Author: Cassie Graham
Release Date: April 28, 2017
They fell in love at thirteen.
He wrote a book about it at twenty.
She watched him walk away at twenty-three.
And he made the New York Times Best Sellers list at twenty-four.
Campbell ‘Cam’ Potter stood idly by as August Wyatt took over the world one word at a time. Chapter by chapter, people fell in love with the story he created – the events she lived. And now the book was being made into a movie, it was only a matter of time before August was back in their small hometown in Georgia.
The problem was, when August left five years ago, Cam made a promise to herself. The ending in his book would be the conclusion to their story. There was no sequel, no second chance, no possibility of ever seeing him again. He obliterated her heart and she was determined to never let it happen again.
That is, until Cam gets a late night text from the heartbreaker himself. New chapters are written, fresh storylines are explored and Cam and August find a familiarity in one another.
Sometimes THE END doesn’t mean it’s over.
I’ve been looking for more unique storylines in my reading lately, so I was really intrigued when I came across this synopsis featuring a young author finding stardom from a book he wrote about his teenage love and their possibility of being reunited years later. Although I haven’t read Cassie Graham’s writing before, my curiosity was definitely peaked, so I just had to snatch up this second chance romance. Who Needs Air was such a refreshing read, and August and Cam’s passionate journey was incredibly heartfelt and adorably wrapped in a seriously sweet dose of Southern charm!
Graham’s writing was beautiful, with a lot of personality and eloquence in her words that flowed smoothly and naturally. There was also a generous handful of sweet southern slang in the story, which I really enjoyed throughout. Each chapter title was a southern saying which was also really clever and cute. Although I did feel the ‘Sweet baby Jesus’ might have been a bit overused, I was completely engaged in the story’s setting of southern cultures, ideals, and lifestyles.
August and Cam were very endearing characters and faced so many challenges during their relationship! I yearned for them to be together and felt their angst when they were apart, and I loved how they never gave up on each other. Together they were whole, and it seemed to just be a given that they should be side by side all along.
I did have some contradicting feelings on whether August’s character was genuine or not. His point of view is only presented in the prologue as he finished writing their story and opened his heart in telling Cam everything that she might not know about his feelings for her. It was incredibly sweet, and I totally ate that up. However, I didn’t understand their lack of communication at times. They would go for days, weeks, months, even years, without any resolving situations, and it seemed strange to me that they shared such love and friendship but didn’t talk through their challenges more. Although Cam was incredibly patient and had an enormous amount of respect for August, I was also surprised at her acceptance of his behavior at times. I know that he was always trying to do things the ‘right’ way, but I would have just liked a little more insight, possibly from August or perhaps from Cam’s mother or Lily, rooting or reinforcing their relationship in some way. I felt like they just kind of went with the flow of his decisions, and I wanted at least one of them to be upset with their situation like I was!
I have one more mention that I’m going to put in here regarding the cover – only because it stuck with me the whole time I was reading this and taking pictures as well. While the artist did a beautiful job with the artwork, I wish I had a red ‘Wooly Willy’ pen to smooth out the woman’s face a bit as the flowers made her look hairy to me. I will just leave it at that.
None of my critiques are meant to take away from this book in any way. There were so many elements to love and twists as well. All of the angst and build-up throughout made it an incredibly passionate story, and I truly enjoyed the characters and their journey of hope and love. Although this is a standalone, I did see that there is a previous book written by Cassie Graham, Anyone But Him, which is about Jennings Cohen (who played August’s movie role in this book) and his girlfriend, Whitley Hayes. I really enjoyed their characters and friendship with August and Cam, so I will follow up with their story as well!
Bringing my body into his with a tug, he squeezes my shoulders. Only, this hug feels different. It doesn’t feel like all the other ones we’ve shared since he came back into town. I’m baffled at first, my arms locked around his torso. He doesn’t let me free and I think he may need this. I think he might need me. He sighs, his face falling into the crook of my neck and I finally understand why it’s so different. I don’t know why it took me so long, but my heart soars and my grip tightens. I force my eyelids closed and I breathe him in, using every ounce of my ability to give him back what he’s offering me so willingly.
He doesn’t have to say the words, but I hear them loud and clear. He’s been looking for someone to care about him in this town. Not someone to fawn over him or tell him what he wants. I’ve shown him that even without the book, he’s still important and this gesture – his foreign and surprising hug – is his way of telling me he appreciates it.
He clutches the back of my neck, his signature grasp, and breathes me in as I cling to his sweater, willing my eyes to stay closed. If I look at him or our reflection in the mirror above the headboard, I’m going to lose it.
Sighing contently, he pulls back and I do the same, opening my eyes.
“Night,” he offers with a smile, bringing his lips to my forehead for a split second before turning around and sufficiently closing me out, unzipping his bag.
I blink a few times, speechless as I watch him pull his sweater up and over his head, tossing it on the bed. His muscles strain and the dimples just above his pant line are so pronounced, my fingers ache to touch them. I turn away, reminding myself that we’re just friends. Friends only, Cam. Hands off. No touching his back dimples. It’s inappropriate and…oh, God, he’s unbuckling his pants.
Walking out of the door with embarrassed haste, I close it behind me.
My skin, tingling and hot, I trace my forehead with my fingertips. The prickle of his kiss still evident. Eager to erase the aftereffect of his touch, I scrub my head like a moron, accidentally creating a deep red spot. It doesn’t help. My skin scorches for long minutes.
After changing into pajamas, I climb into bed and wrap myself in the comforter. I need to sleep and forget the last three hours happened.
Just as I’m about to shut my eyes, my phone goes off with a text message.
August: Tonight was exactly what I needed.
Another one comes in.
August: You’re still so important to me. Please don’t ever forget that.
I chew on my lip and study the words until they become indecipherable. Turning on my side, I plug my phone into the charger and close my eyes.
I’m in so much trouble.