Only a Breath Apart: A Novel

Only a Breath Apart: A Novel

by Katie McGarry

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Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given a new twist in the gritty YA contemporary novel, Only a Breath Apart.

They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.

The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.

A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she's psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

"A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love." —New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins

"Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.”—Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250193872
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 01/22/2019
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 91,288
Lexile: HL750L (what's this?)
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

KATIE MCGARRY is an award winning and critically acclaimed young adult novelist. The author of Only a Breath Apart and the Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road series is currently living out her real life love story in Kentucky with her husband and three children. Katie is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie McGarry is an award winning and critically acclaimed young adult novelist. The author of Only a Breath Apart and the Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road series is currently living out her real life love story in Kentucky with her husband and three children. Katie is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

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Only a Breath Apart: A Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book breathed life back into my soul! Absolutely stunning...Katie Mc Garry is amazingly talented and her works are worth multiple reads!!!
Hazel_G More than 1 year ago
5 HUGE STARS! The Review: I know any time I pick up a Katie McGarry novel, I’m in for a treat I’ll enjoy time and again. I’ve been a huge fan since her first publication, Pushing the Limits. I’ve read that book so many times, it’s embarrassing. And though I’ve taken huge pleasure in many of her books since, I think Only A Breath Apart is her VERY BEST so far! This book slayed me! Story/Characters... Jesse Lachlin believes he’s cursed, and in order to keep himself safe, he must follow two rules. Don’t love and stay on the land. That’s what his mother taught him from an early age and for most of his young adult life, he believed it. He even went so far as to give up the one person he loved most, but now he needs her help or he’ll lose the only thing he has left - his land. Scarlett Copeland has been betrayed by the people closest to her. It started with the love she thought was supposed to be protective and unconditional but turned acidic and violent. Her second betrayal was when the boy she called her best friend, turned his back on her. Now they need each other in order to move forward but Scarlett’s secrets are buried deep, and she’s not sure she can trust, let alone have faith in the boy who crushed her all those years ago. What a ride! This book ... from the moment it opens up, I was hooked, consumed, enthralled ... you name it. If it meant being glued to the pages and not becoming part of the real world until the last page was read, that’s what I did! Jesse was a breath of fresh air. I adored his character. Salt of the earth, down to his soul - Jesse Lachlin was pure goodness. He had some very adult decision to make and my heart just broke for him at every turn. Life had dealt him a crappy hand but it also gave him love and understanding when he needed it most. He was encircled by a support system he needed when it all came crashing down and I loved how he and his friends were written. Scarlett, aka Tink, was a bright light in the middle of some very dark situations. Even though her life was spiraling out of control, I LOVED this girls strength. Her compassion, her zest for life and her love for herself and her family were inspiring. This author knows how to write a phenomenal hero, but she also knows how to write an equally praiseworthy heroine. And as always, this author gives us a surrounding cast that’s more than just background work. They are an intricate part of the story that breathes color, life, and artistry to an already impressive canvas. I delighted in the scenes with Glory as she weaves a little woo-woo mystic into the story, and I very much enjoyed the “band of misfits” in Tink and Peter Pans circle. I hope we see more of them later on. The Wrap Up: Simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, Only A Breath Apart is a beautiful, well-told, inspirational story about courage and hope, about growing up, about learning to love and to trust, even after life has given you reason to do neither. It’s also about learning to love yourself, find your true self and even when you feel lost, learning there is more than one path in finding your happiness. The writing was stunningly brilliant. The characters were hauntingly unforgettable. The story was charming and poignant. And the ending was absolute perfection. Five huge stars for Only A Breath Apart!
UpAllNightBB More than 1 year ago
5 Stars Review by Lorrie Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog I really enjoyed this book! The story is about Jesse and Scarlett, two kids who have grown up together, fallen apart, and through heartbreak and tragedy made their way back to each other. Both suffer devastating loss and learn how to survive their individual circumstances together. They find out who they are, and find true love along the way. I enjoyed how the author gave both Jesse and Scarlett’s point of view in this story. Every other chapter is from the two main characters point of view. She really made me feel like I was on the journey with them, and kept me reading. I would love to read a follow up to this book!!
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
I was given this book for review a long time ago, but I never got around to reading and reviewing. Not because I didn't try to, but I almost gave up and just said it wasn't for me. But I decided to give it one last try and listen to it before giving up entirely. Sad to say I don't feel as if it was memorable at all. When Katie McGarry's first series came out I fell in love with her writing. I loved Noah and Echo and all the others from that series. But now as a fan for so long, I'm starting to feel that her books all seem the same.... I just felt like I had read this already. It didn't seem different enough from everything else she's written to stand out to me. I thought the psychic angle would be a bit different, but it wasn't enough for me. As for the romance, I was glad to finally see a couple in YA that wasn't totally dependent on each other. I was glad that we got to see them apart, them together, them apart, and them together again. Sure it followed the troupe by the book, but it still showed both Scarlett and Jesse being strong and independent apart from each other. And it all worked out in the end. The narrators did a great job though! I think this is the main reason I didn't want to stop the audio. The content left me bored, but the way they performed it made that ok. Just like when you're a kid and someone's reading to you and they use voices and stuff like that? That's the way I felt about it. I haven't listened to anything by either narrator before, but I can definitely see myself starting! I do believe I've outgrown my "bad boy troupe" phase. I use to love all of McGarry's boys, but Jesse just didn't do it for me. I had to read this book in two different formats before I could even get through it. But others besides me may like this one. It may be appealing to others, but this one just wasn't for me.
Kelly-BookCrushin More than 1 year ago
It is no secret that Katie McGarry is one of my favorite YA contemporary authors, and Only a Breath Apart is a wonderful addition to her works. This one is not to be missed. Katie is known for her real life and sometimes rough life situations in her books, but they always connect to your heart. Katie doesn’t write light and cute contemporary, but emotional books with boys who are rough on the outside and solid gold on the inside. They aren’t easy to read, but not because of the writing, but because of the emotions, the pain the characters go through. Some of the violence in the book can be a bit much, but it’s an integral part of the story. About learning to trust, learning to love, and trying to heal. I love that this book has a tiny bit extrasensory perception, and I don’t think that is the right way to explain it. More like psychics, spirits, curses and a spiritual connection to the land. I can’t even explain it, but it is a part of the story that has importance, but it doesn’t take anything away from the plot, only adds to it. I loved this chance that Katie took, as it isn’t something she ever wrote before. Let’s talk about the characters, because I love character driven books and Katie writes the best characters. Jesse has recently lost his grandmother, one of his last remaining relatives. He is the inheritor of a large farmland, but his grandmother had created a sort of trust to determine how he should inherit the property when he turns 18 in less than a year. He believes his family is cursed, his mother swore that he couldn’t leave their families land, and everytime he has gone far away, very bad things have happened to him. Jesse has got a bad reputation around town, but all of his shortcomings are based his heart of gold. He gets in trouble for helping his friends, or his farm, or his family. Scarlett was the girl Jesse grew up with, she was always closed off, but they were always close. Of course Jesse pushed her away and hurt her a few years ago. Now his future depends on her, and he has never stopped caring for her. Scarlett and Jesse start rekindling their friendship. Her life and Jesse’s are interwined, for better or worse. I love when audiobooks have dual narrators when the book is told in that format. Nothing makes me happier than having a male and female narrator, so yay! The production is great, and I enjoyed listening to this story. Y’all know I love audiobooks more than anything so yeah I got lost in this one. If you like your characters with a bit of a rough edge, complexity, and ultimately flawed, I can guarantee you will be completely consumed with Only a Breath Apart. *Trigger warnings for violence, domestic abuse, verbal abuse. 4.5 stars
THHernandez More than 1 year ago
