and a triangle. Ugh. So over that. Thanks for the heads up:)

  7. “Then you throw a random romance my way before I even had a chance to decide if I cared.” <– This basically sums it up! Although I was never interested in this after the first chapter, the romance was what killed it for me. The appearance of Guy #2 = my death. The ending didn't really do anything for me, either. 🙁 Fabulous break-up letter, Shannon!

  8. Eh, I’ve heard a lot of negative things about Hold Me Like a Breath. The synopsis sounded so promising but from what I’ve seen in reviews both the romance and the actual plot fall short. I’m not sure whether or not I’ll actually try this one now but we’ll see. Great review 🙂

  9. OH NO!! Hold Me Like A Breath was one of my most anticipated reads this year, so I’m so sad to hear that you didn’t like it. Unfortunately your review AND all of the reviews on Goodreads are kind of bad… maybe I need to stop being excited about this one…
    Beth x

  10. GOLD GOLD ALL GOLD. I DIDN’T EVEN FINISH THIS AND I’M HAPPY ABOUT THIS LETTER HAHAHA. Then again you did spoil me on twitter hahaha

  11. Great minds obviously think alike! I did a ” Termination Letter ” the other day for a book I just HAD to DNF! lol. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I just knew it was something that just wasn’t for me, and your review definitely proved that! I’m not really into books about crime families, rival families, INSTA-LOVE, none of that ish girl, it just all spells out disaster for me lol.

    • Oh my goodness! I have to find your letter- you are right, great minds do think alike 😉 I am so curious now as to what book it was! And yeah, I thought that the black market organ stuff would be cool, but that was such a small part of the book that it didn’t even matter WHAT it was about! It could have been about unicorns eating sushi, and it wouldn’t have made a difference in the least. As long as the insta-love was still there, of course!

  12. I CRY BECAUSE THIS BOOK LOOKED SO GOOD. BUT MEH. A sappy crappy romance is just the thing to ruin a good blackmarket-organ-stealing book. If you need me I’ll be waving goodbye sadly to this one as it sinks into the Marina Trench and I sail to, egh, ya know, a rainbow or something. (I don’t even know what I’m saying. WHAT’S NEW?)


    I think I’m going to try it anyway because why not? The cover is gorgeous and maybe I’ll feel different. Crime is a really interesting topic to read about and black market for organs???? I refuse to give up.

  14. That is exactly what I hate about love triangles, I’ll like them a lot more if it’s torn a lot throughout it, even though sometimes it is annoying, but it’s a lot more realistic. Like, what’s the point of a love triangle if you know it’s going to end up with the one person and suddenly all feelings for the other is forgotten. Just noooooo.

    Yeah, important issues, important things going on and no no no romance time. PREDICTIABLE TWISTS nail the coffin for me. We are definitely not getting back together, book. And we weren’t even together.

    On a plus side, I now have Taylor Swift in my head…

    • EXACTLY! It isn’t even a love triangle, it’s like… I LOOOOOVE THIS GUY. 10 minutes later…. No wait I LOOOOOOVE THAT GUY! No. It does not work like that!

      Taylor Swift is always a bonus 😀 And there WERE a few twists that were UNpredictable, which is why it got the 1.5 stars it did. Otherwise… man, I don’t know, I have never given a rating that low before!

  15. I had mixed feelings about even starting this one. Now, I’ll probably put it on the back of the TBR pile for when I have extra time and am in the mood to give it a try. Great review!

Leave a Reply