Saturday, April 20, 2013

Blog Tour Stop & Giveaway: Barely Breathing by Heather Allen


Ever Harding used to believe in love. That is until she was left heartbroken by the only person she ever really loved, Jack, the mysterious boy from her history class. Little did she know he was born of the sea, on land to watch over her. But was he really? She made the ultimate sacrifice, to live in the sea as a mermaid, for Jack and for love. But she found that in the end, that love wasn't enough.

Now she finds herself alone, having to make a huge choice. She must decide whether to defend others against the choices she has made or fight for the freedoms of a population, she has just become a part of.

Ever's brother James, became a part of the sea not by any choice of his own, but he is willing to embrace it as long as a certain long legged, beauty is by his side. But as his sister found, things are not always as they seem.

In the end what they feared the most comes to reality, the battle, waged between staying true to life in the sea or changing a race of people to become more powerful and diverse. Will Ever and James survive the lines drawn in the sand or will they have to battle each other for what they believe?

Little do they know the battle in the end, will be something entirely different than what they were ready for.

Barely Breathing is the second book from Heather Allen and continues the story of Ever Harding.  We first met Ever in ‘Just Breathe’ where she discovered her mermaid history and made a choice that would change not only her life, but the lives of the Lior and the Erebus (the two mermaid clans).  In Just Breathe, Ever lost her heart to Jack, but having sacrificed everything for him things didn’t go quite as she would have hoped.

Barely Breathing is told from alternating points of view – Ever’s and her brother James’.  It’s an approach that I really like as it gives you two perspectives, generally providing a fuller picture to the story.  

James has come to terms with his mer-man life and is training for the impending battle.  Sara is sent as James’ guardian and James is struck by her beauty.  For the first time, he finds himself falling hard for a girl.  Sara works with James to develop his fighting skills and the more time James spends with Sara, the stronger his feelings for her become.  James is unwittingly aligned with the Erebus clan and is confident that if Sara is by his side, he can do anything.

Ever is struggling to recover from the heart break caused by Jack.  Living in the sea without him is not what she had envisaged for her future.  While his sister Amber is a supportive and caring friend, she is also a constant reminder that Jack is not there.  

We met Alex towards the end of Just Breathe and despite her sadness over Jack, Ever was a little intrigued by him.  He is gorgeous, friendly, supportive and unless Ever is mistaken he has more than a friendly interest in her.

Alex helps Ever with her training and she quickly develops an affinity for the bow and arrow.  She also further develops her ‘will’s and it is soon very clear that she is an incredibly powerful mermaid.  Her role in settling the future of the Lior clan is unavoidable, and as she comes to grips with this, she must also determine whether choices she has made in the past have been the right ones – including choices made with her heart.  As if that’s not enough of a burden to bear, Ever and James must also come to terms with the fact that despite being brother and sister, they are on opposite sides in the impending war.  

I’ll be honest, I found Ever to be a bit insipid in Barely Breathing.  Constantly avoiding issues and never really dealing with the situations she found herself in decisively was very frustrating for me.  Having said that, she was often described as ‘running away’ or not dealing with her problems – so she was consistent with her character, I just don’t really warm to characters like her.

Barely Breathing is well written and definitely wraps up a whole lot of things left hanging from Just Breathe.  I was quite frustrated with how Just Breathe concluded, so did get the closure I was looking for.  There are some twists in the story that you don’t expect: both Ever and James don’t get their happily ever after (only one of them does) – although having said that, Allen says that the story will be a trilogy when finished, so it may still be possible!  Rest assured though, the promise of the third book doesn’t mean a cliff hanger.  There is a nice finish to the story in Barely Breathing.  If you’ve read Just Breathe, you should definitely pick up Barely Breathing.

Barely Breathing- Character’s Top Five Favorite Things

Ever’s Favorite Things

1. Jack -Of course Jack is at the top of this list. You can’t just stop loving someone!
2. Swimming- This is a given especially since she is a mermaid now- no wonder…
3. Music- She is a huge fan of her brother’s band and adores most genres.
4. Romeo and Juiet is Ever’s favorite book, although the ending breaks her heart every time she reads it.
5. Her favorite food is fruit, any and all. She develops a keen fondest for apples inparticular.

James’ Favorite Things

1. Sarah – The first girl to steal his heart.
2. Music- He sings and plays guitar in Allgood with two of his friends- they are a folksy/rock sounding band.
3. Movies – James loves action movies, what’s new, he’s a guy. His favorite though is Top Gun.
4. Food – James is a growing boy, pizza is his favorite food but he’ll eat anything.
5. Video Games- When he has time, he likes playing on line against his friends.

Let's see who reads these... Write a comment below and I will choose an e-book winner for a copy of Barely Breathing through!!