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Reviewed by Gaynor Lincoln for Readers' Favorite
Don’t Forget to Breathe by Cathrina Constantine is a fast paced, punchy murder mystery. Leo is a high school student whose mother was brutally murdered a year before the story begins. The murder remains unsolved. Leo develops a friendship with Henry, the boy who comes to live across the road. But she is romantically interested in Becket, a high school senior, and Henry becomes increasingly jealous of the developing relationship between the two. Henry supports Leo’s drug habit and leads her into situations in which she would rather not find herself. After a small drug tryst with Henry in a cemetery, noises frighten her and she runs. She hears the screams of two drug dealers who are found murdered the next day. Clues lead Detective Dyl to believe whoever murdered the drug dealers also murdered Leo’s mother. As the story develops, multiple characters become reasonable suspects for the murders, including Leo’s alcoholic father. The reader is left hanging as Leo finds herself in dangerous situations with some of the suspects.
Don’t Forget to Breathe is an engaging novel with continual plot development. If I had to put it down, I found I wanted to get back to it. The author has an intense writing style and her use of unusual and vivid verbs fascinated me. Some verbs nailed it and brought sharper meaning. I wouldn’t have thought to use them in the context she had, yet they created strong images of the action taking place. I enjoyed reading this novel, yet I’m 60 years old. I think that says something of the author’s skill to grip a reader.