Breathe my Name - by R. A. Nelson
Breathe my Name

"a gripping tale of murder, deceit, and forgiveness"


Frances Robinson was adopted. No big deal, right? Wrong. At the age of 8, her mother committed a terrible crime that had Frances, or “Shine” Jelks as her mom called her, ripped from the life she knew. She stayed with a family friend, hardly saw her father, was on Larry King Live, and was one day stuck with a family in Alabama. She grew up, tried to forget her past, and seemed to be living a normal teen girl’s life, just trying her best to fit in. Then one day she was confronted by a lawyer who held a letter from her mom that said, “I need to see you. Please come right away. We have to finish.

Frances decides she has to get away and find this mother who ruined her life.  Her journey unfolds she reconnects with old friends and becomes close to Nix, her new and weird friend. Read this gripping tale of a teenage girl, her friend, and their journey to finish what had been started so many years before. This story of murder, deceit, and forgiveness is extremely well written and will make you laugh, cry, and gasp in horror. There are moments that you expect, and tons that you won’t expect. Breathe My Name is going to be a favorite for teen girls everywhere.

This book was amazing. I read Teach Me, R.A. Nelson's first book. There are many similarities in these reads. Both have teenage girls who are having many firsts in their lives. They go behind their parents' backs, they rebel, they do things that they never thought they'd do - things that happen in real life. It’s so easy to connect with  book like this that are crazy realistic; I got addicted once I got a couple pages in. It takes a lot to get me to really enjoy a book, and this book has it ALL: love, suspense, and excitement. If you are interested in books that have a strong plot, flashbacks, and shocking events, read this book as soon as you get the chance. I’m glad I read this because I learned lessons that everyone should learn, like cherishing your family while they’re around, not judging a book by its cover, and seizing the day. Breathe My Name grips you and holds on tight, so be ready for the ride! Buckle your seat belt; you'll love every minute of it!

   - Lauren R.



"a book that will keep me thinking, as great books often do"


Breathe My Name is an epic tale of distinguishing make-believe from reality, the courage it takes to face your nightmares, and the people who help you through it. At age 8, Frances Robinson was adopted after her biological mother was jailed for the murder of her three youngest daughters after pleading insanity. Now 18, Frances receives word that her mother has been transported out of jail to a kind of half-way house and, in the form of a letter, seems to be requesting to meet with Frances. Frances decides she wants to face the monster who killed her sisters 11 years ago. She embarks on this journey with her mostly boyfriend Nix, an amazingly different and endearing character, who helps her find her way in the muck of the past left by the terrible deeds of her mother.

Breathe My Name is completely captivating, I couldn’t put it down. It’s such a different topic than what I’m used to reading about that it was thrilling trying to figure out what would happen. The story flip-flops between past and present, letting you establish a bond with characters you know are doomed, making that moment more emotional than imagined. This is a book that will keep me thinking over the next couple of days, seeing the world out of the eyes of Frances, as great books often have me doing. This story will make fans out of all who read it.

This book was amazing. I read Teach Me, R.A. Nelson's first book. There are many similarities in these reads. Both have teenage girls who are having many firsts in their lives. They go behind their parents' backs, they rebel, they do things that they never thought they'd do - things that happen in real life. It’s so easy to connect with  book like this that are crazy realistic; I got addicted once I got a couple pages in. It takes a lot to get me to really enjoy a book, and this book has it ALL: love, suspense, and excitement. If you are interested in books that have a strong plot, flashbacks, and shocking events, read this book as soon as you get the chance. I’m glad I read this because I learned lessons that everyone should learn, like cherishing your family while they’re around, not judging a book by its cover, and seizing the day. Breathe My Name grips you and holds on tight, so be ready for the ride! Buckle your seat belt; you'll love every minute of it!

   - Kate D.



"This novel made me laugh, cry, and freeze with fear."


When she talks about Fireless, I watch Momma’s eyes. That is the way you tell if it’s going to be okay. If her eyes change, that’s when I get afraid…I keep looking at her eyes as she crawls around in the creek. Momma is good at scaring things.” In R.A. Nelson’s second novel, Breathe My Name, Frances Robinson ("Shine") must confront the ghost of her past and search for closure. Frances has a new family with new parents and new siblings. When she was younger, Frances’ birth mother smothered her three little sisters which completely tore apart her life and family. She was adopted by an Alabama family and struggles to live a normal life.

All is well until Frances is told that her mother has been released from prison. The only thing that could be worse is the letter she receives from her mother. “I need to see you. Please come right away. We have to finish.” Frances’ normal life is interrupted, and her world is turned upside down. Old nightmares have now returned. They are consuming her everyday life as she sees her mother around her.

Nix, a new student from New Orleans enters her life and helps her through the new danger. He is outgoing, loud, and unconventional, everything that Frances is not. He opens her heart to new emotions and is an unyielding force in her life. Nix goes with her on her journey to the past to search for closure. Frances tries to figure out how her mother wants to finish things and what meets her when she arrives at her destination is a suspenseful scene.

I read R.A. Nelson’s first novel, Teach Me, and I loved it so much that I could not wait for this story to come out. There are similar themes in these two novels. Each character must confront their ghosts in order for them to go on with their lives. I always liked the way that Nelson writes his stories, and this book is no different. Nelson exposes his readers to new experiences with his characters’ lives, and their stories are poignant and heart-wrenching.  He uses magnificent and clever writing in his tale of a troubled teen. He takes the horrible account of a mother killing her children and makes it realistic and one can feel Frances’ pain. I fell in love with the characters in this story and it felt as though I went on the journey with them. Nelson’s descriptions of the characters throughout the novel are precise. The characters brought out emotions in me that I did not think a book could do. This novel made me laugh, cry, and freeze with fear.

With this gripping novel, Nelson captures the reader from the start and never lets them go. Once I started to read this book, I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and excellent read.

   - Jessica R.