Date of Publication: January 3 2012
Joy Delamere is suffocating.
From asthma, from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. She can take his cruel words, his tender words...until the night they go too far.
To escape, Joy sacrifices her suburban life to find the one who offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, to its rules of survival, and to love—-a world she won’t easily let go.
Set against the backdrop of the streets of Seattle, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the secrets we keep, and the ways to redemption. But above all, it is an unflinching story about the extraordinary lengths one girl will go to discover her own strength.
Mari told me I had to read this book. It took some time but I finally did, and I'm glad she pushed me to it.
Joy can't breathe. There is nowhere she feels safe. There are secrets she hides; secrets that she can no longer live with. So she leaves. She runs away and welcomes a new life on the streets, because at least it will be better than what she had at home.
Right away, it was easy to connect emotionally with Joy. She was broken and so scared, and I didn't understand all her reactions but I could picture her all the same. She had a strength that I admired and getting lost in her world was extremely easy.
I don't think I've ever read a book about the homeless. It's something I'm lucky enough to never have dealt with, but it's in every major city. I think Don't Breathe A Word did a fantastic job at showing how hard it is. There is such conflict between following the system and forging your own path because frankly, both suck.
Something impressive I noticed was the punch this book carries considering how light it is. I literally read it nonstop in about two hours. I felt compelled to flip the pages. There isn't a lot of writing but what is there is extremely concise. I learned a little of every character with the main character being Joy. I even adored many characters.
The homeless family Joy joined broke my heart a little. Sometimes you feel so trapped and it's hard to see the light. As much as this book shows hurt, it showcases strength. The emotional writing and the fast plot work together perfectly to make this book hurt, but not too much.
I have so much love for Creed and all I can say is that I'm impressed with his characterization. He is just so sweet and is the perfect balm to Asher the bastard.
Joy dealt with abuse and that part was tastefully done. Little by little the reader realized the depth of Joy's pain through multiple flashbacks. It made her running away make sense.
Overall, a really engaging, fast read. I liked Joy's journey a lot. The ending was a little abrupt for me, but satisfying all the same. 3.5 hearts,