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Learning to Breathe: Based on The Falling Series Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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I want to insert a bit of a disclaimer here. This is one of the most difficult reviews I have ever written because I am determined to keep it absolutely spoiler free, hopefully even for those who have not yet completed TFS. There are so many things in this book that I would absolutely LOVE to write about, cry about, ponder, scream from the rooftops, but I do not want to spoil one single moment for those yet to read it. As I mentioned, I have followed Ms. Oldham from the beginning, and while I have always loved her writing style, it is lovely to watch her grow as an author, and this book is truly a masterpiece. In her notes at the end of the book, she mentions having put her blood, sweat and tears (oh so many tears) into the three years she spent writing this - and it shows. I have to wonder about the human soul of anyone who reads this and does not find themselves moved....or broken down into a blubbering mess, but I will settle for moved.
Back to the beginning of the book, I am no stranger to long distance romance. My husband I spent almost 4 years in one, and then 5 few years down the road before we finally got married. Marisa has done such a wonderful job of hitting on all of Missy's emotions about being in such a relationship. It is not all pretty, and certainly not easy, but with the right chemistry, trust, communication and dedication, it can be done. I was amazed at some of the feelings she put into words for me that I thought I had forgotten as the years of living together have worn on. I remember the fears, the loneliness between visits and I remember the moment I knew I couldn't continue this way any longer and that it was time to make the 1,000 mile move. While not quite as far as Michelle's move from Paris, it was far enough, and equally life changing.
I also cannot say enough about how much I love the relationship between Michelle and her siblings. This will be showcased throughout the book, but begins in the first few pages as well. It will take on so many forms throughout the course of the book, but the tender moment between Michelle and James, the big brother who raised her, is so touching and sweet. She has the kind of siblings and relationships with them that I always dreamed of, and the scenes are so well written.
Speaking of well written, things quickly become quite steamy for the first time in this book early on, and I will just say that this is definitely not for the under 18 crowd. Ms. Oldham has a talent for bringing you right into the scene, no matter what the scene is. The hotter scenes are quite creative and I love Michelle's spunky attitude about what she thinks of certain things. There is nothing conventional about this couple so it isn't out of character for this to flow into their bedroom. On first read I was beginning to think there were a bit too many of these scenes, but things will change all too soon and we will see that the author had a reason for writing it this way. If you don't care to read graphic parts, don't give up on this book because there is so much more to it.
Again, all of the emotions and adjustments of going from seeing each other a few times a year to living together are spot on. A conversation with Michelle's sister Grace gives her some of those quotes I can't let go: "It’s okay to be afraid of change. It’s just not okay to be so afraid that you let it stop you from reaching for the stars."...“Remember, life is about change. How dull would life be if we never took chances? "....“Don’t start putting up those walls of yours. Let [him] in. He’s trying. You need to try, too.” This is just the beginning of the struggle to adjust, but it all feels so realistic. From ridiculous disagreements over petty things to hurt feelings she is afraid to share...realistic is the one word I would use to sum up the transition, the whole book, to be honest. It is not always pretty or easy or what you expect it to be, but it is real. And it is beautiful. Even when it hurts so bad you are certain you will never smile again.
I will wind up my review here before I lose my battle against spoilers, but I will say it has my absolute highest recommendations. I have told everyone who sees my words that this book HAS to go on their must read list, and that it has been my most anticipated read of 2016. This book hit my emotions, my very soul, like no other book ever has. I read hundreds of books every year and I have never said that about any other book. That is my true testament to just how astoundingly amazing I think this book is.
I've read the other books in The Falling Series, and this is a standalone, spin-off of it. Even though I love them all, this one is my favorite. I love the message the book sends, and how you just have to Learn to Breathe again. It speaks to me on a personal level and, for that, I'm grateful that I read this book.
Michelle is a very strong woman. I really enjoyed seeing who she has become over the course of The falling Series and Learning to Breathe. I also, enjoyed seeing some old favorite characters make appearances in Learning to Breathe.
Marisa put her broken heart into the pages of this story. The story is so personal to not only the author, but to me as well. What Michelle and Micha go through is so heartbreaking.
This story is a stand alone. However, I do recommend reading The Falling Series first.
I haven't really experienced the whole long distance thing but I can definitely Italy imagine that it's exactly as Marisa Oldham tells it. The loneliness, has to be crushing.
But that move that can change your life, that I've done. That I have made many times. The soul crippling guilt, grief, and weight of losing a loved one, that I've felt. Many times in not a lot of years.
Marisa Oldham, to you I say thank you!! Thank you for being so absolutely real in the way thelse characters processed and dealt with everything that was thrown at them.
This amazing novel made me realize, Life is ugly sometimes, but all we have to do is find that one thing that can breath life back into the soul and grab it. Hold on for all that you're worth. Learning to breathe is hard, but with the right people by your side, each breath gets just a tiny bit easier. Maybe not today, maybe not next week but eventually it gets easier.
Most recent customer reviews
joy, heartbreaking, every single emotions the characters feel!
I don't cry with books.. It was such a kick in the gut. But in a wonderful way.
Emotions of grief and loss are felt.Read more