Intense and heartbreaking with a cliffhanger, Caitlin Fuldseth
May 26, 2021
Don’t Think. Just Breathe. by Sarah Delany is a heartbreaking and thought-provoking book about two teenagers who are both going through tough times: a girl named Tamsyn and a boy called Tate. The book is read through their thoughts. We only get to see what is happening in their thoughts and both of them perfectly display anxious and hurting people.
Tamsyn is going through the grief of losing her dad. Not only did he pass away, but she was the one to find him unconscious and dead on the floor of their family’s home. Tamsyn does not have a support system at home as her mother is usually checked out because of her grief and Tamsyn’s friends are more interested in drinking and partying to see that she is upset and hurt.
“The pain is also strong. It’s made me numb to everyone and everyone. I plaster on my fake smile and do what’s expected of me… Will someone save me please? Help me. I’m drowning.”
Tate is also struck with grief, however, he refuses to think or talk about why he is in pain. So we find out what happened to him in the last few chapters of the book. However, Tate distracts himself by helping Tamsyn. He seems to be the only one who can see her pain.
“All of a sudden she pulls herself up to stand and elongates her neck to look me in the eye. Pain relents in her eyes. What has made this girl so broken? Right now, staring at her I’d do anything to save her if she asked me to.”
Despite Tamsyn despising him for a while, Tate does not give up and keeps on trying to help her forget and cope with her pain.
The two teens become intertwined within each other and can barely cope if the other is away, absent or hurt. This is when their friendship becomes dangerous and almost forbidden, as when they have an argument Tamsyn has an emotional breakdown and walks off to calm down and breathe, and this sends Tate into a terrible state of mind. He thinks he has hurt her in such a way that she will never talk to him again. Tate then has a terrible panic attack which Tamsyn got a glimpse of.
This book is definitely for more mature audiences as it deals with dark and twisted things that would not be suited to younger readers. I think that the more mature audiences would be able to appreciate and understand the story and the characters Tate and Tamsyn a lot better than a younger reader would.
I absolutely loved Don’t Think. Just Breathe. and just could not put it down. It is definitely one of those stories where you stay up all night with a torch and read.
This book is as intense and heartbreaking as it reads with two teenagers both going through the worst times of their lives. I loved reading about their overcrowded minds filled with horrible and heartbreaking thoughts about death, family and bad friendships and relationships.
The book ends in a “to be continued” just as the plot starts to thicken. I will definitely be seeking out the second book to see what happens next. I would really recommend reading this book at least once in your life as it’s one of the best books that I have ever read written by a New Zealand author.
- Caitlin Fuldesth is 16 and lives in Palmerston North.