Some secrets never die. They’re just locked away.
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 after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. 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 uncovering 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.
Congratulations to this debut author for writing such a complex and interesting story.
From the evocative title (Try Not To Breathe) to the last page, this novel grabbed me like very few books do. The alternating point of view worked well, especially the thoughts and memories of Amy Stevenson as she lay in a vegetative state. Using Amy’s thoughts, the author provides information about what actually happened to Amy in the days leading up to the afternoon of the attack that left her in a coma.
There are plenty of twists and turns along the way, all cleverly pieced together to reward the reader, but without giving away the key information: Who assaulted Amy so brutally, and why?
The other thread to the story is about the journalist, Alex, who faces her own demons daily. This storyline added depth and emotion to an already uniquely compelling read.
What can I say? Try Not To Breathe is utterly breathtaking from beginning to end.