Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Once Upon a Crime Family #1
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
While the name of the novel itself is rather poetic and suitable for the story, the name of the series is pretty laughable and cheesy. And this comparison between the titles actually does a decent job of summing up my feelings for this novel overall. The premise for the novel is intriguing, but the execution is almost terrible. Penny has a blood disorder that makes her a fragile little princess confined within the walls of her Family home. But Penny doesn’t want to be the caged, fragile bird they all treat her as. She is interested in the family/Family Business – the illegal organ transplant market.
Rare blood disease? Crime family in organ transplants? Before going into this novel, I though Schmidt had hit YA gold for originality. Unfortunately, the further you get into Hold Me Like a Breath, the more cliche it becomes. In the end, this novel falls into the jumble of the genre, just another YA romance story with a premise to hook readers in that doesn’t deliver. Schmidt never capitalizes on the plot goldmine of potentials based on the situations she creates. Instead, the story focuses on star crossed lovers. And, as if to add insult to injury, Schmidt includes a love triangle as well.
Perhaps I expected too much out of this novel, which is why I feel so jolted now that I’ve finished. I wanted depth, suspense, intrigue, and since we are dealing with crime families and feuds, lots of bloody and guts and murder. Instead, these elements are used simply as the backdrop and filler, implemented mostly to move the plot from one romantic arc to the other. So while there is nothing wrong with Schmidt’s writing style, there isn’t anything great about her story telling either. Definitely not a series I’m going to bother continuing down the line.