Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: Just Remember to Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Title: Just Remember to Breathe
Author: Charles Sheehan-Miles
Published: August 30th 2012
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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.

I have never read a romance book written by a male species representative. Haha, that sounded weird. Ok, I haven’t read a romance novel by a male author and boy was I ever surprised at how Mr. Sheehan-Miles pulled at my heart-strings and twisted them throughout the novel. I sure want to read the rest of the books in this series after having a good experience with Just Remember to Breathe.

“When I'm ninety, I want you to tell me that it's my turn to ask you a question, and if that miracle happens, then my question is going to be, 'Do you still love me?' and I hope that answer will still be yes.”

The story. We have a dual POV book with Dylan and Alex as our MC-s. Dylan is a young injured war veteran and Alex is his ex-girlfriend. These two are bound to meet again since they both attend Columbia University in NYC. Forced to work together on a project, they set rules to not talk about the past. Too bad neither of them can hold off too long and soon their past will come to haunt them in the most cruciating ways.

My thoughts. We, readers, get the story as they tell it to us, but Dylan and Alex’s feelings stay hidden from each other for quite some time. What bothered me the most was that in the beginning there was so much telling rather than showing and we get most of the story right away as they both explain it to us. It didn’t keep me from getting invested in their story though. I have met only one person in my life who has gone to war. I know it’s a big issue to people from the states and perhaps it’s an even more emotional read to people who have been through similar situations even as a by-stander. At first it was hard for me to get an understanding of who the MC-s were as persons, but as the novel progressed, they grew on me.

I especially enjoyed the side characters such as Kelly, Alex’s sisters and Dylan’s friend Sherman. Throughout the book we get to know them pretty well and I came to care about their storylines. Luckily Alex's sisters get their own companion novels. Nevertheless, the main focus is always on Dylan and Alex who are struggling to cope with their explosive break-up when he was in war and try to move on from the hurtful past. There are other storylines in addition to their romance, such as Dylan’s guilt over his dead friend, Alex’s crazy-strict and rule-following parents, a guy who wants to get some with Alex and stops at nothing to get what he wants. 

You know, I have had this book for such a long time. I don’t think it was the strongest New Adult book I have ever read, but it made me care and it definitely won’t be the last book I’ll read by Charles. I’ll get to the other two Thompson sisters’ stories soon and hopefully they’re just as good if not better. I shed quite a few tears during this story and the ending couldn’t have been any more perfect. You hear me? P-E-R-F-E-C-T!!! I think this novel is worth exploring. You would be surprised at how a man can write such a good romance novel of second chances. Read on!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Meet the author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. Oh I totally agree with you! I was really surprised after finding out that the author is male, because female character is really done well. I hope you'll get to read A Song for Julia as it was my favorite! :)

    Tanja @ Ja čitam, a ti?

  2. Yay for a perfect ending Siiri! That can make up for so many small flaws along the way and leave me with a much more positive opinion of the book than I had when I started. Glad that despite a beginning that didn't have you totally relating to the characters, you did come to care for them, that's vital for me in any book! Lovely review as always:)

  3. A male author wrote a New Adult? How was I unaware of this?
    I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this. I've never heard of this book before, but it does sound like something I would enjoy.
    It's a shame about the telling rather than showing at the beginning though. I would probably be a little frustrated with it. But a perfect ending sounds good to me! ;)
    Lovely review, Siiri!

  4. I've heard great things about this author, and I definitely want to read one of his books soon. It means a lot that you enjoyed this story. Plus I'm a sucker for books about couples who reunite after years apart. Great review!

  5. Oh I've heard great things about this one! It's good to see that it worked for you too. I have to admit, the premise doesn't instantly appeal to me, but I've heard that it's one of the better new adult titles out there, so I'm definitely curious. I'm glad that it drew a response from you. Great review as always, Siiri! :)

    Aww, that's a really sweet quote you've included.
    I haven't met anyone going to war, actually, but I don't doubt that the emotional resonance would still be there.
    Oooh, perfect ending? Even if it wasn't the most perfect of books, you've still got me intrigued. Hope you get to enjoy the Thompson sisters' stories as well :)!

  7. I don't like it when feelings are kept from each other for much of the story. Lack of communication is so frustrating to me! I am intrigued with the "perfect" ending, because I love those! Great review, Siiri. :)

  8. I read another of Sheehan-Miles' books, A Song for Julia. I really enjoyed it, it was well-written, but it sort of felt too understated. I think maybe like JRtB. I do have this, and want to read it. I'm glad you liked it, Nereyda!

  9. This sound really good. I haven't read a "war" sort of book, especially not NA. And it looks powerful. Love that the secondary characters turn out to be interesting and powerful!

  10. Believe me when I say that this is simply the best article I have ever had the privilege to read on this topic. It has taken my mind into a whole new arena of thought. friv |

    friv 4 |