"At one point, Josh reflects, "There's something about watching someone die right in front of you that makes your petty relationship problems seem of little importance."
No one could argue with that. Yet for most of us, most of the time, life is our own petty concerns – which is why the relationship dynamics Whittall chronicles will resonate with anyone, straight or gay, who's ever fallen in or out of love.
In the final section of the novel a major crisis occurs, and this catalyst furnishes a resolution to the story. It seems like a convenient plot device, in a way. But the crisis also bears out one of the novel's major motifs, as illustrated by Josh's experiences as a paramedic: Life can change drastically (or end) in a flash, and there's no telling how or when that can happen.
In Holding Still for as Long as Possible, the awareness of mortality intersects with the romantic restlessness of youth. It makes for a story whose vital signs are fully present and robust." Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star