Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ARC Review: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: Hold Me Like a Breath
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Publish Date:

"Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks. "

StoryLine: This book left me feeling so-so. I thought the idea was interesting, a sickly girl that was the daughter of one of the Families that dealt with black market organ transplants. I accepted pretty early on that there wasn't going to be much dark gritty crime family-ness to this book. Even though Penelope as a member of a crime family, she's almost completely oblivious to everything that entails. Besides a few casual mentions of FBI raids and cops on the payroll, we don't see any of the wheelings and dealings or any of the everyday danger that should be included. It seems as if sitting in a room and debating for hours is all that the Family really does. So I accepted that it was more a setting that a pivotal point of the story. And then crazy event #1 happened, and I thought maybe this is some action here. And then a bunch of aftermath and watching tv and swimming and blood work and I let my guard down again. And then crazy event #2 happened, and everything changed. I really have to hand it to Tiffany Schmidt, I really did not see either of those two events coming. Especially the second event.

Sadly, after that, the next major part of the book was annoying. Penelope sits on her butt and wallows for about 15% of the book, and then she collides into a guy on the street and is instantly in love. I'm not kidding, they ram into each other, he gets her a cab home, and she dreams about him that night and is insta-love with him. And then he quite literally stalks her and waits outside of her apartment every day until she finally leaves. He even admits to how creepy it is and she doesn't care because shes so in love. And then we spend about 1/3 of the book frolicing around NYC with lover boy. The only reminder that your even reading the same book is the occasional mention of bruises or of crazy event #1 and #2. And then some shocking and shocking at all secrets are revealed and then one more event and its over. IF you took out all the sitting around from the first part, and all the frolicing from the second part, the book would be about 1/4 as long. It was so far from what I was expecting when I picked up the book, it wasn't bad, but I just wasn't expecting a "girl falling in love in NYC" story, I was expecting a crime family story.

Characters: Maybe I should stop reading stories with sickly MC because I tend to not like their characters. Penelope was incredibly naive, spoiled, and immature. She constantly complained about to being allowed to know anything Family related, but she never showed an interest in actually knowing, and every time she did know something she would react in a way that just proved she was too immature to be involved. She wanted to know just because she wanted to be told things. She was also childish, any time something happened, she would blame people and be angry at them, even if they couldn't help what happened.I liked most of the side characters enough to sort of make up for not liking penelope.

Parting Thoughts: I didn't hate it, in fact I finished it in 2 sittings, but I didn't like the main character, the insta-love was some of the most severe I've read yet, and there was also a love triangle. There was so much more potential here.

3/5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I was feeling meh after this one too! I didn't like the romance - the love triangle and insta-love in the second half of the book annoyed me. The "romance" from the first part of the book was much more enjoyable, in my opinion! Anyway. I'm glad you gave this one a shot, Mandy!

    Excellent review :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I agree! The first part romance was so sweet and perfect, and I hate the way she dismissed it in the second have saying that he just wanted to protect her and keep her safe and that that's not love. Like, what?! That's actually a big part of love! It was annoying.

  2. Ooooh the insta-love. It was so bad. Especially considering the circumstances. I mean, no one likes insta-love, but in THIS case? It was absurd to me. After all that had happened, there is no WAY any normal, sane individual would be frolicking around New York City with some dude she just met! And to dismiss first part romance was weird too!

    And I knew who second part romance was from the minute she described him, because she added a detail that basically screamed it at me, so I was extra eye rolling. And I totally agree with you- events #1 and #2 DID shock me, and I thought I was really going to enjoy this book, but then... not so much. Great review, sorry you had problems too. I agree, TONS of potential, so sad.

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    1. I would have been more ok with the insta love if it at least she admitted she was attracted to him because of his looks. Because in all honesty, the only somewhat believable reason to be dreaming about a guy you just met for 5 seconds is if he was like drop dead gorgeous. And I would have bought it even more because how few males her age she's seen in her life. Instead, it was spun as some sort of connection and love that I just couldn't believe in.

      I so agree about that detail! I knew instantly because of that as well. It was a random detail that didn't really have any other relevance. There was really only one other time that that sort of detail was mentioned so it wasn't hard to make the connection.

  3. Good review. It's tough to get into a book when you don't connect with the main character. :)

  4. I don't think I'd give this one a try because if the bits about the organized crime are just an excuse and the ITP is also barely discussed and just used as an excuse to have some bruises and the instalove? I'm gonna be annoyed for most of the book for sure!
    Great review Mandy!

    1. The ITP is actually discussed a lot in the first half of the book, but after the big crazy things happen it takes more of a back burner position. It's still there, but not as prominent. The real off putting factor for me is the instalove.

  5. I was curious what you thought of this book... I feel about the same as you... It was interesting but not fantastic... I probably will continue the series because I like the idea of the crime family series.

    1. I agree, and I have to say I'm interested to see where they take the story now.


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