Try Not to Breathe: A Novel by Holly Seddon (Epub)


Ebook Info

  • Published: 2016
  • Number of pages: 368 pages
  • Format: Epub
  • File Size: 0.79 MB
  • Authors: Holly Seddon


Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down. Every day is treading water, every night is drowning. Until Alex discovers Amy Stevenson. Amy Stevenson, who was just another girl from a nearby town until the day she was found unconscious after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. Amy Stevenson, who, unbeknownst to her doctors, remains locked inside her body, conscious but paralyzed, reliving the past.

Soon Alex’s routine includes visiting hours at the hospital, then interviews with the original suspects in the attack. But what starts as a reporter’s story becomes a personal obsession. How do you solve a crime when the only witness lived but cannot tell the tale? Unable to tear herself away from her attempt to uncover the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she’s not just chasing a story—she’s seeking salvation.

Shifting from present to past and back again, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer until its heart-stopping conclusion. The result is an utterly immersive, unforgettable debut.

Praise for Try Not to Breathe

“A brilliant, beautifully written thriller.”—Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors

“A razor-sharp plot and wonderfully complex characters . . . Not since The Girl on the Train have I been so captivated by a work of suspense.”—New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen

“A fast-paced debut about long-buried secrets and tangled truths.”—New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight

“Engrossing . . . Seddon’s storytelling skills are strong. . . . The world she’s constructed is fascinating and slightly dark.”—Kirkus Reviews

User’s Reviews

From Publishers Weekly The crippling alcoholism of freelance journalist Alex Dale, the heroine of British author Seddon’s impressive first novel, has cost her nearly everything—her husband, a baby, and her job. Her current assignment writing about health issues takes her to the neuro-disability ward at Tunbridge Wells Royal Infirmary, which treats patients in long-term comas. New research shows that some patients, while unable to communicate outwardly, are still able to communicate using brain scans. Alex becomes interested in one patient in particular, Amy Stevenson, who was brutally attacked at age 15, in 1995, and has been in a coma for the 15 years since—trapped inside her body, but unable to tell her story. Alex becomes determined to solve the mystery behind Amy’s attack, convinced that breaking this story will resurrect her journalism career. Told from alternating perspectives and alternating decades, this gripping thriller about family and redemption will keep readers engaged to the very end. Agent: Jenny Bent, Bent Agency. (Feb.)n Review Praise for Try Not to Breathe“A brilliant, beautifully written thriller.”—Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors “A razor-sharp plot and wonderfully complex characters . . . Not since The Girl on the Train have I been so captivated by a work of suspense.”—New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen“A fast-paced debut about long-buried secrets and tangled truths.”—New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight “Engrossing . . . [Holly] Seddon’s storytelling skills are strong. . . . The world she’s constructed is fascinating and slightly dark.”—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:

⭐ I wavered between giving this book three stars or four. I enjoyed the very beginning of this book a lot. The plot was introduced nicely, the storyline quickly held my interest, and I generally liked the admittedly flawed protagonist. However, after the initial set up, I felt that the book was slow to build and was at times very repetitive. I also felt there were some chapters that centered on information not necessary to character or plot development that could have been removed. With that being said, around the halfway mark of the novel, the story seemed to pique my interest again and I felt compelled to continue reading. Although the ending felt somewhat predictable, I do think that the second half of the story was well-thought-out and well-written. Overall, in fact, I thought the writing itself was terrific. If you can get through some of the slow parts toward the beginning of the book, I think this is worth a read.

⭐ I rarely write book reviews, but I loved this one, so I’ll give it a shot. The lead character, Alex, is a barely functioning alcoholic who was once a successful journalist. Because of her addiction, she has lost almost everything–her marriage, her baby, and her career. She is attempting to write free-lance, and people in long-term comas have caught her attention. There is a woman in the coma ward named Amy Stevenson who is about Alex’s age. Alex decides to discover who put Amy in this ward and begins to do good detective work. She even begins to drink less and focus more on her subject. Eventually she discovers the answers to her questions, writes a great story and goes into re-hab. It was hope-inspiring to see her begin to see a reason for living.

