The more I sit on this book and think about it, the more I've discovered that I really didn't like anything about Breathe and that rounding up to 2 stars was my way of being nice and not completely trashing the book. After time, I started to realize that there was nothing about these characters or story which appealed to me (other than Marcus). Maybe it's because I did actually end up enjoying the following book in this series Because of Low (which proves I'm not in any sort of anti-Glines camp), I feel less guilty about coming back and down-rating this one after the fact.*Original Review* 1.5 stars. I wanted to try this author in another genre to see if my issues were somehow related to the paranormal theme of her Existence trilogy.I think Abbi Glines comes up with great concepts/ideas. She even has promise as a storyteller, if you're looking for light and simple stories. If she could figure out how to write a romance without adding in copious amounts of nickname usage and cringe-worthy terms, I would probably find myself more appreciative of what she's trying to do. Obviously, she's not doing everything wrong, considering this is the second book I've picked up by her. I'll probably still continue reading the Existence series, even with my laundry list of complaints. There is some part of me that is trying to connect here, yet I couldn't begin to tell you why. I just know that I see promise in this author and keep hoping to see the potential come to fruition. It's as if I'm standing on the outside of a very cool house and I'm fumbling with a huge ring of keys, hoping to find the right one to fit the door's lock.I saw Breathe mentioned in another review as a type of Cinderella story and to this, I will agree. The poor, hard-working girl meets her handsome prince, who rescues her from her dull existence. The story was a cute retelling in that aspect. I like rock star stories, so it was a no-brainer that I'd want to try out Breathe.If about 10% of the book had been cut (mainly the female's self-bashing and some of her interactions with Marcus, even though I liked Marcus as a character) and a few of the flowery sentiments reigned in, I might have liked Breathe...well, at least a little bit more.This is what knocked the rating down for me : "You're my...air."I frowned at him. "Your air?"He grinned. "Well, girlfriend seems to be too shallow for what I feel for you. These past two weeks it's been as if you control my breathing." The lips of the only boy I would ever love touched mine. (How old are you again? Get back to me in 10 years on this.)"How can taking away the reason my heart beats be good for me?" I don't think I need to clarify why most of those statements made me feel awkward. Mainly it had to do with the age of the characters, but I'd also note that there are ways to show intense love through action and interaction without having to resort to declarations of how someone is your sole reason for existence, which feels sappy and melodramatic. "I love you" gets the job done, btw. Or how about, "hey, life kind of sucks when you're not around. I've really missed you. Let's try working this out?" Next up : Self-LoathingFor some reason, this bubbly girl liked me. Me, with no personality. (this was about the fifth mention of the protag's insecurity)One common complaint that you'll see from a lot of YA readers is the frustration over girls who are :1. Plain or lacking personality, yet they seem to have boys fawning all over them.2. Are not plain or lacking personality, yet they seem to constantly harp on the fact that they are, so it's up to the boy (or other characters) to boost their confidence - repeatedly.Either situation gets tiresome to read about. Yes, most teen girls have insecurities. I'm pretty sure we all know this by now. It doesn't mean we want to read about it over and over, especially when it's a subject brought up on more than one occasion in a book. Mention it once, then move on.I should probably throw in the towel, but I'm going to keep an eye on this author. Am I glutton for punishment? Not necessarily. If her books were that painful to read, I wouldn't keep reading them. The stories are cute, they just happen to have some issues in the execution.