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 by Laurel Osterkamp
Series: Stand Alone
Published by PMI Books on September 11, 2014
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance
I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…"
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 Jed’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!
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 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.
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 🙂