Monday, July 22, 2019

A Breath Apart by Christina Lee

I had a busy few weeks so this is actually the first book I've read in July! and though I was REALLY anxious to read it I didn't want to do it a disservice by reading it when I'm not mentally available so I waited a bit and BOY am I happy I did. It's been a while since I found myself shamelessly shedding tears while reading a book. Brennan and Josh simply BROKE MY HEART. Luckily Christina managed to patch it back together in the end...

I actually really like the way this book was constructed. We only get Brennan's POV telling us the story but at the end of each chapter we get Josh's diary entry giving us his side of the story. It was so unique! It gave another layer to the story with Josh speaking his heart openly.

But I haven't said anything yet about the story itself! Brennan and Josh live in a very conservative little town, while they both felt drawn to each other when they spent more time together a few years before, it's only now when Brennan is finishing high school and Josh is back from a year of college that they revisit their friendship from back then, trying to figure out the strange emotions they (had and still) have toward one another. Brennan and Josh had a sweet dynamic between them, they were perfect as best friends, it's no wonder why it simply worked between them (making Charlie - Brennan's "previous" best friend jealous). But they took their time before they were ready to admit anything else.

The relationship between these two was a beautiful slow burn of friends to lovers. They both had insecurities, not about each other really, but about HOW their future will play if they out themselves to their families (and community). Josh's parents are VERY active in a highly conservative church and he knows being gay is something they won't be able to accept. He might have his disagreements with them but he doesn't want to lose his whole family (and mostly his younger brother). Brennan's situation is different yet all the same, he was adopted by his family but as someone who has been in the system for enough years he still feels insecure in his place, especially since his (adoptive) mother is distant from her - gay - brother.

It's complicated. Finding what they want and being true to their heart is something they repressed so much they find it hard to let go. Their families as well as their circle of friends makes being gay a big - negative - deal and they are not sure they are ready for all of that, they still need time together, just the two of them.. I was wiping tears reading how miserable they both were even when they were together trying to steal even the simplest touch. My heart aches thinking that though this is "just a story", it's the reality of so many people. Being accepted, being able to be your true self should NEVER be a luxury, it's our basic need as human beings. At least  Brennan and Josh got their HEA. I'm happy for them and for anyone who overcame life's difficulties and managed to find not only love but true acceptance.

I gotta say that though I enjoyed the last chapter with Josh and Brennan being openly and freely together (as well as in the free bonus scene), I would have been content with it being less about sexual exploration. I actually LIKED it was more innocent between them. 

One last thing! Though Charlie and Brennan's relationship wasn't that great, I actually accepted the rational Christina gave to it, especially considering their young age. I think it's natural, growing farther apart at times and when the friendship is worth it - getting back together. I had a similar experience from "way back then" and I'm SO happy this friend is a part of my life now. This story also reminded me of a guy who was REALLY mean to me in high school. Laughing at me, calling me names. He was the cool guy, I (clearly..) wasn't. The years went by, I didn't think about him because who cares.. Then while in college a friend invited me to join her and her girlfriend to a gay club and THERE I found him. On the one hand I DID feel a bit sorry for him, for being closeted back then, playing at being straight dating this "cool" girl (who couldn't be more different from who I was or what I looked like for that matter). Yet I DON'T forgive him for being a douche bag. he CHOSE to be this way. I did him no harm, I just existed somewhere around him. I would have NEVER laughed at him or made him feel bad for WHO HE WAS like he did to me. I didn't confront him, because again - who cares... But it gave me something to think about and how much it's NOT okay to hurt someone else just because YOU are hurting. It just makes a vicious circle of HATE. Instead, do something GOOD for someone and see a totally different circle evolves.

Thank you Christina for another emotionally bumpy ride. Josh and Brennan's story was heart breakingly beautiful and I can't recommend it enough!

Read on:
19-21 July 2019

No comments:

Post a Comment