Book Review: Just Remember to Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles

18 Oct

Title: Just Remember to Breathe
Author: Charles Sheehan-Miles
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: Cincinnatus Press
Publication Date: August 30th 2012 (eBook), November 12th 2012 (paperback)
Purchase: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | B&N
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions

Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.

This book is powerful. It’s gripping. It’s moving. It’s a must-read.

Take all stereotypes and generic plots you know about YA and NA books. Now throw them out the window, and make room for Just Remember to Breathe. This book is a jewel, a diamond amongst pearls, a one-of-a-kind book that doesn’t let you go even when you’re done with the final pages. The characters were sublime, their personalities extremely well-developed, their fears highlighted in a way only certain authors are capable of. What’s also refreshing is that this book was written by a man. The author does a good job pulling off both POVs (this book is written from the POV of a college girl, Alex, and her ex-boyfriend Dylan) but he does significantly better when writing in Dylan’s POV. Alex’ POV isn’t bad, it’s just that Dylan’s is better. In fact, I’m such a Dylan fangirl right now that I think he deserves his own book.

Dylan is not your average kind of guy. His Dad was a drunk who physically abused his Mom. He got kicked out of his house after his Mom decided to go sober, and didn’t want a clone of her former-husband in house anymore. Then Dylan cleaned up his act, got accepted back at school, got invited back home, and got good grades. His grades were impressive enough to get him in an exchange program, where he met Alex. They dated briefly during the few weeks they spent out of the country, but back home, a long-distance relationship just wasn’t working out. They were literally from two different worlds. When Dylan signed up for the army, the distance between them got even larger. The army changed Dylan in more ways than one, as he lost his best friend in a bombshell explosion, and got severely hurt himself. Suffering from PSTD and leg injuries and brain trauma, Dylan’s life certainly didn’t get any easier. He gets accepted at Columbia University, the same university his now ex-girlfriend Alex goes to. He accidently meets her because they have the same work study assignment.

As Alex and Dylan begin to figure out when exactly their relationship went wrong, and how they feel for each other, they’ve got a lot more to figure out themselves. Who they are, who they want to be. And for Dylan, he has to live with the guilt he got his best friend killed.

I’m not going to give out anymore plot details. Gradually, Alex and Dylan find their way back to each other, but if it’s forever or only temporary, and how they do it, you’ll have to read for yourself. I have to say though, that their romance was one of the most romantic ones I’ve read so far. Dylan’s personality is awesome, and his love for Alex is so obvious. Alex loves him very much as well, but she wasn’t as intriguing to me as Dylan was.

Do you’ve got a few spare bucks? Go buy this book. For me, it was one of the best ones I’ve read all year. The story is well-written, and there’s true passion and love between both characters, but the underlying message goes much deeper. It’s about second chances, about facing your emotions, your dreams and hopes, and about shaping your own future.

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