Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard
"Ryan spends most of his time alone at the local waterfall because it's the only thing that makes him feel alive. He's sixteen, post-suicidal, and trying to figure out what to do with himself after a stint in a mental hospital. Then Nicki barges into his world, brimming with life and energy, and asking questions about Ryan's depression that no one else has ever been brave enough - or cared enough - to ask. Ryan isn't sure why he trusts Nicki with his darkest secrets, but that trust turns out to be the catalyst that he desperately needs to start living again."- summary from Amazon
I loved Hubbard's debut and have been eagerly awaiting to read her next book, which was just as amazing as her debut. Ryan is a great main character and I liked getting to know him throughout the course of the book as he opened up to himself and also to Nicki. They had an emotional journey together and Hubbard did a great job writing their interactions and giving them chemistry.
The prose is very atmospheric and it felt much like the cover- a bit... I can't even find the right word but the tone and color of the cover really matches the tone inside. It helped me really get into and understand Ryan's mindset. Hubbard does a phenomenal job getting down a boy's voice just right, like she did in The Secret Year; it never felt wrong or fake to me.
Overall, a fantastic follow-up to The Secret Year and I'm anxious to see what she gives us next!
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.