Less intense than I expected considering the subject matter... still a very good, very quick read.
We know at the beginning of the book that Charlene has killed her best friend. What we don't know is why. In the beginning we meet Charlene in her prison cell. She admits what she has done and she doesn't seem to be remorseful. From there she begins the story of her life: from a shy child to a haunted adolescent. Sarah, an American French girl, comes into Charlene's life in high school and from then on Charlene's life is doomed.
This was an interesting novel. Short, but really long enough. What interested me was that the novel claimed to be about obsession and how that can take over one's life. However, it seemed to me that Charlene wasn't really obsessed; she was taken over by Sarah and as much as she tried, could not escape the hold that Sarah had on her. Sarah is not really an innocent in this story as you think at the start. She is pretty evil and knows it. She treats Charlene rottenly and finds it amusing. It's interesting. That's really the best word I can find to describe this story.
'Breathe' is the haunting confession of nineteen-year-old Charlene Boher. From her prison cell, Charlene recounts her lonely adolescence. Growing up shy and unpopular, Charlene never had many friends. That is, until she meets Sarah, a beautiful and charismatic American French girl who moves back to Paris for high school. Much to Charlene's shock and delight, the two girls quickly develop an intense friendship. With Sarah by her side, Charlene finally begins to feel accepted and even loved.
However, after a brief idyllic period, the girls' relationship becomes rocky and veers toward obsession. As Sarah drops Charlene for older, more glamorous friends, Charlene's devotion spirals into hatred. Unfolding slowly and eerily toward a shocking conclusion, 'Breathe' is an intense, convincing portrait of a possessive and ambiguous friendship.
This story seemed hollow and a little pathetic to me. While the cattiness of the girls was quite familiar to my own adolescence, the 'climax' of the book simply did not ring true. The ending also left much to be desired. It wasn't much of a story, and it was not told by much of a storyteller. Disappointing.