Just Breathe
From the critically acclaimed author of A Step Toward Falling and Say What You Will comes a new YA standalone about mental health, chronic illness, and two teenagers learning to deal with both while falling for each other, perfect for fans of Five Feet Apart.David Sheinman 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 can be their true selves with each other, and their unlikely friendship develops 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.

Just Breathe Details

TitleJust Breathe
Author
ReleaseJan 7th, 2020
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062463357
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Health, Mental Health, Realistic Fiction, Fiction

Just Breathe Review

  • Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
    January 1, 1970
    Awkwardness, Lungs and Being Yourself as You Just BreatheAs a person who is relatively healthy I enjoy reading about characters who struggle with disability. While lately I’ve dealt with various health conditions with loved ones I can’t imagine needing a new pair of lungs. Just Breathe takes us on that journey and gives us a glimpse of what that might be like through the eyes of a depressive girl dealing with her own issues.Did Just Breathe make this Fangirl’s heart ache in all the best ways? Awkwardness, Lungs and Being Yourself as You Just BreatheAs a person who is relatively healthy I enjoy reading about characters who struggle with disability. While lately I’ve dealt with various health conditions with loved ones I can’t imagine needing a new pair of lungs. Just Breathe takes us on that journey and gives us a glimpse of what that might be like through the eyes of a depressive girl dealing with her own issues.Did Just Breathe make this Fangirl’s heart ache in all the best ways?Yes! This is really about two teens who become friends because they are both dealing with the darker side of life. They are trying to cope and learn that it’s easier when you share the struggle. Recently I met a woman who had a lung transplant and is dealing with rejection struggles as mentioned in the book. It really allowed me to see how genuinely the lung transplant was represented. But what made Just Breathe so incredible to me was the combo of depression, awkward teen and friends to lovers.Jaime’s needy, depressive self made me want to hug her.I loved Jamie. She really sucked me into Just Breathe. We meet David through her volunteering at the hospital where he spends his time dealing with cystic fibrosis. She’s no longer hanging out with her friends and making new ones isn’t likely to happen. Not until David reaches out through email. I just really identified with her friendlessness, her difficulty in talking about her depression and her very real reasons to want to end her life.Through Jamie’s friendship with David we get to see how she copes and witness her healing from the past. It’s a very realistic look at dealing with depression. David didn’t cure her, she still has to struggle with depression, but she can also live her life and be happy.David’s raw journey with cystic fibrosis is harrowingly real.On the other hand I didn’t always like David, when you have a chronic illness it does tend to be all about you. Too much about you, so much so you don’t think about your loved ones as much as you should. And they think about you too much. David is dealing with parents and a girlfriend who totally resemble that dilemma. It’s hard to read at times, but I enjoyed getting an honest look at the ramifications of the disease. It’s raw, realistic and harrowing.Through David’s friendship with Jamie we see him gain perspective about his transplant situation. His life will not flow the same as other teens who don’t have to deal with his same circumstance. Jamie didn’t always support David in the most healthy of ways, but she did help give him the freedom to make a stand for the life he wants to live going forward.Just Breathe is messy, difficult teen struggles brought to life.Jamie and David aren’t the only ones struggling in Just Breathe. There’s also his sister, Eileen, who is the neglected child of parents who concentrate on their chronically ill son. I loved how we thought her struggle was about attention when it was really about secrets. It felt so genuine to me. Teens keep secrets from their parents. And they don’t always know what to do with them.We also have Jamie’s mom who has just gotten her daughter through a tough time in their lives. She doesn’t want to see this sick kid, David, pull her daughter off the rails. You can’t blame her. She was such a realistic mom that had me seeing both sides. And there’s David’s girlfriend, who is struggling to stay by his side even though that means hanging out in a hospital. She too has a secret and doesn’t handle the situation in the best way.Just Breathe explores in depth the things we keep hidden from each other. And what happens when we open up to someone who might possibly understand.It’s all in the details. From old movies and inspirational quotes to origami and art.I’ve said it in the past and I’ll probably say it again in the future… the details make the story. This time it was origami and old movies that brought these friends together. These shared activities helped them to see each other’s perspective and deepened their relationship. I liked that there was a hint of romance at the end. They understood each other and the impermanence of life, so it makes sense to me that they’d take the love of friends and transition it to something more.I also really appreciated how Jamie came across as an artist with depression. Since art was such a huge part of her life it makes sense that sometimes it was something she couldn’t handle. The use of origami then became a lifesaver. Both were such an integral part of her personal journey.The end of Just Breathe is just right for Jamie and David’s journeys, together and as individuals. The future is filled with hope even though their struggles continue.Just Breathe brings together two damaged teens who struggle together and find they can be the support the other needs. Life will still have it’s ups and downs but they can face them as a couple with whatever time they have left. It’s not just about living but living the life they want well.
