The Next Breath | Book Review

October 13, 2014 Reviews 4

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Next Breath | Book ReviewThe Next Breath by Laurel Osterkamp
Series: Stand Alone
Published by PMI Books on September 11, 2014
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 313
Format: eBook
Source: Author

I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to makeโ€ฆ"

Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart?

Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jedโ€™s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath.

My Initial Reaction…

I was both excited and nervous picking up The Next Breath, after how much I loved The Holdout – I didn’t want anything to spoil that memory. Well, The Next Breath didn’t disappoint. It was different from The Holdout, but in really fantastic ways!

The Characters…

I love Robin, the main character from whose point of view The Next Breath is told. She has a really unique personality and lots of little quirks that make her a joy to read. She designs clothes using items from thriftstores – something we saw some of in The Holdout, but really get to see a lot more of in The Next Breath – and I loved it because it’s of fun way of seeing how quirky she is and how uniquely she sees life.

Robin’s still with Nick – who we met in The Holdout– and things are going pretty well. Nick’s such a solid guy and we get to know him so much better in The Next Breath. But he wants something deeper with Robin and, for reasons she’s not ready to explain to him, she’s not quite ready. Watching Robin negotiate her relationship with Nick, while dealing with past emotions kept me glued to the page and my emotions swirling right along with Robin’s.

The reason for Robin’s emotional turmoil is all tied up with her college boyfriend Jed. We learn quickly that Jed wrote the play that she’s currently preparing to perform and that Jed died shortly after writing it – for her. Through a series of flashbacks we see their relationship unfold and, even though you know where it’s headed, it somehow still manages to catch you off guard. I fell in love with Jed, while still loving Nick, making Robin’s turmoil so incredibly understandable.

The Story…

The Next Breath‘s story resolves around Robin dealing with all her emotions and trying to figure out how to navigate her feelings of loss and love for her dead boyfriend – while starring in his play – and also trying to be present in her current relationship with Nick. A good part of the book is spent waiting on tenterhooks – when will she tell Nick about Jed? About the play? And how does Jed die? What happens in the play that he wrote for Robin?

I enjoyed getting every answer and quite of few of them tore me into little bitty emotional shreds. Definitely an emotional book – making The Next Breath very different from The Holdout, which was more fun than emotional. The Next Breath would work really well as a standalone, though I did enjoy knowing the characters from The Holdout.

Concluding Sentiments…

After finishing The Next Breath I realized that there are several books surrounding the Bricker family and I’ve only read these two, plus November Surprises. So now I’m eagerly looking forward to reading the other books and learning more about this awesome family ๐Ÿ™‚

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About Laurel Osterkamp


Laurel Osterkampโ€™s award winning novels have been hailed as funny, intelligent, snarky and poignant. She is the author of four novels and two novellas, including the November Surprise series, which, like The Holdout, features the Bricker family. Laurel was recently on a federal jury, and she loves watching Survivor.


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

4 Responses to “The Next Breath | Book Review”

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    Wow, it would be a rather emotional experience to perform a play, written for you by a love you lost in a tragic way. And to have not shared this part of you with your current love. This sounds like just my thing, Berls. (is that awful?) I’ll have to check these books out – and I’ll make sure to read The Holdout first. I like knowing the characters ahead of time. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for adding more to my tbr! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged ~ #38**My Profile

    • Berls

      Hehe my pleasure ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was super emotional to read too – especially since you know what’s coming in so many ways, but you also don’t know the details. Turns out the details really matter. I hope you enjoy both books – they’re very different emotionally but equally good.

      Oh and tell me a book will tear me apart and I’m jumping all over it, so I can’t judge LOL
      Berls recently posted…Blood of a Red Rose | Short ReviewMy Profile

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