Review: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

Hold Me Like a BreathHold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Once Upon a Crime Family #1
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 19, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Thriller
Pages: 400
Source: NetGalley
Book Details
Rating: ★★

Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

Hold Me Like a Breath started out with SO MUCH potential. I loved the first half.

  • Crime bosses/families
  • Illegal medical operations
  • Sweet, but over protective parents
  • A girl determined to be useful, despite her medical condition
  • Murder, mystery

I LOVED it! This plot was rockin’.

Then a romance started floating to the surface. I didn’t like it. The two characters had ZERO chemistry. And he called Penelope “Princess,” which is kind of an immediate turn off for me. But it still wasn’t so bad. UNTIL! UNTIL!!!

Ruined by insta-love… RUINED!

There was a big turning point around the 50% mark. Things got a bit boring after that point (which is silly because it was SUPPOSED to be more intense) but the main, horrible thing was the insta-love. Penelope meets this guy and what follows just made me want to toss the book away in rage.

“What’s your name? With the amount of time I’ve spent thinking about you, I can’t believe I don’t know it.”

…Said Mystery Guy to Penelope on their second time meeting…

“You’re so sweet, you don’t need any extra sugar”

Really? REALLY?!

They run into each other on the street, she dreams about his epic hotness (and imagines him saying things like, “You are everything to me” or whatever), then he stalks her at her apartment for a few days until she agrees to go out with him. Then they spend like 25% of the book going on long walks and talking about how they love each other and they are EVERYTHING and THEY UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER and all that stuff.

It’s been like A WEEK! Or less.

Penelope the hypocrite

Then there was this incident where Penelope was lying to someone View Spoiler » and he was lying to her back (though neither knew the other one was lying) and they were both doing it for the exact same reason (not out of malice). Then when Penelope realizes the other person was lying she FLIPPED A BITCH and I couldn’t get over how stupid it was because SHE LIED EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT FOR THE EXACT SAME REASON!

I thought I was going to love Penelope but it turns out she was a weak character

In the beginning, I thought she was going to be mentally strong despite her physical weakness. I wanted her to do great, epic things! But she spent an awful lot of time being useless, crying, moping, etc. And I get that she went through some tough stuff, but I thought the book was going to be all about her proving herself to her family who thought she was useless because of her medical condition.

Also, I didn’t like how Penelope acted when it came to her medical condition. Basically she has some kind of platelet disorder and if you even TOUCH her you could cause her to bruise/bleed. She spends all this time in the beginning of the book moaning about how no one is allowed to touch her and she hates it because, “She’ll be fine.” Then later in the book we find out what DOES happen when someone treats her like a normal person, and guess what? She bruises, bleeds, and almost passes out/dies. And yet she still walks around saying, “I’m fine, I’m fine” while she’s on the verge of death. GIRL YOU ARE NOT FINE!

2 stars because I loved the first half

The book actually hooked me pretty much straight away. I loved the first half, which is why I’m giving it two stars. Up until 50% I was fully prepared to give Hold Me Like a Breath 4 stars. I LOOOVED it!

Then, it crashed and burned… much to my dismay. What could have been!!!

The Verdict


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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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    1. Same. I feel like there’s SO much potential with a mafia story! And it did start out very cool. But it ended up being more about the romance/insta-love and it just wasn’t that great. Sigh.

  1. Oh no! Pretty cover, and it all sounded so great, until insta-love! Definitely one of my biggest pet hates in a book.

    Great review, Ashley. I’m just sorry it didn’t turn out as good as you hoped it would be!

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