Goodreads ratings
4.02 / 5

"Breathless" Summary

By Brigid Kemmerer

young adult | 337 pages | Published in NaN

#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz delivers a thrilling novel of suspense and adventure, as the lives of strangers converge around a mystery unfolding high in the Colorado mountains—and the balance of the world begins to tilt….  In the stillness of a golden September afternoon, deep in the wilderness of the Rockies, a solitary craftsman, Grady Adams, and his magnificent Irish wolfhound Merlin step from shadow into light…and into an encounter with enchantment. That night, through the trees, under the moon, a pair of singular animals will watch Grady's isolated home, waiting to make their approach.  A few miles away, Camillia Rivers, a local veterinarian, begins to unravel the threads of a puzzle that will bring all the forces of a government in peril to her door. At a nearby farm, long-estranged identical twins come together to begin a descent into darkness…In Las Vegas, a specialist in chaos theory probes the boundaries of the unknowable…On a Seattle golf course, two men make matter-of-fact arrangements for murder…Along a highway by the sea, a vagrant scarred by the past begins a trek toward his destiny… In a novel that is at once wholly of our time and timeless, fearless and funny, Dean Koontz takes readers into the moment between one turn of the world and the next, across the border between knowing and mystery. It is a journey that will leave all who take it Breathless.   


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

Two strangers bond over their shared secrets, but their growing connection is tested when a tragic accident forces them to confront their pasts and face uncertain futures.


In "Breathless" by Brigid Kemmerer, readers are taken on a gripping and emotional journey through the lives of two teenagers, Quinn and Nick. This young adult contemporary romance explores themes of grief, healing, and the power of friendship. With its well-crafted characters and intense storytelling, "Breathless" captivates the reader from beginning to end.

Brief Synopsis

"Breathless" is set in a small town called Storm, where everyone knows everyone else's business. Quinn is a high school senior who has recently lost her sister in a tragic accident. She is struggling to cope with her grief and finds solace in her friendship with Nick, her late sister's ex-boyfriend.

Nick, a talented musician, is dealing with his own demons. He carries the guilt of his role in the accident that took Quinn's sister's life. Despite their shared pain, Quinn and Nick find comfort and understanding in each other. As their friendship deepens, they must navigate the complexities of their emotions, the judgment of their community, and the fear of losing each other.

Main Characters

Here are the main characters in "Breathless":

QuinnA high school senior grappling with the loss of her sister. She is determined to find healing and understanding.
NickQuinn's late sister's ex-boyfriend who carries immense guilt. He is a talented musician and finds solace in his friendship with Quinn.
MaggieQuinn's best friend who provides support and guidance throughout her journey of grief and healing.
EvanQuinn's boyfriend who struggles to understand her grief and the bond she forms with Nick.
StormThe small town where the story takes place, characterized by its close-knit community and gossip mill.

Summary of Story Points

Chapters 1-5: Quinn and Nick's friendship begins to develop as they bond over their shared grief and guilt. Quinn's relationship with her boyfriend, Evan, becomes strained as he struggles to understand her need for Nick's companionship.

Chapters 6-10: Quinn and Nick's friendship continues to deepen, causing tension between them and the rest of the community. Quinn's parents express concern about her growing closeness to Nick.

Chapters 11-15: Quinn's grief and anger towards her sister's death start to consume her, leading to conflicts with Nick and her parents. She begins to question her own actions and choices.

Chapters 16-20: Quinn and Nick confront their feelings for each other, leading to a complicated and emotional turning point in their relationship. Quinn must decide whether to follow her heart or conform to societal expectations.

Chapters 21-25: Quinn and Nick face judgment and backlash from their friends and community. They must confront their fears and make difficult choices about their future together.

Main Events

  1. Quinn loses her sister in a tragic accident, and her world is shattered.
  2. Quinn forms a deep friendship with Nick, her late sister's ex-boyfriend, who shares her grief and guilt.
  3. Quinn's relationship with her boyfriend, Evan, becomes strained as her connection with Nick grows stronger.
  4. Quinn and Nick navigate the complexities of their emotions and face judgment from their community.
  5. Quinn must make a difficult decision about her future with Nick and confront her own fears and insecurities.

Themes and Insights

  • Grief and Healing: "Breathless" explores the profound impact of loss and the journey towards healing. It delves into the various ways individuals cope with grief and the importance of finding support and understanding.
  • Friendship and Connection: The book highlights the power of friendship and the solace it can provide in times of hardship. It also examines the complexities of relationships and the blurred lines between friendship and romance.
  • Identity and Self-Discovery: The characters in "Breathless" grapple with their sense of self and the expectations placed upon them by society. They must confront their fears and make choices that align with their own desires and values.

Reader's Takeaway

"Breathless" is a heart-wrenching and emotionally charged story that explores themes of grief, healing, and the power of human connection. Brigid Kemmerer's writing draws readers into the lives of Quinn and Nick, making them feel every raw emotion and empathize with their struggles. This book serves as a reminder of the importance of compassion, understanding, and self-discovery.


"Breathless" by Brigid Kemmerer is a captivating young adult contemporary romance that delves deep into themes of grief, healing, and the power of friendship. Through the compelling journey of Quinn and Nick, readers are taken on an emotional roller coaster that leaves them reflecting on their own experiences with loss and the strength of the human spirit. With its well-developed characters and intense storytelling, "Breathless" is a must-read for fans of contemporary YA fiction.

Breathless FAQ

  1. What is the genre of the book 'Breathless'?

    The book 'Breathless' is a young adult contemporary romance.

  2. Who is the author of 'Breathless'?

    The author of 'Breathless' is Brigid Kemmerer.

  3. What is the main storyline of 'Breathless'?

    'Breathless' follows the story of two teenagers, Quinn and Nick, who navigate their complicated relationship while dealing with their own personal struggles.

  4. Is 'Breathless' part of a series?

    No, 'Breathless' is a standalone novel.

  5. Is 'Breathless' suitable for young adult readers?

    Yes, 'Breathless' is specifically written for young adult readers.

  6. Are there any trigger warnings for 'Breathless'?

    Trigger warnings for 'Breathless' include grief, loss, and mental health issues.

  7. Where is 'Breathless' set?

    'Breathless' is set in a small town in Maryland, United States.

  8. Is there a love triangle in 'Breathless'?

    No, 'Breathless' does not involve a love triangle.

  9. What age group is 'Breathless' suitable for?

    'Breathless' is suitable for readers aged 14 and above.

  10. Are there any diverse characters in 'Breathless'?

    Yes, 'Breathless' features diverse characters from different backgrounds.