Just Breathe
Just Breathe
Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover22.15
Publisher's Hardcover16.14

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Annotation: A senior class president with cystic fibrosis and a quiet sophomore battling depression discover their true selves in a relationship that is running out of time.
Catalog Number: #209688
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 338 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-246335-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7542-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-246335-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7542-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019947138
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In this slow-burn romance novel told from alternating perspectives, McGovern (Say What You Will, rev. 7/14; A Step Toward Falling, rev. 9/15) introduces another pair of disparate teens who forge an unlikely connection, this time over a shared experience with chronic illness. Jamie, homeschooled for most of her life, feels isolated after her father's suicide and her own hospitalization for depression. Then she meets and befriends David, the senior-class president, while she is volunteering at the hospital. At school, David is a celebrity, but at the hospital, he is a cystic fibrosis patient grappling with a dire prognosis. The two divulge their nerdy interests (for Jamie, old movies; for David, ballroom dancing), exchange gently flirtatious emails, and share deep thoughts over origami. Their conversations are notably forthright; they approach difficult topics--such as the stigma of hidden illness, impossible expectations from friends and family, and the intersections of mental and physical health--from sensitive and age-appropriate perspectives. The thrill of intimacy inspires despondent David to seize control of his increasingly limited life, but when he enlists Jamie to sneak him out of the hospital, disaster ensues. The subsequent cascade of consequences veers toward melodrama (for example, David hovers over his body in a coma dream for a few chapters), but the resolution, like the teens' relationship, unfolds carefully, without sugarcoating, and feels genuinely earned.
Publishers Weekly
An unlikely friendship forms between two teens when they become acquainted at a hospital. Jamie, who suffers from chronic depression, is working as a volunteer when David, a patient with cystic fibrosis badly in need of a lung transplant, is admitted. Although popular David has plenty of visitors, including his equally popular girlfriend, he is most eager to see Jamie. Jamie also looks forward to her visits with David, and as she teaches him how to do origami and introduces him to classic movies, their relationship moves from confidantes to something more romantic. Jamie-s mother, a nurse at the hospital, worries that the teens are growing too close, particularly after Jamie breaks rules and takes risks in fulfilling one of David-s requests. Alternating Jamie-s and David-s points of view, McGovern (Say What You Will) skillfully raises the dramatic tension. Additional, effective narrative techniques include David-s surreal out-of-body episodes, reminiscent of those in Gayle Forman-s If I Stay. Sobering in its exploration of mental and physical illness, McGovern-s sensitive, well-crafted novel leads readers to an optimistic outcome. Ages 14-up. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-High school sophomore Jamie Turner hasn't had friends in more than a yearshe lashed out at them after her father's death, and now she eats lunch alone. Senior class president David Sheinman has lots of friends and a talented girlfriend, but he's afraid that the truth will scare them awayDavid has cystic fibrosis, and less than two years to live without a lung transplant. Jamie serves as a volunteer at the hospital, where she and David meet and bond despite the differences in their social strata. David is grateful for Jamie's willingness to engage with the weighty issues he's grappling with. For Jamie, helping David also helps her recover from the depression she has struggled with since her father's death by suicide. But when David's definition of "helping" evolves from watching old movies and learning origami to sneaking out of the hospital, Jamie's choices unintentionally put David's life at risk and lead everyone around them to question whether their relationship is healthy or harmful. Alternating between Jamie's and David's perspectives, this book offers a gentle, slow-burn romance between two struggling teens who forge a deep connection based on experiences that are not common to the age group. Fans of the author's previous titles will find familiarity in the presence of nuanced characters who refuse to be defined by their disabilities or illnesses, and quiet, compassionate Jamie is a particularly appealing protagonist whose journey through grief and depression is portrayed sensitively and realistically. However, the pacing slows toward the middle of the book and some events feel forced to manufacture sufficient drama. VERDICT A sweet, hopeful romance that tackles big questions about life and death, perfect for fans of Rachael Lippincott's Five Feet Apart or John Green's The Fault in Our Stars .Elizabeth Giles, Lubuto Library Partners, Zambia
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Jamie is 15, reserved, and suffering from severe depression, and David is senior-class president, extremely popular, and manages to keep his cystic fibrosis under the radar. Their paths cross when David is hospitalized and Jamie visits him as part of her volunteer work. The two develop a friendship over origami, and David opens up about his condition. Jamie also has secrets she is reluctant to reveal. They begin to correspond via email and text, and Jamie, to her alarm, begins to develop stronger feelings for David, which he seems to be reciprocating. Things take a downward turn with a medical emergency, and both Jamie and David must reevaluate their friendship. They narrate their story in alternating first-person passages, and the shifting perspectives add nice depth to both characters. McGovern skillfully imbues her characters with realistic voices; her teenagers sound like real teenagers and less like how some authors want teenagers to sound. Even her secondary characters om David's attention-seeking younger sister, Eileen, to Jamie's stressed-out single mother, who wants to spare Jamie from heartbreak ve rich, dynamic voices. With a plot that moves swiftly, ratcheting up the tension until the crisis, this brilliant, nuanced, and hopeful title will have wide appeal, particularly from fans of authors such as John Green or Sarah Dessen.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (12/1/19)
Horn Book
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (11/1/19)
Word Count: 81,693
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 507374 / grade: Upper Grades

From the critically acclaimed author of Say What You Will and A Step Toward Falling comes a deeply emotional new novel, perfect for fans of Five Feet Apart and The Fault in Our Stars. David Scheinman is the popular president of his senior class, battling cystic fibrosis. Jamie Turner is a quiet sophomore, struggling with depression. The pair soon realizes that they're able to be more themselves with each other than they can be with anyone else, and their unlikely friendship starts to turn into something so much more. But neither Jamie nor David can bring themselves to reveal the secrets that weigh most heavily on their hearts--and their time for honesty may be running out.

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