Review: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by Macmillan-Tor/Forge via InkSlinger PR.

“I don't know what to do, and I'm scared and I'm angry. I'm sorry I never came to see you when you asked, and I'm sorry I've hurt you. I know I made a mistake, but I need a friend, and you said you were it. So are you? You made a mistake when you hurt me, and I know I've been making mistakes now, so we need to figure it out. Are we meant to be friends or are we one, big tragic mistake?”

Whenever word gets out that Katie McGarry has an upcoming release, adding it to my list of most anticipated reads becomes a no-brainer. Her latest young adult novel, Only a Breath Apart, was on that very list when I learned of its publication details, and as always, McGarry blew me away with this story of two childhood best friends who had grown apart only to find their way back to one another when they needed the other the most. While some have put this book under the YA category, because there are certain sensitive matters that it tackles--i.e. physical abuse, so please consider this a trigger warning as well--throughout, I think it's better suited with a mature YA tag.

From the time he was six years old, Jesse Lachlin has had the family curse constantly in the back of his mind. It's a curse that befalls any Lachlin who happens to leave the family-owned land and punishes them in the worst way possible--by taking away those they love most from them. Other than his grandmother and mother, no one means more to Jesse than his best friend Scarlett Copeland, but all it takes is a life-altering incident over one summer for Jesse to walk away from their friendship. Three years later, Jesse and Scarlett are seniors in high school, and fate seems to be bringing them together. But in order for them to reconnect, they'll have to learn the ways of redemption and absolution, and for them to stay together, they'll have to stare down and defeat their worst fears.

Ah, this story and these characters! It took about three and a half hours for me to read this novel but I did so in one sitting. Had anyone tried to take my tablet away from me, I would have probably hit them over the head with it. There was simply no way I wanted to be apart from Jesse and Scarlett because from the moment we're introduced to six-year-old Jesse and then seven-year-old Scarlett in the dual prologues, it's almost impossible not to be, at the very least, curious as to what awaits them as teenagers. My heart went out to these two because behind Jesse's carefree, Peter Pan-esque devil-may-care attitude and Scarlett's poise and rule-follower stance was a young man who was hurting and a young woman who could have needed some proverbial fairy dust to set herself free and fly. My one wish would be books for V, Leo, and Nazareth. Only a Breath Apart gets five-plus stars. ♥

Release Date: 22 January 2019

Date Read: 21 January 2019

Learn more about Katie McGarry.

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