Don't Breathe A Word by Holly CupalaDon't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala

Don't Breathe A Word

byHolly Cupala

Paperback | January 3, 2012

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Joy delamere is suffocating.

From asthma, from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. She can take his cruel words, his tender words . . . until the night they go too far.

To escape, Joy sacrifices her suburban life to find the one who offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, to its rules of survival, and to love—a world she won’t easily let go.

Set against the backdrop of the streets of Seattle, Holly Cupala’s power­ful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the secrets we keep, and the ways to redemption. But above all, it is an unflinching story about the extraordinary lengths one girl will go to discover her own strength.

Holly Cupala is the author ofTell Me a Secret. When she isn’t writing or making art, she explores Seattle with her husband and daughter. A portion of her proceeds goes toward helping sexually exploited girls around the world.
Title:Don't Breathe A WordFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.72 inPublished:January 3, 2012Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061766690

ISBN - 13:9780061766695


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Meaningful and Great Don't Breathe A Word isn't what I expected to read about when I heard the words 'runaway teenage girl' mixed with 'suffocating from everyone around her' added to 'the streets of downtown Seattle' and, finally, 'finding that goodlooking, nice homeless boy who may or may not turn out to be a potential lover.' (Those all came from a friend of mine, for your information). Instead I read about a teenage girl who feels like she is suffocating and she runs away to downtown Seattle where she seeks a homeless boy who, of course, may or may not turn out to be a potential lover - all of that is true. But this story is really about a girl who is pushed over the edge and is suffocating, yes, from everyone around her, but also from herself. So this girl tries to leave her whole life behind, which is something she learns is hard to do, and tries to become stronger. I really enjoyed reading this book. Its nice and thoughtful, meaningful and deep. The writing is easy to follow and the pace is pretty good. Joy, the lead, is also good. Cupula stabs readers with thr truth about life and Joy does grow as a character, and her situation and thoughts and actions are realistic and real. I like how she's confused because she knows the truth and how she isn't strong, but hates it. She knows that SHE did some wrong things in her past, but in the end she does become stronger. A lot of character growth is something I love to see and definitely saw it. The bad things are really minor things. Just the flashbacks about Joy's life before she ran away are slow and almost dry. But I'm glad they only lasted for the first part of the book, or else every other chapter might be hard to get through for me. The only other thing is that, while Cupula makes a nice story with depth and romance and also fun, its missing something. That thing I can never out my finger on, something to capture readers attention. So. I don't love Joy, but she is good. The writing is great. Creed, Santos and May - the people Joy spends time with on the streets- are all unique and different and so strong. I love each of their situations and Creed is just awesome. Also, he loves music, so thats another point in his favor. I cried a lot near the end. Its painfully and brutally honest, which is good. No, great. Overall, Cupala has crafted a great novel about a girl looking to find herself, and she did it great. I'll be looking for more books by this author.
Date published: 2013-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A gritty look at teenage street life You can read all of my reviews at I am by no means and expert on street living but I imagine this is about as close to the reality of it you can get. Don't Breathe a Word is heartbreakingly real as it delves into the gritty lifestyle faced by kids living on the street every hour of everyday. The extremes these kids are forced to go to to survive is unbelievable. This book starts off very vague, referencing important occurances so it peaked my interest right off the bat. The characters in this book are all very complex and life like. They all have a unique and equally horrifying story that has led them to where they are, and through that they are brought together as a little family. May was absolutely painful to read about. She used her body as her most valuable asset and devalued herself so many times. Santos was just about as heartbreaking, doing anything he could to be able to see another day. Creed was a bit of a contrast, he was a more hopeful character, in spite of the cards life had dealt him he still persued his passion and kept the fire burning inside him. Joy was a character who had to find her strength and she went to great extremes to do so. She was suffocating, not only from her cystic fibrosis, but from the hovering and constant worrying of everyone around her. The relationship between Joy and Asher was so wrong. Asher reminded me of the husband from the movie Enough (my most HATED character ever.) Even though he wasn't physically abusing Joy he was emotionally abusing her which is just as bad. Being inside Joy's head let us see that Asher made her feel as if what he was doing was all because of her, that she derserved it, and in so many instances that's exactly what an abuser does. She took the only out that she could see that would get her away from Asher and still protect her family. This is, at times, a little hard to read but it was a really good read none the less. I recommend this one for anyone looking for an Alluring read.
Date published: 2012-03-26

Editorial Reviews

“Holly Cupala’s debut novel will be immensely popular among teens. Teen fans will be captivated by the theme of owning your own path, the persistence of life and closure.”