ARC: Resist (Breathe #2) by Sarah Crossan

Posted on 09/11/2013 in Book Review / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC: Resist (Breathe #2) by Sarah CrossanResist by Sarah Crossan
Published by Greenwillow on 10/8/2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss
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three-stars

The sequel—and conclusion—to Sarah Crossan's Breathe. Three teen outlaws must survive on their own in a world without air, exiled outside the glass dome that protects what's left of human civilization. Gripping action, provocative ideas, and shocking revelations in a dystopian novel that fans of Patrick Ness and Veronica Roth will devour.

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Bea, Alina, and Quinn are on the run. They started a rebellion and were thrown out of the pod, the only place where there's enough oxygen to breathe. Bea has lost her family. Alina has lost her home. And Quinn has lost his privileged life. Can they survive in the perilous Outlands? Can they finish the revolution they began? Especially when a young operative from the pod's Special Forces is sent after them. Their only chance is to stand together, even when terrible circumstances force them apart. When the future of human society is in danger, these four teens must decide where their allegiances lie. Sarah Crossan has created a dangerous, and shattered society in this wrenching, thought-provoking, and unforgettable post-apocalyptic novel.

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I really really really loved Breathe by Sarah Crossan.  I was definitely wondering where she would take Resist, and Alina, Quinn and Bea, especially since this isn’t a trilogy (which is very unusual), just a two-book series, but ultimately, Resist didn’t wow me the way Breathe did.

Resist continues where Breathe left off: the Grove was attacked by the pod Ministry (who was rationing air as a way to control their population inside the pod) and people died or tried to escape.  Survivors have set forth to the settlement known as Sequoia, although the direction of the settlement at times seemed ambiguous and like they didn’t really know where they were actually going.  Not much is known about Sequoia at the end of Breathe or the beginning of Resist, except that it isn’t sympathetic to the Ministry.

Let me start by saying that Sarah Crossan has developed a pretty neat world.  Air is the commodity, not money (although money can buy you air), and people who are poor basically get the shaft on the air, because unlike Premiums who are first class, third-class citizens are treated as such and have to buy their air and if they can’t afford it, well – too bad for them.  It’s the worst kind of dystopia, honestly, because if you can’t breathe, you can’t survive.  Your body just can’t do it.  Give me kids killing kids any day of the week.

Ultimately there are two plots going on: reach Sequoia; and bring down the Ministry.  I liked the idea of bringing down the pod Ministry.  After all, the Ministry is who has set the laws in place, they are who tax and ration the air (they can just turn your air off in your apartment!) and they are simply corrupt.  They’ve created a caste system that enforces uneven wealth distribution, almost with the intention of killing off the poor, but in the most passive-aggressive way possible.

There is one part, and I hope this isn’t too spoilery, where Resistance members are hiding in the attic of a Premium, and it reminded me of the Diary of Anne Frank during WWII.  Don’t make a sound, don’t move around during the day and most of all, DON’T GET CAUGHT.  I thought the parallels were very interesting.

I wasn’t a fan of the Sequoia plot, though.  It felt like it was too much and I wanted something different than what I got from the Sequoians.  I wanted camaraderie (for, you know, their common enemy), not adversity.

This is a multi-POV novel, and if you are not a fan, I advise you to pass.  Breathe was also a MPOV, with three characters and I struggled to keep the POVs straight there, but in Resist, there are four – Alina, Quinn, Bea, and now Ronan.  Coupled with the fact that it’s been about a year since I read the first book, I had to keep them all straight and add a third fourth POV to the mix, which I found difficult, especially since I had to spend time really getting to know that character.  I think this would have been better off as a third-person novel.  It would have flowed better for me.

The ending is about what I expected it to be, and it was a good ending, especially the battle scenes, which reminded me of what I think tribal warfare against the white man during colonial times in the United States might have been like.  Brutal, bloody and unforgiving.

Overall, Resist wasn’t a bad follow-up to a what was an epic beginning, but “not bad” means it could have been better.  Still, I recommend reading it if you liked the first one.

three-stars
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Jennifer became addicted to books when she randomly picked up a Sweet Valley High book in grade school. She never looked back. After blowing through the SVH and SVU series faster than her parents could put them in her hands, she began perusing her stepfather's bookshelves and reading fantasy like Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, which she still maintains is some of the best fantasy ever. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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