Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Book Review: Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab

Breath Like Water
By: Anna Jarzab
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Add to Goodreads 
Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Book Summary:

“Expansive, romantic, and powerful.” —Gayle Forman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay and I Have Lost My Way 

Susannah Ramos has always loved the water. A swimmer whose early talent made her a world champion, Susannah was poised for greatness in a sport that demands so much of its young. But an inexplicable slowdown has put her dream in jeopardy, and Susannah is fighting to keep her career afloat when two important people enter her life: a new coach with a revolutionary training strategy, and a charming fellow swimmer named Harry Matthews. 

As Susannah begins her long and painful climb back to the top, her friendship with Harry blossoms into passionate and supportive love. But Harry is facing challenges of his own, and even as their bond draws them closer together, other forces work to tear them apart. As she struggles to balance her needs with those of the people who matter most to her, Susannah will learn the cost—and the beauty—of trying to achieve something extraordinary.


My Thoughts:


Breath Like Water was about Susannah Ramos, an elite swimmer, whom at age fourteen became a world champion.  However, once her body changed, and she went from having a slim svelte body, to having hips, height, and boobs, she couldn't figure out how to maneuver herself in the water the same way.

Now at the age of 16, she's trying to climb back to the top, and qualify for the olympics.  Susannah isn't improving with her coach; Dave, who yells and puts her down a lot.  However, when she starts working with Dave's new assistant, Beth, a coach who has a unique perspective and style of coaching, and Harry, a swimmer on her team; she begins making great strides.  Harry likes Susannah, and she likes him, but she is determined to not let anything distract or deter her from her dream...

Breath Like Water was a surprising story.  I was expecting a light-hearted, fluffy, and fun story.  What I got was an emotional story with serious and relative topics to today.  This book had a lot of substance and addressed important subjects, such as the challenges and pressures of being a serious athlete, mental health issues, and sexuality.  It was a story I enjoyed, and was engaged in.  I loved the time Susannah spent in the water.  I could visualize her swimming, and learned a lot along the way.  I also loved how supportive and caring her parents, and sister Nina were, and that we got pieces of her Mexican culture throughout the story.

The romance and relationship between Susannah and Harry was complex, realistic, and a bit messy.  Susannah was so focused on her dream, that oftentimes Harry took a backseat, and suffered for it. He was a character that had a lot of baggage, and a serious mental health issue that he had to navigate.

I enjoy books with athletes, and seeing all of the trials and tribulations they go through to be at the top of their sport.  The ending was realistic, and a bit open-ended, but hinted at Susannah's happily ever after.








About the Author:

Anna Jarzab is the author of All Unquiet Things, The Opposite of Hallelujah, Tandem, Tether, Red Dirt, and Breath Like Water. She lives in New York City and works in children's book publishing. Visit her online at www.annajarzab.com and connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @ajarzab.




30 comments:

  1. Awe I like the sound of this Lindy.

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  2. I read a lot of books with sports in them but for the most part the ones I have have been pretty good. Great review for this!

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  3. I have this audio book downloaded right now. I am going to try and keep an open mind about the open ending ( you know I hate those )

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    1. Yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of open endings, but at least this one hinted at a happily ever after :)

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  4. I'm not a fan of open endings so I don't think this would work for me, but I'm happy you enjoyed it. The competitive swimming aspect does sound interesting. Wonderful review as usual, Lindy! :)

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  5. I also really enjoy books with athletes but I haven't read one on a swimmer so I'm intrigued.

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  6. That would be neat to get a peek inside the competitive swimming world and what balancing an athletic career with other aspects of life would be like. I think this would make a great summer read after reading your thoughts on it, Lindy.

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    1. Yes, it woulsd be a great read for the summer Sophia :)

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  7. I'm not a HUGE fan of open-ended books, but this one sounds intriguing! Wonderful review! :)

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  8. I don't mind open end..it lets me imagine the finish, but I get it. Wonderful review!

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  9. Are there any aspects of this story you didn't particularly like? This does seem like an interesting read that deals with a lot of complex topics. I feel like stories are becoming more centered in our real world now than ever before but that might just be me. Great review as always!

    Sharrice @Reese's Reviews

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    1. Thanks Reese! The pacing of the story was a little slower than I would have liked, and I like more of a romance centered book, and a closed ending.

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  10. What a great review you have here. I think I would struggle with the heroine in the treatment of the hero, but I do love seeing such growth in characters. And I have a weakness for swimmer characters in my books.

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  11. I love when a book delivered a deeper, more impactful story than I was expecting. Those are like hidden gems. So glad this was one of those for you, Lindy!

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  12. This does sound like it would be a good read. I'm glad you liked it.

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  13. The book sounds great. I too like books with athletes and remember one a while ago with louis armstrong, brave-something-or another I think.

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    1. Yes, books about athletes are always so interesting!

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  14. This sounds really good. I always love it when what I think is going to be a light read ends up having some deeper layers to it.

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