After we noticed a brunch menu at Cheesewerks during a dinner-time tweet-up a few weeks ago, Jenn (Lost in a Great Book) and I knew we had to come back to try out the delicious menu items. So our March brunch book club discussion for Sarah Crossan’s Breathe took place at this King West-area restaurant. This month, we were joined by Lauren (Thoughts On My Bookshelf), Rhiannon (The Diary of a Bookworm), Baby Sybil (What Sybil Wore) and Kate – the only one who hadn’t read the book, but enjoys brunch, and vowed to work “The Walking Dead” into the discussion somehow.
As per usual, since this is a wrap-up of our book club brunch, there are spoilers aplenty – so be forewarned!
Right off the bat, there were definitely some strong, and similar opinions, about the book. We all felt there was so much more development that could have happened with the story, the characters and the world-building. It felt unreasonable that they would risk everything to steal tree clippings but then put all their eggs in one basket by planting them in one location. I think it was at this point that Kate brought up The Walking Dead for the first time. I flatout told her I wouldn’t remember what her point was for this recap since I don’t watch it/read it and have no relevance or context to it other than that she managed to work TWD into our brunch book chat. 🙂
Kate had asked whether the 3 narrators were distinct in itself but Lauren and I both said that at times it was a bit muddled. Their “voices” didn’t necessarily seem distinct that you would be able to tell who was talking, and more was relied upon the description of the characters to differentiate them. I initially felt surprised at the fate of Bea’s parents, but Lauren reminded me that there was major ominous foreshadowing when the parents said they were going off to the protest and will be back (or something like that). Rhiannon and Jenn talked about how it says a lot when we’re more interested with Maude, the old woman, than any of the other characters. There’s definitely more of a story and that seems more interesting than anything else going on with the three main characters. Like when Quinn was maybe buried alive, and then actually buried alive? We were all like meh. okay.
A lot of the characters seemed glossed over and their actions didn’t make sense. So, Silas is gay?? Because apparently it was one passing comment about how he and Inger were very close. And done. Moving on. And then Quinn’s dad being completely horrible the whole book suddenly turns and helps him escape? Seems completely out of character considering all the (aggravatingly) unspoken hints at alcoholism and domestic abuse. The Pod Minister seemed extremely weird and lecherous too, and very handsy with Quinn’s mom. I suspect that maybe the Pod Minister is actually the father of the baby. One thing we did find striking was how Inger died – that it wasn’t action but an inaction that killed him… the act of NOT doing anything is what ended his life.
Overall there was definitely a lot of potential to it, but as a first book, we felt that there should have been more fleshing out and explanation of certain things. A few of us might keep reading the rest of the series to see where it goes, but Lauren worries that the second book is going to be like a “journey” book where all they do is walk and encounter dangers before reaching their destination in the third book.
Oh, and for the record, Kate managed to work The Walking Dead three times into this conversation. Well played. 😉
Will you be joining us for our April read of Edward Rutherfurd’s Paris?