Sarah Crossan's debut, The Weight of Water, was published in January 2012. This, her second book, is the first in a new series. When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate.
Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labeled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die.
Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from?
Sarah Crossan is originally from Dublin. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University and has been working to promote creative writing in schools since. She taught English at a small private school near New York until she became a full time writer. She completed her Masters in creative writing at the University of Warwick in 2003 and in 2010 received an Edward Albee Fellowship for writing.
Author: Sarah Crossan
Interview with Sarah Crossan
Question: What inspired you to write Breathe?
Sarah Crossan: I wrote Breathe after taking a trip to the west coast of America where I witnessed logging on a massive scale. I fear for the planet, and I thought"what would the earth be like without any trees? Breathe is a vision of this world.
Question: How many books can we expect in this series?
Sarah Crossan: I am currently editing the sequel to Breathe, and I plan to write no more after that. But, well, you never know…!
Question: What motivated you to write a book in the dystopia genre?
Sarah Crossan: I didn't set out to write a dystopian novel. The idea I had simply fits into this description. To me, it's just a book about three characters trying to be their best selves in a scary world.
Question: How did you go about writing from sixteen-year-old Alina's point of view?
Sarah Crossan: I haven't forgotten what it feels like to be a teenager. And anyway, people are people!
Question: Tell us about the sequel to Breathe:
Sarah Crossan: I can't say much except that in the sequel, readers will get to learn a lot more about some minor characters from Breathe. Also, it's a wee bit sexier!