The Breathless

368p. Delacorte. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524714765.
Gr 8 Up—It's been almost a year since Roxanne Cole died, and her boyfriend, Cage, who has been missing since her death, is presumed responsible. But when he shows up on the Coles' doorstep one year later with no memory, Roxanne's sister Mae begins to question whether he's guilty. In an effort to uncover the truth, Mae hides Cage in their family barn, and the two make a few attempts to figure out what happened; most of the story, however, is centered around Roxanne's little green book that contains instructions for raising people from the dead. Many of the characters are two-dimensional and everyone is still deeply obsessed with Roxanne's death one year later. Almost all of the characters are solely focused on raising people from the dead, and although a number of them try to resurrect her, their attempts all fail. Flashbacks from 1859 are woven in, but still, the writing is flat, and the book's many attempts at suspense fall short.
VERDICT Only the most dedicated gothic fiction fans will be motivated to make it to the big reveal at the end of the book.

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