Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry: Review & $50 Giveaway

Posted January 27, 2019 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Giveaways (Ended), Reviews / 12 Comments

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry: Review & $50 Giveaway

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry: Review & $50 GiveawayOnly a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
Published by Tor Teen on January 22, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 368
Source: NetGalley, Blog Tour
My content rating: YA (Physical Abuse depicted, No sex--shirts come off, but that's as far as it goes)
My rating:
4.5 Stars

Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given a new twist in the gritty YA contemporary novel, Only a Breath Apart.

Jesse Lachlin is cursed.

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in 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, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic.

Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…


My Take copy3

Oh, how I love Katie McGarry. In anyone else’s hands, I think this book would have been overdramatic and overwrought—a teenage boy with a tragic past who has always loved the girl next door, who’s dealing with abuse in her family. There’s a lot of angst here. But McGarry draws me in to her characters and makes me relate to them in such intimate ways. She makes sure that the pain in these two lives feels real, and doesn’t just feel like drama.

Anyway, on to my more specific review…

What Fed My Addiction:

  • Abuse depicted realistically. The relationship between Scarlett and her father is complicated. While Scarlett hates her father’s actions and she fears him, she also has good memories of him, and those sometimes cloud her thinking. Plus, everyone else in her family seems to forgive him, so she wonders why she can’t seem to do the same—and if she should do the same. The issue of blame comes up a lot. If Scarlett provokes her father, is his response her fault? Her father has something tragic in his past that explains his controlling behavior, so does he get a free pass? Can people change? And if they do, does that mean all is forgiven? These questions all felt very real to me, along with the excuses that are made for Scarlett’s father. I think that there are unfortunately quite a few teens out there that will be able to relate to Scarlett’s story in one way or another.
  • The mystical aspect. This book had a mystical, almost paranormal aspect to it that surprised me. Jesse’s aunt Glory is a psychic, and that plays into the storyline in some pretty major ways. Even though this book is definitely a contemporary romance, fans of paranormal books will love how the mystical aspects are woven into the story. And skeptics will be satisfied too, because there is a healthy dose of skepticism expressed throughout the book. Is Glory’s gift real or is she just really intuitive? You’ll have to decide for yourself.
  • Christianity depicted in a positive light (without making the book feel “religious”). We rarely see religion depicted in YA books at all these days unless the book is published by a Christian imprint, and often when we do see it, it’s to show how judgmental and bigoted Christians can be. That’s why I always breathe a little sigh of happiness when I see a book where religion is handled positively without being a focus of the story. Neither of the MCs in the book is religious, but Scarlett does go to church with her parents sometimes. Now, this could emphasize the hypocritical nature of Christians who pretend to be perfect while they’re monsters in their private lives (certainly that’s a point to be made), but that never feels like the focus. Scarlett ends up seeing a pastor for counseling, and he talks to her about the nature of forgiveness (what it is and what it isn’t). He even uses a Bible story (gasp!) to illustrate his point. And he is the one who encourages Scarlett to talk about what’s happening in her family and actually do something about it. The book shows Christian principles in a positive light, something I always appreciate.
  • Jesse and Scarlett. This is a romance, so I suppose I should mention that I loved Jesse and Scarlett together. The book starts out with Scarlett pretty much hating Jesse because of the way he ended their friendship years ago, but she still remembers their friendship growing up, so she can never hate him fully (this parallels her relationship with her dad in some ways, but we see the other side of the coin here). Jesse has a horrible reputation, and he’s broken in a lot of ways. So, he could certainly be seen as the stereotypical “bad boy with a heart of gold.” But, like I said, McGarry never lets you see her characters as stereotypes because we understand them too well. We see their flaws, but we also see the why in them. So, I was rooting for these two with my whole heart, and I wanted them to find happiness with each other.

What Left Me Hungry for More:

  • Not much. Okay, so the wrap-up at the end of the book felt a teensy bit long to me, and there were moments when you could argue that the messages are heavy-handed. But I can’t remember the last time I was so wrapped up in a contemporary story, so none of that truly bothered me.

