Don’t Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Joy Delamere is suffocating.
From asthma, from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. She can take his cruel words, his tender words . . . until the night they go too far.
To escape, Joy sacrifices her suburban life to find the one who offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, to its rules of survival, and to love—a world she won’t easily let go.
Set against the backdrop of the streets of Seattle, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the secrets we keep, and the ways to redemption. But above all, it is an unflinching story about the extraordinary lengths one girl will go to discover her own strength.(From HarperTeen)
Like in Tell Me a Secret, the writing in this novel is just as gripping and intense. I fell in love with Holly’s writing in her first novel and couldn’t wait for this one to get another taste of it. Don’t Breathe a Word is one of those novels that pulls you right in from the very beginning. The writing alone, gorgeous and descriptive becomes addictive, and the rawness of the emotions seep through the pages that it feels as if they are drawing you into the story.
I loved that Holly was very realistic in her writing, she’s not afraid of showing you the darkness in her stories, the deep ugly side of an emotionally abusive relationship or what’s really like living in the streets. Joy finds out soon enough that it’s not as easy as she thought it would be, she witnesses the terrors and fears of the streets, the things that Creed and his friends have to endure to survive, and Holly does not sugarcoat it but she also doesn’t write it in a way that will make you want to stop reading. I loved seeing the changes in Joy as the story goes along, how the horrible experiences she lives through made deep changes in her and make her a stronger person.
I loved the mystery of all these characters, they ran away for a reason, each one has something to hide, they’re all different and struggling with some really heavy things that they’re not willing to share with Joy so the book keeps you guessing and looking forward to the time when they’ll eventually open up. Holly can write some pretty amazing contemporary novels, unforgettable ones, that touch on heavy subjects that need to be told and will suck you into its beautifully written pages filled with exposed emotions and realistic characters that won’t let you go until the very end, and even then you’re still left thinking about it long after.
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