Joy Delamere is suffocating...
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.
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
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.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
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.