Review: Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Publication Date: January 19th, 2012
Format: Hardback, 272 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Learning to live is more than just choosing not to die, as sixteen-year-old Ryan discovers in the year following his suicide attempt. Despite his mother’s anxious hovering and the rumors at school, he’s trying to forget the darkness from which he has escaped. But it doesn’t help that he’s still hiding guilty secrets, or that he longs for a girl who may not return his feelings. Then he befriends Nicki, who is using psychics to seek contact with her dead father. This unlikely friendship thaws Ryan to the point where he can face the worst in himself. He and Nicki confide in one another the things they never thought they’d tell anyone—but their confessions are trickier than they seem, and the fallout tests the bound of friendship and forgiveness.

Dying is easy. Living is hard. – If I Stay by Gayle Forman. 

Three years ago my Dad tried to hang himself.

My Mom got there on time.

I still haven’t been able to look him in the face when I see him.

Too scared to see the mark around his neck.

I can’t figure out why he tried to do it.

I know they were in a bad place. I know they were having a hard time.

But who really knew what’s going on in his head at the time?

What makes a person brave enough to try and kill themselves?

…And yet too cowardice to face life?

No one really talked about this in my family. The subject matter is taboo. We still don’t have the answers. We’re all too scared to ask him why. I’d like to say that we’ve all recovered from it. I can’t remember when I stopped trying to look for evidence of depression when I look at him. I never ask him directly if he was okay. My familial relationships hasn’t really been ideal – not since my siblings and I were kids. I wish we were all close.

Reading this book brought it all back. I was Nicki, asking why, why would he do such a thing?  In a way, this book helped. Sometimes, it just gets too much. We sometimes think that crying buckets of tears would help cleanse our depression away but it’s not true at all.

I wish I could say that I helped my Dad. I wish I could say that we’ve become closer after this. But we’re far from it.

My parents are Catholics…they found an even better Religion after that.

This book hits too close to home. Most of the time I had to do gut checks.

Should I stop?

Should I continue?

This review is way too personal.

This book is way too personal.

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