Savannah would be happy to spend the summer in her coastal Carolina town working at the library and lying in a hammock reading her beloved romance novels. But then she meets Jackson. Once they lock eyes, she’s convinced he’s the one—her true love, her soul mate, a boy different from all the rest. And at first it looks like Savannah is right. Jackson abides by her mama’s strict rules, and stays by her side during a hospitalization for severe asthma, which Savannah becomes convinced is only improving because Jackson is there. But when he’s called away to help his family—and seems uncertain about returning—Savannah has to learn to breathe on her own, both literally and figuratively.

Reviews from

Write a review (you'll need to sign in to your Goodreads account or sign up) (showing 1-10 of 168)
By Katie · ★★★★★ · March 12, 2009
Savannah and Jackson's story is a new type of love story. Unlike most stories about long distance relationships, this one inspires hope.

As soon as I started reading this book, I fell in love with Savannah's character. She embodies the typical teenage girl, full of insecurities and hopes. Unlike m... ...more
By Sarah (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★★★ · November 24, 2008
Finishing Cheryl Herbsman's BREATHING prompts one of those moments when you close a book with such complete satisfaction that you can't help but sigh.

The book is really wonderful. It's lyric and lovely and the characters are so very vivid and authentic that I actually felt like I had spent my sum... ...more
By Stephanie (New York, NY) · ★★★★★ · April 20, 2009
Before I started Breathing, I was warned about the Southern dialect and how irritating it was. Yet, I found that when I was reading it, the dialect didn’t bother me much. True, I didn’t understand every word they were saying since it’s a different dialect and everything. But I got the main point... ...more
By Lizzy (Burlington, VT) · ★★★☆☆ · February 03, 2010
Breathing made me mourn summer. I started the book in the middle of the first big snowstorm of the winter, and the description made me wish that I could go lay out in the sun.

I really enjoyed the way the story dealt with teen love. It didn't treat it like "puppy love" (a phrase my parents use to... ...more
By Melissa (Singapore, 00, Singapore) · ★★☆☆☆ · March 24, 2011
I really felt that Breathing could have been a good book for me, but unfortunately, it was hampered by its narration/accent and characterizations. The narration reads very much like a diary format, not unlike to The Princess Diaries, but it’s not, and because of that, I felt like I wasn’t sure wh... ...more
By Kristi · ★★★☆☆ · May 02, 2009
Breathing was a very cute, quick and fun read. Herbsman’s writing transported me to a different place! I felt like I just came back from a southern beach side getaway.

Savannah was a bit excessively melodramatic for me at times, but I guess that’s how extreme first love can be. So although it was... ...more
By April (Meridian, ID) · ★★★★☆ · November 13, 2010
This was a really nice book, very real to life about a teen from a broken home who finds a summer romance. All about overcoming obstacles, fighting for your dreams and finding hope where you think there is none. The book comes full circle to center on the family and it's importance in the life of... ...more
By Laura (Honduras) · ★★☆☆☆ · February 27, 2012
Law! It's done.....A girl can only take southern ways to talk so much... I'm sorry I didnt appreciate it the way it ought to be but it was unavoidable. I cannot think of something real good about this one because it does not have a "wow" factor.
-A girl with asthma(or other medical condition) -be... ...more
By Alea (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · July 18, 2009

Breathing is a perfect book to read in the summer. What a wonderful story. Watching Savannah come into her own over one summer, meeting the love of her life Jackson, and learning things about herself she never knew were possible.

Savannah goes through a roller coaster of emotions, up and down and... ...more
By Laura (Bloomington, IN) · ★★☆☆☆ · July 30, 2010
This book was merely ok. It picked up a bit once I got farther into it but I felt like the writing was really inconsistent and the characters were one-dimensional. I also never felt like the relationship between the two main characters was all that special and it developed too quickly to really b... ...more