Tuesday 4 June 2019

BOOK REVIEW | 'The Deepest Breath' by Meg Grehan (****)

Hey guys, and happy Tuesday! I am back from my adventure in New York and ready to share more book reviews with you guys! Today's review is a lovely little book I devoured before I went away - The Deepest Breath by Meg Grehan. The Deepest Breath is a gorgeously written story, told in verse, following eleven-year-old Stevie and her discovery that she likes girls, specifically her friend Chloe. Stevie always shares everything with her Mum, but will she understand this secret?

Thank you to Nina Douglas, on behalf of Little Island Books, for sending me The Deepest Breath in exchange for an honest review :)

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here..

Stevie is eleven and loves reading and sea-creatures. She lives with her mum, and she's been best friends with Andrew since forever. Stevie's mum teases her that someday they'll get married, but Stevie knows that won't ever happen. There's a girl at school that she likes more. A lot more. Actually, she's a bit confused about how much she likes her. It's nothing like the way she likes Andrew. It makes her fizz inside. That's a new feeling, one she doesn't understand. Stevie needs to find out if girls can like girls - love them, even - but it's hard to get any information, and she's too shy to ask out loud about it. But maybe she can find an answer in a book. With the help of a librarian, Stevie finds stories of girls loving girls, and builds up her courage to share the truth with her mum. Written in accessible verse 'chapters' and in a warm and reassuring style, The Deepest Breath will be of special relevance to young girls who are starting to realise that they are attracted to other girls, but it is also a story for any young reader with an open mind who wants to understand how people's emotions affect their lives.

This was a stunning and beautifully-written story that really captured my heart. I think the story-telling medium of verse worked really well with Stevie's voice, and her exploration of herself that took place in this book. Grehan writes in a way that is remarkably tender and honest, and Stevie's childlike reflections on herself were realistically written. 

I share Stevie's facination (and terror!) of sea creatures and the sea, so I very much enjoyed these musings and they added to the whimsical beauty of the book. Another part I loved was the relationship between Stevie and her Mum - one of honesty, of friendship and care. Reading these parts were very emotional, in both senses of the word. The ending was perfect and tender and real, and brought everything I loved about the book together for me. 

The Deepest Breath is a perfect LGBTQI+ read for anyone of any age, but particularly young children as it perfectly captures that sense of confusion that young people feel at understanding their identity. It also advocates trusting, safe relationships between children and the adults that care for them.

Check out Meg Grehan here: https://megcathwrites.wordpress.com

Until next time :)

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