{Review} BREATHLESS by Cole Gibsen

Welcome to Splash into Summer, home of mermaid lovers everywhere!
Check out my daily schedule of events!
Check out what my co-host Literally Jen has in store as well!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

ONLY THREE MORE HOURS UNTIL MY CURFEW.  Three long hours of biting my tongue and pretending I wanted to be on the boat when, really, I wanted to be anywhere but here.

(Page 6, US e-book edition)
Don't forget to check out today's interview with author Cole Gibsen!
Earlier this year, I reviewed Cole Gibsen's debut novel, KATANA, and interviewed the author!

There are so many unique factors about Cole Gibsen's sophomore novel, BREATHLESS, that grabbed my attention from the get-go.  For one thing, this is yet another book this year featuring a merman.  I love that this concept is growing more common.  Gibsen's world is different from anything I've previously envisioned when it comes to mermaids.  I love books where mer are more barbaric and natural.  I've noticed lately that I tend to like books where the mer disguise themselves and live among the humans less these days and prefer worlds like the one Gibsen creates.  Mer don't have the emotions humans do, the needs, the wants.  They have reasons to hate humans such as the way they pollute and destroy the water and a mer's way of life.  Even the way the mer physically look is more ethereal and unique, which really lent credibility to Gibsen's world in my eyes.

As is true with many mermaid novels, BREATHLESS begins with a boating accident where the main character is saved by a mer.  Only in Edith's case, the mermaid was actually trying to kill her until she was stopped by the Prince, who wants to study humans and chooses Edith as his subject.  The more time he spends on land, the more he finds himself associating with human emotions and interactions in ways he never considered possible.  I like the way Gibsen portrays this, unlike other mermaid novels I've read lately where the mer magically knows about our entertainment, can drive and play sports, etc. despite never having been on land before.  Bastin doesn't know anything about the world of humans but learns more than he bargained for.  Edith learns a lot as well.  The day of the accident, she thought she was hallucinating.  She's afraid to tell anyone what happened that day and fakes amnesia because if her stepfather finds out the truth, he'll ship her off to military school.  She has to balance school, a horrible family life, and her new interaction with mer while still being the catalyst for events that will permanently change her life--and the lives of those under the sea.

Gibsen's characters really come to life in BREATHLESS.  I hated Edith's stepfather, whom she was forced to call Sir, with a passion.  He was incredibly controlling and always threatening to send her off to military school if she so much as breathed in a way he didn't appreciate.  He felt real to me.  I also loved Bastin and seeing him adapt to land and the habits of humans.  Edith was equally endearing.  White she has the misfortune of being a victim to insta-love, she also teeters on the edge of a miserable existence.  Bastin is the sole good thing in her life because whether she's at home or school, everyone else hates her.  She has very little support and tries so hard to be perfect and appease her stepfather.  Bastin's presence changes her life completely, in both positive and negative ways.  While Gibsen doesn't have plans for a sequel to BREATHLESS, in today's interview, she mentions that so many readers have asked for one that it could one day be in the cards.  Despite a few technical flaws in the writing, the story was solid and engaging, with characters you could really visualize, and I would be first in line to snag a copy of a sequel if Gibsen chooses to write one in the future.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

After reading KATANA, I was really excited to see the cover launch for BREATHLESS because it showed a girl underwater, which immediately makes me think of mermaids.  

I love the use of red, from the dark red of the model's dress to the bright read of the beautifully scripty font.  The color really makes everything pop.  

I like the way the water is moving and rippling in the background, as well as the bubbles and rays of light piercing down from above!  

To me, this cover catches my attention!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Cole Gibsen
Release Date: Out March 21, 2012
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Received: Borrowed


Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this.

Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe things are out of your control.

But then a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, and Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy who haunts her dreams. Consumed by guilt from the accident, she finds refuge in late-night swims—and meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but who is full of mystery: He won’t tell her where he is from, or why they can only meet at the beach. But Miranda falls for him anyway…and discovers that Christian’s secrets, though meant to protect her, may bring her nothing but harm.

Seductive and compelling, WRECKED brings a contemporary, paranormal twist to a classic enchanting tale.