Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hold Me Like a Breath ~ Tiffany Schmidt (earc) review [@bloomsburykids @tiffanyschmidt]

Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family #1)
May 19, 2015
400 pages
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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 really enjoyed Tiffany Schmidt's Send Me a Sign, so I was excited when I realized Hold Me Like a Breath was by the same author. In Send Me a Sign, Mia's cancer battle was well written and I thought Penelope's disorder was also well done. There is a knowledge of what Penelope has underlying everything - knowledge by the author, by the characters and then by the reader, as well - that not only gives yous a fuller understanding of what she is dealing with, but feels real, too.

Penelope bruises (extremely, absurdly) easily and precautions have to be taken to keep her safe. From work on their home (or, estate) to limiting her activities and routine blood tests, the ITP impacts how Pen lives her life.

A life that is as the daughter of a crime family.

I think I was expecting Hold Me Like a Breath to be more about Penelope's family, about the crime family and the rivalry of the different families. I loved the beginning of the book, the setting, Penelope, Cater, and Garrett, the relationship between them and how they were with each other one on one.

When the story changed course - and tone - partway through, I did keep hoping it would get back to how things were in the beginning. There were some changes in Penelope's thinking and feelings that seemed too sudden, too baseless.

Towards the end, why so much had changed became apparent. I did get more into the story, again, then and could also understand why everything that had happened needed to. I still don't know that I actually like what happened or that I wouldn't have preferred what I was expecting, but I understand it.

Penelope remains pretty immature throughout the novel. It's easy to see how being as sheltered (and spoiled) as she was could lead to that. I liked her quite a bit more towards the very end and like where the book left her.

I did not know until I finished it that Hold Me Like a Breath was a retelling of the Princess and the Pea story. The story I expected going in would have been different had I known, but I definitely still would have read it. It's a good story with interesting developments and a nice character at the center of things. I think I just liked the beginning (the premise, the setting, the characters, their relationships) too much to also love when things changed.

I am looking forward to Book 2, Break Me Like a Promise due in 2016 and I hope it will get me to love the new(er) characters as much as I did this books early ones.

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