Author: Sarah Crossan
Publisher/Year: Harper Collings 9/10/13
Series: Breathe #1
The world has no air.
Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in a glass dome full of manufactured air. If you want to live, you pay to breathe. But what if you can’t pay? And what if you think everything could be different? Alina’s a revolutionary who believes the Resistance can save the environment, can break free, and she’s on her first mission. Quinn’s a Premium who’s never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who’s never worried about anything but having enough air. When all three cross paths and walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered.
I love when i get to read a dystopian story that makes you think about how we’re living life today. The main premise here is about how deforestation cuts back on the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere making it hard to breathe. Without trees, there’s toxic runoff into the oceans so there’s no way for that to add O into the air – so….people begin to die off. It’s an organization called Breathe that comes up with a solution by creating PODs where people are forced to live in these big glass domes (assuming you can afford to get into one when The Switch happened, and within the Pod – life has been managed into a caste system and everything’s regulated by Breathe.
In reading enough of these stories, you know that if there’s one central power that’s controlling things, then it means that the world is not always what it seems and that people are not given all the information, resulting in fear and people conforming.
Thankfully as we always see – it’s the younger generation that takes a stand. We get this story through a few different POVs. Alina who is part of the resistence with a boy named Abel who she’s crushing on. We meet them when they are gathering clippings of plants and trees to bring back to the resistence. then there’s Bea and Quinn – bea who is an auxillary (lower caste) and Quinn who is a premium. they are best of friends, but bea harbors this crush on him.
IT’s not until Quinn meets Alina that paths start to cross, and circumstances that make them cross paths again that takes them to places they never thought.
Quinn planned a camping trip for Bea outside of the pod, and they prepared by getting all the gear that would be necessary to survive outside where there’s no oxygen, and it’s freezing. When Alina is forced to go on the run, plans change. they help her cross the border, share resources and end up through a series of events, all going to the Resistence headquarters – the Grove where their eyes are being opened up.
Breathe led people to believe that there’s no way for the earth to repair itself, no way for trees to grow back, yet that’s EXACTLY what the resistence is doing. they are growing plants and trees and have trained themselves to be able to live and breathe outside where the oxygen levels are so low.
This of course is where things get interesting since you never know who you can trust – you learn that people that you thought were part of the resistance aren’t, people you thought were dead aren’t, and then when all is destroyed – it’s time to make a new plan.
So all in all, a nice approach to dystopia – i do love when we see that civilization is forced to live in a dome for one reason or another and i think that in this case, it’s something that’s kind of fresh and new. They could do me a solid by going into more depth on what it was called The Switch, but i guess beggars can’t be choosers. anyhow – have a great day all!