Just Remember to Breathe

Charles Sheehan-Miles
Just Remember to Breathe
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Cincinnatus Press
Release Date
August 2012
Contemporary Romance

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.

Book Review by drm2115
Dec 14, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
55 people found the following review helpful
JUST REMEMBER TO BREATHE is a compelling and powerful romance. Potential readers should note that the book alternatives between points of view, sometimes taking off where the last part left off, sometimes going back a bit in the story timeline. Though it took some time to get used to, overall, it was enjoyable to see what each character was thinking.

When this story began, I feared it would become a typical formula romance, that the characters would deal with some simple misunderstanding, discover they did love each other and live happily ever after. This book turned out to be so much more. The author crafted depth to his characters and dealt with powerful issues such as post traumatic stress, rape and war. The author did a really good job portraying the emotions that these issues conjure in the characters.

When circumstances throw Alex Thompson and Dylan Paris together, they were instantly drawn to each other; but they were young, have vastly different backgrounds and live on opposite coasts. Dylan is damaged, having had a tough childhood that has affected his outlook on life, while Alex grew up in a life filled with privilege, a life constrained by her parent's controlling ways. If these two are going to find love, you quickly learn that Dylan will have to push past his fears and Alex is going to have to find the strength to stand up to her parents.

The use of the secondary characters in this book was well done. Mr. Sheehan-Miles uses Alex's family and Dylan's military colleague, Ray Sherman, to build the story and character details. Sherman was used really well in the story; he was a bridge, he often forced communication, and I really enjoyed this aspect of the story as it felt real.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it portrayed a real picture of mental illness, in this case PTSD, and I truly enjoyed that the characters have to work through this. It was not just fixed overnight.

I don't usually thoroughly enjoy YA books as I typically prefer a well-written story with steamy scenes, but this book transcended that. I hope this author chooses to write about the supporting characters in this book.
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