5 stars · fiction · romance · young adult

Don’t Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Don’t Breathe a Word

Author: Holly Cupala [also wrote Tell Me a Secret]

Pages [hardcover]: 320

Favorite Characters: Creed & Joy


Joy Delamere is suffocating…

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take her cruel words until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe…if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the hurt of bullying, the meaning of family, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.


 This book was amazing! I loved Cupala’s first book, Tell Me a Secret, and was excited to read something else by her. Little did I know that once I picked up this book, I literally wouldn’t stop reading it (except to catch a few hours of sleep) until I finished it the next morning. The plot is so captivating, the characters are interesting , and I desperately wanted to know what would happen to everyone next!

Joy seemed like she would be a flat, unimpressive character at first . . . Then, as I began to learn about her past and every decision that led her to this point, I realized she was more complex than I could have imagined. What she does, thinking that it’s the right and only way for her to live her life, has a grave impact on herself, and those around her.

From the despicable, like Asher, to the lovable, like Creed, every character has a chance to reveal themselves for better or for worse. Joy lets us know what she thinks of everyone, but the reader’s left to form their own opinions about the characters, as sometimes she doesn’t see what’s right before her eyes.

Even though I can’t say I like asthma, I do think it added a lot to the story. It gave Joy something to deal with that she didn’t really have control over, and that drove her and the ones who had to look after her crazy. I know most people would react the same in that situation.

The plot is packed with so many twists, I could never expect how things actually ended up. I loved the end because it fit perfectly with the story, but I hated it because it ended everything! This is one of my new favorite books, and I’ll read it over and over!


4 thoughts on “Don’t Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

  1. It’ reviews like this that get me excited and straining at the bit to run out and get myself a copy. Sadly, I’ll have to wait a while before my next book purchase but I’m pretty sure this will be at the top of the pile:)



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