Series: Once Upon a Crime Family #1
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Children's on May 19, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Retellings, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher
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Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.
Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.
And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.
All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.
I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One Line: Not exactly what I was hoping for, but still a pretty good read.
In My Opinion: Add to cart!
Hold Me Like a Breath wasn’t the book I thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t bad. I was hoping for more dealings into this crime lord world, but instead her family is made up of pretty sound and reasonable business people. I felt like I didn’t get nearly enough insight into this world as I wanted. Most of the book is focused on Penelope venturing out on her own and trying to become a more mature, stronger character. The book was more contemporary, where a teen takes a journey towards self-discovery (although not anywhere near as thought-provoking or emotional as those books tend to be), than about action, murder, and thrills. I was sad that there were only two pivotal action scenes and one pretty sad part in this book. Those were probably my favorite scenes, even though the sad scene and the first action scene kind of broke my heart.
For the most part, I really liked Penelope. She’s sweet and caring, albeit naive and immature. She’s lived a very sheltered and secluded life and craves adventure and life outside the walls of her fancy home. She thinks she can handle the world and thinks she knows what’s going on, but you see early on that she’s pretty clueless. I don’t fault her for it much though because of how she was raised. I really liked her relationship with her brother and I wished we got more of that. Also, even though her parents are a bit controlling, I liked that she had a good relationship with them, too. However, even though I understand her family wanting to protect her from any danger physically, her body is what is messed up, not her mind, and I didn’t get why they never thought to include her in any of the real family dealings or happenings. As one of only two heirs to their supposed throne, you’d think they’d be more willing to educate her, not just in school but with common sense and in business as well. She was definitely not prepared to handle the real world and I was surprised to see her last as long as she did.
My biggest gripe has to do with the romance. We already know Penelope is naive, but for someone who should know that you need to keep your guard up (especially after what just happened to her) and that everyone is a suspect, she sure fell for that guy easily. I was suspicious of him right from the start and I was honestly rooting for the other guy for most of the book. Yes, their time together was sweet and innocent, but I couldn’t connect to their romance and kind of glossed over it. I believe she clung to him mostly because he was the first person to not treat her like a China doll, but there’s a reason why he doesn’t. Who he really is was clear immediately and even though he’s not a bad guy, I didn’t care for their relationship.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. Even though it wasn’t the book I was expecting, if you take it for what it is, a light and fluffy kind of read, then it’s not bad. Yes, the romance wasn’t the best, but I really enjoyed Tiffany’s writing and the story was still pretty interesting. I breezed through it in one night. I think if you go into this without a lot of expectations then you’ll end up getting a nice story out of it.