Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon (4 Stars)
I was given an ARC by Netgalley for an honest review.
Fifteen years is a long time to lay in a bed, unable to move or communicate, but that is the tragic existence of Amy Stevenson. An attack brought her fifteen year old world to a crashing halt, left her forgotten until a reporter stumbles onto her story while writing an article about her doctor. He has made striking progress with coma patients and Alex Dale, as a freelance reporter, thinks there is a story in his progress. What she doesn’t count on is the instant connection she feels with the girl who is about her age and a former resident of the town she’d grown up in. Alcoholic Alex enlists the help of Amy’s former boyfriend and her own ex-husband, a local policeman, to help her untangle the murky fifteen year old mystery surrounding Amy’s attack while battling her own demons.
Point by point – The structure of the story is complex and involves various character points of view. It alternates from one character to another as their importance to the story grows and also jumps from some past scenes to present. I wasn’t as enthralled by some of the backstory, but it wasn’t enough to pull me out of the story entirely. It was more I felt some of those chapters dragged.
The writing was stellar and the story compelling. There was a distinct clarity in each character’s subplot and a perfect connection of dots that completed the entire picture.
After a slow start (which is understandable in such a complex piece), the story picked up and held me captive until I finished.
A great read. Looking forward to more from this journalist turned novelist. Four stars!