Contemporary romance with a bit of grit and a whole lot of heart–Only a Breath Apart gives hope to those in crisis and shows that you can take hold of your own destiny, even when life feels out of control.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley and Inkslinger PR in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

About The Author

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.

Author Links:

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Tour Schedule:

January 21st

@booksniffer7 – Review

Bickering Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Book Ballistic – Excerpt

Book Hoarder Mom – Review

Brittany and Elizabeth’s Book Boutique – Review & Excerpt

Celindareyesblog – Excerpt

Cinta Garcia de la Rosa – Excerpt

Crystal’s Book World – Excerpt

Do You Dog-ear? – Review & Excerpt

Little Shop of Readers – Excerpt

Novel Addiction – Excerpt

Resch Reads & Reviews – Review

Sister Sister Book Blog – Excerpt

This Jabberwocky Eats Books – Excerpt

Writing My Own Fairy Tale – Review


January 22nd

A Book Lovers Playlist – Excerpt

Beware Of The Reader – Excerpt

Beyourselfbebhaltair – Review & Excerpt

Booknerd1107 – Review

CeliaMoontown – Review & Excerpt

Crazy Chaotic Book Babes – Review & Excerpt

Echoing Books – Excerpt

GataLeitora – Excerpt

Its a mun thing – Excerpt

Mean Girls Luv Books – Excerpt

Mythical Books – Excerpt

Read more sleep less – Review

Stellar Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Lovely Teacher Addictions – Excerpt

The Romance Reviews – Excerpt

Words Are Life – Review & Excerpt


January 23rd

A Novel Glimpse – Review

Bewitching bibliophile – Review & Excerpt

Book Freak – Review

Books Are My Life – Review & Excerpt

Bookworm Misfit – Excerpt

ClaryNathanWill – Excerpt

Craves the Angst Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Latteandbook – Review & Excerpt

Once Upon a Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Phishbowl’s bookshelf – Review

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Excerpt

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

The Readdicts Book Blog – Excerpt

Velarisreads – Excerpt


January 24th

A Court of Coffee and Books – Review & Excerpt

Avid Reads – Excerpt

Book Boyfriend Reviews – Review

Bookishly Nerdy – Review & Excerpt

Collector of book boyfriends – Review

Dazzled by Books – Review & Excerpt

Kick Back & Review – Excerpt

Lisa Loves Literature – Excerpt

Milky Way of Books – Review

Star-Crossed Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Sweet Red Reads – Excerpt

Tale Out Loud – Excerpt

The Cover Contessa – Excerpt

The Lovely Books – Excerpt

The Start of Something New – Review & Excerpt


January 25th

A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt

Abellafairytale – Excerpt

Book Bite Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Boundless Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Confessions of a Wordaholic – Review & Excerpt

Fandomly Bookish – Excerpt

Girl Plus Books – Review

I Heart Romance & YA – Review

Kaidans Seduction – Excerpt

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Excerpt

Tales of dreams and nightmares – Excerpt

The Book Branch – Excerpt

The Book Trollop – Review & Excerpt

VoxLibris – Review & Excerpt

Witchy Richey’s Booktastic Reviews – Excerpt


January 26th

Ali’s Bookshelf – Review & Excerpt

Beauty and Lace – Excerpt

Blunt Book Blog – Excerpt

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Bookish Intoxication Writes – Review & Excerpt

Confessions of 2 Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Family, Books and Food – Excerpt

