Thursday, 23 June 2016


My Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Book Description:
Since her twin brother, Eddie, drowned five years ago, sixteen-year-old Elsie Main has tried to remember what really happened that fateful day on the beach. One minute Eddie was there, and the next he was gone. Seventeen-year-old Tay McKenzie is a cute and mysterious boy that Elsie meets in her favorite boathouse hangout. When Tay introduces Elsie to the world of freediving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea.

Q+A with Sarah Alexander:

1.  What provided inspiration for The Art Of Not Breathing?

Lots of things, but particularly my love of water and nature, and my diving experiences. I wanted to give my characters a space to be themselves away from everyday life, and that just happened to be underwater.

2. What has been the most rewarding part of your writing experience?

The day I got ‘the call’. Everything I’ve ever written was building towards that moment and it didn’t disappoint!

3. What book(s) have most influenced your life?

Every book I’ve ever read has influenced my life in some way. A children’s book about a giant hamster has led to a lifelong fear, and recurring nightmare, of being chased by enormous rodents. On the more positive side, I don’t think I would have survived school without Judy Blume.

4. Are your characters based on real people or did they all come from your imagination?

My characters aren’t based on anyone in particular but I suppose they came from somewhere. Probably a mishmash of all the people I’ve ever met. There’s a tiny part of me in each character. The next answer might hint at which bits…

5. Each character in The Art Of Not Breathing is unique in their own special way, who do you feel the most connected to and why?

I feel connected to all of the characters in some way. I’m not as brave as Elsie but I like to think I have her determination. I certainly relate to Dillon’s high expectations of himself, and I can also be a bit of a moody silent type – like Tay. The main thing that connects me to the characters is how they feel when they’re in the water.

6. Do you have any advice/tips for aspiring writers?

     Find what works for you.
     Write for yourself.
     Don’t give up but do let yourself rest every now and then.

My Review:
First of all, a huge thank you to the lovely people at HarperCollins for sending me a copy of The Art Of Not Breathing!

I decided to dive into this book – see what I did there – with no expectations but it was honestly a beautiful story.

A heartbreaking tale of guilt, loss and hope for redemption. After losing her brother Eddie, Elsie has carried the burden of guilt for the past five years as her family life collapses around her.
She could hear him, see him calling out to her, telling her to come and find him beneath the surface but it isn’t that easy. Elsie takes up free diving with the help of Tay, a new boy in town who carries his own painful secrets. Tay helps Elsie truly feel again, to help end her nightmares but just as things start to go in the right direction, he too disappears.

It was such a realistic story and I loved the link between the title and the main aspect of the story. I loved that it was set in Scotland, something I haven’t read before but rather enjoyed. Free diving was certainly a different concept to be explored but it honestly tied all perspectives of the story together.

In my opinion, the only let down was the ending as it lacked a bit of closure. But overall The Art Of Not Breathing was a stunning story and I certainly appreciate being able to host part of Sarah Alexander’s blog tour, thank you very much HarperCollins!

Think Lovely Thoughts xo

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