A Powerful Story that is Truly Gorgeously Written | Review: Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab

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At first glance, I knew I wanted to snag a copy of Breath Like Water for two reasons. 1. The synopsis hooked me. 2. THE COVER IS A WORK OF ART THAT I CAN'T STOP LOOKING AT.

Breath Like Water
by Anna Jarzab

“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.

Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab 
  As always, a copy of this book was provided by the authors in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

Breath Like Water had a lot going for it from the jump. From its dreamy cover, to it poignant premise and beyond, I had a feeling that this book would be something special. Anna Jarzab certainly made her mark on me with this one and something in that has been impossible to shake. Breath Like Water is every bit as moving, thought-provoking, honest and heartfelt as reader's could hope.

Jarzab paints a beautiful portrait of the lives of her main characters and their struggles. As you read it, you cannot help but to feel as though you are reading something truly special and intimate. These are the types of characters that feel like friends rather than fictional characters. And there are several things reader's must know about these characters and their importance:

  • There were times where you'll want to cry with or for hem. Whether that be because you want to protect the characters from intrusive thoughts and other struggles, or merely you are frustrated on their behalf, this will come.
  • Just as easily, there are times that cheering for them in their triumphs feel essential. 
Breath Like Water is at its best when it comes the honest portrayal of mental health. When they are in the midst of these moments, you can literally feel the tension pulsing off the page and into your veins. Yes, it's that good. That's Jarzab's writing in a nutshell: you feel what the characters feel.

Admittedly, there was a part of me was more than a little concerned that Breath Like Water would rely heavily on the competitiveness and desire of swim, or come across super sporty, but it didn't. Breath Like Water has nods to the water, but the real heart of this story--and these characters--depend on their growth, relationships, family and more.

Ultimately, this makes the story much bigger than I expected. If you're looking for a coming of age story that is as moving and emotional as it is angsty and romantic, then Breath Like Water should be at the top of your list. It's that good.

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