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  • Clau
    January 1, 1970
    As the blurb says, this book is about David, who has Cystic Fibrosis, and Jamie, a girl with depression. I've got to admit that normally I stay away from this kind of stories. I don't like reading about people who definitely are going to die (for example: The Fault in Our Stars, I haven't read it, haven't seen the movie, and I can promise that I won't). But there was something about this one, that made me go against that "rule".And I am quite happy I did. I really liked it.We have two main As the blurb says, this book is about David, who has Cystic Fibrosis, and Jamie, a girl with depression. I've got to admit that normally I stay away from this kind of stories. I don't like reading about people who definitely are going to die (for example: The Fault in Our Stars, I haven't read it, haven't seen the movie, and I can promise that I won't). But there was something about this one, that made me go against that "rule".And I am quite happy I did. I really liked it.We have two main characters, whose lives couldn't be more different, but somehow they understand each other better than anyone else. Both of them have faced stuff that kids their age haven't, and therefore, can't really get. I honestly think this is a really touching story, about facing your problems and finding yourself, yet accepting that being lost is okay too.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    Oh boy. This is going to be a tearjerker for me. I have both chronic illnesses & mental health disorders. It is a different kind of hell to live your life constantly in some form of pain or exhaustion or emotional/ mental pain such as depression or anxiety for just some examples... but because they are invisible illnesses... most people just don’t get it. You feel judged all the time. Sigh. You don’t have to actually be *dying* to live with very serious & devastating symptoms. Someone Oh boy. This is going to be a tearjerker for me. I have both chronic illnesses & mental health disorders. It is a different kind of hell to live your life constantly in some form of pain or exhaustion or emotional/ mental pain such as depression or anxiety for just some examples... but because they are invisible illnesses... most people just don’t get it. You feel judged all the time. Sigh. You don’t have to actually be *dying* to live with very serious & devastating symptoms. Someone may LOOK and ACT fine & not be, at all. Do not judge others, period, kids. You don’t know who you could possibly be hurting in a very serious way.
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  • Creya
    January 1, 1970
    When your best friend has CF, you buddy read this book. I’m so proud of you, Samantha.What a book. While Five Feet Apart showed the dangers of two cystic fibrosis patients living in close quarters, this book showed the relationship between cystic fibrosis and depression. Both are chronic illnesses that can be kept at bay before the floodgates suddenly open. An important read for those familiar AND unfamiliar with these conditions.“I want to spend time with people I actually like, not people I When your best friend has CF, you buddy read this book. I’m so proud of you, Samantha.What a book. While Five Feet Apart showed the dangers of two cystic fibrosis patients living in close quarters, this book showed the relationship between cystic fibrosis and depression. Both are chronic illnesses that can be kept at bay before the floodgates suddenly open. An important read for those familiar AND unfamiliar with these conditions.“I want to spend time with people I actually like, not people I feel like I’m supposed to spend time with.”“Being happy takes some work. For some people it takes a ton of work. If this isn’t how you’re genetically programmed, it takes therapy and medication and living with the side effects of medication and the stigma if anyone finds out you’re taking medication.”
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  • Samantha Kelley
    January 1, 1970
    WARNING: SAPPY POST AHEAD.This book was..everything. This book was special to me for a lot of reasons.First of all and most importantly, I have Cystic Fibrosis. Growing up, I didn't like to talk about it but now I LOVE talking about it because people need to be aware of what CF is. Last year we were blessed with 'Five Feet Apart' and this year we are blessed with this novel, continuing to educate and raise awareness of CF. This book was hard for me to read to be honest. I have always been one to WARNING: SAPPY POST AHEAD.This book was..everything. This book was special to me for a lot of reasons.First of all and most importantly, I have Cystic Fibrosis. Growing up, I didn't like to talk about it but now I LOVE talking about it because people need to be aware of what CF is. Last year we were blessed with 'Five Feet Apart' and this year we are blessed with this novel, continuing to educate and raise awareness of CF. This book was hard for me to read to be honest. I have always been one to make it seem like CF ISN'T a big deal, but it is. David (who has CF), really opened my eyes and scared me, made me proud and made me cry. One thing he says in the beginning of the book really stuck with me on a personal level when he talks about his case being "mild." That's me, always but there really ISN'T a mild type. Second, I struggle with depression as well (which is common with CF). Jamie's story with depression made me uncomfortable for the fact that she was raw, honest, real and relatable. I saw myself in both of these characters in so many ways.Cammie McGovern did an absolutely beautiful job of writing about both Cystic Fibrosis and depression and I enjoyed how these characters came together, despite both of their "chronic" illnesses. This book is definitely directed toward a younger age group, but I still think that it would be helpful for anyone of any age to read this tale. It's educational, emotional, beautiful and enjoyable. I literally loved everything about this book and the story and how it all unfolded. Also the cover? GORGEOUS. The quote on the front is EVERYTHING: "You can't see the future yet. But it's there. Just hang on." PICK. IT. UP. "It's a complicated business, having something like Cystic Fibrosis, which is a big deal except you spent most of your life pretending it isn't. You say, "It's like asthma, only you cough a lot. I'm not contagious; my body just makes a lot of mucus...""Depression can happen when everything is good. You wake up one morning so scared of losing it all you can't get get out of bed....He has a chronic condition he's living with, and so do I."I would give this book MORE than 5 stars if I could."I didn't understand the way depression worked - that it feels physical for a long time, like something else is wrong. Your bones ache. Food tastes different. You're always tired because you never sleep. You can't think clearly, and you're too exhausted to do anything."
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  • Blodeuedd Finland
    January 1, 1970
    Like I said, I like YA fic in audio that tugs on the heartstrings. Though I did wish this could have tugged a bit more.David has cystic fibrosis and is at the hospital. I never really got to know him, sure he is sick, sure he wont live long, but still...Jamie struggles with depression. Her father killed himself. She was homeschooled and she loves art. Her I do know. I felt so sorry for her.They meet as she works as a volunteer. They get to know each other, and she takes risk, omg no, do not take Like I said, I like YA fic in audio that tugs on the heartstrings. Though I did wish this could have tugged a bit more.David has cystic fibrosis and is at the hospital. I never really got to know him, sure he is sick, sure he wont live long, but still...Jamie struggles with depression. Her father killed himself. She was homeschooled and she loves art. Her I do know. I felt so sorry for her.They meet as she works as a volunteer. They get to know each other, and she takes risk, omg no, do not take risks Jamie!It gets really hard. I felt for her, and I can't say more because spoilers.It also got weird as, well, spoilers!I liked it, I will tell you, no tears. No sadness.Narrators. I do not think I have listened to either narrator before, but they did well. I enjoyed listening to them.
