Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people’s opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?
“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. “Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART is now available!
About ONLY A BREATH APART
They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.
The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.
A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she’s psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.
Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…
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Young Adult Literature is not a genre that I usually read and review, but every time Katie McGarry has a new release, I always sign-up because her emotionally-charged stories about teenaged characters who struggle to find their place in the world as well as attempt to figure out how to deal with the baggage that always seems to follow them resonates with me, partly because I see some of the same behaviors and situations as a high school English teacher for the past 20 years and partly due to the way that McGarry crafts her characters and realistically portrays all that they must endure for individuals so young.
There’s nothing picture perfect about the world that McGarry’s hero and heroine live in; in fact, it’s anything but an ideal situation, and at the start of their story, Jesse Lachlin and Scarlett Copeland couldn’t be more at odds and separated by a mountain of obstacles and the heartbreak that Jesse inflicted on Scarlett some time ago. But, in order to heal…in order to forge a new path in life…in order to work through the pain and devastation that continues to weight them down…in order to move forward in a way that solidifies Jesse’s ownership of his family farm, their fractured friendship must be mended and mistakes and secrets must be admitted and discussed because the only way Jesse can get out from under his family’s curse and Scarlett can shed her demons are by creating a bond between them that is more powerful than anything they’re either hiding or running from as fast and as far away as they can.
In order to truly understand just how much Jesse and Scarlett need each other in the present, it’s necessary to venture to the past and witness their closeness as well as gain insight into what both of them are dealing with due to their respective families and the secrets that they keep. And in those flashbacks, it’s more than obvious that these two come from different worlds…from different sides of the divide and these ideas are reason enough to put Jesse and Scarlett’s friendship at odds, regardless of how tight they may be holding on to it.
Scarlett and Jesse’s story is not an easy one to read due to some of the subject matter explored, but readers shouldn’t let that stop them from reading Only a Breath Apart because amidst all of the overwhelming pain and the hidden feelings of helplessness and struggle is an empowering tale of second chances, of tormented souls finding their way into the light, of two people conquering what weighs them down and of a sense of hope found despite all of the darkness.
4 Poison Apples
“Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect.
Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.”
―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series
A scraping of a chair, a tray full of food and I glance over with my practiced smile in welcome. It’s not Camila, Evangeline, or anyone else from the group. It’s green eyes, red hair, a familiar mischievous smile that used to be reserved only for me, and my blood pounds with excitement as if someone lit a sparkler in my chest. Then I frown because I’m not supposed to feel this way. Not with him. Not with anyone.
Jesse Lachlin winks at me as he sits across from me like no time has passed from when we climbed trees together. “What’s up, Tink?”
Another thrill runs through me but then my muscles tighten. Stupid, antiquated reaction belonging to a dead past. “What are you doing here?”
Jesse pops a fry into his mouth, chews, then picks up another as if he has no intention of answering. I scan the cafeteria. Several people are watching us, curious as to why Jesse Lachlin is sitting with me, or is event at lunch, or even at school.
From the lunch line, Camila’s and Evangeline’s eyes are bugging out of their heads.
What is going on? Camila mouths.
I raise my eyebrows to inform her I have no idea. Jesse digs into his corn with his fork and that’s crossing a line. “Maybe you didn’t hear me, but I asked what you’re doing here.”
He lifts his eyes to meet mine and there’s a glimmer in them that causes my lips to flatten. Fantastic. He’s here to make my life a living hell.
“It seems obvious,” he says.
If he remembers anything about me, he should recall I was never known for my patience and that he should be speaking, and speaking soon. “Just answer the question.”
“I’m eating lunch.”
I honest to God groan in frustration. “There’s no room at the inn.”
He surveys the table, takes in the empty seats, my books, and then gives me a good look. A slow look. As if he’s trying to memorize every inch he’s drinking in. My cheeks redden because that somehow feels a little too intimate for lunch. Feels a little too intimate for someone I’m no longer friends with. It feels too intimate if we were friends.
I glance away, but I sense him still staring at me. God help me, I want to stare back.
Katie McGarry Bio
Katie is the author of the PUSHING THE LIMITS series, THUNDER ROAD series, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, and the upcoming YA novel, ONLY A BREATH APART. Her novels have received starred reviews, critical acclaim and have won multiple awards including being a multiple Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for YA Fiction, multiple RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award Finalist for Best YA Fiction, including a win in the category, and she was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick.