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Breathing Book Series Review (2021)

Rebecca Donovan

Prominent American authoress Rebecca Donovan is quite the enigma, as one would be eager to note. As far as the Internet is concerned, information pertaining to the writer’s more intimate or even younger life is so scarce that it’s practically nonexistent.

However, as with others, things can be inferred from a variety of sources, so we’ll get to it. Donovan’s works are most commonly tailored for the public that is in their twenties; as such Donovan primarily writes New Adult fiction.

Breathing Book Series

Photo Title Rating Length Buy
Reason to Breathe 9.04/10 377 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Barely Breathing 9.24/10 385 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Out of Breath 9.26/10 422 Pages Check Price On Amazon

Life and Career

The initial work endeavor of Rebecca Donovan was with planning events, however she soon devoted herself completely and absolutely to becoming a novelist. While she did start out as a self-published writer, the United Kingdom rights to her brilliant Breathing book series were attained by the publishing house Penguin in 2012. Seeing as how she’d already signed to one publisher, she was keen on signing another soon, so in 2013, she signed with Skyscape Publishing.

In the aspiration and immediate desire, along with the general optimism of Donovan, to celebrate her signing with Amazon’s print, the beautiful Blithewood Mansion was assumed by Rebecca where she held a party with her friends with whom she’d worked as an event planner years prior. With all of that said, we can now give our long-awaited book series review.

Amazing Series

The most widely known and beloved work of talented authoress Rebecca Donovan is, by and large, her Breathing book series. Through and through, the series does things that not many a writer can dream of accomplishing. By itself, the series consists of a total of three novels, and they are the following bunch, ordered by year of publication:

  1. Reason to Breathe, published in 2011
  2. Barely Breathing, published in 2012
  3. Out of Breath, published in 2013

Emma Thomas

The story starts out as we follow the main character Emma Thomas, from whose point of view the story is relayed to the reader. Most parents upon the birth of a child wish that they come to become similar to the way that Emma is. Emma is a straight-A student, finishes all of the chores that she has without issue, and even helps out around the home and with her siblings.


Additionally, Emma bears artistic tendencies and is interested in sports – in both of which she is exceptional. However, things are seldom, if ever, perfect. Emma carries her own emotional baggage and it’s a hefty cart. Her dad passed away, her mother is addicted to alcohol and left her.

Emma now lives with her aunt and aunt and their children. This same aunt is as akin to Satan as one single person can feasibly be; she is resentful of Emma and is abusive to the point that she frequently beats her.

The Trouble With Peers

As it is, Emma tries to keep out of the limelight at school. This feat is hard to accomplish seeing as her best friend, Sara, is the most popular at school. Even though they are best friends, Emma doesn’t let Sara in on the terribleness of her everyday life at home, if home it be.

Emma’s resolution is to finish school with as little notice by her classmates as possible, take off to college, and not look back. This plan of hers is going alright until a certain Evan Mathews enters in her life.

Walking Towards Danger

Instead of staying away from Emma, Evan goes after her. In spite of the signs that are meant to warn of the impending danger erected by Emma, Evan walks towards her all the same. Emma, herself, is also attracted by Evan, and her arms tired from being up on guard relax and let him come close to her.

On a level that Evan doesn’t comprehend at first, Emma has to make a decision: pursue what she desires or do what is surest and with least resistance. As the perils abound in her life, Emma struggles to make a choice: be with Evan or go according to her plan and get the hell out of dodge. But as issues come up back home and her feelings grow for Evan, it might not be her choice to make anymore.

Emma’s Growth

With time, however, and in the course of the series, Emma finds her own voice bit by bit and despite the various struggles, stands up for herself. One such choice is that she decided to leave the damnable house of her aunt Carol so that she can live with her mother, who is trying to do better by Emma and herself. Her mother is even back on the dating scene again and has a boyfriend named Jonathan.

However, things still aren’t the way they ought to be and Emma is still struggling after the most intense night in her life at the end of the first novel. Thankfully, Evan is there to nurse Emma with each caress, kiss, embrace, and word. The plight of young Emma, on the other hand, has her do something at the end of the second book that changes the landscape of her life completely.

Everything Has Changed

By the time of Barely Breathing, everything has been altered unchangeably. Emma has been at Stanford for two years now, and is just now making her return to her hometown of Weslyn. Here she sees once more how Evan and Sara are doing, but nothing is the same as it was. Evan is hurt beyond repair, and it seems Emma has an opportunity now to heal him just as he healed her. Their story together is one for the ages.

What can be said about a series of such a magnitude as this one? It is nothing short of touching, heartrending, heartbreaking, uplifting, melancholic, and utterly brilliant. All props are to be directed to Rebecca Donovan; our Breathing book series review can’t come close to the paroxysm of the series, but we can try.


Rebecca Donovan’s Cursed series has already had its first two novels published and is (im)patiently awaiting the third installment, so one should get on top of that series as soon as possible.

Alissa Wynn
Alissa Wynn
Alissa is an avid reader, blogger, and wannabe writer. (She's a much better cook than a writer actually). Alissa is married, has one human, one feline, and two canine kids. She always looks a mess and never meets a deadline.