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  • Carli
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Edelweiss and @harperteen for the advance Kindle copy of this book. All opinions are my own.•/5 for this 1.7.20 release. David is the senior class president hiding a secret - he has cystic fibrosis. When he lands in the hospital and learns he has to officially go on the lung transplant waiting list, he is kept company by Jamie, a sophomore who volunteers at the hospital. She is hiding her own pain - she found her father after he committed suicide and fell into a deep depression that Thanks to Edelweiss and @harperteen for the advance Kindle copy of this book. All opinions are my own.•⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this 1.7.20 release. David is the senior class president hiding a secret - he has cystic fibrosis. When he lands in the hospital and learns he has to officially go on the lung transplant waiting list, he is kept company by Jamie, a sophomore who volunteers at the hospital. She is hiding her own pain - she found her father after he committed suicide and fell into a deep depression that resulted in a hospital stay of her own. As the two forge a friendship - and maybe more - they fail to realize the risks they are taking maybe be more dangerous than they realize. A bit of sex talk has me on the dance about this one for a 6-8 library, but I definitely recommend it for mature 8th grade readers on up.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. Just Breathe handles two vastly different kind of illnesses incredibly well; David has Cystic Fibrosis, and Jamie has clinical depression. The two form a friendship during Jamie's volunteer shifts at the hospital David is staying at, bonding over origami, films, and the general understanding of each other that their peers don't seem to grasp. An incredibly touching novel about medical issues that is also refreshingly different and new from other books in the YA illness genre.
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  • Mel (Daily Prophecy)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Say What you Will, I felt okay about Just My Luck & A Step Towards Falling and now I have fallen in love again with Just Breathe.This book deals with two different characters who happen to fall in love during difficult times. David is dealing with his health issues, waiting for new lungs, and Jamie struggles with her depression after the suicide of her father. Both teenagers meet in the hospital and start an (unlikely) friendship that soon blossoms into more, but David is in a I loved Say What you Will, I felt okay about Just My Luck & A Step Towards Falling and now I have fallen in love again with Just Breathe.This book deals with two different characters who happen to fall in love during difficult times. David is dealing with his health issues, waiting for new lungs, and Jamie struggles with her depression after the suicide of her father. Both teenagers meet in the hospital and start an (unlikely) friendship that soon blossoms into more, but David is in a relationship and doesn't remember much after his transplant. Jamie decides there is no place for David in her life, not with her depression.Are the two capable of finding each other again?I loved quiet, shy, talented Jamie and her soft nature. I have a weak spot for characters like her and it was great to see her grow and use her sass around the people she trusts. Her healthy relationship with her mother was a nice addition to the story and it was obvious the two love each other.David is a more popular guy at school, he has been with his girlfriend for years, but his relationship with his parents is rocky and he deals with his rebellious little sister. When his health declines he is set for the hard reality: without new lungs, he will die soon. Jamie works at the hospital and during one of her rounds, she meets David. The two of them have a spark and this soon turns into a friendship. I really liked seeing them grow together and explore the world with their problems. The tone of this book is quite light, despite the dire situation and heavy topics, which made it easier to read.Recommended :)
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  • John Clark
    January 1, 1970
    Just the situation both Jamie and David are in at the start of this story would make it riveting, but the author keeps digging while slowly feeding readers more details about what life was like for each of them before they met. You start to appreciate just how determined these teens are to try going beyond the physical and emotional constraints placed upon them. In David's case, it's his failing lungs that also threaten to bring down other vital organs, not to mention his parents' 'just get Just the situation both Jamie and David are in at the start of this story would make it riveting, but the author keeps digging while slowly feeding readers more details about what life was like for each of them before they met. You start to appreciate just how determined these teens are to try going beyond the physical and emotional constraints placed upon them. In David's case, it's his failing lungs that also threaten to bring down other vital organs, not to mention his parents' 'just get better and you'll be off to college' mantra. For Jamie, it's the pitfall-strewn road back from depression and a suicidal episode, coupled with her painful awareness that her former friends are, at best tolerating her, and at worst are using her to make themselves feel better. Kudos for David's sister Eileen. She's appealing all the way through the story, no matter what she wears or does. What really struck me was what happened after their third trip from the hospital. I don't want to give anything away, but that whole part of the story was lights-out the way it was written. This is a truly rich and emotional story of illness, recovery and perseverance. It's an excellent choice for all school and public libraries.
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  • Shar // sunsnacksseries
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.The story follows David, a senior in high school who is battling cystic fibrosis. Along with Jamie, a sophomore who is clinically depressed."Depression can happen when everything is good. You wake up one morning so scared of losing it all you can't get get out of bed....He has a chronic condition he's living with, and so do I."Jamie volunteers at the hospital David resides. They both go to the same school, but they aren't friends...until I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.The story follows David, a senior in high school who is battling cystic fibrosis. Along with Jamie, a sophomore who is clinically depressed."Depression can happen when everything is good. You wake up one morning so scared of losing it all you can't get get out of bed....He has a chronic condition he's living with, and so do I."Jamie volunteers at the hospital David resides. They both go to the same school, but they aren't friends...until the two of them form a friendship in an unlikely way, surprising them both. They realize they can be completely themselves around each other, and aren't afraid to be open and vulnerable.Their friendship blossoms into something deeper, but before they can do anything about it, something terrible happens after they break the rules. Their lives change, and both of them wonder if they can revive the close bond they once had.Just Breathe was a wonderful read. I read it in two sittings, because the writing style was fast paced and flowed together perfectly. I love how this book featured deep topics, in a deep, meaningful and realistic way. Perfect for YA. I also love a good slow-burn romance. If you're a fan of books that tackle mental & physical health (TFiOS, All The Bright Places, Five Feet Apart, etc...) I highly recommend this one.
