Breathe In, Cash Out

I read an ARC of the debut novel, Breathe In, Cash Out, by Madeleine Henry, courtesy of NetGalley and Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books, in exchange for an honest review. Ms. Henry, a former Wall Street analyst, is definitely an up and coming author. She shows us how to be true to our hearts, and equally important, to trust our gut feelings when we suspect another person may be toxic. 

Allegra Cobb has planned her career in finance since her high school days. Now that she is there, and on the way up the career ladder, she is not so sure this is the place for her. After learning how huge investment banking firms make millions off their interns and first-year employees, she needs a way to keep her sanity. She enters a national yoga competition and wins. Her new career plan is to hang tight at Anderson-Shaw long enough to get her huge end-of-year bonus, then “cash out” to become a yoga instructor.

After winning the national yogi title, she is suddenly pursued by famous “Instagram Yoga” influencer, Skylar Smith. Skylar’s Insta-photos are gorgeous, professional-looking photography. Next thing you know, Skylar has become a mentor for Allegra, who takes Skylar’s advice to heart, even when it is obviously career-suicide.

The story moves quickly right from the start, and is full of mostly intelligent characters whose quips and banter will keep you entertained. Still, it is hard to sympathize with an otherwise intelligent main character who does such stupid things. Obsessed with social media, Allegra finally gets wise, but not until she has almost destroyed both career options.

I enjoyed the story, but again, was dismayed to find such an immature adult main character. If you have experience in finance, you will likely enjoy her take on Wall Street types. If you don’t mind the f-word appearing on more pages than not, you may enjoy Breathe In, Cash Out, as a quick, fun, beach read.

What makes The Grumpy Book Reviewer grumpy?
Redundancy: writing “hashtag #yoga” is the same as writing “hashtag hashtag yoga”;

    • Incorrect pronouns (“we” vs. “us”);
    • Using “further” in place of “farther”;
    • Using “bring” in place of “take”;
    • Split infinitives;
    • Beginning a sentence with a conjunction;
    • Misplacement of “only” within sentences – yes, we all do it, but that does not make it correct.


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