⭐ That’s how I always felt about being in a coma…..does that person think, worry, become bored??? Do they KNOW they’re in a coma? Can they hear and understand everything??? Even though it’s easy to determine early on who committed the disgusting attack wondering how it will come together was enough to keep me up until 1:30 on a work night. Quick read, well written but I would have liked a bit more fleshing out of a couple characters.

⭐ The story is about a young girl who is beaten and left for dead, but spends 15 years in a semi-conscious state, unable to tell anyone what happened. Then Alex finds her, realizes that Amy has a story. But Alex is an alcoholic, barely functioning in her own life. As a journalist Alex digs into the past, but each step closer to the truth unearths more secrets. It’s a moving story about people getting their lives straight. Alex might be trying to help Amy, but she saves her right back. An unlikely friendship that ripples through everyone’s lives.

⭐ A very enjoyable read. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but found myself quickly drawn in and wanting to keep reading.While I didn’t like one of the main characters (the alcoholic), it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, and I’m happy to say I didn’t guess ‘who done it’ until very nearly at the end.For people who also enjoy this, I would recommend “Boy under the table” by Nicole Trope, it has the same ability to draw you in without getting too graphic about the hard to read details.

⭐ I absolutely loved this mystery suspense novel. I decided to purchase it after reading reviews that it was very similar to Paula Hawkins’s “The Girl on the Train” and of course it was being sold for a discounted price of $1.99. I won’t drop any spoilers in my review for any person interested in reading this novel but basically 15 years ago, main character, Amy Stevenson, was nearly murdered and has since been on bed rest from the injuries she endured. Alex Dale, who is a journalist, is looking to submit a story about Amy and the measures the hospital and department Amy’s been for the past 15 years, to communicate with the cilents. Alex eventually finds who tried to murder Amy but not without hitting several detours in her journalist investigation. The thing I loved so much about this story was that I was hooked from start to finish. The story never lagged and I still didn’t have an idea of who may have committed the crime until the very, very near end. Another thing I liked was that all the characters who’s perspective was given (similar to that of The Girl on the Train) was through throughout the entire story and none were underwritten, unlike the The Girl on the Train. If you like The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, or mystery/ suspense novels then you will absolutely love this book!!

⭐ Really enjoyed this book. The book is written in short chapters alternating among the characters and carrying the reader between time frames seamlessly. I had guessed the ending but the best part of the book for me was understanding the consciousness of Amy, the girl trapped in a reality alternating between her never changing 15 year old existence and a dream like state. Her story is masterfully told.

⭐ Absolutely couldn’t put this book down and felt myself completely drawn to Alex, the protagonist. This will probably be contentious, but I liked it better than Girl on the Train. The storyline was intricately woven, the prose beautiful and compelling, and the characters all really well developed. A fantastic read, especially for a debut novelist. I’ll be looking out for more of Holly Seddon’s books.

⭐ Holly Seddon is a fantastic writer. In Try Not To Breathe, Alex is a talented journalist who has lost everything that she values due to her alcoholism. She fights to find the reason for a vicious attack and to bring justice for everyone that has been hurt by an act of violence committed long ago.

⭐ This is a very well written thriller/mystery. The plot pacing keeps the story fresh and intriguing. There isn’t an over abundance of characters, so the ones you meet you feel like you get a decent amount of knowledge and backstory about them. Honestly this book has a lot of parallels with The Girl on the Train, which I also enjoyed. I, however, did not give out the 5 star ranking for it and same goes for this one. It was a good read, but perhaps not a great one. Enjoyable and interesting, and the plot twists kept me guessing. A solid 4 stars!Thanks for reading my review!Happy reading!


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