Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family #1)
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Release Date: May 19th 2015
My Rating: 5 STARS
Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.
Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.
And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.
All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect. Honestly, I find that the books I end up loving most are the ones that I pick up with little(if any) expectations. I'm happy to say that Hold Me Like A Breath was one of these books!
Tiffany Schmidt brings us a thrilling story of mafia-like crime Families who are in the business of black market organ transplants. The plot was probably my favorite part of this book. It was perfectly-paced, well thought out, and wonderfully executed. I loved how I was left wondering how things would turn out until the very last chapter! The characters have so many secrets and the plot has so many OMG moments. Just when you think you have something figured out or know what's going to happen next, Schmidt leaves you breathless with a twist you never saw coming! Hold Me Like A Breath had ME holding MY breath!!!
Schmidt does a great job with characterizations, especially the relationships between the main character Penelope and the people in her life. Some might read this story and see Penelope as naive, spoiled, bratty, and child-like. I honestly felt this way at the beginning of the book. Then I would remember that she has been treated like a fragile, breakable child for almost her entire life. She lives almost ENTIRELY in her family's manor. Her parents put her in a bubble due to a medical condition where any physical contact would bruise her skin, as her blood doesn't clot like a healthy person's would. She was always being tested in her home clinic to check her levels, and had to have regular infusions so that she wouldn't bleed internally. They bought her anything she wanted, but never gave her the the things she really needed. Her opinions/wishes were never taken seriously, and she wasn't allowed any "normal" teenage experiences.
Because of this, I really admired her and found her growth as a character from the beginning to the end of the book to be an amazing thing to witness. I won't say anything more, as that would spoil the story.
Overall, I found Hold Me Like A Breath to be so many things at once. It's a thrilling, fast-paced crime drama. It sheds light on the problems with organ transplants, how many people need them, and what they have to go through to get one. It's also a beautiful story about a girl who just wants to do the things we take for granted everyday, and realizes a strength in herself that she was always told she didn't have. I highly recommend you give this book a chance, I'm glad I did!
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Tiffany Schmidt lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. She's not at all superstitious... at least that's what she tells herself every Friday the thirteenth.
SEND ME A SIGN is her first novel. BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE will follow in Winter, 2014. The ONCE UPON A CRIME FAMILY series begins with HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH in 2015.
You can find out more about her and her books at:
TiffanySchmidt.com, TiffanySchmidtWrites.Tumblr.com or by following her on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt.