Series: Ten Tiny Breaths

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

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I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. TuckerTen Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on May 14th 2013
Source: Simon & Schuster Audio
Buy on Amazon

After a terrible car accident destroys her life as she knew it, twenty-year-old Kacey escapes to Florida, where she encounters an irresistible man determined to capture her wounded heart.

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, Kacey and her fifteen-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. They’re struggling to make ends meet at first, 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 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 revealing an explosive secret that could shatter both of their worlds

Am I maybe getting tired of New Adult a bit? Although I don’t feel I’ve read that many, I did read the top of the crop first. Ten Tiny Breaths was far from a bad book, I just can’t say it’s one of my favorites. The main – and really only – problem was that I got bored with the storyline that seemed to go nowhere for a while.

One thing to note in this New Adult novel is how the setting is not at college – or at any school – like most. Kacey is skipping college to be able to take care of her little sister after her parents died in a car accident. I found this gave a fresh standpoint; Kacey needs to become completely independent, if not for herself then for her sister. I loved this girl instantly. Kacey comes off as a hard shell but she didn’t fool me; she can take care of herself and is a far cry from a damsel in distress, but she uses her tough, sarcastic attitude to hide her pain. The shabby apartment she found is turned into a surprisingly cozy home that quickly fills with great secondary characters. There’s the hot neighbor for one. Then there’s Storm… Another neighbor of theirs, Storm shows up with her daughter and porn star body in tow and weaves herself into Kacey’s life. She’s initially portrayed as a flighty stripper, but ends up becoming an important and solid player in this book. Storm’s daughter, Mia, is just the cherry on top of this unorthodox family.

The romance in the book took a bit to convince me, especially when I looked at it from Kacey’s point of view. For someone so emotionally withdrawn, she fell for Trent’s charm very easily – and continually. Furthermore, Trent was leaning especially close to creepy stalker for a while, sitting in a club staring at her on a nightly basis. I don’t know if this was supposed to make me swoon but I didn’t find it especially appealing. At least they do have great chemistry which made their interactions fun to read nonetheless. And it did grow on me, whereas by the end I was completely invested in this frustrating relationship. *shrugs* What can I say?

My problems with this novel lay in the plot itself. I did love the stages of grief approach, and I was really enjoying the book during the first part, but then I realized I was thoroughly bored of waiting for something – anything – to unfold. Most of the book is used as a dramatic foreboding for an impending mental breakdown that we all know is coming. It felt like Kacey’s behavior and inner musings were mostly used to make what’s coming as tragic as possible. Even though there are fantastic characters to give the book a lot of liveliness, I still had the urge to press fast-forward on this audiobook at times. Once the lull is over, however, and even though I had predicted the twist chapters ago, the last part is so powerfully moving it makes it worth the wait. I was broken by Kacey’s situation. Her grief bleeds through so much it’s hard to bear. Some parts and reactions are a little extreme but I let that pass for how much emotional depth was put into it. If I have to believe it, at least let me feel it!

Ten Tiny Breaths is emotionally poignant and filled with animated characters that are easy to adore. The audiobook narrator was also great. I wish it would have kept my interest more towards the middle, but that aside, it’s a beautiful, heartbreaking story.