By Judith Rook - September 1, 2016 Breathless" brings into vivid existence the life of an Australian adolescent in the final year of school. The educational setting, and the relationships which build and grow there are authentic and convincing, as is the home life of the protagonist, Charlie, a girl at the boundary between independent living and emotional dependency on the father she loves. Where is her mother? The question is one of the many interesting twists in this very well-crafted young adult novel and exists as a dark line which runs throughout the narrative, carrying with it a sense of unresolved mystery and fear. MM Carter has a remarkable gift for character creation; even those who make only minor appearances are rounded and strong, and the main characters spring almost instantaneously into complete and persuasive reality. The year bully is cleverly used as a mirror for Charlie’s own growth and his comeuppance is a little different from similar cases of uncertain egos. And what a reality there is in this book. The reader is taken at a very fast pace repeatedly from small crisis to large climax. The storyline is full of incident and tension, there is excellent developmental conflict between the youthful characters and a large-scale external structural conflict. Just the stuff to engage a young adult reader, and a more mature adult reader too. It is a shame that the final proof-read did not pick up a number of grammatical errors, which happen often enough to call for a mention. But apart from that, in "Breathless", MM Carter demonstrates accomplished writing skills and presents a book which is well worth taking into a personal library for more than one read.