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This week I read Learning to Breathe by Karen White.

This is not the first Karen White book I've read.

When I was in college, and Kara was still in high school, Mom used to sit in the bleachers with the mothers of all the other girls on the basketball cheerleading squad. One of those mothers was Karen White.

But that's not the reason I keep reading Karen's books. It may have been the reason I read the first one though: Mom kept pestering me to read one of her books, saying that I would love them. Eventually I caved and read The Memory of Water.

I was in love.

Karen's books are simple without being simplistic. They make you stop and think without looking up words (confession: I had to look up a handful of words while reading Gone Girl). The truth is that you don't need to use big words or complex sentence structures to still write intelligently.

Learning to Breathe is a beautiful love story. It's a story about love lost and love found. I have to admit, I almost cried several times. It was wonderful to get wrapped up in a romance every once & a while, especially when things seem to get extra busy.

The book was a perfect choice for this week for another reason: last Sunday I made the huge decision to move home at the end of the month. While I'm not happy about leaving my life here, I know that ultimately I'm making the right decision. One of my main concerns with the move is that I'll get stuck at home, that I'll just settle and let go of my dreams. The consequences of walking away from dreams and the ripples that decision creates was a major theme in the novel.  It was wonderful food for thought as I face this move. Who knows? Maybe when I get tempted to settle I'll think of Brenna O'Brien, the main character.

Overall, I'd highly recommend picking up a Karen White book, especially this one. Four books later, I've yet to be disappointed by one of her novels. The characters are flawed but easy to identify with. They feel real, like your next door neighbors, and not like characters in a book.

And yes I know I'm behind a book now--I owe you a review of Cold Sassy Tree and I promise it's coming soon :). Stay tuned for it!!

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