Category Archives: Anna Jarzab

Review: Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab

Title: Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Susannah Ramos has always loved the water. A swimmer whose early talent made her a world champion, Susannah was poised for greatness in a sport that demands so much of its young. But an inexplicable slowdown has put her dream in jeopardy, and Susannah is fighting to keep her career afloat when two important people enter her life: a new coach with a revolutionary training strategy, and a charming fellow swimmer named Harry Matthews.

As Susannah begins her long and painful climb back to the top, her friendship with Harry blossoms into passionate and supportive love. But Harry is facing challenges of his own, and even as their bond draws them closer together, other forces work to tear them apart. As she struggles to balance her needs with those of the people who matter most to her, Susannah will learn the cost—and the beauty—of trying to achieve something extraordinary.


Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab is captivating young adult novel.

Sixteen year old Susannah Ramos is a swimmer who is working hard to earn a spot on the Olympic swim team. However, after a big win two years earlier, she is struggling following a growth spurt. Her coach, Dave, has essentially given up on her but she refuses to accept she will not achieve her dream.   When Dave hires a new assistant coach, Susannah is initially not receptive to accepting advice from her. Eventually changing her mind, Susannah’s goals are finally within her grasp, but will circumstances out of her control end her Olympic dreams?

Susannah lives and breathes swimming and she works hard to please Dave who is overbearing and manipulative. She is stubborn and tenacious so she is sometimes not open to advice. Susannah is so focused on her goals that she sometimes neglects her friends and family.  Under self-imposed pressure to succeed, the last thing she needs is a distraction but after Harry Matthews join the swim club, she cannot ignore how drawn she is to him.

Harry is a gifted athlete but he does not seem to take the swim team too seriously. He is playful and fun-loving  which is something that frustrates both Dave and Susannah.   Harry and Susannah strike up a friendship and begin to grow closer as Harry offers to give her some pointers.

In spite of Susannah’s reluctance to take their relationship further, a sweet romance soon blossoms between them. She and Harry are soon spending as much of their scarce free time together as possible. The two are close but Susannah begins to notice little things about Harry that are a bit troubling. Will their romance survive Harry’s unexpectedly serious issues and Susannah’s intense dedication to swimming?

Breath Like Water is an engrossing young adult novel that provides an in depth portrait of competitive swimming. The storyline is interesting and the cast of characters is diverse. Susannah and Harry are wonderfully drawn teenagers who are quite appealing. Anna Jarzab deftly handles sensitive subject matter in a forth-right manner. The novel’s conclusion is surprising yet realistic. A terrific young adult novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend to teenager and adult readers.

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Filed under Anna Jarzab, Breath Like Water, Contemporary, Inkyard Press, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Young Adult