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Just Breathe

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  41 reviews
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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by HarperTeen
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Katherine Tedder
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 ·  93 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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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 ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Shar // sunsnacksseries
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Olivia Bragg
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Absolutely lovely. This has an All the Bright Places feel - two people coming together in such an unexpectedly beautiful way. Love.
Katrina Reads
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just breathe is a breath of fresh air (pun intended).

The book deals with some serious issues around genetic disease, mental health and suicide. It is written well to explain these issues and how they affect the characters concerned.

The book is written from the point of view of both the main characters, David and Jamie. I sometimes got confused who’s perspective I was reading when there was dialogue between the characters, however, I think that is more my memory than anything as it is labelled
Rachel Reeves
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
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
Erin Quinn
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Samantha Kelley
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-favorites

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
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copies
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
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
Jessica Carruba
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Clark
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Myron Brown
Dec 21, 2019 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
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
Kailyn Bettle
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Just Breathe explores the lives of two teens dealing with chronic illnesses. David has CF and Jamie is struggling with depression. When Jamie’s volunteer position at the hospital leads her into David’s room, it sparks a friendship, and maybe something more.

This was a cute relationship story and had important discussions, specifically about depression, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that David had a girlfriend for almost the entire book. This is addressed, but I just hate that trope in
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Kelly Hager
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
Monty McGovern
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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, ...more
Elizabeth C
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jan 17, 2020 marked it as to-read
I’m at clinic today so it reminded me that I want to read this book and also
•I really want to see a CF ownvoice’s review bc I haven’t read it yet and I think it will be better and more sensitive than 5 Feet Apart and maybe a more relatable less tragic story
•Can a CF’er please please write an Ownvoices CF story please I’m starting to consider doing it myself but I have a mild case so idk how relatable it would be

Also people with CF who love to read follow me bc I want to be more active in our
Sandie, Teen Lit Rocks
I have a close friend who has three siblings with CF (two of whom have died), so I was really interested in this "sick kid romance," where only one person has CF. It seemed well researched and showed the consequences of [spoiler]breaking the established rules for CF patients[/spoiler] while also embracing how two very different teens could bond in a hospital and wonder if that bond is real or just limited to the confines of the hospital room.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss.

A romance in the vein of “The Fault in Our Stars,” this book features a girl with cystic fibrosis falling in love with a classmate. Truth be told, my threshold for reading a love story where one character seems medically doomed wasn’t very high and I couldn’t finish it but the beginning of the story was very well-written.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

My first book by Cammie McGovern is focused around the idea of "sick kids in love" but with its' own magical edge. I especially enjoyed the Mental Health discussions and thought that it was very good representation but that was the most stand out feature for me.
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Goodreads Librari...: Put in Title 2 16 Dec 02, 2019 05:35PM  

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Cammie McGovern was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and received the Nelson Algren Award in short fiction. Her work has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and other publications.
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