Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Title: Don't Breathe a Word
Author: Holly Cupala
Published January 3rd 2012 by HarperTeen
Goodreads | Amazon

It's been a while since I last have such an intense reading experience as the one I had while reading this book. I knew from the moment I read its synopsis that this was going to be good, but I never imagined it will touched my soul to this proportion.

I'm struggling with words right now, because no matter what I say, I won't be able to describe the strong feelings this novel evocates in me. I will just tell you, this is a story you don't want to miss.

Joy is been dealing with a very difficult sittuation for more than a year, her ashtma, her sometimes oppressive family and her abusing boyfriend have become too much to handle. So Joy decides to leave everything behind and she abandons her home to find help from an street musician who once offered her that.

But being homeless was nothing like me, you, or Joy could have ever imagined and she will need all of her strenght to survive out there. You know, I've always thought that women who let others abuse them were weak, I thought they were in that position because they let themselves get there; but Joy really opened my eyes. She was not a weak girl, she does stuff that I could never imagined I would be able to do, I mean I shudder at the thought of sharing old chewed gum.

I don't encourage women to not speak up, but I now realize it takes guts to handle all that mind-twisting games without falling apart. As it also takes courage to walk away too. I am so proud of Joy, she did was she thought was the only answer and she didn't back down. She's my new hero.

Then we get to the actual part of Joy living on the streets of Seattle. She becomes a whole new person, she cannot be Joy anymore there's nothing joyful in her, so she becomes Triste. The name makes me giggle but it's actually really fitting. My throat closes at the thought of her first days alone on the streets, it was painful to witness and I wish no one will ever have to live through something like that, yet if someone does, I don't think they would be able to handle it as well as Triste, she was such a champ.

But no girl can survive on the streets by herself. And she meets Creed, a knight in ratty clothes. I won't try to describe my love and gratefulness towards Creed. Much like Triste, I thought he was the highlight of my day life, he is a kind, protective soul that is so selfless and caring he makes you forget you're even living in the streets. He's also a fabulous musician, like set-your-heart-on-fire-and-makes-your-insides-dance kind of good. I could feel the intesity of his music through the pages, and I was left wishing for more. He's the kind of people that make me want to be a doctor, just knowing there's people like him and in his situation, makes me want to pack my med supplies and go find them.

I say them because Creed takes Triste to where his "family" is. May and Santos, the other teenage kids that hang out with Creed. At first they lived in this awful, ruined, abandoned house that had no electricy or even running water but then May and Santos (and Creed) had such a tender, sweet and loving relationship that is probably 10 times better than any family in the suburbs. I loved May and Santos, I love them so much my heart aches. They're so mature and loyal, and despite all the hell they've been through they hadn't give up. You know the world is not so screwed up when you realize people that have been through so much can still be as amazing as them.

So basically, I'm talking as if these people were real. Why?, because Holly Cupala did a marvelous job at transforming reality into art, it's difficult to take a serious problem like abusive relationships and homeless teens and convert them into a story that captures reality without going over the top drama. I also loved the job she did with her description  of the setting. And really, everything about her writing was powerful and captivating.

Broadway is a character itself and it really comes off the pages

I also almost died when I read the ending. I could not have imagined a most perfect end for such a sad story. But it's not only sad, it's full of hope and love. And power. And hopefully, when you finish this book, you'll be inspired to do something.

And a little inspirational video for Creed, whose dream is to become a respected singer/guitar player.
It can be done!

it's a 5 hearts and favorite read for me! :)


  1. Such a great review, Melannie! This book went on my radar only recently, but I've been hearing great things about it since. I'm so excited to read it!

    1. You totally should, Karen! It's a very mature YA book, I'm sure you'll like it too :)

  2. I saw all your updates in faceboook and goodreads so I'm here, reading your full review.
    I'm already trying to convince my mom to order it for me hahaha.
    Amazing review as always!

    1. yes! order it! it's worth having your own copy. It's a book to keep! (:

  3. Great review! Just finished it yesterday, I think. I loved it, also.


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