Friday, December 15, 2017

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks, #5)

Goodreads Overview:

The finish line is only the beginning...

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can't escape the guilt that if she hadn't broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she's at war with her body, her mind-and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms...and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.


My husband is a marathon runner and encouraged me to run for a LONG time.  I ran a bunch of 5K races, but would never really consider anything much further than that.  In 2013 I decided I would try to run a half marathon, so I can definitely relate to many of the things Annie describes.  I have now completed 4 half marathons, but I'm not sure I would ever tackle a full marathon.  

I was happy to see Annie overcome her physical and mental issues in such a positive way.  She was able to achieve something she never thought she could and allowed herself to open up to friends, family, and a new love after the loss of her long time boyfriend.  She had been blaming herself for something that was not within her control.  The physical act of running, along with the friendships she made throughout the training process, gave her the insight and focus she desperately needed to see life from a new perspective.  

Jeremiah, her training coach's younger brother, is described as an adrenaline junkie.  He started out pushing himself harder and harder in your average running races and eventually moved on to more dangerous activities in order to achieve the same adrenaline rush.  Personally, I couldn't relate to that situation.  I find running to be exhausting.  Aside from the benefits of staying in shape and receiving a medal and a beer at the finish line, I consider it work instead of pleasure.  

Annie is definitely attracted to Jeremiah, but she isn't willing to risk losing someone else she loves.  Jeremiah cuts back on his risky behavior in the hopes of convincing Annie to give him a chance.  It takes a minor mishap in a relatively safe event for Annie to realize how fragile life really is.  Anything can happen to anyone at any time regardless of how careful you are.  You need to live life to the fullest while you have the chance.  

There is a great message to this story and I absolutely loved the characters.  Regardless of your running experience, this is a highly entertaining read that I would definitely recommend.  This book is part of the Hundred Oaks series, but it reads like a stand alone.  You do not need to read the prior books in the series to fully appreciate this book.  They are more like companion novels vs. a series that needs to be read in order to fully appreciate the story.

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