I really enjoy reading the Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kenneally,and when I heard there was another book, and that I was granted the opportunity to read it by the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for my honest review, I was over the moon.
Annie is insular, a trait amplified by the death of her boyfriend, Kyle. But, when she decides to run the marathon he was intending to run, she opens herself up to her coach and his brother, Jeremiah. Jeremiah turns from ‘stupid backwards running boy’ to something more—almost like Annie’s only friend. But Annie has a lot on her plate—including an afterschool job and getting ready for college after studying at night. Annie and Jeremiah keep it friendly, but as she gets to feeling more than friendly with Jeremiah, is she betraying Kyle and the memory of Kyle?
Annie is a complicated, but well-written character. Throughout the novel, readers are struck by her pain and her inability to reconcile her feelings for Kyle with what happened to him. Readers are lucky enough to be brought on board for the progression of how she feels, which is refreshing as a reader. It lends well to learning to care for the character.
I love that Miranda Kenneally keeps writing about the teens and community in Hundred Oaks. In each book, there are characters that overlap, so it’s really like visiting old friends and family. The world Kenneally has done over the course of these books is to be commended. Readers of the series may find it is fun to revisit the characters—especially Jordan, whom can continue to be a role model to young women by her occupation as the high school gym teacher and football coach.
Jeremiah is a great character, despite his addictions to adrenaline. He goes through the book and really matures—but definitely not overnight. He makes some headway, and makes some silly mistakes in a believeable way. At some point, Jere even begins to see that people need him as much as he needs people. And the chemistry between Jeremiah and Annie is palpable and fun.
Overall, I really enjoyed this Hundred Oaks novel; Miranda Kenneally’s writing feels like going home.
Breathe, Annie, Breathe is going to be available from your favorite retailer, in your favorite format on April 7, 2015.