Hello lovely readers and welcome to today's blog tour stop of Breathe, Annie, Breathe, hosted by Raincoast! I'm so glad to be part of this blog tour, because I love this whole series and Miranda Kenneally's writing. Breathe, Annie, Breathe is now officially my favorite book from this series and I love it so much. Find out why in my review below!
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.
1) Your books take place in a small town. Is your hometown similar to the one in your books?
A: Yes, my books take place in Franklin, Tennessee, which is near where I grew up (Manchester, TN). I use real restaurants and landmarks from Franklin, Manchester, and the surrounding towns in my books. Only a couple of the schools I mention are real. Most of them are named after shopping malls in TN.
2) Your characters often crossover in your novels. Is this your way of giving your characters a sequel or a happy ending?
A: Yes, I chose to write companion novels rather than sequels, because to write a sequel, you have to create drama. If I've already given my characters a happy ending at the end of a book and they have grown and developed, I don't want to take that away from them by creating unnecessary drama. I also loved the idea of creating a community in which kids influence each other in different ways throughout the books.
3) You tend to write strong characters who are also athletic. Were you considered a jock in high school?
A: Not at all! If anything, I was a chorus geek. I played soccer, but I wasn't very good at it. I also managed the boys soccer team, but that was really just an excuse to hang around hot guys after school.
4) Your main character, Annie, is training to run for a marathon. You also provided a great deal of detail about how hard it is on your body to train for a marathon. Did you do any background research for this?
A: Yes! In the past I ran a marathon and a half-marathon, so I used experiences from training for those races to write BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE. I also consulted "Runner's World" magazine and interviewed trainers at my gym. I also spoke to a few former pro-athletes.
5) What are your favourite books so far this year?
A: I've loved A MAD, WICKED FOLLY by Sharon Biggs Waller, CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge, and THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkowski. Also, it doesn't come out until 2015, but I got a sneak peak at Trish Doller's next book THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, which is an awesome thriller.
I absolutely loved Breathe, Annie, Breathe. It is now my favorite book by Miranda Kenneally. The writing in Breathe, Annie, Breathe, the plot line, and the emotional depth had me so invested in this book, I chocked up and teared up several times while reading it. Briefly, this book is about Annie and she's training to run a 26.2 mile marathon on behalf of her boyfriend who passed away. Her boyfriend was training to run for it before he passed away and she felt that she needed to do this for him, to finish what he wasn't able to finish. I just.. Annie felt so much and in turn I felt so much through this book. We get flashbacks of their past and I was pretty much teary eyed through every flashback. I loved this idea so much; it isn't just a fluffy contemporary, it really is much more.
I loved Annie, that is a given. I felt all of Kenneally's characters in this book to be so realistic and very developed. It is hard to love a character that never really showed up in a book but I did. I loved Kyle so much to the point that I had my own little crying fest about wishing that I knew him before he died (I pretty much turned them into real life people). Also, the plot was very realistic. Annie's boyfriend passed away, but when she met someone new, no one gave her dirty looks or called her unfaithful. I've read more than a book that did just that and I was perplexed as to what did the people expect of the girl? to turn into a nun? Which is where Jeremiah enters (not to further the nun idea, but the new love interest one). Their first encounter was hilarious! It was in the excerpt that I read months ago and it pretty much made this book one of my most anticipated books of 2014. He is so funny, hilarious, charming, cocky, but at the same time he wasn't perfect. He was a guy and sometimes said things that he really shouldn't have. I still liked him. I sometimes felt that I was betraying Kyle by liking him but I was able to get past that, alongside Annie. They started out as friends and I loved their progression as friends to something more. It was natural and not rushed.
I feel like I need a whole paragraph dedicated to Annie and her running. The dedication this girl had was unbeatable. Also, it showed that Kenneally really did her research when it came to training and running for a marathon and the struggles someone doing that would generally get. I especially loved the logs at the end of each chapter and just the whole training process. It really made me want to try running a marathon (not a 26 mile one!). It was also nice seeing Matt as her trainer as well as all the other characters from the previous four books. One thing worth mentioning is that Breathe, Annie, Breather is more mature than her other books in that the love interest is in his 20s. I loved that because now I don't seem weird since I won't be crushing on a minor (haha). This is my favorite book by Miranda Kenneally and it is very emotional, deep, and raw. I recommend it to all contemporary fans out there.