Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #2
Published by Atria Books on January 14, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
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Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents' tragic death and Kacey's self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would...and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.
Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?
As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.
How do you rate a book where you loved the writing, but you hated what conspired inside?
One Tiny Lie was captivating, but it was also one that I couldn’t bear to read, because it contains the one inexcusable thing that a love interest can do to turn me off completely: cheating, and lots of it.
Not only cheating from the handsome “sex on a stick” Ashton, but also cheating from the good girl gone bad Livie who was perfectly fine until she hit college. Lots and lots of cheating, which escalates and gets worse as we see Livie stumble, repel and lie her way through her boyfriend’s face.
It doesn’t matter that they’re taking things slow, or that they technically haven’t slept together yet. Because the longer she leaves it, the more she hurts Connor’s feelings, and I just couldn’t ship a couple that could do this to their respective partners, no matter how hot the romance was.
“Because you’re not a one-night girl, Irish.’ Leaning in to place a kiss on my jawline, he whispers, ‘You’re my forever girl.”
Oh Livie, how did poor innocent naive Livie turn into this mess? She’s a wild beast let out of her sexually repressed cage and all she can think about is Ashton, even though he sleeps with other women. Her grades drop, she stumbles and hurts herself while staring at him and as her father said, boys turn girls stupid. She doesn’t even wear a condom for gods sake, you’d think a straight A student would be smarter than this.
I just didn’t understand why her sister Kacey and the psychiatrist Dr. Stayner insisted that she was completely fucked up, just because she wanted to do med school and because she was forced to mature early when her parents died. If they left her alone she would have been fine, but the book kind of made it out to be a bad thing.
“And he’s definitely a train wreck,” Kacey repeats. “He needs to clear the tracks before he can move on with anyone, and that includes you.”
Speaking of Ashton, the whole dynamic there was similar to Ten Tiny Breaths where the protagonist falls in love with the damaged guy. Only in this case, his prolific sleeping around and cheating on his girlfriend seems to be justified by the end of the book just because of his sad back story of abuse.
Sure it all turned out to be warm and fluffy by the end of it, with Dr. Stayner being right and Livie actually deciding that she’s gone down the wrong preplanned path that her parents hoped for her. It all winds up predictably happy in the end.
So did I enjoy it? One Tiny Lie was written brilliantly, with all of the raw emotion, honesty and confusion being handled beautifully by K.A. Tucker. There’s something gorgeous about her writing and how she can handle such damaged characters with ease, with great fascinating secondary characters. I love Dr. Stayner as the quirky, unconventional psychiatrist who has weaseled his way into being the family psychiatrist.
I just can’t condone cheating or any forms of it and even the sexy scenes just turned me off the book completely. I’m not particularly keen on the damaged bad boy romance either, I’ll pick someone who hasn’t slept with countless women, thank you very much.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.