*Review* Just Remember to Breathe (Thompson Sisters) – Charles Sheehan-Miles

15827731

Synopsis:

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.

My Review 5 Stars out of 5 *****

Oakies, I think I’m almost through with all the romantic downloads I did last summer! There is a cliched line there somewhere, but I won’t use it!

I think I inadvertedly left the best until last. Just Remember to Breathe was a gem, an eye opener and one hell of a story. I didn’t realize at the time, but this book is written by a man. Forgive my obvious sexist retort, but the title alone is beautiful, and I’m not saying a man can write romance, it just isn’t something I think about when I think about romance books.

That said, I think it gave it an edge, and edge you son’t usually get from the genre. There was a gritty realism to the story and that only enhanced the whole story. I loved Alex, the broken, yet “I will still get up in the morning” heroine.

A few years previous she had been an exchange student to Tel Aviv and had fallen madly, passionately and whole heartedly in love with Dylan. Dylan wasn’t only broken, he was flawed and fragile. He came from a completely different background than Alex and never quite felt he was somehow good enough for her.

Because of that he kept his feelings inside and that had caused a split between them, one full of misunderstandings and regret. Something that would change their lives forever, as well as the people around them.

So, Dylan is out of the army and Afghanistan. Recovering from a bomb attack on his humvee he is nursing wounds that go deeper than the scars on his leg. He is now in New York, back at the same school as Alex, hoping and praying he doesn’t meet her. But their paths are to cross…

What I loved about this book the most was the gritty reality of war, what it does to everyone who has fought, who stays at home to wait and the friends & family you go through this with.

I also loved the slow, deliberate way the story unfolded. It would be in the present, then flash back to the past explaining why Alex and Dylan were the way they were. Dylan’s story brought a lump to my throat on more than several occasions. I was so involved with them I was rooting for them all the way.

The one night, a party was to change everything. A frat boy from Alex’s past was to set Dylan on a course of down would spiral to soul redemption. I had a lump in my throat. The subject matter I think maybe a little too adult for the book to be considered YA, but it was refreshing to have a romance set around the realities of war and sexual assault (I know that sounds weird). That’s what gave it it’s edge.

When Dylan finally came to his senses and realized his only hope of a future was to confront and accept the past I was cheering, his “I thought I’d stop by” line to Alex when he showed up on her doorstep in San Francisco from New York had tears in my eyes.

This story was truly wonderful. Any romance lover should read this book. I loved it…..

Advertisements