Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks series) | Available for Purchase: Amazon « Barnes & Noble « Book Depository
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 14, 2014
Pages: 320, Kindle Edition
Received Copy: Personal library
Synopsis via Goodreads:
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.
It’s very appropriate that I read this book during March as I have much more in common with main character Annie Winters, than your average reader: I’m a runner and am currently training for my very first half-marathon.
It’s a struggle every day and I could relate to Annie on so many levels, as I’m sure anyone who runs or excels in a sport/activity such as this needing much dedication. Annie starts off with good intentions in finding herself, grieving, and honoring the death of her boyfriend, Kyle, a runner never getting to complete his official run. Annie is torn throughout most of the novel between feeling the need to move on from Kyle but also from the shell of the person she’s become since Kyle’s death.
I loved reading Annie’s growth and also learned a few tips for if I ever want to move on from running halves to full marathons. Most likely I can’t train on my own for it, but I loved reading about the community runners have, they all struggle and work hard to literally run to their goal. Matt and Jeremiah are her trainer and love interest, brothers as well, and are there for Annie almost every step of the way and I found that support comforting, again because I experience it with a group of my friends who are running as well. I definitely will be checking out more from Miranda Kenneally…I know this was part of a series and it’s not the first in the series but consider me hooked!
aspects of running…
Because I am a new runner (started running in the past 3 years) I can understand the struggle and dedication you have to go through in order to see yourself grow as a person and athlete. It’s something I hardly ever take credit for because it seems like, “Oh it’s just running” but in actuality it isn’t. There is so much mental that gets paired with physical when you put your body through this. I’m not a fantastic runner but last year after medical procedure on my back I went back to running after taking off two months and I barely could run for a mile. My pace was 18 minutes. Now it’s a year later and my fastest pace is/was (I’ve felt under the weather so I’m not on top of my game) around 10:30 minutes. I took off EIGHT minutes! Next time you want to just sit around and watch the clock for eight minutes you’ll see just how long that is.
who is Annie?…
I thought Annie’s progression throughout the story was really well written and paced just right. She’s had time to process and wallow in her grief but now she’s ready to make sure Kyle is remembered the right way. She knows the struggle of finishing high school and starting college—a brand new experience that can be seriously nerve-wracking, especially never having left home. Some days she’s proud of how far she’s come, other days she wants to figuratively die because her body is working hard to keep up with the running. Again as a runner, I know this all too well.
Matt Brown is Annie’s trainer, Jeremiah Brown is her friend and potential love interest, and the Brown family is a big ol’ happy family that I really enjoyed reading. Things are rocky between Annie and her mom, so conversations are short and frustrating because moms just love to address topics the children don’t want to talk about. The Brown family was a friendly bunch, even their grandpa made a special appearance in this novel. Jeremiah obviously was pretty swoony: Little Duck River…HOLLER! hahaha! And Matt as her coach was always so dedicated and caring of her. Not as just a client but as someone who really wanted to see Annie succeed in her running for Kyle.
please sir, may I have another?…
I think this is a growing trend I’m seeing I just need a little more. At the closing of the book, things just seemed a tad bit abrupt and I wished to read a little more of Annie’s future. The readers receive a good portion of closure but, things could’ve been taken a step further than where Kenneally leaves you. Not epilogue worthy, but maybe a few more pages to finalize everything. But maybe those are just my own feelings but just a little bit more would’ve been awesome to read.
Again I most definitely will be checking out more books in the Hundred Oaks series Kenneally has written—don’t worry they’re not my TBR list for sure! And on another note, wish me luck for my race! I’m so nervous…as I write this out, my longest run so far is 11 miles! So I have 2.1 miles to go before I’m officially race ready even though if I can run 12, 13.1 isn’t much harder but I still would love any and all encouragement! If Annie can do it, I can do it too!
xx The Kid