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  • Monty McGovern
    January 1, 1970
    Another winner from Cammie McGovern! This engaging and moving story focusses on a boy who struggles to hide his cystic fibrosis (he is the senior class president at his high school) and a girl at his school who similarly struggles to hide her depression. They meet because she volunteers at the hospital where he has to be admitted from time to time for treatments. Their relationship develops in interesting and unpredictable ways. McGovern presents their disabilities frankly, without Another winner from Cammie McGovern! This engaging and moving story focusses on a boy who struggles to hide his cystic fibrosis (he is the senior class president at his high school) and a girl at his school who similarly struggles to hide her depression. They meet because she volunteers at the hospital where he has to be admitted from time to time for treatments. Their relationship develops in interesting and unpredictable ways. McGovern presents their disabilities frankly, without sentimentality or easy answers, in a way that draws the reader further and further into the story. The boy's out of body experiences are mind-blowing and seem to cry out for cinematic treatment. Highly recommended!
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  • Elizabeth C
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book because the characters are so relatable. Like all of Cammie McGovern’s characters, they drew me in and I cared so much about their fates that I read the book in two sittings. Both David and Jamie live in between life and death for two different reasons, and the old movie metaphors are perfect. Dance is also a fitting symbol of their connection to one another as well as their precarious relationship to the world. As an adult reader, I appreciate this book because it speaks to me I love this book because the characters are so relatable. Like all of Cammie McGovern’s characters, they drew me in and I cared so much about their fates that I read the book in two sittings. Both David and Jamie live in between life and death for two different reasons, and the old movie metaphors are perfect. Dance is also a fitting symbol of their connection to one another as well as their precarious relationship to the world. As an adult reader, I appreciate this book because it speaks to me on a much more rich, complex level than I would normally anticipate from a YA novel. Read Just Breathe; you’ll be glad you did.
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  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    I love Cammie McGovern's books so much! They usually make me cry, but they're also full of great characters and are just amazing.I love how this book shows depression and how Jamie's not pathetic or trying to get attention or any of the other stigmas. Sometimes she's fine and sometimes she's not, and it's not ever under her control, just like how David's cystic fibrosis is out of his control. (Also, I didn't know much about CF before, so I feel like I learned a lot just from this book.)This is I love Cammie McGovern's books so much! They usually make me cry, but they're also full of great characters and are just amazing.I love how this book shows depression and how Jamie's not pathetic or trying to get attention or any of the other stigmas. Sometimes she's fine and sometimes she's not, and it's not ever under her control, just like how David's cystic fibrosis is out of his control. (Also, I didn't know much about CF before, so I feel like I learned a lot just from this book.)This is obviously a book that deals with heavy topics but there's a lot of lightness here, as well. It never felt like a chore or too emotionally taxing to read it. (Also, if you are a fan of classic movies, you are going to love Jamie.)Highly recommended.
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  • Olivia Bragg
    January 1, 1970
    This certainly isn't a perfect book but it deals with its sensitive topics with a certain finesse that i find very impressive. Cammie Mcgovern manages to write about mental and physical illness in a way that doesn't romanticize them. Which is a very impressive feat. Though the premise of the plot is a little unoriginal the book is actually quite unique. I definitely recommend having your heart broken by this book.
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  • Lynnek
    January 1, 1970
    I get an email each week that sends a chapter a day of a book. I often am not interested in them, but this one caught my attention and I read the first chapter, then the second, then found myself waiting for the next chapters anxiously. When the week was over, I realized I would have to wait another week before the book was released, but i went and preordered it so I could finish the book as soon as it came out. It is a YA book with that tone, but I really liked the story of two teenaged kids, I get an email each week that sends a chapter a day of a book. I often am not interested in them, but this one caught my attention and I read the first chapter, then the second, then found myself waiting for the next chapters anxiously. When the week was over, I realized I would have to wait another week before the book was released, but i went and preordered it so I could finish the book as soon as it came out. It is a YA book with that tone, but I really liked the story of two teenaged kids, one with CF and one who has had to make her way in a new life after her father passed away. They meet in the hospital and connect in ways that they never were able to at school. While the subject matter is not light, it is an enjoyable YA book.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely lovely. This has an All the Bright Places feel - two people coming together in such an unexpectedly beautiful way. Love.
  • Rachel Reeves
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. Another great book from a wonderful author. I have enjoyed all of McGovern's books I have read and she is such a delightful person as well (I've moderated a panel she was on at a book festival in the past). This is a beautifully written book. McGovern really has a gift for giving a respectful and realistic look at a variety of health conditions young people face. She writes characters living Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. Another great book from a wonderful author. I have enjoyed all of McGovern's books I have read and she is such a delightful person as well (I've moderated a panel she was on at a book festival in the past). This is a beautifully written book. McGovern really has a gift for giving a respectful and realistic look at a variety of health conditions young people face. She writes characters living with conditions that we don't always see a lot of and allows not only young people like them to see themselves in stories but also allows young people to better understand their peers living with these conditions. She also does this in a way that feels different from the typical "sick lit" genre with the stories being a bit lighter and more hopeful, while still portraying the realities of the conditions. I highly recommend this book and others from this author.
