One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker Review: Cheating both ways

July 4, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 2 stars, Books, Reviews

One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker Review: Cheating both waysOne Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #2
Published by Atria Books on January 14, 2014
Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Amazon | Book Depository
Add to Goodreads

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. 

The following two tabs change content below.
Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

Tags: , , , , ,

59 responses to “One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker Review: Cheating both ways

  1. I have seen a lot of love for his series and a lot of UGH about this book in particular haha

    I haven't read the first one, but the series as a whole sounds like something I would enjoy. And don't you HATE it when a book is SO WELL WRITTEN but it makes your angry!?

  2. I don't necessarily "like" it either, but I will read ones with cheating, because I am curious to see how the author will handle it.

  3. I don't think this one is for me either. Cheating is unacceptable in my mind. If you don't want what you have at home let it go and go hunting then. That's called putting on your big girl/boy panties. To hurt someone that you love or have loved like that isn't acceptable. "Oh, I didn't tell them because I didn't want to hurt them" No fool you didn't tell them because you didn't want to deal with their reactions.
    Tina @ Not Yet Read recently posted…Just Couldn’t Put it Down Giveaway HopMy Profile

  4. The story was written pretty well wasn't it, I just don't know why they kept on picking on Livvie and insisting she was abnormal, as you said. Ah wells! Thank you Shirley.

  5. I really did like TTB as well, even though there were a few usual tropes in that one. Livie did change her personality and it was lame that she gave up herself for the typical bad boy. It was really frustrating wasn't it! Ugggh. *shudders*

  6. I hate cheating, too, but somehow, I still loved One Tiny Lie. I guess it's a little bit hypocritical of me, but I really, really did. Usually, if there is cheating in a book, and those who are cheating end up together, I hope they will make each other miserable. Not so for Livie and Ashton, and I truly have no explanation for it, either. Cheating is the one thing I know I could never forgive…

    Your review is awesome, though, Jeann! And I hope you'll enjoy Four Seconds to Lose if you decide to read it.
    Lexxie @ (un)Convent recently posted…Review: Lockstep – Karl SchroederMy Profile

  7. I know exactly how you felt Jeann! I loved Tucker's writing but the cheating was horrible :/ I think I ended up liking the book because I tend to overlook cheating when the story is written brilliantly. I also couldn't understand why the psychiatrist felt she was "abnormal" just because she had her life set out; I mean, I still think she would've lived a happy life if everyone left her alone. However, I do understand some people suppress their inner beast/party-mode until someone encourages them to let it out and then they realise what they truly want. Brilliant review Jeann! I'm glad you loved the writing despite the inexcusable things that happened :/
    Shirley recently posted…Review: Come Back to Me by Mila GrayMy Profile

  8. Oh well, this doesn't sound good. I HATE cheating in books and understand your opinion.

    Although, I think I will read the first book because I heard so many good things about it! 😀

    Great review!
    Lola recently posted…Review of Croak by Gina DamicoMy Profile

  9. So far I've been seeing pretty negative reviews for this book, which is a shame because I read and quite enjoyed Ten Tiny Breaths — one of the few NA books I've ever liked. I'm kind of thankful I never bothered to give the sequel a try, hah. Cheating is just wrong on all levels, no excuses.

    And ugh, what I find super unrealistic and stupid is how Livie went through a 360° personality change and did all that idiotic shit. I mean, she was so nice in Ten Tiny Breaths, and now she's just a plain bitch. Honestly, I'm so tired of all these NA tropes. The bad boy with the troubled background. The MC who's actually a really good girl, only to turn bad when she gets to college. Both of them noticing each other because that's SO original.

    Lol, just talking about this makes me want to pull my hair out. 😛 If the other reviews didn't convince me NOT to read this book, yours definitely did! So thanks for such a great review, Jeann. And those quotes — "You're my forever girl." — GAG.
    Megan (Adrift on Vul recently posted…This Week: Bookstagrams & MoreMy Profile

  10. I totally know how you feel! I have read this one a while ago and while I did enjoy the writing and I have read it really fast, the cheating in this book is such a turn off. I ended up abandoning this series at the end. I really hope that there won't be cheating in them if you decide to read them. Great review, Jeann 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Sunday Post (#14)My Profile

  11. I really enjoyed the first book but I deleted this one from my tbr pile because of the subject matter – cheating in any form just isn't for me.

