“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.
Publication Date: May 19th, 2020
My Favourite Quote: *subject to change*
Failure is an intersection, but even though I took a detour for a while, I ended up on a better stretch of the same road.
Received an Advanced Reader’s Copy from the publisher, Inkyard Press (HarperCollins), via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
I can say, safely, that we get exactly what we read in the synopsis and more. Breath Like Water is a story about support and struggle, about conflict and care, of being self-absorbed and being selflessness. It was also about fights that help you grow and those that bring you down and finding the difference between the two. I think this was one of the more subtler and–to me at least–one of the most important topics: what failure actually means and how one’s perception must supersede that which is observable on the surface.
There were very many poignant moments in Breath Like Water and the author does a fantastic job in keeping you with the story at all times. At no point did I feel that the pace of the plot had dragged, slowed down or sped up. There were very many surprises along the way and I can safely say I predicted absolutely nothing until the very end.
I loved how every character who was introduced was given their own role, scene-space and had their own impact on the protagonist, leading her onward in her journey. Susannah read as someone who was both young and not; she had that perfect balance in personality of someone who practiced discipline and focus all their lives, and at the same time, the youthfulness of someone who was a teen and trying to figure out the ropes of life and see the ups and downs for what they are while navigating the many roads that come in one’s journey. Harry, on the other hand, really tugged on my heartstrings. His was a story I wasn’t prepared for and I was so blindsided that his words moved me to tears. Susannah’s connection with Harry was evident from the first moment they met and I truly enjoyed their interactions; the only issue I struggled with briefly was the constant reiteration of their connection that the protagonist kept insisting we read every time she thought of Harry. Their relationship wasn’t perfect and I loved seeing them find out how to be someone’s partner and what that entailed.
Something I will always always always support is good parent-child relationship rep. I absolutely adored them in this book and I was very very glad for it. I definitely loved all the support that the protagonists received from their family and that this support was constant and filled with nothing but love. The friendships in this book, was in my opinion, realistic. We all go through ups and downs in our friendships and there are some friends with whom we can safely speak only about certain things and there are those with whom we can say anything at all we wish. There is also mention of racism in this book and the protagonist and her family deal with it as they have anything else in their lives: with fortitude and hard work.
Four and a half stars. I highly recommend this book. ❤ ❤