warning: contains spoilers and some rambling4 'emotionally draining' STARSSo, in this book, Emma is in a spiral of self-destructive behaviour, here's my interpretation of that: in the previous books she had something to hold on to, In ‘Reason to Breath’ she wanted to protect the kids, she had set a goal to go to college and escape that horrible situation and she met Evan, then, in the second book she was hoping for stability and a healthy relationship with her mother, but all that came crashing down and in the end she left Evan, that, was a turning point - she loses hope and becomes consumed with guilt. When someone goes through traumatic experiences some kind of breakdown is expected and everyone has their way to cope, when she goes to college, she’s undergoing major changes in her life, she wants to move forward, but she's stuck in the past, she can't come to terms with what happened so she needs an escape and unfortunately that's the way she chooses.'Emma' is a complex character, I remember that in the first book I empathized with her, but I didn't like her instantly, it took time, and in my opinion that just makes her more interesting. That's great character development, you see how everything that she suffered influenced her personality, despite her behaviour in this book, she's really strong, a survivor. After all she goes through, the violence she is subjected, if there's a character that deserves a happy ending, it's Emma!When I started reading this book I was not expecting instant gratification because like the other two books the story develops in a really slow pace and, yes, that can be frustrating at times but after all that happened between Emma and Evan, I wasn't expecting an easy reunion or a happy ending right away because for that to happen, she had to forgive herself first and that takes time. I understand that after the 2nd book we were all eager to see a happy ending, but at the same time I understand the author's approach because it's realistic. That said, the ending was good, but the Epilogue was really short, it should have been longer. Looking back, I'd like to recognize the remarkable way the author portraits the psychological and physical violence that the main character endures, I don't know how many times my heart constricted while I was reading those scenes, but that approach gave authenticity to the story, it's raw and painful, but so is abuse, and unfortunately, in real life, there's already enough hiding of this awful reality.Finally, I have to say that 'The Breathing series' are one of the most original stories I've ever read, it will captivate you from the first page and it will surprise you. If you haven't read it yet, keep in mind that it's an intense reading experience, deeply moving and it's possible that during this journey you will shed some tears, but in the end, like Emma and Evan, you will get your smile."In the uneven balance of my life, I’d experienced love and loss. The loss challenged me to be strong, but it was the love that supported me when it was the love that supported me when I was weak. I was a survivor. And now I wanted to focus on living my life."