Monday, October 31, 2011
Pages: 268 (paperback)
To Be Published: October 31st, 2011 by Ashland Creek Press
Recommended for: paranormal romance fans; health buffs
Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The book begins with Kat-- a teenage girl who is a life-long runner and vegan and has been on the run from her home in Texas after her parents' death-- 's arrival in the small Oregon town of Lithia, a 'quaint' little town and a birthplace she barely remembers. The action gets off to a slow start as Kat, homeless and alone, chances to find a temporary job in a runner's shop and a place to stay. She meets Roman, an enigmatic actor, at the local theatre where he portrays Hamlet, and Alex, a charismatic shop boy and self-proclaimed tree-hugger. As a complex love triangle forms around the three, Kat begins to wonder if Lithia is more than it seems. When Alex reveals the truth to Kat at last, she can scarcely believe it (though most readers will have realized what's going on from the initial chapters). The town of Lithia is home to vampires both peaceful and carnivorous, and Kat's new friends are among them. The only question is, which of her vampiric suitors has her best interests at heart... and which of them may or may not be responsible for the terrible attacks which occur in the local woods?
I have overall mixed feelings about Out of Breath. On one hand, it is essentially well-written-- Kat has a distinct narrative voice, even if she is not the most unique or likeable protagonist. (She's got a heck of a great name, though ;) ) Paranormal romance is not generally my cup of tea, so I try to be very objective when reviewing the genre. I saw many similarities to Twilight, in that the protagonist is torn between two guys-- one handsome, mysterious, and questionable, and the other a likeable local who becomes as much a friend to her as a boyfriend. Lithia was also a very similar setting to Forks. So, you know, small-town vamps. There is definitely an environmental element to Out of Breath, and Kat's being a vegan comes to be far more important than I anticipated. Roman was a character I had a hard time liking, despite the strength of Kat's attraction to him, though his friend Victor definitely had potential. (I tend to like the maniacs who live in castles best when it comes to vampires, as some of you probably know.) Alex, I did like-- he's a genuinely nice guy who obviously has a lot in common with Kat, so why she debated between him and Roman, who knows.
I liked the mystery aspect to the "bear attacks" in the woods and those little nerve-wrecking moments when Kat is running through the woods and thinks she hears something... Overall, this was a very quick read and a fairly enjoyable one. The pro-environmental themes are strong, but not so strong that they drown out the rest of the story. There's a stunning little revelation about Kat's past in the end which promises a sequel. Out of Breath isn't a book I felt passionate about personally, but it's definitely one I would recommend to paranormal fans.