Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Don't Breathe a Word Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words—tender words, cruel words—until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

My Review:

Don't Breathe a Word was an amazing portrayal of runaway teenagers living their lives on the street.  It showed the bad things that can happen living on streets, and it didn't shy away from these realities.  I really enjoyed the story and the characters.


Joy is the protagonist of the novel, and she is very well-developed.  She feels trapped in her life with her abusive boyfriend and her family watching over her to make sure she doesn't get sick from her asthma.  While her boyfriend, Asher, never physically hurt Joy, he hurt her with his words and threats.  He also makes her burn herself with his name to brand her as his.  She feels like she cannot stay in that life anymore, so she fakes a kidnapping and goes to live on the streets of Seattle.  She has once met a homeless boy who told her to find him if she needs him, so she is determined to find him.

I enjoyed meeting and learning about Joy's new "family."  The three people in the family are Creed, Santos, and May.  They are all homeless teens, and they each have their own story and their own past.  Creed is a musician and he has escaped from his family because his dad abuses his mom.  There are many sweet moments between him and Joy, and he becomes her love interest.  Santos comes from the foster child system.  He didn't like the foster parents, so he ran away.  May has never met her dad, and her mom also lives on the streets and is a drug addict.  All three characters reveal their stories throughout the book.

If you like contemporary YA with some darker elements, read this book.



  1. I'll be sure to check this one out!!

    You've been nominated for a Liebster award at

    Happy Reading!

    ~Ali (Ginger-Read)

    1. Thanks for nominating me for the award! You should check this out. It has a really moving story.

  2. This sounds sort of dark and gritty. I'm going to add this one to my TBR pile.

    1. Don't Breathe a Word definitely does have dark and gritty parts. I hope you like it.

  3. I love how this book shows the true grittiness of living on the streets -- sometimes books glamourize it, which may be cool to read but they don't do any good at making teenagers shy away from the choice LOL x) I think I've had this on my TBR pile for a while now, but you're making me want to read it even more than ever! It sounds beautifully dark for a contemporary :)

    Thanks so much for the amazing review, Katie! <3

    1. I hope you like it when you read it. It definitely doesn't glamourize street life or shy away from reality.