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Just Breathe
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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...
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...
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Description-

  • 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.

About the Author-

  • Cammie McGovern is the author of Say What You Will as well as the adult novels Neighborhood Watch, Eye Contact, and The Art of Seeing. Cammie is also one of the founders of Whole Children, a resource center that runs after-school classes and programs for children with special needs. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her husband and three children.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from November 1, 2019
    Two troubled teens form a deep friendship in a hospital room. David Sheinman is senior class president and "mascot to the pretty-girl/jock crowd." He's also an expert at minimizing the life-threatening aspects of his cystic fibrosis. Jamie Turner, a friendless 10th grader at the same school, volunteers at the nearby hospital. After her artist father died by suicide 18 months ago, Jamie fell into a depression so severe she required hospitalization. Now David's waiting for the lung transplant that, if successful, might extend his life by a few years. In the face of his parents' denial, he's struggling to figure out what kind of life he wants given how short it's likely to be. Alone among the people who visit him, Jamie understands and accepts this truth. She offers him old movies, origami, and the comfort that comes from having already faced death. At the same time, she realizes David is a situational friend--once he's well enough to leave the hospital, he'll return to the high school where he's king and she's nobody. David's desire for some degree of normality leads them into a wholly believable, tender tragedy. Told in alternate first-person voices, the novel is extraordinary for its unflinching look at both depression and chronic illness. Without sugarcoating, sentimentalizing, or trivializing either, it never slips into pathos. The depiction of mental health struggles is profoundly accurate and understanding. Major characters are white. A gift to readers. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 25, 2019
    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.

  • School Library Journal

    November 15, 2019

    Gr 8 Up-High school sophomore Jamie Turner hasn't had friends in more than a year-she 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 away-David 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

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from December 1, 2019
    Grades 9-12 *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?from David's attention-seeking younger sister, Eileen, to Jamie's stressed-out single mother, who wants to spare Jamie from heartbreak?have 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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "The novel is extraordinary for its unflinching look at both depression and chronic illness. Without sugarcoating, sentimentalizing, or trivializing either, it never slips into pathos. The depiction of mental health struggles is profoundly accurate and understanding. A gift to readers." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "The shifting perspectives add nice depth. McGovern skillfully imbues her characters with realistic 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." — Booklist (starred review)

    "Approach[es] difficult topics from sensitive, age-appropriate perspectives. The resolution, like the teens' relationship, unfolds carefully, without sugarcoating, and feels genuinely earned." — Horn Book Magazine

    "McGovern deftly handles the classic sickbed romance elements of her story, but what makes the tale especially rich is the alternating narration. Thoughtful romance fans will appreciate the dimensionality of the characters and the lack of inevitability about the protagonists' final resolution; non-romance readers will also find the authenticity of the human dynamics here a rewarding read." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

    "McGovern skillfully raises the dramatic tension. David's surreal out-of-body episodes [are] 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." — Publishers Weekly

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