Breathtaking Book Review

"Breathtaking" is the debut novel of Courtney Turcotte Bond which is set to be published on September1st. I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from I have many thoughts on this, so let's jump right in!

Breathtaking is about Cara's life, from when she is 7 years old all the way through college. She is navigating her way through many struggles: her alcoholic father, her neglectful and stressed mother, and her complicated relationship with her best friend, Adam. Things are going from okay, to worse. Okay, to worse. Until a terrible incident leaves Cara petrified.


Here is a spoiler-free breakdown of three main characters in the book, and what I thought of them. 

Cara 5/5

Our protagonist, Cara, certainly goes through many extreme events in her life, but stays a good person. After people broke her, she was able to get back together again. 

The story is told in a believable way, not a cheesy or "happy ending" sort of way, which is the way many YA books are written.

Cara was portrayed through many different stages of life. When she is a 7 year old, the high school and college years. I loved how the author was able to make Cara a person who grew over time with new and old traits that I was able to adapt to quickly. 

Adam 4/5

Now we have the protagonist's best friend. Adam definitely goes through his one struggles, even if it doesn't seem that way. Adam goes through stages where he is bullied for his size, causing him to work out  join the football team and eat less for all the wrong reasons. 

But, Adam was truly an awesome person who eventually came around. (Wow, it's so hard to review without giving spoilers!) You will be rooting for him all the way. 

Reid Phoenix (Small Spoilers) 1/5

I did not like Reid.

We are supposed to like him because he was a good person in Cara's life. They were sort of dating, but it wasn't very clear. For Cara it was love at first sight. I didn't think this trope was done very well, as it was not believable.

I didn't trust him much, and he was weird. Not weird in the sense of funny quirks, weird in the sense that he seemed off. Reid didn't seem human, even. 

Until the ending, I honestly believed that Reid was Adam in a different spirit, or a different form. (Which is way off, that is not what happens at all.) There are too many coincidences that led me to believe this. But then again, maybe the author did want me to believe this, to throw me off track. 


Something that really stands out to me the plot, which usually doesn't happen if it isn't a complex fantasy. This is a sad but sweet story, beautifully crafted. 

The book is based on a true story. That was the best part for me, especially when I found out at the end. I wonder how I would feel reading certain parts of the story knowing that it was based on true events.

The book is broken into 3 different parts, representing 3 different stages of Cara's life. Here's what I think of each part.

Part One 5/5

The first part of the story was by far the most heart-wrenching for me. It focused on Cara's relationship with her parents at 7 years old, as well as her friendship with Adam. At first I was bored, because I wanted to just jump into the plot and central problem. However, I was grateful for all of the world building, which added a lot to the story later on.

Part Two 4.5/5

The second part of the novel focused on Adam and Cara's relationship during the four years of high school. High school gives more to Cara's characterization. She realizes that journalism is her passion and what she wants to do with life. She learned a way to move away from her parent's negativity. 

The only reason I didn't give this section a full rating was that the plot twist did not provoke as much emotion at I thought it would. Although it was sad, I had predicted, therefore prepared for the event in the book. However, it still felt fitting to the plot and Cara's journey. 

Part Three 3/5

One reason I rated this section so low was that I had high expectations for it. The story was set up very well, but went downhill once we met Reid. Reid is Cara's immediate love interest, and I admit that I didn't like the way this trope was done. It didn't seem realistic or compelling. 

I realized halfway through that I was actually supposed to like Reid. I thought it would be a bad mistake for Cara to date him and that she would realize and leave him, but that did not happen. We figure out something about Reid, which I thought was a bit strange. 

In conclusion, I could see where this story was going, but it didn't get implemented as well as I thought it could. I rate the ending 3 stars. I do have a few thoughts on it, but giving them would spoil the book.


I rate the whole book 4 stars.  Despite Reid's character, I liked this book. It provoked emotion in the beginning, and it had a fascinating plot.

Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend to anyone age 10+. 


  1. What a professional book review! I really became interested in reading Breathtaking after reading this review. Good job

    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy it if you get around to reading it.


Post a Comment

I love reading and answering comments from my viewers!

Popular posts from this blog

Climate Action

Taylor Swift Album Reviews - Red

Post-Nano Writer's Block!