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  • Erin Quinn
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve read several of Cammie McGovern’s other books, and have really appreciated how she gives voice to the traditionally voiceless. In Just Breathe, McGovern does it again, with David, a high school senior with Cystic Fibrosis and Jamie, a junior living with depression. As Jamie, a hospital volunteer gets to know David, their friendship blossoms and they come to play important roles in each others’ lives. But then the two of them break the rules, and something terrible happens, and Jamie and I’ve read several of Cammie McGovern’s other books, and have really appreciated how she gives voice to the traditionally voiceless. In Just Breathe, McGovern does it again, with David, a high school senior with Cystic Fibrosis and Jamie, a junior living with depression. As Jamie, a hospital volunteer gets to know David, their friendship blossoms and they come to play important roles in each others’ lives. But then the two of them break the rules, and something terrible happens, and Jamie and David have to figure out how to find their way back to each other. McGovern does a good job of building out the relationship between David and Jamie, though at times I felt I didn’t fully know Jamie’s character. I’d recommend this one to people who like contemporary realistic dramas. Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for providing me with an eARC to review.
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  • Richie Partington
    January 1, 1970
    Richie’s Picks: JUST BREATHE by Cammie McGovern, Harper Teen, January 2020, 352p., ISBN: 978-0-06-246335-7“Breathe, breathe in the air”-- Pink Floyd (1973)Popular Senior Class president David Sheinman has cystic fibrosis and has ended up in the hospital, unable to adequately function in his normal world of school, extracurriculars, and college applications. There’s no question: He needs a new pair of lungs way more than an Ivy League acceptance letter.“DAVIDApparently, my mother is softening. Richie’s Picks: JUST BREATHE by Cammie McGovern, Harper Teen, January 2020, 352p., ISBN: 978-0-06-246335-7“Breathe, breathe in the air”-- Pink Floyd (1973)Popular Senior Class president David Sheinman has cystic fibrosis and has ended up in the hospital, unable to adequately function in his normal world of school, extracurriculars, and college applications. There’s no question: He needs a new pair of lungs way more than an Ivy League acceptance letter.“DAVIDApparently, my mother is softening. She’s talked to enough outside specialists to agree with Dr C’s assessment, and now my parents are doing what’s required to get me on the transplant list. They’re submitting their own health histories and talking to a psychologist about their ability to support me for the year I’ll spend recovering from the operation. ‘A year?’ I gasp when I hear this. ‘Is that what they’re saying?’‘Yes,’ my mom says. ‘That’s what they’re saying.This news sends me back to the message boards on my CF websites. My mother doesn’t think I should spend too much time on these boards. ‘It’s not good for you to read depressing stories. CF is the only thing you have in common, and you aren’t defined by your disease.’ I don’t tell her, I’ve been lying in bed for three weeks, draining bile from my chest and breathing with one lung. At this point, I’m pretty defined by my disease.”Sophomore Jamie Turner already knows who David is when she unexpectedly meets him in the hospital where, after school, she’s serving as a Smile Awhile volunteer. “JAMIEIt’s unnerving how often I channel my dad’s joking style when I’m talking to David. Whenever he mentions it, some part of me forgets for a second and wants to say, ‘If you think I’m funny, you should meet my dad.’ Then I go quiet.Recently a new worry has cropped up in my mind: David likes the Dad-like qualities in me most of all. Even as I find comfort in being like my mom--working hard, thinking about others, learning practical skills--my dad is in me, too, popping out daily to make this boy laugh. It feels like a high-wire act, too risky to get away with for long. I can’t imitate parts of my charming, suicidal father and be sure that only the charming part comes out.”When Jamie first encounters David in his hospital bed, he’s in extreme pain and struggling to breathe. She quickly summons a nurse. Afterward, David emails Jamie to thank her and suggest they communicate. As they get to know one another, she ends up becoming his emotional support system, regularly exchanging emails and texts, stopping by to see him, lending him copies of the classic films her late father had turned her onto, and teaching him to do origami. David has a girlfriend, but Sharon’s pretty much missing in action.David and Jamie find that they can uncharacteristically be their unguarded selves when they talk or email or watch movies or fold paper with one another.What David doesn’t know is that Jamie is in really bad shape, too. She spent her childhood being homeschooled by her artist father before attending “real” school. Then she was the one who found her dead father, from whom she’d inherited depression as well as artistic talent. Eventually, also suffering from depression along with feelings of guilt, she’d almost succeeded in killing herself, too. She spent time in a psychiatric hospital and underwent counseling before returning to school and starting the volunteer gig at the hospital where her mom works.The story, told in alternating perspectives, shows the pair become closer and closer. David, who increasingly yearns to escape the confines of the hospital for a brief respite and fresh air, eventually persuades Jamie to assist him in sneaking out. Jamie knows about David’s girlfriend, but falls into imagining these outings as dates. Eventually one of their escapades goes south and Jamie has to call for an ambulance. David falls into a coma, and that’s the end of Jamie being permitted to see him. The messy aftermath involves furious parents, hospital officials, and lawyers.Amidst this drama, a third troubled character, David’s younger sister Eileen, makes the story even more powerful and cohesive. David wants Jamie to befriend and influence her. Eileen eventually becomes the person who, in some critical situations, can see what her brother and Jamie cannot.The accurate, in-depth depictions of CF and depression are enlightening and add to the tension. Will they survive? Can they help heal one another? While published under the teen inprint, there’s nothing here that makes me hesitate to share it with seventh and eighth graders, with whom it will be extremely popular. While there is potential for romance mixed into the medical drama, the story here is foremost about taking risks to be a caring and thoughtful friend.Richie Partington, MLISRichie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.comhttps://www.facebook.com/richiespicks/[email protected]
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  • Marija
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: My review for this book is based on an ARC sent to my workplace by HarperCollins; all the following opinions I express are wholly my own.I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it either, and I was expecting to. I really liked Jamie's journey dealing with mental health, and her struggle with depression. I felt like it was dealt with in a really honest, brave way; it didn't shy away from reality, but it also made sure to add a measure of hope as well, which I think is very Disclaimer: My review for this book is based on an ARC sent to my workplace by HarperCollins; all the following opinions I express are wholly my own.I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it either, and I was expecting to. I really liked Jamie's journey dealing with mental health, and her struggle with depression. I felt like it was dealt with in a really honest, brave way; it didn't shy away from reality, but it also made sure to add a measure of hope as well, which I think is very important in a book primarily geared towards teens- one of the most impressionable demographics. I was REALLY impressed with Cammie McGovern's respectful take on psychiatric ward stays. I've read 2 books this year that had absolutely horrendous depictions of mental hospitals, which is one of my biggest pet peeves in YA literature. I think it's wholly irresponsible, even ignorant, to write psychiatric wards like they've been ripped straight out of Girl Interrupted, so I'm glad that issue in the book was handled with care.David's POV chapters were less interesting to me. It's not the writer's fault, it's just as I get older, I find myself less interested in the inner workings of a teenage boy's mind (if I was ever really interested in the first place). His point of view as someone with Cystic Fibrosis however, was much more interesting to me. I confess I don't know much about the disease, so I can't say anything about how accurately it was portrayed, but overall it seemed like a truthful look at CF; the author did't push a narrative about magical full recoveries, long life spans, and happily-ever-afters, but also didn't make it too dark and grim for the audience. It was (as far as I can tell), as honest as a YA book about Cystic Fibrosis could be.I'm not sure how I feel about the whole "Jamie is so mature" thing as some sort of... maybe not an excuse per say, but an explanation for the age difference between Jamie and David. Not to get too much into it, but I've heard that used many times to explain away an age difference. Jaime/David is not too bad, 16 vs 18, but when you look at it as a Grade 10 vs Grade 12, it seems more strange to me. Grade 10 is an entirely different ballpark than your last year of High School. I'm not saying I found it problematic per say, but rather I wanted to remark on it in this review so people would be aware of this aspect of the story.Overall it's a good read for the age group it's aimed at, but if you're older than 14-18, you might find some of it improbable. I think it's worth reading, however, for it's view on mental health, particularly in teenage girls.
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  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    Huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this ARC!I love me a Cammie McGovern novel. Often her books know how to hit the right notes with me in terms of how emotional her books often are, and how often my heartstrings are tug at. This particular book focuses on chronic illness, specially Cystic fibrosis (or CF), I always feel a bit weary when reading these stories if only because I worry the accuracy and how connected I am even as someone who doesn't suffer from one. One of my dearest friends Huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this ARC!I love me a Cammie McGovern novel. Often her books know how to hit the right notes with me in terms of how emotional her books often are, and how often my heartstrings are tug at. This particular book focuses on chronic illness, specially Cystic fibrosis (or CF), I always feel a bit weary when reading these stories if only because I worry the accuracy and how connected I am even as someone who doesn't suffer from one. One of my dearest friends has CF, so I don't know how accurate this book is, but in terms of storytelling, I was attached to David and Jamie's story.I am not a romance reader, but what I do like in McGovern's books is that she always does a good job of making a relationship feel organic to the story. David and Jamie are friends, they bond over each other's lives and their desires to get better, and then a romance occurs and it doesn't feel forced or awkward the way other YA books love to do these sick-kids-in-love-stories. David has CF and Jamie has depression and they are essentially just trying to build each other up. What I equally like, however, is that McGovern does a great job of showing how difficult it is to have a positive attitude towards chronic illness, as well as the up-and-downs that the characters are facing while coping with their situations. I also want to point out that the reactions that adult characters have in this story feels very spot on. There's one scene in particular that illustrates how parents also have to come to terms with chronic illness and the struggles of trying to do what is best for their child, but also what it means to be in a survivor's mentality (something I've had first hand experience with).While this is not my favourite Cammie McGovern book (that still goes to Just My Luck, I think this story shows that she puts a lot of thought and care into her stories. She knows how to add the emotional punch when needed, and I appreciate that she's unapologic about the challenges of the situations that her protagonists are facing. While I wish Jamie's depression was addressed a bit more, I still cared for her just as much as I did David.
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  • Celine
    January 1, 1970
    I didn’t had any expectations when I started this book but Oh boy, did this book surprised me in a wonderful way.The story follows David, a popular guy at school who does the announcements and everyone seems to love him. besides that he’s been with his girlfriend for years. Seems like he’s having the perfect life until you know he has a rocky relationship with his parents and has a rebellious sister which he’s constantly worrying about but most importantly he’s got cystic fibrosis and his health I didn’t had any expectations when I started this book but Oh boy, did this book surprised me in a wonderful way.The story follows David, a popular guy at school who does the announcements and everyone seems to love him. besides that he’s been with his girlfriend for years. Seems like he’s having the perfect life until you know he has a rocky relationship with his parents and has a rebellious sister which he’s constantly worrying about but most importantly he’s got cystic fibrosis and his health is going downhill, very quickly, to the point he realizes that if he doesn’t get new lungs, he’ll die soon.Then there’s also Jamie, she’s the complete opposite of David. She’s shy, keeps herself to herself and isn’t popular at all. She has a loving relationship with her mum who works as a nurse in the hospital. Jamie loves to do some volunteering work at the hospital but she’s also struggling with Depression.I really enjoyed the character development. You get to read both their POV so I really felt like I actually got to know them both equally. I loved how their friendship (who mostly started through online conversations) slowly but surely developed into a ‘Romeo and Juliet‘ kind of like romance. Since David is already in a long lasting relationship but Jamie totally falls head over heals for him, she doesn’t really think through some of her actions and without her meaning to, puts his life in danger.It was definitely a book that I could barely put down. I told myself multiple times ‘Just one more chapter‘ but every time I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I was completely invested in them and even after finishing the book, I was still thinking about them.The topics are for sure heavy ones, but the way it was written made it all much easier to read. Will you smile? Yes. Will you cry? Definitely. But it’s also very heartwarming and that’s what made me love this book so much.
