Learning To Breathe

336p. S. & S. Jun. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534406018.
RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—The tale of a teen struggling to define her own boundaries. All of her life Indira has been compared to her mother Shariece, a drug addict who had multiple sexual partners. The people in Indy's small village in the Bahamas have always thought she would follow in her mother's footsteps and gave her the nickname Doubles. The fierce love of her Grammy stabilizes a life littered with her mother's poor choices. Her grandmother sees trouble ahead and tries to protect Indy by sending her to Nassau to live with her uncle's family. Before she leaves, Indy receives a bag and book from her grandmother with instructions to not open the present before it's time. She tries to seize this opportunity to create a new identity for herself but is hindered by a boy from home, and the unwanted attention of a male relative who reminds her of her mother's past. A chance meeting at a yoga retreat points Indira in a new direction. This is a well-written, thought-provoking book that tackles difficult topics such as unwanted pregnancy, familial relationships, and rape, with nuance. The language and depiction of the practice of yoga is lyrical and beautiful. Readers will agonize with Indira as she struggles to make the best decision for herself and her child.
VERDICT A stirring debut for all YA collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing