The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
(Usborne/UK, HMH/US, 2016)

The Art of Not Breathing

by Sarah Alexander

One minute Eddie was there. And the next he was gone.

Five years on, and it’s Elsie who’s lost. All she knows is the pain she feels. Pain that her twin Eddie’s body has never been found after that day on the beach. Then she meets Tay; confident, cool and addicted to free-diving. He says it’s too dangerous for her to join; it’s too dark, too scary, too deep. But what does he know?

He doesn’t know that being underwater is the only time Elsie doesn’t ache for her brother. That diving gives her flashbacks. And that uncovering the secrets of that day is the only way for Elsie to start breathing again.


Narrated in a crisp, unvarnished voice, Elsie's frightening and alluring tale shows that even while in the depths one can reach for light. In a breathtaking setting, this is a fresh and vivid take on the long-term effects of a child's death on a family.”
- Kirkus
The Art of Not Breathing is an astonishingly good debut novel. I couldn't put it down. Sarah Alexander is the real deal, and I can't wait to read what she writes next.”
- Cat Clarke
A dark page-turner which will leave you haunted and moved.”
- Julia Bell, author of The Dark Light
A strong debut novel that tells an intriguing tale of grief and recovery.”
- School Library Journal
The author has created an unforgettable heroine in Elsie, whose haunting, heartfelt tale comes highly recommended.”
- LoveReading4Kids
One of the most breath-taking covers I've seen all year.”
- Lucy Powrie, Queen of Contemporary
A beautifully written debut, very lyrical and moving, which swept me away.”
- Eve Ainsworth, author of Seven Days