Jesssiereads – Excerpt

Little Read Riding Hood – Review & Excerpt

Lovelyreadspublishing – Excerpt

Madison’s Library – Review & Excerpt

Rainy Days and Pajamas – Excerpt

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions – Excerpt


January 27th

3 degrees of fiction – Excerpt

All Things Dark & Dirty – Excerpt

As the Book Ends – Excerpt

Book Bitches Blog – Review

Books 4 Girls – Review & Excerpt

Bumbles and Fairy-Tales – Review & Excerpt

Chasing Faerytales – Review

Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review

K&M Sultry Reads – Excerpt

K’s Korner – Excerpt

Less Reality More Books – Review & Excerpt

My Fangirl Chronicles – Excerpt

Poetry law and something more – Review & Excerpt

Roxy’s Reviews – Excerpt

Two Books in a Shelf – Excerpt


January 28th

Aaly and The Books – Review

A Book Fanatic Obsession – Review & Excerpt

BenderDreamerGirl: read.dream.escape – Excerpt

Book Reader Addicts – Review & Excerpt

Bookishly Slytherclaw – Review & Excerpt

Contagious Reads – Review & Excerpt

Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Escape 2 Fiction – Review & Excerpt

Midnight Book Girl – Excerpt

PBC – Excerpt

Rad Babes Read – Review & Excerpt

The Book Hookup – Review & Excerpt

Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

We Live and Breathe Books – Review & Excerpt


January 29th

A Gingerly Review – Review & Excerpt

A Lovely Book Affair – Excerpt

Bangor belle books – Excerpt

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Books & Tea – Review & Excerpt

Chapter by Chapter – Review & Excerpt

Cupcakesandbookshelves – Excerpt

Desperately Seeking HEA’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Echosreviews – Excerpt

GotToReadThoseBooks – Excerpt

Kindle and Me – Review & Excerpt

Lita’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Margay Leah Justice – Excerpt

The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt

The Library of Belle – Excerpt


January 30th

Actin’ Up with Books – Review

Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt

Bookistry_by_Ashleigh – Excerpt

Buttermybooks – Review

Ficwishes – Review & Excerpt

Geeky Reading – Excerpt

Little Bookworm Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Lo’s Lo-Down on Books – Review & Excerpt

Read. Eat. Love. – Review & Excerpt

Taylor Fenner’s Bookish World – Review

The Butterfly Reads – Excerpt

The Writing Finch – Excerpt

YA Bibliophile – Review & Excerpt


January 31st

Adventures in Writing – Review

Becca’s Bookish Life – Review

BookCrushin – Review & Excerpt

Here’s to Happy Endings – Excerpt

Little Lovely Books – Review & Excerpt

Margaux – Excerpt

Ms. Me28 – Excerpt

Nerdy Soul – Review & Excerpt

Readers Live A Thousand Lives – Review

TBR Book Blog – Excerpt

The Bookish Introvert – Review & Excerpt

True Story Book Blog – Excerpt


February 1st

Alotabooks13 – Review & Excerpt

bad boys and bedtime stories book blog – Review

Caitlin’s World – Review & Excerpt

CJR The Brit – Review

Court of Binge Reading – Excerpt

Hedwig Reads – Excerpt

Literary misfit – Excerpt

Moonlight Rendezvous – Excerpt

Readers Retreats – Excerpt

The Reading Faery – Review

Total Book Geek – Excerpt

Twirling Book Princess – Review & Excerpt

Vera is Reading – Excerpt

Whoo Gives A Hoot – Excerpt

YA/NA Book Divas – Excerpt



12 responses to “Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry: Review & $50 Giveaway

  1. Confession: I love a good dose of angst in my books so even though it has a lot that actually sounds appealing to me! And yay for christianity being represented in a postitive but not to preachy light as well. I feel like Christianity is easily often used as the ‘evil’ religion example… which kind of hurts my heart to read time and time again in YA … 🙁 I see why from time to time but there is a lot of diversity in Christianity (lots of people believe different things) so there should be some good representations too!

    Olivia-Savannah Roach recently posted: Little Green Classics [4 Mini Reviews!]
    • Exactly. I understand that a lot of people have felt hurt by judgmental Christians at some point in their lives, and so I know why some of those stories exist (Trump hasn’t helped our case much either). But it’s so nice to see the other side of Christianity on display as well—the side that looks a whole lot more like Jesus!

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