I’ve read and enjoyed all of Sutton’s books, but I have to say I think Can’t Catch My Breath is her best yet.
Sutton has deviated from the usual type of male character she writes. I’ve never disliked a single one of them in the past, but I certainly found Vincent more enjoyable and relatable in many ways. I would love to see her also divert into varied types of MCs, but I am never going to grow tired of the competent, ambitious, driven teen girls she prefers in her stories.
Can’t Catch My Breath is also Sutton’s most mature writing. Not just in topic—she does a fabulous job of addressing grief and healing with all of the raw pain and challenge that accompanies it—but in skill of building her story, and working with the beats. All of her books hit the right moments at the right time, which is why so many people love romance as a genre, but Can’t Catch My Breath gave us a gentle slow burn, with a beautiful and believable journey from acquaintances, to friends, and finally to lovers. That she lets the story linger in that middle section felt like such a luxury, and added an authenticity missing in many teen/YA romances.
I also adore the way she’s dropped Easter eggs of all her other stories, returning us to the other settings and subtly referring to past characters. I love the little teaser that bugged me the WHOLE STORY, and I am eager to read the next thing she has in line.
If I had to give a critique, I would say that the secret kept from Addy by her best friends was very obvious to me as a reader, telescoped in so many ways before the MC worked it out. Even saying that is a stretch, however, because a girl struggling with such enormous grief could easily miss those signs. It could be intentional, and I am choosing to believe it is.
Thank you to the author for the ARC of Can’t Catch My Breath in exchange for the opportunity to leave an honest review.