How often have you read a book that made you genuinely happy? And I don’t mean a re-read of your favorite book, because, well, it is obvious that it makes you happy. I mean a new book. One that you were a little skeptic about at first because the blurb sounded too good to be true. A new book with a great plot, a little drama and the perfect ending. I’ve read a bunch of books so far this year, but only a few made me feel this way, and, minor issues aside, Who Needs Air was one of them.
Campbell Potter has good reason to be stressed: on top of organizing a big project for work, she has to deal with her ex-boyfriend August who only arrived back in town a few days ago. But not any ex-boyfriend, no: The love of her life, to be exact. THE love of her life who walked out on her five years ago. THE love of her life who wrote a book about their love story, published it and became a bestselling author. Now he is back in their hometown to overseeing the filming of his bestseller as it is turned into a movie. But Cam made a promise to herself: the day August left five years ago was the ending of their story. There is no chance of a sequel. But August has different plans because he already started writing the conclusion to their epic love story.
In one of my previous reviews I mentioned that second-chance novels are not special per se. It is rather what the author makes of this theme that makes a second-chance novel stand out. And after finishing Who Needs Air, I can say with certainty that Cassie Graham did great. Because what is more romantic than a male hero who becomes a bestselling author with publishing the epic love story of him and the love of his life? Of course there is the fact that he walked out on her years ago but who wouldn’t give a guy like that a second chance? A guy who comes back groveling and telling her that their love story is far from over? That there are more chapters yet to come?
You’re the best chapter I’ve ever written, Belle, and the one I never want to stop writing.
I haven’t felt it in a long time, but seeing August fight for Belle and their relationship had my tummy filling with butterflies. You could literally feel the sparks between them.
Both August and Belle share a past and unlike other book couples who talk and talk and talk and fill chapters with arguing about why one person left the other, these two talked it out in one, two tops. And of course they have to talk about the ‘why’, but I was glad that August and Belle didn’t dwell on the past too much. Both made mistakes on that fateful day but they closed that chapter early on in the story and continued with writing their love story.
Speaking of ‘writing their love story’. I LOVED that Cassie used so many book related metaphors to describe their relationship. The fact that August is a bestselling author and Belle loves books made it so perfect and so romantic and my own book loving heart swoon.
Maybe the chapter is over, but our story isn’t done.
Cassie found a unique way of adding flashbacks to the story. They gave me as a reader a better understanding of young Belle and August and their shared history.
Another thing I really liked were the chapter titles which consisted of I assume southern expressions. I’m not a Southerner, heck I am not even American but I enjoyed them and the repetitions within each chapter, although I understood only half of them. 😀
I usually don’t mention secondary characters because personaly I think a lot of them are annoying, obnoxious and not worth mentioning. A good example of an obnoxious secondary character would be the too eager and chipper best friend who is usually the total opposite of the female heroine.
The secondary characters in Who Needs Air were great, well, except for one of them. The rest, which included the best friend, were supportive, mature, kind and not annoying at all. They were people I could easily see myself becoming friends with.
The plot was not too predictable, fortunately. About halfway through I was wondering about the next half. What would happen? Do not ask yourself that question – EVER. You will be punished with a shocking plot twist from the author. Yep, thanks for that Cassie!
The reason why I didn’t give the book the full amount of stars was because of two guys: Beau and August. Beau’s stunt in Belle’s office was odd and something that could’ve been left out. Personally, it didn’t fit well with the rest of the plot.
Now you will think: “What has August done? I thought you loved him?!” The answer is simple: I do love him but his reaction “to the plot twist” was not right and well thought through on his side. It was like history repeating itself. He could’ve reacted way better. I get why he did what he did but the ‘how’ was an a**hole move of him.
I am always happy to discover new indie authors and help spreading the word about their latest as well as previous works. I’m glad I discovered Cassie Graham and I enjoyed Who Needs Air so much. It won’t be the last book I will read by her.
Lots of bookish love,
A big thank you goes out to Southern Belle Promotions who allowed me to read an ARC and review this book.