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    When Jamie sees David in the hospital where she volunteers, she is surprised. She knows he won’t have a clue who she is, as she has become almost invisible at school. In a moment where David is curled up in pain, Jamie instinctively reaches out to him. The two of them begin to talk together, sharing texts, emails and IMs as David remains in the hospital. Jamie works out what is wrong with him based on his symptoms and learns that his cystic fibrosis will shorten his life. She shares her own When Jamie sees David in the hospital where she volunteers, she is surprised. She knows he won’t have a clue who she is, as she has become almost invisible at school. In a moment where David is curled up in pain, Jamie instinctively reaches out to him. The two of them begin to talk together, sharing texts, emails and IMs as David remains in the hospital. Jamie works out what is wrong with him based on his symptoms and learns that his cystic fibrosis will shorten his life. She shares her own knowledge of hospitals with him, but doesn’t explain her depression following her father’s death. The two of them become friends and soon David is asking Jamie to sneak him out of the hospital so that he can breathe fresh air. As their friendship becomes more intense, David asks her to befriend his sister too and help her find a new path away from destruction. But it may just be Jamie and David who are on the way to destroying their new relationship.McGovern has written a book about mental health and physical health that doesn’t flinch from discussion suicide openly and also shows the harrowing aspects of having an intensifying physical illness. While their medical diagnoses serve as an important foundation in the novel, it is the interplay between the two main characters that makes this such a compelling read. The two of them are clever, funny and willing to debate their differences with humor and respect.Readers will come to truly enjoy these two characters, who both struggle with friendship outside of the hospital. Their friendship becomes something precious to them both, building naturally to a romantic level. But it is complicated by health, girlfriends and much more. As the novel builds to its climax, readers will cringe at the inevitable choices that both characters make and wonder if they will ever recover from them.A surprising and deep novel about health, friendship and breaking the rules. Appropriate for ages 12-16.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review purposes. All opinions are my own.Overall, I really liked this book. I liked Jamie and David, the two main characters. Their banter felt real, their thoughts came through, and the dual points-of-view worked out beautifully. The idea of a meet-cute in a hospital with a boy who has CF and a girl who has depression was good. All of the initial reviews saying it was the next read-alike for those who Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review purposes. All opinions are my own.Overall, I really liked this book. I liked Jamie and David, the two main characters. Their banter felt real, their thoughts came through, and the dual points-of-view worked out beautifully. The idea of a meet-cute in a hospital with a boy who has CF and a girl who has depression was good. All of the initial reviews saying it was the next read-alike for those who loved The Fault in Our Stars and Five Feet Apart were spot on. My only *small* issue was with the depiction of Jamie's depression. She, understandably and rightly, argues with David when he starts a campaign to just "choose to be happy." She knows that sometimes it take more than a positive saying or a funny poster to make someone happy. True depression doesn't just go away because you tried harder to feel better. And assuming (and promoting the idea) that those who are depressed just didn't try hard enough makes my blood boil. I loved that she stood up to him and that idea. And then, later in the story, she backs off of it a bit. She realizes that she does have to do some things (try to eat better, get rest, take walks, avoid certain situations) in order to manage her depression. This is all well and good, but she also, in a way, caves to his ideas about his "happiness quotes." (Please realize that all of this is, realistically, a small part of the story, and I loved everything else but I did have a problem with it, so, therefore, only 4 stars.)YA readers are going to love this. It is a definite read alike for Green's iconic work and it takes on a different perspective as well. It is at times touching, heart-breaking, and undeniably cute. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
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  • Jessica Carruba
    January 1, 1970
    Just Breathe could have easily fallen into the boring, routine subgenre of "sick teen lit," and perhaps some readers will think that's exactly all it is. However, I thought that McGovern elevated what's become such a common trope. First, Jamie--the female protagonist--does what almost never happens in these kinds of stories: she makes smart decisions! Instead of having a long inner monologue debating whether to say or not say how she's feeling or what she's thinking, Jamie is honest, telling Just Breathe could have easily fallen into the boring, routine subgenre of "sick teen lit," and perhaps some readers will think that's exactly all it is. However, I thought that McGovern elevated what's become such a common trope. First, Jamie--the female protagonist--does what almost never happens in these kinds of stories: she makes smart decisions! Instead of having a long inner monologue debating whether to say or not say how she's feeling or what she's thinking, Jamie is honest, telling David her opinion and sharing her vulnerabilities clearly and logically. What's even better is that this is completely in character for her and demonstrates the maturity of a teen who has been through mental illness and received intense psychiatric help; it makes sense that she would be highly emotionally intelligent. At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about the second half of the story, involving David as a pseudo-ghost and the lawsuit that feels like a halfhearted plot point. I can at least say that the "ghost" aspect added something a little different to the story. It was heartbreaking to realize how little David remembered from their hospital relationship, but again, it made the story feel more real and gave their romance higher stakes. All in all, it was a great YA romance, worthy to be recommended.
