One Breath Away by Heather by Gudenkauf
I’m excited to be part of the One Breath Away blog tour. I’ll be reviewing the book and also sharing a special giveaway offer. As part of the tour there’s also a live chat with the author scheduled for July 26, so check out the button and link below for more information on that! I’m also participating in the awesome excerpt scavenger hunt for this tour so keep a look out for the excerpt we have here!
In her most emotionally charged novel to date, “New York Times” bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf explores the unspoken events that shape a community, the ties between parents and their children and how the fragile normalcy of our everyday life is so easily shattered.In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. Outside the school, the town of Broken Branch watches and waits.
Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town’s children in her hands. Will Thwaite, reluctantly entrusted with the care of his two grandchildren by the daughter who left home years earlier, stands by helplessly and wonders if he has failed his child again. Trapped in her classroom, Evelyn Oliver watches for an opportunity to rescue the children in her care. And thirteen-year-old Augie Baker, already struggling with the aftermath of a terrible accident that has has brought her to Broken Branch, will risk her own safety to protect her little brother.
As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.
One Breath Away is a remarkably human book. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind, the sheer humanity expressed in its pages. Everything from the good, the bad, and well, the not so pretty. We get to know quite a cast of characters because of the 4 points of view the book is written in. I know what you’re thinking – “four points of view, that’ll be too confusing, PAAASSSS” – but I’m here to reassure you, it’s not confusing and if you do pass up on this one, you’ll be missing out. So if you do pass it up, don’t let it be because of the multiple POV’s.
The four points of view for One Breathe Away:
Meg – Broken Branch police officer, and mother of Marie who is a student at the school being held hostage. She’s had relationship issues, which we learn more about them as we read.
Augie – Student being held hostage. She has a younger brother she is fiercely protective of named P.J. Augie is very stubborn and once she gets an idea in her head she’s going to go with it no matter what. She’s also brave and smart. I felt frustration and compassion for her all at once.
Will Thwaite – Augie and P.J.’s grandpa. He’s has hard headed as Augie, so they often butt heads. They both have trouble showing affection, so that’s another thing that separates them. Will has been estranged from his daughter Holly, so he has never had contact with his grandkids previously. It’s a learning experience for all of them, with its ups and downs.
Mrs. Oliver – P.J.’s teacher. Also being held hostage by the gunman. I think second to P.J. that Mrs. Oliver is my favorite character. She has so much love for her students, she’s wise and brave. You can’t help but love her for how she treats her students and the person she is.
We get to know all of these characters and others through their voices. My most favorite character was P.J. which we learn about through Augie and Will. P.J. is funny and a little naive, but very intelligent. I challenge anyone to walk away from this book without a love for P.J. really. He’s just so fricken likeable!
I’m rating this a 4 instead of a straight 5 because of a couple small reasons. One, I wish that P.J. had been given his own point of view instead of us learning about him through other characters. I want a look inside his head! I couldn’t get enough of him. The second reason is that I figured out who the gunman was a little bit before the police did, but that’s a very small quibble. I was still riveted to the book wondering how the whole situation was going to work out.
One Breath Away is an interesting book because it’s a contemporary fiction novel that definitely has elements of suspense. It wouldn’t necessarily be a book I would’ve grabbed myself off the shelf, just seeing the cover, but now that I’ve read it, it definitely satisfied my “must keep turning the page” requirement. So suspense lovers might want to give One Breath Away a try!
Excerpt Scavenger Hunt
My pants are still damp from when Noah Plum pushed me off the shoveled sidewalk into a snowbank after we got off the bus and were on our way into school this morning. Noah Plum is the biggest asshole in eighth grade …
One Breath Away Giveaway
Sorry INTL’s this giveaway is only open for US/CA residents. I promise that I’ll have an INTL giveaway soon for all of you! Enter via the rafflecopter for a chance to win a paperback copy of One Breath Away!