Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
“But during my first run, I only made it around the track two times…I quickly did the math.
A marathon is the equivalent of 104 laps around the track!”
“Two f******* laps? That’s all I could do?”
When Annie’s ex-boyfriend dies during his training for a marathon, Annie decides she has to do a marathon for him. As she begins her very first run around the school track, she is watched by the football coach who recommends her friend’s training business. (yes- HER! The football coach is a woman!! Wow!)
Annie begins her own training as way to assuage her own guilt over her ex’s death: guilt that we do not fully understand until the end. We do understand Annie’s guilt over her feelings for her coach’s brother, Jeremiah, and Jere carries his own baggage.
This romance is a perfect up-and-down-realistic look at teens. It is a very realistic look at the horrible situation of a first love dying a sudden death. It is also a very realistic portrayal of the training a teen needs to run a marathon.
Annie is not a very good runner, and never really likes it. She is just driven. In fact, passages can really help you to decide this would NOT be a good play selection. Some readers will be rooting for Annie to quit. At what point are you simply torturing your body? What a great flawed heroine!
I had not realized this was the fifth book in a series when I read it. It easily stands alone.
Recommended for mature teens.