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  • Myron Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Jamie, a shy hospital volunteer, befriends David, a boy from her school with cystic fibrosis. David finds it easy to talk to Jamie and soon they start spending a lot of time together. Soon feelings for each other develop but with his shortened life expectancy always hangs over them. The relationship which develops between Jamie and David happens in a believable manner, with loneliness being the impetus for it. Most of the book takes place in the hospital but the world outside of it does not come Jamie, a shy hospital volunteer, befriends David, a boy from her school with cystic fibrosis. David finds it easy to talk to Jamie and soon they start spending a lot of time together. Soon feelings for each other develop but with his shortened life expectancy always hangs over them. The relationship which develops between Jamie and David happens in a believable manner, with loneliness being the impetus for it. Most of the book takes place in the hospital but the world outside of it does not come alive. Other characters like David’s girlfriend Sharon, Jamie’s former friends, and their respective parents are mere afterthoughts. They are often nothing more than devices to move the plot along. While most of the novel is firmly realistic fiction, there is a sequence in the middle of the book which is basically magical realism. Some readers may be turned off by the intrusion of magical realism. The lack of development of anything beyond the leads is the bigger problem. Still the romance works and that’s what matters most. Fans of Eliza and Her Monsters by Francisca Zappia and Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott would enjoy this book.Thank you Edelweiss+ for providing an ARC for this book.
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  • Kennedy (mybookishbeing)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publisher, HCC Frenzy, for sending me a copy to read and reviewThis is kind of a hard book to review. It has some pretty important topics that were brought up and because of this I think everyones experiences with this book are going to be different. For the most part I enjoyed this book, it wasn't something that I was loving all the time but there were parts where I thought might bump up my overall rating of the book. The main thing I had a problem with was the pacing, it felt Thank you to the publisher, HCC Frenzy, for sending me a copy to read and reviewThis is kind of a hard book to review. It has some pretty important topics that were brought up and because of this I think everyones experiences with this book are going to be different. For the most part I enjoyed this book, it wasn't something that I was loving all the time but there were parts where I thought might bump up my overall rating of the book. The main thing I had a problem with was the pacing, it felt too fast in some places and too slow in others. Also I didn't really like the weird ghost type scenes, I thought they were kind of weird and a bit unnecessary. As for the rep, I can't say anything on the CF rep as I don't know anyone who is personally dealing with this, however, I think the depression rep was pretty good, some things I disagreed with but overall it was pretty well done.I want to add that if you aren't in a good place mentally or just in general to be careful of the triggers that this book has on suicide (talked about/described), depression, death/dying, and as well as cystic fibrosis.All in all it was a pretty good read but not one of my favourites.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    David was the charming, well-liked school president, while Jamie was a friendless loner. When his cystic fibrosis landed him an extended stay at the hospital, he developed an unlikely friendship with Jamie, but would their relationship extend beyond the walls of his hospital room?Fair warning, this was a sick kid book, and if you don't already know anything about cystic fibrosis, it can be brutal. Watching David suffering in the hospital was really tough at times, though, I gained some comfort David was the charming, well-liked school president, while Jamie was a friendless loner. When his cystic fibrosis landed him an extended stay at the hospital, he developed an unlikely friendship with Jamie, but would their relationship extend beyond the walls of his hospital room?Fair warning, this was a sick kid book, and if you don't already know anything about cystic fibrosis, it can be brutal. Watching David suffering in the hospital was really tough at times, though, I gained some comfort in his friendship with Jamie. She was someone in his life, who he could be honest with about his illness. She didn't flinch or try to ply him with platitudes. She listened to his fears and concerns, and supported him as he tried to figure out his future.Jamie's life had taken quite a turn since her father's suicide. Her family was forced to relocate due to economic hardship, and her own depression became unmanageable at one point. I met Jamie following her in-patient treatment, and she was still struggling. Her battle with depression was very authentic and realistic, but her friendship with David not only kept her occupied, it helped her adopt a new perspective. And, though it was emphasized, that her depression would always be a hurtle for her to overcome, her self-awareness regarding her condition had changed over the course of the book.Some of my favorite parts of this story were those quiet moments spent with these two in David's hospital room watching old films and doing origami. McGovern did a beautiful developing this friendship and letting it gradually build into more.For those of you, who need to know, the ending was very positive and hopeful. This book took me through a wide range of emotions, and I found myself really clinging to the idea of appreciating the time we have and making the most of it, which is always a good idea, if you ask me.Overall: Realistic, but hopeful.*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Maddie
    January 1, 1970
    David is popular, smart, and president of his senior class. He's also been battling cystic fibrosis his whole life. Everyone in David's life insists he's fine even when his doctor tells him that he's going to need a new set of lungs in order to keep living. Jamie is a quiet sophomore struggling with depression and unable to relate to her peers. She and David have never met before, but when she helps him breathe while volunteering in the hospital the two strike up a friendship. They talk about David is popular, smart, and president of his senior class. He's also been battling cystic fibrosis his whole life. Everyone in David's life insists he's fine even when his doctor tells him that he's going to need a new set of lungs in order to keep living. Jamie is a quiet sophomore struggling with depression and unable to relate to her peers. She and David have never met before, but when she helps him breathe while volunteering in the hospital the two strike up a friendship. They talk about old movies and art and what really matters in life. But neither of them are willing to open up fully and with David's illness they might be running out of time. Really well written on both the topics of depression and cystic fibrosis. I loved both of the characters and I enjoyed reading their journey. This book is perfect for readers who like Fault in Our Stars, Five Feet Apart and I think its a very good read-alike for Brave Enough.
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