Hold Your Breath by Caroline Green
Author: Caroline Green Website|Twitter
Published: 1 June 2013 (Piccadilly Press)
Buy the paperback: Amazon|BookDepository
Source: Received free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (thanks Piccadilly Press!)
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Tara has the power to find missing things and people, but it’s only been a source of trouble for her so far and she’s relieved when her family move house so she can make a fresh start and try to forget about the odd images in her head.
Making friends at her new school hasn’t been easy, especially with mean girls like Melodie Stone running the show. Then Melodie disappears. Tara’s not too sorry, but she starts to see strange images of a captive girl who she gradually realises must be Melodie. Tara tries but fails to ignore the pictures in her head and finally goes in search of Melodie, with the help of Melodie’s attractive half-brother. She finds herself trapped with her former enemy, and Tara and Melodie must work together to get free, with the help of Tara’s gift.
I came home from work one day to find this book had popped through my letterbox and I was eager to start because I hadn't heard of it (or the author) before, and I love going into a book blind! Hold Your Breath follows Tara who as the strange ability to know where lost things are through her visions. Not so bad when it's missing keys or a missing phone, but when she sees visions of missing people she finds herself drawing unwanted attention to herself in her quest for answers.
Hold Your Breath is something I love and don't see enough of - a YA mystery/thriller. Tara finds herself playing detective and trying to get to the bottom of things after a girl from school disappears. It has that added supernatural element of Tara's visions, but what I loved is that the focus was very much on the gritty realistic side, so it felt more like a thriller than it did a supernatural novel for instance. It made for a perfect balance and a very tense and exciting story.
The writing style took a little getting used to for me because it's very descriptive, but I grew to really like it and was able to immerse myself in those vivid descriptions like during the scenes by the river where I could lose myself in the setting. The writing was also really effective at creating that suspense and giving that creepy nature to the book that made some of the scenes quite chilling and unnerving. There were plenty of lighter moments, however, for example the humour included in the scenes between Tara and her brother Beck.
There are some great characters to get your teeth stuck into in Hold Your Breath. I really liked Tara herself. She has a lot to overcome because she's had to move away from her old life under a cloud of suspicion and she's had to put up with a fair bit of bullying. Now she's hiding her powers from her parents which makes her feel really isolated, so I did feel for her a lot, but at the same time her determination to get to the bottom of things really earns her your respect. I loved her curious nature and how she managed to grow in confidence.
As well as everything else going on, there's a little bit of romance thrown in there for good measure. Tara is getting over her jerk of an ex-boyfriend Jay and I think a lot of people relate to those feelings she goes through as she reflects on how he treated her, yet how much she misses him in spite of it. But the developing storyline with Leo was really sweet and I liked how that relationship played out.
Throughout the story there were plenty of twists and turns and so many complex and interesting characters to raise your suspicions. The climax of the story was fantastic because I was on the edge of my seat waiting for everything to unravel itself. I had one of those moments where I hadn't quite seen everything coming and ended up kicking myself because when you look back, everything is so well set up and weaved together throughout the story. I raced through the last few chapters because I was hooked on the action!
I love it when you read a book and it just feels so British and so familiar, so if you love your UKYA then this is definitely one to check out. I'm really excited to read more of this author's books because it wasn't someone I'd heard of before (shame on me!) but I'm definitely impressed and eager to read more of her work.
What to read next: Dark Ride by Caroline Green, Cracks by Caroline Green
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