A grief-stricken romance, Kyra Johnson
April 13, 2022
Don’t Panic. Keep Breathing is the second book in Sarah Delany’s TNT trilogy. It continues the tragic story of Tate, Tamsyn and their grief. Picking up from where Don’t Think. Just Breathe left off, Tate struggles with the heartbreaking loss of the person closest to him. In doing so, he shuts everyone out – his parents, friends, cousin and most importantly, Tamsyn. She, in turn, is worried about him and she falls back into her old habits just to get through every day that Tate isn’t there.
As drama and grief mushes together and infests both of their lives, Tamsyn and Tate start to realise just how much they miss and need each other. This helps Tate to ‘let some of the light in’ and start opening up to the people he has pushed away for so long. Things start to look up, day by day, and they fight to restore the precious connection they have with each other. At this point, Tate is still in his hometown, far away from his Tamsyn. The distance is a significant struggle for them, because they can’t physically be there for each other as Tate deals with the death of his twin sister. It seems Tamsyn also needs Tate, but in multiple small ways.
This is what brings them closer. First, it starts with long-lasting phone calls, and eventually, Tate returns to Tamsyn, his cousin and his friends. He surprises her at the observatory, and it is evident Tamsyn savours the moment. Her happiness returns along with his, and she moves back into her old routines – the good ones, that is – surrounded by her friends and her most beloved Tate. Everything seems to be back to normal, and just when the story is at the apex of happiness, tragedy strikes and it shakes Tamsyn and her friends to her core. Will Tate and Tamsyn’s renewed bond be strong enough to survive the devastation?
The thing I liked most about this book was the support that Tamsyn and Tate find in their family, friends and, of course, each other. It is through this support and faith that Tamsyn and Tate find their way back to each other. The growing love they feel for each other makes the book a captivating read, especially when the characters face challenges. I also liked the author’s use of symbolism throughout the story, particularly for Tate while he was grieving over Quinn in his hometown. This triggered emotional responses in Tate and me, the reader. The suspense and plot twists Delaney uses also keeps the book interesting during Tamsyn and Tate’s daily lives away from each other.
Don’t Panic. Keep Breathing reiterates how important it is to talk about your emotions and have good family and friends. Being a good listener is also important. I would recommend this book to older readers – probably fifteen years and up – as it does have dark themes like suicide. I liked the plot, chapter layout and imagery of the book. I give this grief-stricken romance 3.5/5 stars, as I liked it a little more than the first book in the TNT trilogy.
- Kyra lives in Greymouth