A riveting contemporary romance with breathtaking characters and so much angst! Childhood friends Scarlett and Jesse drifted apart their freshman year of high school. Well, Jesse basically drove Scarlett away. She harbors the scars of that betrayal while hiding an ugly secret within the walls of her seemingly perfect home. Jesse is everything Scarlett is not, yet when his Gran dies, the delicate thread that was holding his tenuous world together breaks and Jesse and Scarlett learn they have far more in common than either of them thought. As forces outside their control threaten to rip each of them apart, they find comfort and strength in the renewal of a lifelong friendship. Plot The primary story is the relationship between Jesse and Scarlett, but deep subplots drive that relationship. Jesse’s tenuous hold on his family’s farm after his Gran’s death affects everything he does. Scarlett’s home life and her dreams for a future she controls impact every relationship she has. A family curse forces Jesse to keep everyone he loves at arms’ length. While the two struggle with their own goals, an undeniable attraction to one another soon becomes the biggest obstacle either of them could have imagined. The story moves from the opening chapter through the gripping conclusion that kept me turning page after page in true Katie McGarry form. No one does angsty teen romance quite like McGarry and I’m a forever fan. The Characters Oh my gosh, how much do I LOVE these characters? They are complex, driven, damaged, and oh so lovable. Even though Scarlett is known around school as the Ice Princess, she’s much more than just a mean girl. She’s got so many issues and the way she protects herself is utterly relatable. Jesse is damaged from an early age and protects people the only way he knows how — by shutting them out. Watching these two grow and develop is satisfying at every level. The additional cast, Jesse’s posse of equally messed-up friends, Scarlett’s popular friends and her dysfunctional family, only add to the depth of the two main characters. But none of these supporting characters come across as two-dimensional. Each is fully fleshed out with their own goals, obstacles, and backstories. Top Five Things I Loved About ONLY A BREATH APART 1. The angst. Oh how I love me some teen angst, and ONLY A BREATH APART is dripping with it! 2. Complex characters. Every single character involved in the plot or subplot is fully-developed and three-dimensional. 3. Friends to more. As someone who married my BFF, this is my favorite trope. 4. Scarlett. She’s fierce, self-protective, loyal, and scared, there is some much conflict within her, I want to take her home and let her experience family love the way it should be. 5. Jesse. He’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders, yet he still does things for others for all the right reasons. Bottom Line A gripping young adult contemporary with realistic characters who are impossible to resist. Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ONLY A BREATH APART is an insightful and daring story into the world of abuse, first love, and trusting instincts. While the story-telling can be a bit repetitive in description, the plot, character development, and world-building is top notch.
paulalala09 More than 1 year ago
This is an emotional and beautifully crafted story young adult of the ravages of physical abuse of the ones you love and of the salvation of true friendship, of the building of trust and of learning to navigate new territory.
_magicbookdom_ More than 1 year ago
Only A Breath Apart by Katie McGarry 4⭐️ Trigger warning: abuse: physical and verbal. Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Teen for an E-Arc in an exchange for an honest review. Best friends sometimes have to fall apart to fall back together. Scarlett and Jesse have been best friends all their life, from the late night play dates, to major life events happening to them both. From the beginning of the book there is a heavy presence of abuse, jesses mother had been abused by almost every man she was with until one day it went to far and the worst event happened... she was beaten to death by jesses father. Jesse watched it happen, broke off his friendship with Scarlett because he was afraid everything and everyone he loved ends up in a bad situation. Scarlett has some secrets of her own, no one has ever known her father beats her mother. She knows it not appropriate but she also fears there’s not much she can do other than to make sure her younger sister stays far away from the abuse as she can get. One night goes more far than other nights and causes a chain reaction of choices that scarlet must make to make her future much brighter than it has ever been. In the mist of both there lives spiraling, Scarlett and Jesse find each other just when the life events were starting to truly take hold. Only a breath apart is a truly compelling contemporary romance with love, friendship, family, and trust. I would highly recommend to anyone who needs a book that’ll make you ugly cry but also laugh!
