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Jus Breathe

5 Star Review

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Editorial Book Review:

By Lucia Zel

B. Lynn Carter's moving and strong story "Jus Breathe" explores closely the hardships and victories of a young Black lady growing of age in the volatile sixties. Against the backdrop of New York City, this book deftly tells a gripping tale of love, fortitude, and self-discovery.

In every aspect, Dawn, the protagonist, is a survivor. Her path starts with escaping a violent house, a deed that prepares her for her lifetime struggle against her inner demons—personified by the "Midnight Duckling" that torments her. Her past tragedies and the stifling grasp of fear and self-doubt are always reminded of by this symbolic presence.

Dawn's life is shown by Carter in a real-life, gritty yet understandable manner. Dawn gets good at "sofa-surfing" and honing her special superpower—the capacity to leave events in an instant—as she negotiates the demands of college life. Following the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a period of social turmoil and personal change, this survival mechanism is put to its most test.

Danny's arrival into Dawn's life introduces a strong, poisonous love narrative into the mix. Carter deftly portrays the complexity of their relationship and the thin line separating love from domination. Heart-wrenching and inspirational, Dawn's inner struggle to free herself from Danny's influence and fight the Duckling's hold on her psyche is both

"Jus Breathe" tells a story about recovering one's power and identity, not only a love story. Dawn's growth from a "leaver" to someone who must face and conquer her fears to survive is evidence of her fortitude and will. The sixties environment offers a layer of historical background, therefore enhancing the narrative with the political and cultural conflicts of that time.

With startling clarity and emotional depth, B. Lynn Carter's colorful and evocative work brings Dawn's world to life. The speculative aspects of the book as well as its realistic approach of current events produce a distinctive and interesting reading experience.

"Jus Breathe" is ultimately a gripping story of survival, love, and self-empowerment. Long after they have turned the last page, readers will find resonance in B. Lynn Carter's poignant narrative. Dawn's path to kill her inner Duckling and accept her actual self serves as a potent reminder of the fortitude and will everyone has. Anyone looking for a narrative of bravery, change, and the relentless human spirit should definitely read this book.

About the Author

B. Lynn Carter

B. Lynn Carter was born and raised in the Bronx. She earned a BA in creative writing from CCNY (The City College of New York.)

Lynn’s multi-award-winning debut novel “Jus Breathe,” was published by Between The Lines Publications and launched on October 11th. 2022.

Since its launch, “Jus Breathe” has won 1st place in The International Book Awards, in the category of African American fiction! It’s won the Pen Craft Best Book of 2023 award, as well as 2nd place in the Pencraft Award for literary excellence. In addition, Jus Breathe has won the Firebird Grand Prize for general fiction, the Firebird Award for African American fiction and the Firebird award for best cover art. The book was also a finalist In the Independent Author Network’s award competition and got honorable mention in the New York Book Fests 2023 award competition.

Lynn has had short stories published in various literary magazines. Her short story “One Wild Ride,” published by Aaduna magazine, was nominated for the Pushcart award in 2014. Her short story "Las Sinverquenzas,” originally published by Drunk Monkeys magazines has been republished by Querencia Press in their fall’22 anthology.

Lynn’s second novel “The Eyes Have It’ has won the first-place prize for fiction, in The Black Writers Workspace "Chapter One" competition.

“The Eyes Have It,” is scheduled for release in late 2024.


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