    I'm still curious about book 3 though because I did enjoy this authors writing.

    A great, honest review – I hope your next read is a good one. Sharon – Obsession with Books

  12. I actually enjoyed this book (gave it 3 stars) but I didn't looooooooooooooove it. Although, I did think the writing was solid. While I don't mind cheating in fiction, that doesn't mean I condone it in real life. Anyway, I think a few things kept me from loving it but I can't remember what. I hope the next book you read is FABULOUS. Great review Jeann! 😉
    Cristina recently posted…Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh BardugoMy Profile

  13. If there is cheating involved, count me out of it. I just can't swallow it when it's included in a book, you know? Unless of course its role there is to be used as a plot device to teach readers, but if it's something like this, I find myself in turmoil as well because it makes me physically ill. Not bothering, thank you very much!
    Faye @ The Social Po recently posted…ARC Review: Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica MartinezMy Profile

    • I'm exactly the same and I can't ship a couple when there's cheating going on! It was really hard to ship the couple in Maybe Someday but I ended up doing so, because of Colleen Hoover's amazing writing.

  14. NOPE. I can't do cheating either. Hate it. HATE, loathe, detest, and abominate it, in fact. I'm glad you do too (strength in numbers, and all that), but I'm sorry you suffered through this. I don't care how brilliantly written something is, if it's ultimately about cheating, I'm not going to like the characters, so who cares? Not this girl. Great review, Jeann!
    Jessica @ Rabid Read recently posted…Early Review + Interview: The Winter King by C.L. WilsonMy Profile

  15. "How do you rate a book where you loved the writing, but you hated what conspired inside?" The ultimate dilemma.

    I really can't wrap my head around this book. I don't like cheating in books, and Livie doesn't seem like someone I'd relate to. At least the books are companion novels (or so I've heard), so I could easily skip this one if I feel too skeptical about it. Great review, Jeann.
    Marianne @ Boricuan recently posted…Review: Locks: Rapunzel Unhinged by Sarah J. PepperMy Profile

    • Yes, it's not often with series if you don't like the subject matter you can just skip it and go onto the next one. I wish I skipped this one, but I have this problem with continuity lol.

  16. I'm not a huge fan of books with cheating in them either, so I think this will be a miss for me! It's a shame because it sounds like you really did enjoy the writing and the characters quite a bit. Nonetheless, thanks for sharing Jeann, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

  17. Don't have me but I love books like this. Here's why, it's not that I condone cheating but when you read as much as we do, it takes a LOT to blow us away or get us invested. This topic never fails to rile me up so it's my bookish way of "bleeding to know I'm still alive" kinda thing.

    I don't usually read NA but I think I will make an exception for this series. I'm primed to get riled up!
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…#FBF: Discovery of Witches by Deorah HarknessMy Profile

    • Wow Braine, that is a new one, I gotta say I haven't heard anyone say they kind of enjoy that kind of topic lol. Glad to hear you'll read the series though, it really is good.

      • No! I don't enjoy it! LOL

        Controversial topics like this gets me emotionally involved. Usually I get pissed off and i like books that evoke strong emotions from me both good and bad. Plus I'm in it more for the authors skill. The MCs are predisposed to be disliked coz they're cheaters so how is she going to spin it to change her readers minds and make them root for them, know what I mean?
        Braine recently posted…#FBF: Discovery of Witches by Deborah HarknessMy Profile

  18. I usually don't like books about cheating either, both physically and emotionally. That's definitely too bad that this book was full of it because I've heard K.A. Tucker writes great books and the rest of the series is wonderful. Maybe I'll just skip this one when I get to reading the Ten Tiny Breaths series. Thanks for the review! Hope your next read is better, Jeann!
    Cyn @ Book Munchies recently posted…Review: Buzz Kill by Beth FantaskeyMy Profile

  19. High-fives you!

    I absolutely hated this book with a burning passion. I hated the cheating. I hated how Livie turned into this dumb annoying girl who didn't think despite being smart. I hated the people around her who constantly pushed her to do things.

    "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. "

    THIS! Gosh, I wanted to slap Kacey and strangle Stayner! There's nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting to maintain good grades. It was so unrealistic how these two kept pushing her to do these wild things that in real life would have potentially destroyed her and her career.

