Title: Ten Tiny Breaths
Author: K. A. Tucker
Genre: New Adult, romance, fiction
Series? No (but there is a companion novel)
Publisher: Atria Books (September 2013)
Rating: 5/6 – I loved it
Synopsis from cover: Just breathe, Kacey. Ten tiny breaths. Seize them. Feel them. Love them.
Four years ago Kacey Cleary’s life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend, and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, holding her boyfriend’s lifeless hand and listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, twenty-year-old Kacey and her fifteen-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. Struggling to make ends meet, Kacey needs to figure out how to get by. But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle anything—anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.
Trent Emerson has smoldering blue eyes, deep dimples, and he perfectly skates that irresistible line between nice guy and bad boy. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey is determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their mutual attraction is undeniable and Trent is determined to find a way into Kacey’s guarded heart—even if it means that an explosive secret could shatter both their worlds.
My Initial Thoughts/Rambling: Here’s a fact about me: when I get depressed, I tend to gravitate towards teen romances. No fantasy, no mystery, just a straight up love-fest. I guess it’s that whole “wanting to believe in a greater, unforeseen force.” You know, “love conquers all” and all that fluff. If I ship the main characters within the first quarter of the book, I’m in. So, last weekend, I kind of went on a binge, and Ten Tiny Breaths is the first that I’ll be reviewing out of the four (so far) that I’ve read while on my romance kick. Possible Spoilers Ahead.
Disclaimer: I was given a free ebook copy of Ten Tiny Breaths from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What did I think about the characters? Kacey was really easy to connect to, because she’s driven primarily by her need to protect her younger sister, Livie. As an older sister myself, I get that. You would do anything to protect your sibling, no matter how annoying they can get at times. Tucker did a great job portraying that, while also managing to ensure that Kacey wasn’t formed entirely around her sister. Kacey has her own demons to deal with, and what I enjoyed the most about her character development was that she couldn’t defeat them on her own: she had to admit that she needed help. Too often female characters have that “I can deal with anything all on my own” mentality, and it was refreshing to see this change.
The other characters were perfect complements as well. They all stood out with their own personalities and motivations, and I never confused one for the other. They were all distinct, and that earns major brownie points in my book. Trent, actually, was my least favorite character, if I looked at him critically, but I put my romance goggles on and everything made sense, even if he was a bit intense (and not in the good way) at times. I fell in love with him, in the end.
And the concept and plot? Concept: We’ve all read it a thousand times: a broken girl and a mysterious boy, thrown together in seemingly random circumstances and from there try to put each other back together. It’s nothing new, but it’s one of my favorite tropes in this genre.
Plot: I really liked this one because while it was in the NA genre, it wasn’t set in college. Kacey and Livie escape from some crappy circumstances, and are living on their own in the big bad world. It was well-paced, and every page counted in this one.
HOWEVER – there were a few things that I didn’t like. One was how quickly Trent and Kacey fell together, but I guess that’s expected in this genre and it’s kind of pointless to gripe about it anymore. The second was a bit on the creepy side, and even though I had kind of seen it coming there was that part of me that was still holding out and hoping Tucker wouldn’t take the easy way out in this plot. It didn’t stop me from loving the book, but I might have given it a 6/6 if the “twist” hadn’t been there.
What about the writing style? Pushing aside my personal misgivings, I couldn’t put this book down. I inhaled the second half in one sitting, and had that happy lighthearted fluttery feeling in my chest when I shut the iPad down. Tucker writes in a way that draws you in, and you really feel for the characters after only a short while.
Anything else you’d like to add? Despite the few nit-picks I had, I’d totally buy this one on paperback when it’s officially released. I highly recommend it! You can find it on Kindle already, and the paperback comes out on the 24th of September. I’m also going to check out the follow up novel to this one, One Tiny Lie, which is Livie’s perspective as she experiences her first year of college. But the paperback doesn’t come out till next year… Sadness abounds.