The Art of Breathing Audiobook by TJ Klune Narrated by Sean Crisden


Dreamspinner Presents:

Tyson Thompson graduated high school at sixteen and left the town of Seafare, Oregon, bound for what he assumed would be bigger and better things. He soon found out the real world has teeth, and he returns to the coast with four years of failure, addiction, and a diagnosis of panic disorder trailing behind him. His brother, Bear, and his brother’s husband, Otter, believe coming home is exactly what Tyson needs to find himself again. Surrounded by family in the Green Monstrosity, Tyson attempts to put the pieces of his broken life back together.

But shortly after he arrives home, Tyson comes face to face with inevitability in the form of his childhood friend and first love, Dominic Miller, who he hasn’t seen since the day he left Seafare. As their paths cross, old wounds reopen, new secrets are revealed, and Tyson discovers there is more to his own story than he was told all those years ago.

In a sea of familiar faces, new friends, and the memories of a mother’s devastating choice, Tyson will learn that in order to have any hope for a future, he must fight the ghosts of his past.

My Review


Here’s a brief run-down of the story:

Ty has fallen for Dom, Dom ends up getting married and having a baby. Ty gets freaked the eff out and runs away to school where he gets addicted to anti-anxiety drugs. Ty makes a friend/boyfriend but it’s not “all that”. Ty gets off drugs. Ty goes on a trip to the Southwest. Ty reconnects with Dom. Crazy stuff happens in the last few pages showing us what will likely show up in the next installment.

It took me forever to write this review – so long in fact, the audiobook came out! So…I decided to combine the two, save everyone some time.

I think the main reason it took so long to write this is my ambivalence towards the book.

Things that I loved: It was great seeing everyone again. I love these characters. They make me laugh and cry and howl. They are so very entertaining. I had longed to see Ty and Dom together and was so satisfied when they finally do hook up. TJ is a hysterical writer and I am always entertained by his writing. The forward movement of the story looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see Bear and Otter as parents again! Hopefully we will get to see more of Ty and Dom as an established couple in the next book.

What I didn’t love: So much of the story was NOT about Ty and Dom together. The story felt fractured into these widely divergent pieces. There was the “remember when”, “the reunion”, “the trip to meet Sandy”, “lots of lots of Ty angst” and only a teeny tiny smidge of “Ty and Dom the couple”. I wanted that, the couple part. I yearned for it. And they were almost never together on page.

What I both loved and hated:
Bear’s ramblings: He’s funny and I love where his mind goes, but sometimes he took the light away from Ty and Dom.

Dom: He changed. I really felt like the sweet, never going to leave Ty-guy, did. He left Ty. That was really hard to swallow. And I don’t know that I felt like that change was ever really fully justified. On the other hand, new-Dom was a more complex character and I really appreciated that he actually seems like a grown-up with grown-up concerns and priorities in a land of perpetual “Young Adults” like Bear and Creed.

The Cross Over: I both loved and hated the cross over with “Tell Me It’s Real”. It felt superfluous. Sure, I LOVED that book and thought all the interactions between the characters were funny. But necessary? No. Not really.

Kori/Core: As the best friend cum boyfriend s/he did fulfill an important roll, but again, sometimes I felt like this was more about Ty and Kori than Dom. Kori got more pages (it felt) than Dom.

I think that, at this point, some of the ramblings and meanderings that have become sort of the hallmark to TJ’s writing could really use a more forceful editing. He clearly has talent, creativity and an amazing sense of humor, but I wish that this book could have been more focused and more tightly drawn to show Dom and Ty more and the others, less. (Even though they’re funny, they took away from the story. IMHO)

So, though I hate to do it, I’d give this a 3 of 5 hearts. I liked it (at times I loved it) but when I look back at what I wish the story was and what I got, I’m disappointed. It won’t stop me from being a fan and from devouring the next book, but I am hopeful there will be some positive changes.


I love Sean Crisden. I think he does a terrific job and I really liked his Dom voice. He also did great work with Sandy and though I wouldn’t have thought of Vince as a kind of stoner, it worked. Ty was appropriately whiny and Otter rumbly. I think I enjoyed listening to this more than reading it because Sean gives the characters even more color and charm. Of course it’s hella long, 15 hours, so pace yourself, but it’s worth it! 4.5 of 5 hearts.


Overall 4 of 5 hearts.