Audio Review: The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander

Posted January 7, 2019 by Lillian in Reviews / 3 Comments

Audio Review: The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah AlexanderThe Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
Narrator: Colleen Prendergast
Published by Dreamscape Media on 2016-05-10
Length: 8hrs and 20mins
Reviewing Audiobook from Audible
Reading Challenges: 2018 Audiobook Challenge, 2018 Blogger Shame Challenge

Since her twin brother, Eddie, drowned five years ago, sixteen-year-old Elsie Main has tried to remember what really happened that fateful day on the beach. One minute Eddie was there, and the next he was gone. Seventeen-year-old Tay McKenzie is a cute and mysterious boy that Elsie meets in her favorite boathouse hangout. When Tay introduces Elsie to the world of freediving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea.

I honestly don’t know where to start! The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander is a breath-taking, heart-stopping read at times while at others it’s quite dull. I received this book in 2016 when it was first released to review and attempted to pick it up more than once, failing each time. I finally decided to give the audio a try, and I’m glad I did. Colleen Prendergast brought Elsie to life for me, and I listened to the book in one sitting as a result.

The book follows Elsie, 5 years after the death of her twin brother Eddie. Elsie isn’t really living. She feels like a shadow moving through life. She’s a good kid, doesn’t get in trouble much, but is overshadowed by the piece of her family that is missing.

It’s not until Elsie finds herself a new hobby that she starts to come to life. Her new hobby: Free Diving…..y’all this is terrifying and thrilling. The author really brings this to life as you read. For Elsie, under the water she starts to remember the events surrounding Eddie’s death in a new light. She becomes obsessed with uncovering more details and diving deeper each time.

The plot is quick moving and twofold. Both plot lines follow Elsie. One focuses on the present, her learning to dive and having a little romance with her instructor. The other focuses on her family life current and past. The author addresses some tough subjects: grief, eating disorders, infidelity, and accidents. It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

Overall I did like the audio version of The Art of Not Breathing more than the print. It was easy to get lost in the unraveling mystery surrounding Eddie’s death. Elsie’s life was heartbreaking, and I found myself wanting to hug the poor girl most of the book. I’d recommend this read to anyone that enjoys YA contemporary with mystery.

About Sarah Alexander

Sarah Alexander grew up in London with dreams of exploring the world and writing stories. After spending several years wandering the globe and getting into all sorts of scrapes, she returned to London to complete a Master's degree in Creative Writing at Birkbeck College in 2013. Previous jobs include: tomato picker, travel consultant, mental-health support worker and suitcase administrator. Now she works in publishing. Sarah lives in London with her husband and two chickens. THE ART OF NOT BREATHING is her first novel.

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