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Breathe, Annie, Breathe


Breathe, Annie, Breathe

I’m a sucker for a sports story. I love the camaraderie that characters feel when competing and playing the same game. That being said, BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE focuses on marathon running, a sport that I had always assumed was very private and individualistic. However, after reading the novel, I came to feel as inspired and awed by it as I was by “Friday Night Lights.” The camaraderie and competition, along with all the drama involved, was there, but of a different sort. And Miranda Kenneally, a runner herself, wrote a story that was rich with detail and extremely authentic. I felt as if I was running along Tennessee rivers with Annie Winters, testing her endurance and finishing as much as 21 miles in one morning.

Our protagonist, Annie Winters, is an 18-year-old high school student who decides to run the Country Music Marathon in honor of her longtime high school sweetheart, who died tragically in a car accident. The novel follows Annie in the six months it takes her to prepare for the race as she also embarks on a college career and even a possible relationship with fellow runner and adrenaline junkie Jeremiah.

I was inspired by Annie’s story. It honestly made me consider starting to jog or at least working toward some sort of similar goal.

This novel was quite a ride. I cheered Annie on as she worked to complete her grueling goal, grieved with her over Kyle and felt the ups and downs of starting a new relationship. Like I said earlier, I was inspired by Annie’s story. It honestly made me consider starting to jog or at least working toward some sort of similar goal.

For all that I was inspired, I sometimes felt bogged down by the grief. It was so palpable that as the novel concluded, I felt as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a good or bad thing. I think it’s a definite positive sign that Miranda Kenneally did her job as a writer in describing Annie’s feelings accurately. However, there were times when I felt so overwhelmed by the heavy sadness that I had to put the book down and do something cheerful.

That being said, I don’t think anyone should miss out on this novel. It’s a wonderfully hopeful story. At times, it was laugh-out-loud funny. Annie was a very entertaining narrator and I enjoyed her honesty and point-of-view. Jeremiah, our promising love interest and daredevil, also added a lively touch. For all that this was not a simple boy-meets-girl story, Miranda Kenneally made us work for the burgeoning romance. And it was definitely worth the wait.

Reviewed by Brianna Robinson on August 15, 2014

Breathe, Annie, Breathe
(Hundred Oaks #5)
by Miranda Kenneally

  • Publication Date: April 7, 2015
  • Genres: Fiction, Sports
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  • ISBN-10: 1492608661
  • ISBN-13: 9781492608660