Just Remember to Breathe
by Charles Sheehan-Miles
Published: November 12, 2012
Publisher: Cincinnatus Press
Genre: New Adult
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.
Just Remember to Breathe is the perfect example of what I believe the New Adult genre should be. Not only does Sheehan-Miles present an original story line, with great characters, he keeps in mind that his audience are new adults (late teens to early twenties).
I absolutely loved that way this story plays out. Alex is believable in her role as a college student experiencing college life while healing from the heart break of Dylan breaking up with her. There are moments, choices that she makes, that made me angry with her, but they fit with her age and her emotional state. Dylan was really the character that I loved the best. He was damaged, physically and emotionally, and he knew he was. But he was also a good guy. He fought for his country, he wanted to protect Alex, and he believes that she deserves better. Most of all he tries. He tries to be what he thinks Alex wants, he tries to keep himself together, and he tries to get the help he needs.
PTSD in a scary reality for so many soldiers and getting the help they need can be just as scary. Sheehan-Miles doesn't sugar coat what is going on with Dylan and for me this is where I fell in love with the story. It would have been easy to just say Dylan had it and let him get help, instead he shows how it can change everything in a person's life and the lives of those around them.
Obviously this is intended for older teens and while it is fairly clean, there is sex involved and some very intense scenes involving Dylan's PTSD. Sheehan-Miles is definitely an author I will be reading again.