Crushingcinders More than 1 year ago
Full of drama and featuring the edgy, messed-up, misunderstood characters that I love and that Katie McGarry is so good at. @crushingcinders
JezzaBelle More than 1 year ago
Only a Breath Apart was, to me, a little bit of a departure from your typical Katie McGarry novel. It will never be said that Ms. McGarry doesn't deliver an amazing YA story, and for someone who has never read any of her previous books, they won't even notice, but while I was entertained, I felt there was a bit of something missing. Scarlett and Jesse are great characters and their friendship/relationship is a great back and forth friends-to-enemies-to-friends-to-lovers type thing. Even though there are plenty of other characters in the book, Scarlett and Jesse feel very isolated. I missed the sense of family/community that I'm used to getting in McGarry's stories. Her secondary characters usually hold more prominent roles and it has dramatically changed the feel of this story. Jesse and Scarlett both have friends that could've been excellent characters, but it felt a bit like their lives were cut short. This book tackled some heavy themes and McGarry handled them in a great way. Never once did I think, "A teenager would never act that way." McGarry always seems to write as if she is still a teenager herself. She captures teen angst and heartache so completely. Like I said, this story has some incredibly heavy and serious scenes that can sometimes be hard to read. However, there is also a lightness at times that lifted my heart and brought a smile to my face. I loved the mental picture of Jesse as Peter Pan. I am a preschool teacher and have 3 boys of my own. I totally understand the power of a boy's impish grin. I don't blame Scarlett one bit for sneaking out and following Jesse wherever he would lead. It may not be my favorite Katie McGarry book, but I know that it will resonate with a lot of people. Readers will be entertained, crushed with heartache, and sewn back together with a hopeful future. What more could you ask for?
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
So, so good! Honestly, at first I wasn't 100% sold on the story--it took so long to find out why Scarlett and Jesse stopped being friends when they started high school, and that made their relationship in those early chapters feel a bit melodramatic, and the overall vibes were very anti-adult. As their story continued to unfold, though, it steadily sucked me in until OMG I needed to keep going as much as I needed to keep breathing. (And in the end, Scarlett and Jesse found some trustworthy adults to be on their sides, which I appreciated.) It's not light reading by any means--there's some very heavy duty issues in both main characters' pasts and presents, and both not-quite-adults are required to make some very adult decisions and take some grown-up actions that as a parent I hope my children never will. There's also a touch of the mystical--a curse that's (probably) not real and a secondary character who is (often) a psychic (which has me really interested in palmistry now. Were any of the books Scarlett gets from Glory based on real books? And if so--titles, please, Ms. McGarry!) There's a romance here, but it very much takes a back seat to Scarlett and Jesse's re-emerging friendship and the choices that the two of them have to make about their lives going forward. Still, there's a very optimistic HFN at the end with a real possibility of an HEA that made my heart very happy. Some content warnings: there's quite a bit of physical and psychological/mental abuse, both in their pasts and in Scarlett's present, and I was disappointed that the material at the end of the book didn't include any resources for help with domestic abuse situations--but maybe that will be changed in the actual published version? (Just in case, here's some information here.) Rating: 4 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Hershey07 More than 1 year ago
Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry is young adult fiction at its finest!!!! Scarlett and Jesse were inseparable as children, until they weren’t. Each of them gave the other exactly what they needed at the time. Their time was an escape from their dark and sad realities. Before high school, Jesse severed that unbreakable bond and his important friendship with Scarlett. Years later, they will need each other more than ever to escape their pasts and forge a happier future, but the question is...will they do that together or apart? This is a beautiful tale of two people who carry scars, some physical but both deep in their hearts. McGarry gives us a look into their lives and hearts as the story is told from both of their POVs. As they spend time together, they will come to learn each other’s darkest secrets, and those secrets are painful. As is McGarry’s talent, she handles each one with love and sensitivity. This was a couple I loved from the very beginning. Both Jesse and Scarlett were strong individuals who learned quickly how cruel the world is. Yet, they never gave up in the face of the obstacles they encountered. McGarry also created a cast of secondary characters that were essential to the story, such as Glory. Even those characters were complex and had hidden layers that were discovered throughout the book. This is truly a book not to be missed. It gives hope for a new, brighter, and better future. McGarry weaved together a spectacular book full of her magical words that engulfed my heart and soul.
BookAngel_Emma More than 1 year ago
I have no words – Only A Breath Apart has left me with an emotional hangover and completely speechless. Katie McGarry is a genius to be able to weave such tragedy into the narrative without ever losing the thread of hope that hangs off each word. Only A Breathe Apart wraps it’s words around you, cocooning you in emotion, absorbing into your bloodstream and directly into your heart. It isn’t an easy story to read but it is necessary to show there are ways to overcome the emotional baggage we pick up along this journey we call life. A lot of the way in which we process emotions and react to situations is a direct result from the nurture we experience in our formative years. Both Jesse and Scarlett drew the short straw when it comes to positive parental role models. Only A Breathe Apart is a coming-of-age story as well as covering so many other issues along the way. There is a Gothic element to the plot with psychics and curses as well as the imagery of the land and trees woven through the descriptions. Everything from physical/emotional abuse, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, friendship, family, faith, character development, survival and a soul-mate type romance are all within the pages of Only A Breath Apart. Only A Breath Apart is a necessary tale which ultimately shows the courage and strength it takes to become the person we most want to be even when we are unsure of who that person really is. Although this is Jesse and Scarlett’s journey it can also help identify strengths and weaknesses in ourselves, allowing personal reflection and growth as a result.
chucha_13 More than 1 year ago
Jesse believes that they are cursed, and he must not leave the land. However, in the event of his grandmother's death, she made stipulations before he can inherit his family farm. One of it was the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl whom he drove away freshman year. Glory, the town's fortuneteller believes that Scarlet has the gift. Scarlett doesn't believe it. Not when she can feel the land breathe with her, or when she feels the aura of the person next to her. She can't be. What she is a young lady who just want to get out of her father's controlling attitude and everything happening at home. She has hope now though, but problem is, it all lies in the boy who cause her first heartbreak. I just love them both. They both need all the love that they can give. Jesse was loved by his mother, but his mother died. His gran died. He literally doesn't have anyone but his friends, and Glory, if you count her. But I am just astounded of his passion for his land, and his dreams for it. As for Scarlett, she's a dear, and she deserves more than what her parents can offer. I am perplexed by her strength to withstand the trials that crossed her paths and the fact that she survived it. This book wasn't just romance - it discussed the taboo topic of domestic violence. The cycle that we keep on turning our back on, but is happening in the society. Sometimes, it isn't easy. But sometimes it might just take one phone call, one concern person to survive, or to escape the cycle. I rarely read YA nowadays, but this book - had me mesmerized and completely breathless. It wasn't an easy read. No. Too much emotions, too much anticipation, and too much ache in there - that you'd feel your heart might bust anytime soon. And yet, that beautiful hope that springs between the pages, the rebuilding of both trust and friendship and discovering love made all of it worthwhile. To say I love it is an understatement. I devoured the book, read it slower than what I expected because somehow this book demands to be consumed unhurriedly, each pages, each passage, each dialogue draws you to the story. The characters passion, fight for everything and anything, and their survival would make you hooked to each page. Only A Breath Apart is a story of love, hope, and forgiveness. It's a story of strength, courage and survival. It's a story you wouldn't want to miss.
eryginger77 More than 1 year ago
Amazing per usual! Katie McGarry does it again!
