Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Book Review: Every Stolen Breath

Let's start by telling you I saw early reviews for this book and immediately I knew this was one that I wanted to read. Secondly, I saw it was coming from Blink YA Books and knew I was going to love it because every book I've read from them has been amazing. Third, this came as a surprise in the mail and I have no idea who sent it to me because the packaging was destroyed and there was no note, so whoever sent it, THANK YOU.
Every Stolen Breath - Kimberly Gabriel

The Swarm is unrecognizable, untraceable, and unpredictable—random attacks on the streets of Chicago by a mob of crazed teens that leaves death in its wake. It’s been two years since the last attack, but Lia Finch has found clues that reveal the Swarm is ready to claim a new victim.

Lia is the only one still pursuing her father’s killers, two years after attorney Steven Finch’s murder by the Swarm. Devastated and desperate for answers, Lia will do anything to uncover the reasons behind his death and to stop someone else from being struck down. But due to debilitating asthma and PTSD that leaves her with a tenuous hold on reality, Lia is the last person to mount a crusade on her own.

After a close encounter with the Swarm puts Lia on their radar, she teams up with a teen hacker, a reporter, and a mysterious stranger who knows firsthand how the mob works. Together, they work to uncover the master puppeteer behind the group. Though if Lia and her network don’t stop the person pulling the strings—and fast—Lia may end up the next target.

Inspired by the real-life “flash mob” violence that has plagued Chicago since 2011, Every Stolen Breath by debut author Kimberly Gabriel is a fast-paced and immersive thriller that shows just how hard one girl will fight back, knowing any breath might be her last. 

This book was an absolute ride. I told the author on Instagram that Matt had to physically take the book away from me so I would go to sleep because it was almost midnight and I could not stop reading. The book begins immediately with Lia at Navy Pier, where she believes the next Swarm attack was going to happen. Her father was the last victim and she's determined to avenge his death and figure out who is organizing the Swarm but also who are the people in the Swarm. Things go south quickly and from there this is a non stop roller coaster. You have no idea who is behind it, everyone is a suspect and you can trust nobody.

I absolutely loved this book, I loved that the setting is Chicago because it isn't known as the safest city to be, but also I loved how this author really grabbed the mob mentality and put it in a way teenagers are going to understand it. I liked that not every person in the Swarm wants to be there but are there because they have to be and I kind of thought that was a brilliant way for kids to maybe use the story to draw comparisons of current times and what we're seeing across the nation. Just so many discussions could be started from this but a story engaging enough to keep teens, and adults, interested.

Couple of things: Lia is the worst. She is literally the dumbest person who puts herself in danger and really doesn't understand her choices impact others. BUT, while she drove me nuts, it was kind of brilliant because the audience for this is primarily teens and what are teens? Stupid! Teens are actually pretty stupid and they aren't able to draw the conclusions that their split second action really impacts others and sometimes in profound ways. I really love how this author did this all the while not putting the main character down and also getting her to see that justice for her isn't justice for all, that there are things bigger than you and your problems out there.

Most importantly? I loved Ryan. I had a hard time remembering that he's just a teenager because wooo.... Ryan. Swoon. Ryan is the bad boy hero and I liked him a lot!

The book is (currently) a stand alone and while we do get a conclusion, there are just enough loose ends to make you feel a second book could/should come, but if it doesn't it makes the point of 'justice for you isn't justice for all" come home even more. Absolutely 5 stars on this one.
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Beth (Coffee Until Cocktails) said...

Definitely adding this one to my list, I'm so intrigued by the plotline! I'm glad you liked this one better than the one from yesterday!

mypixieblog said...

WHAT?!?!?! This sounds amazing. Seriously. And I love a good book that you cannot put down for the life of you late at night. I miss those! Sounds like the author took some smart creative leeway with her characters, building a teen who's maybe not bright enough to see that her actions have consequences, BUT I love that she portrays her humanely (hey, we were ALL there at one time!). Going to have to check this one out for sure :)