Saturday 9 January 2016

Try Not to Breathe - Holly Seddon

You won't be able to put it down.
Just remember to breathe.

Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she's cut herself off from everything but her one true love - drink. Until she's forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy.

Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She's as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands.

Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma...

What did I think?

What an amazing debut from Holly Seddon.  Corvus agreed it should come with a Pringle-type warning as once you open it, you really can't stop reading!

It's such a novel idea to have a main character in a persistent vegetative state.  It's set in 2010 and Amy is not only trapped in her own body, she is trapped in 1995 when she was brutally attacked and left for dead.  She can hear visitors talking to her but she is understandably confused and her attempts at communication go unnoticed.

Alex's life is falling apart; she has lost everything she ever held dear and keeps looking for the answers in the bottom of every bottle. Alex starts writing a freelance piece about the local coma ward where she recognises one of the patients as Amy, whose attack she remembers hearing about.  Alex is determined to find out what happened to Amy 15 years ago and this gives her something to focus on other than alcohol.  Through writing this story, Alex gets stronger and thanks to Amy, perhaps there is still time for Alex's life to be saved.

I loved the way this book was written from Amy's perspective in 1995 through to present day, and through Alex, Jake (Amy's boyfriend from 1995), and Sue (Jake's Mum) in 2010.  There were so many red herrings that I thought anybody could have attacked Amy as I frantically raced through the pages for more clues.  Although Amy was going out with Jake, her head was turned by her 'Secret', but who is Amy's 'Secret'?  Only Amy can identify him...

This is a book that kept me hooked from start to finish.  It is so hard to put down and I highly recommend it.  Holly Seddon is certainly one to watch - I think we'll be hearing a lot more about her.

I received this book from the publisher, Corvus, in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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