marongm8 More than 1 year ago
Our community are huge fans of Katie McGarry's series Pushing the Limits and as a matter of fact, its one of our top circulating series in our whole YA collection. We were excited to see that she has a new book coming out and really were curious to see whether or not it is anything like Pushing the Limits especially Take Me On. Only a Breath Apart tells he story of Jesse and how he is the next heir to his family land and fortune but in order to take the land, Jesse has to win over the approval of his best friend Scarlett and her father. Jesse later spends a lot more time with Scarlett and ends up falling in love with her. He also later finds out that Scarlett's dad abuses her and Jesse will do whatever it takes to protect the love of his life. This book brought tears to my eyes and really warmed my heart. My suggestion would be to read this book with a beautiful view of scenery such as by the lake, in the park or in a garden, you'll really feel what is happening between Scarlett and Jesse. Our young adult readers are always on the lookout for more teen romance books and having being huge fans of Kate McGarry in the first place, they will be excited to see this book on our shelves. That is why we are rating this book 5 stars!
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
Welp. This was a bit of a struggle. I have read and loved all of Katie’s other books, so I was all in without really reading the synopsis. That cover made me think it was just the standard mid-level angst she normally writes. I liked Scarlett and Jesse well enough. They have a boatload of history with a second boatload of issues to deal with. There are a few other characters, but no one stood out to me. For me, they read as plot devices—and that is sort of tragic because there’s a lot of potential in Jesse’s friends. As for the plot, it was depressing. Sure there’s a thread about a curse, but it has nothing on what Scarlett’s family is. And yes, the synopsis hinted at difficulties, this was not what I was expecting. Overall, it was easy to root for the characters and want them to get out of their crap situations. Sadly, I had a hard time with such a downtrodden story. The small perks of positivity and happiness weren’t enough to make this a book I loved. FYI: there are several scenes of a women getting beaten and it goes into graphic detail. Also, a lot of verbal abuse. **Huge thanks to Tor Teen for providing the arc free of charge**
bbarneybooks28 More than 1 year ago
Young Adult Literature is not a genre that I usually read and review, but every time Katie McGarry has a new release, I always sign-up because her emotionally-charged stories about teenaged characters who struggle to find their place in the world as well as attempt to figure out how to deal with the baggage that always seems to follow them resonates with me, partly because I see some of the same behaviors and situations as a high school English teacher for the past 20 years and partly due to the way that McGarry crafts her characters and realistically portrays all that they must endure for individuals so young. There’s nothing picture perfect about the world that McGarry’s hero and heroine live in; in fact, it’s anything but an ideal situation, and at the start of their story, Jesse Lachlin and Scarlett Copeland couldn’t be more at odds and separated by a mountain of obstacles and the heartbreak that Jesse inflicted on Scarlett some time ago. But, in order to heal…in order to forge a new path in life…in order to work through the pain and devastation that continues to weight them down…in order to move forward in a way that solidifies Jesse’s ownership of his family farm, their fractured friendship must be mended and mistakes and secrets must be admitted and discussed because the only way Jesse can get out from under his family’s curse and Scarlett can shed her demons are by creating a bond between them that is more powerful than anything they’re either hiding or running from as fast and as far away as they can. In order to truly understand just how much Jesse and Scarlett need each other in the present, it’s necessary to venture to the past and witness their closeness as well as gain insight into what both of them are dealing with due to their respective families and the secrets that they keep. And in those flashbacks, it’s more than obvious that these two come from different worlds…from different sides of the divide and these ideas are reason enough to put Jesse and Scarlett’s friendship at odds, regardless of how tight they may be holding on to it. Scarlett and Jesse’s story is not an easy one to read due to some of the subject matter explored, but readers shouldn’t let that stop them from reading Only a Breath Apart because amidst all of the overwhelming pain and the hidden feelings of helplessness and struggle is an empowering tale of second chances, of tormented souls finding their way into the light, of two people conquering what weighs them down and of a sense of hope found despite all of the darkness. 4 Poison Apples