Title: Only a Breath Apart
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Slytherin Rating: 4/5
Ravenclaw Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Jesse Lachlin is cursed.
So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.
Scarlett Copeland is psychic.
Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.
Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…
We’re so excited to be apart of the blog tour for Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry. For our stop on the tour, we’ll each be sharing our reviews of the book, an excerpt from Only a Breath Apart, as well as a giveaway link for a chance for one person to win an Amazon gift card!
I’m no stranger to Katie McGarry books and while I haven’t read everything that she has published, I feel like I have read enough of it to know that she’s an author I would buy from without hesitation. Only a Breath Apart is no exception and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to have read it early.
As with all of the books by Katie McGarry that I have previously read, Only a Breath Apart has some of the most amazing characters that you immediately become attached to while still having a story line that deals with tough topics. This story does deal with domestic abuse so I would be aware of that before going in to it if that could be triggering to you.
One of my favorite things about books by Katie McGarry is that you get the perspective of both of the main characters. It really helps draw you into the story more in my opinion.
“Pain is what makes you grow, it’s what makes you mature, it’s what helps lead you to the path you are meant to be on. If everything is good all the time, there would never be change.”
Scarlett and Jesse are both dealing with tough things in their lives. Jesse has just recently lost his grandmother who has been caring for him for several years. He’s also tasked with trying to prove to people that he’s capable of taking care of the land that he’s been left with. Meanwhile, Scarlett is dealing with a father who is controlling and is abusive.
This is a story that has stuck with me ever since I read it and I know it will be one I will hold with me forever. Katie McGarry has definitely outdone herself with this story. It’s one that will have you hooked from the beginning and wanting to know what is going to happen and if there will be a happy ending. Definite four star read for me and definitely will read more from Katie McGarry!
This was the first book by Katie McGarry that I’ve read, and I was not disappointed! She really blew it out of the water for me with this book. I really appreciated that this book was told through both Jesse and Scarlett’s point of views, but it was still all third person. I think this really helped to make it cohesive!
I really liked both Jesse and Scarlett’s personalities. I think that Katie McGarry did a really wonderful job of crafting their personalities and backstories. Once you find out their history, it makes perfect sense as to why they react the way they do to certain situations.
“I can’t keep living like this. I can’t keep being who everyone wants me to be.”
This book also deals with some big trigger warnings of domestic abuse. I think that Katie McGarry handled the situation really well, and kept it authentic. It didn’t feel like it was used for a plot device, it really felt like the book was crafted around how to tell that story. I think she handled the situation really well!
The only part of this book that I wasn’t a fan of was that it seemed a little slow in parts. I also couldn’t always follow what was happening with the plot, some of the events didn’t really make sense with where I could tell the plot was going, but overall I think that the story was really unique so it made sense that the plot was a little different as well.
Overall, I really liked this book! I think that Katie McGarry did a really great job with this one. It was a unique story that I haven’t seen used before. This book easily gets four stars for me!
Evangeline fans herself. “That boy is hot.”
Hot isn’t exactly the word I would use for him. Hot somehow feels…lacking. Hot is for some boy in our gym class who has recently grown facial hair. Jess Lachlin is no boy. He has fire-red hair, a sun kissed tan from all the hours working on his land, deep green eyes and a body made to handle rough, rugged days.
I might have been ignoring Jesse for years, but I’ve seen him. Every girl in this school has gone out of her way to drive or walk along one of the country roads to watch Jesse as he works his land. Living across the street, I’ve had a front-row view. His shirt off, drenched in sweat, muscles rippling as he moves, the way he sometimes pauses in his front yard and looks across the road as if he knows I’m watching. A fluttering in my chest and then—
“Would you date him?” Evangeline asks.
“No.” Camila’s answer is swift. “And it’s not like he dates anyone. Except for his friends, the boy is a recluse.”
“Why wouldn’t you?” The kneejerk question surprises even me when it pops out of my mouth. Camila and Evangeline look at me as if those were the first words I’d ever spoken. If I could hide under the circulation desk without making this moment worse, I would.
“Besides the fact he’s cursed and anyone a Lachlin falls in love with drops dead?” Camila walks toward me and Evangeline follows. Camila watches me with more curiosity than I care for, but it’s nice that she’s moving the conversation in my direction. “Jesse’s a train wreck, and he taints anyone in his vicinity. Dating him would be a social, emotional and literal death sentence.”
I’m familiar with the curse, and it’s no truer than Glory and her prophesies. “That sounds melodramatic.”
“It’s not.” Camila has a swear-to-God seriousness to her. “Mom and Dad had Bible study at our house last night, and Pastor Hughes came. Everyone thought I was in the basement, but I went to the kitchen for something to drink, and I heard Pastor Hughes ask everyone what they knew about Jesse.”
Eavesdropping. How Camila.
“Did you know that before Veronica started hanging with Jesse that she was on track to be a concert pianist?” Camila says.
“Seriously?” Evangeline tilts her head in disbelief, and I’ll admit to putting down my cell.
“Seriously. And Leo Wheeling was a star soccer player, predicted to be the first freshman to play varsity for our high school, and then he started hanging out with Jesse.”
Faint middle school memories of hearing Leo’s name over the announcements regarding soccer emerge in my mind.
“Then someone said that before Nazareth Kravitz moved here, he had taken the ACT in the seventh grade and received a perfect score. He moved here, met Jesse and the rest is history.”
Nazareth sleeps through most of our classes, that is, when he bothers showing for school.
I nibble on my bottom lip as I’m not sure how much I like the Jesse-is-the-devil enthusiasm. I may share the opinion, but that doesn’t mean anyone else should.
“Of course, then there’s Jesse himself. Drinking, drugs.”
“The fights,” Evangeline pipes in.
“Don’t forget the suspensions—”
“And he’s been arrested!” Evangeline finishes Camila’s statement like the two share a brain. Her eyes sparkle like that precious piece of scandalous gossip was just too good not to spread.
“The boy is a walking disaster,” Camila continues. “Anyone who hangs out with him wants to become a loser. It doesn’t matter he’s going to be a millionaire once he sells his grandmother’s land. Anyone who spends time with Jesse is asking for hurt.”
Katie is the author of the PUSHING THE LIMITS series, THUNDER ROAD series, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, and the upcoming YA novel, ONLY A BREATH APART. Her novels have received starred reviews, critical acclaim and have won multiple awards including being a multiple Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for YA Fiction, multiple RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award Finalist for Best YA Fiction, including a win in the category, and she was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick.