Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

Hold Me Like a BreathBloomsbury USA Children’s Books 2015

Penny Landlow has almost everything. She lives in a fancy walled estate with a pool, a conservatory, and a garden. She has parents who buy her whatever she fancies. The only thing she doesn’t have is freedom. She dreams of going to New York City, but because of a rare blood disorder, she must be protected from the tiniest of bumps and bruises, and her parents refuse to let her leave the estate. Fortunately, her father’s business, organized crime involving organ donations, provides her with a medical clinic and a doctor on the premises. Unfortunately, that ensures that she never has any excuse to leave. When Penny finally gets the opportunity to live in the real world, her experience isn’t anything like her dreams. It’s exactly the opposite of her coddled former life, suddenly Penny’s got to fight to survive.

I read straight through this suspenseful story. Penny is a sympathetic and likeable character. Her medical problems made it dangerous for people to touch her with all but the lightest touch. It’s easy to sympathize with her need for love and for experiences away from her sheltered home and her frustration with trying to make her family and the Family treat her as anything other than a fragile doll. Penny has spunk, though, along with a great deal of naivete.

Readers will do some breath holding, too, as they follow Penny through her thrilling and terrifying adventure. This book comes out May 19th. It would be a great vacation or beach read. Don’t start it on a night you’ve got homework and school the next day — just sayin’.

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