One Breath Away covers quite a few touchy subjects. As much as I wanted to LOVE this book, I found that the range of topics made following the plot line very confusing. The primary issue (well, incident) is the lockdown of the small town's only school, however I found that the main focus of the book was actually on the intricate lives and 'mistakes' of those involved.
Reading about a school lockdown from five different points-of-view made the first half of the book hard to get hooked on. After the initial confusion from jumping around died down I still didn't enjoy the crazy back and forth. I would be intrigued by one character's story and then be thrown into another without much transition. Making the book feel too choppy.
Although the memories were absolutely an integral part of the story, each character's personal trials giving insight into their actions that day; I found that in some places the memories were hard to distinguish from the present day.
Now, despite my dislike for the execution of the book I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The mere possibility of children being harmed hits a soft spot with many people. Having a child may make the blow hit harder, but children are innocent bystanders in almost every situation and should never have to witness this level of evil.
Watching these five characters fight with their regrets while still fighting to protect the children was inspirational.
Overall I would say three and a half stars, but I'll round up because of the beautiful placement of the title in the story.
“We're always one breath away from something, living or dying, sometimes it just can't be helped.”
― [a:Heather Gudenkauf|2875124|Heather Gudenkauf|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1383946596p2/2875124.jpg],[b:One Breath Away|13112023|One Breath Away|Heather Gudenkauf|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333763497s/13112023.jpg|18285607]