Hold Your Breath by Caroline Green
Published: June 27th, 2013 (Picadilly Press)
Source: for review
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Tara has the power to find missing things and people, but it’s only been a source of trouble for her so far and she’s relieved when her family move house so she can make a fresh start and try to forget about the odd images in her head.
Making friends at her new school hasn’t been easy, especially with mean girls like Melodie Stone running the show. Then Melodie disappears. Tara’s not too sorry, but she starts to see strange images of a captive girl who she gradually realises must be Melodie. Tara tries but fails to ignore the pictures in her head and finally goes in search of Melodie, with the help of Melodie’s attractive half-brother. She finds herself trapped with her former enemy, and Tara and Melodie must work together to get free, with the help of Tara’s gift.
I’ve been staring at the blinking cursor on my blank screen for over 10 minutes now and I really don’t know how to write this review. While I didn’t exactly hate this book, I did severely dislike it. It was lacking in every department; characters, dialogue, plot, writing and realism.
Tara has the gift of being able to find lost things, whether they are keys, mobiles or lost toddlers doesn’t matter. I really liked the idea behind this, but the execution of it was poorly done. While Tara is aware of this gift of hers and she uses it every now and then, she isn’t convinced it really works, even though she can find anything she looks for. On one hand, she’s so used to her talent that she seems to be bored by it, on the other hand she’s terrified by it and doesn’t want to use it at all. This doesn’t help Tara’s character. Tara is a bland teenage girl without any friends – which I found rather sad – and she blends in with any crowd. She doesn’t stand out in any way. She disappears. Quite frankly, I’m having problems remembering her and I’m writing this review two days after finishing the book.
While the story progresses, things happen because of Tara’s intuition. She has a hunch, or a feeling, or she logically realises she shouldn’t really be doing this or saying that but does it anyway because her gut tells her to. This includes taking walks while she is injured, lying to family members of an abducted teenage girl and walking into a trap. It just didn’t make any sense for her to do any of that stuff. Example: she realises the hot guy the disappeared teenager has talked to last, works at the pool so she goes swimming, even though she hates swimming. It results in a strained conversation at the end, which again, felt like it was happening because the plot needed to happen. This was something that really annoyed me. Events should take place to lead to the plot, supporting it, not happening so eventually the plot could unfold. It just felt like more than a few scenes and conversations were put into the story so the plot would work out in the end.
The dialogue was forced, not fluid or realistic at all. It bothered me to no end that characters, who had no chemistry, were awkwardly having a conversation, resulting in another unrealistic event in the book. These conversations didn’t feel true to life. Which leads me to the next problem I had with the book; the writing didn’t feel like it flowed naturally, it felt like it was choppy in some places, scenes put together without really blending them properly. It didn’t read as easily as it should have.
There isn’t really anything positive for me to say about this book, except maybe that I was able to restrain myself from throwing it across the room. I just can’t think of anything that I liked in this book. Which is the same problem as Tara had; it disappeared.