Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K. A. Tucker

Title: Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths #1)
Author: K. A. Tucker
Genre: New Adult Contemporary

Goodreads rating: 4.38 out of 5.00 (7, 800+ ratings)
Goodreads | Book Depository

Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

Review by Chantelle

With a blurb like that, you know that this whole novel hinges on the massive secret which is Trent's "unforgivable past", this devastating secret which could ruin absolutely everything. 
Too bad both Nara and I guessed it a third of the way into the novel...

Ladies, it's not exactly hard. If you really need my help, spoiler.
Kacey, girl who was in a terrible car crash in which there was only one other male survivor from the other car. This scenario + angsty novel = not rocket science to figure out who this "Trent-with-an-unforgiveable-past" will be.
The bad thing about guessing the twist so quickly, is that it instantly diminished the appeal of the novel for me. You know when you do the taboo thing of either skipping to the end of a book or resorting to wiki to find out what happens, and then when you finally find out it's sort of like, "oh..." and suddenly finishing the book doesn't really seem all that worthwhile. Well it was sort of like that for me, except worse because I figured it out myself when I shouldn't have been able to. And so early on too...

Nevertheless, I persevered because of all the hype around this novel, and because it was a decent read. I didn't hate it. Kacey Cleary is a young girl who was in a truly horrific car crash where all her loved ones save her younger sister, Livie, were killed as a result of a drunk driver and his friends. Her sense of happiness evaporated, and she resorted to kick-boxing and meaningless sex. She's fucked up. I get it. And lo behold, across the hall lives Trent, a blue eyed dimpled god who is all sorts of nice. But here's where things get a little funky.

Okay my dear reader, imagine that you meet Trent, 24, a guy who is being way too nice when you're trying to be a bitch, and who will sit and stare at you every night for the entire night while you work, because it's totally not suspicious that he doesn't have a job or responsibilities or anything else to do with his time when he's of a pre-retirement age. He does this even though you haven't really even had a proper conversation. 
I'M THINKING CREEPY STALKER. If he wasn't smoking hot, there would be a lot more people agreeing with me. 

The character of Kacey was well built, I definitely understood where she was coming from, why she did the things she did, why she reacted like she did. However, I found her dialogue was a little questionable. At times, it didn't feel consistent with her character. She's not exactly a witty character, she's blunt, she's a hardass, she's drowning in her sorrows. And yet, out of the blue, conversations like this happen,
       “You’ve hardly touched your pasta,” Ben notes. We’re at an Italian restaurant five minutes away from Penny’s.
      “I’ve touched it plenty,” I grumble as I stab it with my fork. “I’ve touched it so much that your pasta is jealous. I hear talk of a spaghetti smack down.”

It's not a bad line, but it's almost as if K. A. Tucker was just like, oh hey that's funny! I'm going to put that in there even though it's totally out of character. Could the real Slim Kacey please stand up! Because that certainly didn't seem like her. Don't even get me started on the "unconventional Doctor"...

Another thing was the clichés...
“You don’t want me... I’m seven layers of fucked up”
“Forever’s not long enough when it’s with you.” 
Unless the romance is actually believable and not a hybrid of stalkers, obvious plot lines and instalove, this cliché is a one way ticket to boff city. 

Most ridiculous line: "Trent destroyed my life. Twice." because well, no honey, he didn't.

Overall: Not a bad read, but not great either. 

Overall: 6/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5

And just have to add, that despite the epilogue, there is a sequel, titled One Tiny Lie, out now, I'll probably be reading it. 

Other books that in my opinion did a better job of being "seven layers of fucked up"

  1. The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies #1) by Tarryn Fisher
    Guys, meet Olivia... (review here)
    Don't kill me if you love and regret this book at the same time!
  2. Lover Awakened (Blackdagger Brotherhood #3) by J.R. Ward
    You sort of have to read the series from the beginning to understand it, but this third installment is definitely the best!
  3. Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet #1) by C.J. Roberts
    Definitely not for everyone, (Nara don't even try reading this), but for those of you who want fucked up angst in all it's glory...
  4. Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
    A more PG suggestion, and dibs on Wolf!


  1. LOL, I laughed at the part where you said you figured it out, and you were like "Oh..." I strongly dislike books that are predictable it just makes it even less bearable, especially if you figured out the whole plot as early on as you did. I've actually seen this book around lately. So, I get the hype part. (Will the real Slim Kacey please stand up?)All the reviews, for the most part seem to like the book. I added it to my summer reading list, so hopefully when I get to it - I don't completely hate it. Thanks for the review! (:

    Demi @ Characterized Book Reviews

    1. haha thanks for stopping by Demi! I hope you enjoy the book anyway, most of my friends really liked it :) Will the real Slim Kacy please stand up, was supposed to be a play on Slim Shady (the song by Eminem, as in that Kacey didn't seem like the 'real' Kacey), but it's a really old song so it does seem quite random in the review!

  2. You know, I agree with your review, Chantelle, even though I personally loved it! Maybe I'm just dense but I didn't get that Trent was the one of the party that was in the car, and I was floored by the reveal! Sorry that you didn't enjoy it more!

    Did you ever get around to reading One Tiny Lie? I read it shortly after Ten Tiny Breaths, and I liked it quite a bit less. :(

    1. Hahaha no I haven't! I was definitely planning to but then never got around to it. Shame you didn't like it, sequels are always so risky like that ey :\ Even more hesitant to start it if you didn't like it, I'll trust your word on that one!