Synopsis Eighteen year-old Kelsey Rien is more than ready to leave her past behind her. Wanting nothing more than to walk into a room without everyone knowing the horrific details of an event that changed her life six years ago, she vows to concentrate on school and make something of herself. But then she meets Kane Riley – the local bad boy. Kane’s reputation is far from perfect, but is there more to him than what everyone else sees? Kelsey soon learns that you can’t run from your past, no matter how hard you try. When her nightmares find her once again, Kelsey must find the courage to face the demons that have been haunting her and save the people she loves most. 4 / 5 Stars ——————————————————–
Six years ago, something horrific happened in Kelsey Rien’s life. It changed her world upside down and changed who she was. As it would anyone who went through what she did.
For those six years, she has wanted nothing more than to just walk into a room and not have people know her history. Now eighteen, she and her best friend Jesse leave their small town behind and leave for college, away to a state where no one knows her and she can try to leave the past behind.
She never expected to meet Kane Riley, the resident bad boy. His reputation is anything but perfect yet there is more to him that meets the eye that has Kelsey intrigued by him. He’s nothing like his bad boy persona, yet everything still thinks he is. Has Kane really changed? He has some demons he’s fighting too.
Still battling her demons and her nightmares, Kelsey realizes she can’t run from the past, but opening up to Kane is the first step. But when her demon’s come to haunt her, she must face up to them and save the people she loves the most.
I had been waiting months for Breathe Into Me to be released. When I saw the cover on Goodreads it was an instant add to my TBR list and bad boys and tattoos and piercings always get my vote. The synopsis made me want to read it too. I like a bit of mystery wrapped up in books, so I really wanted to know what Kelsey’s past was so I had some theories.
I read this book over two days – mainly because I had to go to inductions for my new job, but I really did not want to put it down. I was hooked with the plot, with the characters and just with the book in general. Amanda Stone developed the story nicely, along with the characters, which you see journey throughout the book into better versions of themselves – due to being in love and growing up over the weeks. She has me laughing, smiling, crying and kindle throwing (throughout certain events throughout the book which frustrated me and of course, had me panicking over what was going to happen).
Although there are many books with the same storyline, it was a cute read with college characters falling in love, dealing with heartbreak with a terrible past added into the mix, but overall, I really did enjoy the book!
We first meet Kelsey when she is moving into her college dorm with her best friend Jessie. It’s a chance at a fresh start away from her past. We don’t find out until a few chapters in but there are hints about what happened to her those six years ago that changed her from the out-going little girl she was to a shy and reserved teenager. She has gone through so much. She feel guilty and although it wasn’t her fault, she harbours this guilt always.
One trip to get some lunch and everything changes. She catches eyes with a pair of grey eyes and from then she can’t stop thinking of them. It helps that the guy is friends with the guy her best friend is seeing later that night.
After that night, Kane and Kelsey become friends. They spend every day together, hanging out, doing work, generally becoming best friends until one night when it all changes. Kane has never seen Kelsey in anything dressy so when the four of them head to the club he works out, he’s stunned. Kelsey is simply stunning and Kane can’t hold back his feelings for her anymore. She’s consumed his every thought and he wants her.
Things are going great for Kane and Kelsey. They have both bared their souls to each other, they love one another greatly and spend all their time together until one night, everything goes wrong and Kelsey gets her heart broken even when it wasn’t Kane’s fault.
Battling heartbreak, even more drama occurs for Kelsey and when it’s a battle of life or death for her and her loved ones, she will do whatever she can to make sure they live.
Kelsey was a delicate character in the beginning. You could see the guilt pouring off her, for what, we did not know yet. She was shy to an extent; she didn’t like ‘putting herself’ out there even though she wanted to be the girl she used to be. You really do feel sorry for Kelsey. Her past has overtaken her life – throwing nightmares at her during the night at times, so she relives that one moment that changed her.
But throughout the book, we see her change; her friendship with Jessie and her friendship with Kane are both factors of this change. We see her turn back into the girl she was, the strong, playful, loving girl. We see her open up her past to Kane which took courage and trust. We see her think of the ‘best’ parts of her past which in turns makes her get a tattoo in memory of that one memory she tells us about. (Hint, it’s on the book cover)
I applaud Kelsey for the journey she took throughout this book. She learned to trust, learned to open up and learned to love and be loved. Although she still harboured the guilt, in time she began to realize that none of what happened was her fault. She has a strength to her that took over her in the end and although that was the past that made me panicky, I am glad that she let go of her past for good and did what she did. So kudos Kelsey.
Now Kane. Before he met Kelsey he had a rep. Love ‘em and leave ‘em rep. But this was his way of dealing with the guilt he had racked up inside of him too. Then one day he just flipped and decided he didn’t want to be that way anymore. Didn’t want to drink, do drug or sleep with numerous women whom he didn’t give a rat’s ass about.
He really didn’t have a bad boy rep if I’m being honest. He was the sweetest guy around. He changed himself for the better, even if he was protective around Kelsey; it was due to never feeling this way before. All these feelings he had, they were new to him and it was pretty lush to watch him fall in love with Kelsey. To want to be the one for her. He’s had his struggles too, he has guilt over his past too, but he bears his past to Kelsey too and in turn, they learn to trust and try to not let their demon’s get to them.
I love that Kelsey and Kane both let one another in. Their relationship was cute and I loved the trust and love they had for one another. It was instant, their attraction was undeniable and it was just perfect for them to be with each other. It was sweet and the things Kane told Kelsey, I just wanted to sweep him up into a hug and keep him for myself, plus I wanted to kiss his lips! Pierced lip is hot…I should know, I used to have my lip pierced 😉
I have to say, my favourite part was when they first had sex. I know, I know, but it was like the perfect scene. It was the perfect time for them to consummate their relationship (HAHA) and it was all Kelsey’s doing, Kane didn’t pressure her or anything and he was so careful and loving with her that he made it that much special for her. I was smiling like an idiot over that scene. I just loved the connection they had and the love for one another for them to take it to the next level.
Although there are quite a few questions that I would love to have answered, I am still giving this book 4 stars. I did enjoy it and I love a tattooed boy, as you should all know by now. If you are looking for a cute college romance, with broken characters with a past that they eventually try to get over together, then Breath Into Me is the book for you.
Mentioned above, I love the bald, tattooed drummer that is Jesse. Growing up with a drunk of a father who used to beat him until Jesse was old enough to fight back, protecting Emmie along with his band mates was the only thing that mattered. Making sure she was safe, especially when the band became famous. Nothing mattered more than Emmie.
Jesse really is a brilliant character. He loves unconditionally, hes strong yet he’s gentle, hes confident and cocky but he never really uses his famous status, more content on being grounded and just basking in the love that all this band mates and Emmie share together.
As everyone in the band, he has a past. He’s never really had anyone who he has felt ‘more’ with apart from Emmie, but he’s just her best friend, so when he hears and meets Layla for the first time, its like a shock to the system. He can’t get this girl out of his head. He just needs her, needs to be with her and have her. It was so nice to see Jesse this way; to find someone who he wants to be with, to pursue romantically because he and Layla had this sizzling chemistry right from the start. As much as she told herself to stay away, she couldn’t, and Jesse was adamant on having her. Their pull just overtook them both and they just had to be together.
I loved how he (and the group) took Layla’s sisters under their wings, treating them with care and love. It was perfect to see this band, who love music and don’t care for the famous status to embrace three new characters into their dynamic and love them unconditionally too.
Jesse really would do anything to make Layla happy – even when they had a tipping point during parts of the book – but in the end, Jesse loved Layla with everything. You will find out just how much throughout the book ;).