Joy delamere is suffocating.
From asthma, from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. She can take his cruel words, his tender words . . . until the night they go too far.
To escape, Joy sacrifices her suburban life to find the one who offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, to its rules of survival, and to love—a world she won’t easily let go.
Set against the backdrop of the streets of Seattle, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the secrets we keep, and the ways to redemption. But above all, it is an unflinching story about the extraordinary lengths one girl will go to discover her own strength.
Holly Cupala is back with her second novel. This time exploring life on the streets of a teenage runaway. Joy Delamere is suffocating – literally. Joy suffers from acute asthma and her parents have her living in what could be considered a glass house.
From page one you can’t help but feel for Joy. Her boyfriend, Asher, is an over possessive, controlling, jerk. What’s sad is that Joy feels like she has to stay with him because her father works for his and Asher doesn’t hesitate to remind Joy that he can have her dad fired.
Joy’s older brother has had it. He’s tired of being an afterthought when it comes to life in the Delamere home so when he goes away to college, he tells Joy to leave him alone.
Feeling smothered, Joy stages her own kidnapping. She starts by cutting off her hair and bleaching it blonde, she makes sure she has packed enough medication to help her if she gets sick but not too much to make her parents take notice that maybe she hasn’t been kidnapped. Her last measure, walking around is muddy boots that are too big for her.
Joy escapes to the streets of Seattle knowing that churches and shelters are off limits as her parents will have reported her missing, surely there will be fliers. She must live on the streets, doorways, wherever she can find a place to sleep at night.
When Joy reaches her the Capitol District she seeks out a street boy she’s seen before. A boy that has caught her attention when she’s been with Asher, someone who has offered her help if she’s ever needed it.. She learns rather quickly that the convenience of using the bathroom at Starbucks requires you to purchase something. While seeking the one she knows can help her, she’s introduced to what happens to a teenage girl living on the streets, fear for your life.
Creed is the boy she seeks and when he saves her life from a bum named Stench, he and his street family show her how to make it on the streets. No longer Joy, Triste learns how to earn money, salvage for food and find shelter. Together with Santos and May they teach Joy everything she needs to know, until its not enough.
Everyone on the streets has a backstory, a life before they ended up where they are today. So when Joy’s reality comes crashing down, her biggest fear is having to return home to a life she hated. Especially if it involves Asher.
DON’T BREATHE A WORD is whirlwind of emotions told through the eyes of a hurt, confused and very strong teenage girl. Cupala will capture your attention from page one and will keep you turning to find out what happens to Triste and Creed.
DON’T BREATE A WORD isn’t out until January but be sure to pre-order. And if you don’t want to wait, I’ve got a copy for you!