Series Review: The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan

I sped through Rebecca Donovan's Breathing series too quickly to stop and write individual reviews for each book in the series.  I really loved this intense, heart-stopping series.  I thought Rebecca Donovan did an excellent job characterizing Emma and writing about difficult subjects: abuse, mental illness, and addiction.  Donovan approaches these issues without trepidation, and their inclusion in the series is what made the books so unforgettable and emotional.

My recurring thought as I read these books was: how much can one person handle before they break?  Emma has had so much loss, heartbreak and hardship in her life.  She has no one who truly loves her, yet her circumstances never change who she is at her core: a good, loving, loyal person. 

Donovan excels at writing emotion, and it felt like the books got more emotional the more I read.  Each book was so intense, and I found myself feeling so many of Emma's emotions.  My heart would race as I read, desperate to find out what would happen to Emma next.

I had a couple of complaints about the series.  First, because of the heavy subject matter and intensity of the books, they were not always easy to read.  There were a lot of hard times to get through, and I would have liked to read about more "good times" after the conflict resolution.  What I mean is that I wanted to spend more time with Emma once she finally got her well-deserved happy ending.  Speaking of endings, I loved that the endings of the books were realistic instead of your typical rainbows and sunshine happily ever afters.  My second complaint is a minor one, but it recurred throughout the series and it started to bug me.  The phrase "flipped her eyes to..." was overused.  I've never even read or heard that phrase before, and every time I read it, the flow of the story stopped for me as I remembered, "oh, that's how Donovan describes a glance."

Despite my two complaints, overall, I really enjoyed these books.  I highly recommend this series, and I would definitely read Rebecca Donovan again.  I'm glad I bought these books, and very glad I read them!

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