    And don't even get me started on Ashton, the douche. Ugh.

    I do agree that the writing was good though, but I couldn't stomach the cheating and had to DNF.

    I'm sorry you felt similarly, Jeann. Great review!

    • Thanks Nick, Livie did a complete 180 with her character didn't she? She's super smart but man, can be so dumb when it comes to boys and stuff! It was really annoying how they were like basically setting her up to fail, which wasn't really supportive at all. If I was Livie I would have felt a lot more angry and annoyed about it, instead of going along with it.

  20. I feel you, Jeann. Real-life cheating is the worst! And reading them in books reminds me of what I felt when it happened to me. The writing might persuade me to read this, but I am not really in the mood for this. Does "Ten Tiny Breaths" have cheating, too? I have that ebook.
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…A Paperback Giveaway (PH)My Profile

    • Oh no, you'd definitely want to steer clear of anything with cheating them, it will just make you remember! That sounds terrible Dre, I wish there wasn't scum like that on earth *shakes fist*. Nah, TTB is good. If you read this series, I suggest skipping this one, because they can be stand alone.

  21. Urgh theres TONS of cheating in this one? Gross.

    I'm not a fan of that type of stuff, admittedly i've read the two last books in the Ten Tiny Breaths series and loved them but i have a feelings i'm going to need to stay away from this one for the sake of my sanity.
    Lily recently posted…Landline:ReviewMy Profile

    • I know right, Ashton was just an insensitive prick that made me angry grrr. I don't care how sexy he was but he kept on leading on the MC. Glad to hear you loved the last 2, I've heard they are better too.

  22. Lots of cheating? Aww that's too bad 🙁 I've been looking forward to KA Tucker's Ten Tiny breaths…I hope it won't suck like One Tiny Lie. The book was so expensive, I swear. A moth just flew out of my wallet.

  23. Ick. Cheating -__- You know I hate that just as much as you do! I cannot root for a cheating story, I just can't!

    I actually read Ten Tiny Breaths and really didn't like that one at all, so I doubt I'd like this much anyone. I just don't think K.A. Tucker and I mesh well 🙁

    • I know right? I even think 2.5 stars was too generous for the story but I was drawn to the book, until THOSE scenes happened, ugh. Too bad you didn't like TTB either!

  24. Ohhh, the first line, Jeann! The first. Line. Exactly what I thought of this book. Dr. Stayner is just.. ughhh! I refuse to believe that there are this kind of therapists out there >.< Sorry! I know you like him, but I just can't take him seriously -.- The cheating wasn't fucking justified. The guy is a douche no matter what the ending says. His abuse thing isn't an excuse to cheat on your best mate (who, excuse me, I didn't even thought was his best mate until they mentioned it since they weren't very best mate-ly) and his girlfriend, because by the end of it I just didn't care. The more I think about this book, the angrier I get. This one is a huge disappointment for me in this series. I'd advise you to read Four Seconds to Lose already and jump into Five Ways to Fall since FWtF is just everything!!!! EVERYTHING, JEANN!! Great thorough review and I'm sorry it didn't sit well with you either :/
    Siiri recently posted…Mini-reviews: This Girl and Finding Cinderella by Colleen HooverMy Profile

    • Yeah, I think if we accepted Dr. stayner as a fictional character it's a lot more believable lol. Yeah, Ashton was so terrible. I was like why is this acceptable, especially for Livie? It was really ridiculous. I will be reading Four Seconds to Lose!

  25. I can totally see what you mean! There was just so much miscommunication and silly conclusions and this book that it can definitely become super annoying. Fabulous review though Jeann! Super thorough as always. 😀
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…Massive Thank YouMy Profile

  26. Yep. This book is definitely not for me. I've been cheated on so on a personal level, I cannot stand cheating in books. I don't care how HEA the relationship ended up to be. I detest cheaters and I do think I'm pretty close-minded about this but it is what it is, even though I feel like I'm missing out the the beautiful writing, I would just have to try another book by the author. Awesome review, as always, Jeann!
    Amir recently posted…Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin ChupecoMy Profile

  27. I'm sorry it wasn't a good one for you. I can understand why the topic was the problem with the book. I only read one book where the main character cheated on his wife, I hated it.

    Anyway, great review