Would you dare to defy destiny?
Are our destinies written in stone?
Do we become nothing more than the
self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions?
Or can we dare to become who we believe
we were born to be?
“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love”
ONLY A BREATH APART
is a young adult contemporary novel
from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry.
“Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful”
Order your copy of
ONLY A BREATH APART now!
About ONLY A BREATH APART:
They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.
The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.
A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she's psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.
Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…
“Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.” ―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series
My entire body seizes. “You’re supposed to give me a ride home.”
Glory ends the call and offers me an apologetic expression. “I forgot I had a phone meeting. I’ll take you home, after the call, but this will be a lengthy session.”
Meaning I won’t be home by curfew. “Reschedule.”
Glory has a thoughtful look as she approaches me. One that makes me feel like I should run. She leans forward and says in my ear, “You felt something when you saw the Chariot.”
The moment she placed that card on the table I felt as if I had sprinted headfirst into a wall. It was a stunned feeling, as if I were lost in a fog, but I won’t admit that. Not to her, not to anybody.
“You’ve been asleep for a very long time,” she whispers. “It’s time to wake up, Scarlett. There’s a whole word of possibility waiting for you.”
I step back from her because this lady is insane. “I need you to take me home.”
“I can’t, but I’m sure Jesse can lead the way.”
Um…no. I spin on my toes, and I’m out the door, down the stairs and I head east for home. Seconds later, the screen door slams shut again, and there are heavy footfalls on the wooden steps.
“Wait up!” Jesse calls out.
Nope. Not going to happen. I enter the tree line and curse the sky above that there’s no moon. This is the country, which means that besides the fading light from Glory’s house, I’m in complete darkness.
“Scarlett!” Jesse tries again. “Wait!”
But I don’t. I walked this land hundreds of times with Jesse, sometimes by myself so I could find him when I needed a friend. I can do this on my own.
“Let me find you so I can walk you home,” Jesse says.
He’s to my right, and I hurry because I don’t want to be found. My pulse pounds in my ears, and my blood tingles with this need to stay hidden, to stay alone.
Once upon a time, Jesse was my best friend, and then one day he froze me out. He stopped answering the door when I knocked, he ran away when he saw me coming across the field and then when we were forced into the same space on the first day of our freshman year, he humiliated me in front of the entire school.
Jesse Lachlin crushed me, and while I feel sorry for him because his grandmother died, I don’t forgive him for leaving a scar on my soul.
“Dammit, Scarlett, stop being so stubborn.”
My jaw clenches, and it takes an immeasurable amount of self-control to not explain to Jesse in a very loud tone that he’s the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Doing so will inform him where I’m located, and I need him to leave me alone.
I push forward, faster this time, but then my foot snags on a root. My balance is thrown and my arms swing wildly in the air. I attempt to reach for something to break my fall, but my fingers catch air. The sensation is like the first massive hill of a roller coaster as my stomach lifts, and I brace myself for impact with the ground.
I close my eyes, tense my muscles and I’m caught. Strong, warm arms weave around me from behind and then my back is pressed flush against a solid chest. My heart leaps, and my lungs are robbed of air.
“You okay?” Jesse’s mouth is incredibly close to my ear, and his hot breath tickles my skin. I tremble because of the adrenaline or because of this achingly beautiful intimacy, I don’t know.
“Are you okay?” he asks again, and this time his arms tenderly squeeze me as if he’s offering comfort, as if he honestly cares. It’s been so long since anyone has hugged me that a part of me melts into the embrace as if I’m dry ground welcoming a warm rain.
What I thought about Only A Breath Apart
Jesse Lachlan has had a rough childhood. Everyone in their small town knows he’s trouble, especially Scarlett’s family living across the street. But Jesse is focused on the most important thing -- the family land that means everything to him. With his grandmother’s passing, Jesse needs to find a way to keep the land in his hands and his remaining family isn’t making it easy.
Scarlett has been carrying around a huge secret regarding her family life. It’s a powder keg getting ready to explode on her, her mother and sister. Even though she had a falling out with Jesse years ago, she finds solace and understanding with him and they recover their relationship, although it’s a bit touch and go.
Scarlett and Jesse reminded me so much of other Katie McGarry's characters in that they both are struggling with some real life issues and the adults in their lives aren’t being helpful. I loved how Jesse and Scarlett reached out to each other and found comfort in their relationship.
Of course, things get worse before they get better and Jesse and Scarlett have to make some heavy decisions. I loved that about this book because it gives a nice discussion point for readers who may be parents and/or teens.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is long and goes into detail with these characters feelings, good and bad. There is a tremendous spirit in this book that I adored, especially some of the land-related spirituality that hit me right in the feels. I also loved Glory's part in this book with the tarot and palm reading.
That being said, this book and its subject matter of abuse may not appeal to everyone. But that's real life and I appreciate Katie McGarry's efforts to portray these young adults in the most realistic manner. Most of all, I loved Jesse and Scarlett's journey to adulthood and that it wasn't easy for them.
Another great offering from Katie McGarry. Can't wait for more!
An ARC was provided for review.
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