Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just Remember To Breathe Review

Just Remember to BreatheJust Remember to Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The ARC of Just Remember To Breathe was provided to me by the author and I must say that I am glad I got a chance to read this book because I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

Alex Thompson and Dylan Paris met and fell in love when they were in high school. Well, Dylan is senior year and Alex in junior year to be exact. They were among the 40 students selected to go to Israel for 2 months in a yearly, sort of ambassador type, exchange program. They fell in love in a magical environment, away from home and in a foreign city. But then they had to return to their respective homes, Dylan to Atlanta and Alex to San Francisco. They stayed in touch though and their love still stayed intact. Dylan later joined the army and was in Afghanistan when something bad happened, something between Alex and Dylan during their Skype chat that made Dylan empty a 30 round magazine into his laptop. They both didn’t speak to each other again after that.

Then as fate has it, they meet again at Columbia University and get assigned to the same work study program. Things are different now though. Alex is all set on her goals and focused on her studies. Dylan walks with a limp now and his brain’s a little messed up after watching his best friend get blown up right in front of him. His life is a bit of a mess and dragging Alex into it isn’t going to do any good to either of them. But one thing is still the same – they still over each other.

To cooperate they both set up some ground rules that will stop them from either killing each other or from thinking about their magical love-story. But as they both spend more and more time together, the rules get broken every now and then. They don’t know what to do. What’s good for them? Will they be able to get back together after everything that has happened between them, after everything spoken or left unspoken between them? And even if they do get back together, will their love be able to survive all the changes, all the twists and turns their lives had taken when they were not together? Their love will have to go through everything different about them, face the consequences of the things that had happened with Dylan, the guilt, the pain, the distance, everything.

Sometimes love does conquers all. But sometimes love just isn’t enough.

For me the best part of the story isn’t when Alex and Dylan are together or when they revisit the memories of their beautiful love-story. They probably rank 2nd or 3rd on the list. The best part of the book for me is when Dylan talks about his time in Afghanistan. I know a little weird right? I mean, who likes the part where there is all gore and shooting and bombs and all the dying? But that’s not the reason that part caught my attention and tugged at my heartstrings. No, it was the way it was written. I think when Dylan talks about his time and experience in Afghanistan are the best written parts. The description of the surrounding, the people, everything that Dylan felt was written in such a way, it felt real, so real, that it made me want to sit and cry about everything heart-wrenching that happened during the war.In case you were wondering, I didn’t actually sit and do that, but boy, did it make me want to do that. Everything about it was realistic to the point of a mind-numbing sensation. Charles Sheehan Miles was able to convert and put into heart-touching words, everything that a soldier feels when in a war. The devastating feeling of watching your best friend die, the bone-deep guilt that it was his own fault that his friend died and the cold yet selfless question that why did he get to live when so many others didn’t.

All that said and done, I really liked how the POVs bounced between the male and the female protagonists, even though I liked Dylan’s POV more that Alex’s. Most probably because it had more substance in it. However, it still felt nice to know both sides of the story. The book did get a little boring in the middle with the slow and long moments and all the over thinking and stuff but it got back on track soon after. Also I haven’t read many books in which a love-story starts in high school, goes through a break, then rekindles in college again and then ties the knot. OK, that’s a huge spoiler, but I couldn’t help it. But that’s all I am going to reveal. There are many books on high school romance and college romance and all this turning into marriages but not many are like this book. Charles Sheehan Miles has succeeded in putting together one of the most touching, twisted and beautiful love-stories that I’ve read till now.

The ending of the book is also quite…remarkable and…let’s just say the book doesn’t end with anything low or soft, quite the opposite actually. When this book comes out in November, make sure that you have a copy of this book in your bookshelf because this is definitely one of the books that you (especially romance readers) don’t want to miss.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment