Title: One Tiny Lie
Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #2
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 fit 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.
I didn’t think it was possible to love the characters we first met in Ten Tiny Breaths any more than I already did. I was wrong. So so wrong. One Tiny Lie is Livie’s story. Livie is headed off to Princeton to start living her life according to the plan she and her parent’s had always discussed. As Livie faces her future without the worry of her sister’s wellbeing constantly weighing on her, she realizes she may just carry some pain and heartache of her own. With a new roommate, two very different guys getting her attention, and a persistent and unorthodox shrink, it’s time for Livie to define herself.
“I’m saying that it’s time for you to find out who you really are.”
When we first met Livie, she was the rock holding what’s left of her family together. She was serious, driven, intelligent, responsible and hardworking. I thought she was a great character and a wonderful sister, but it wasn’t until K.A. gave us a look into her heart and soul in One Tiny Lie that she stole my heart entirely. I could relate to Livie on some many levels. Underneath her desire to be perfect, lies a vulnerable, insecure, broken girl who doesn’t know the first thing about living life on her own terms. I didn’t expect this character to transform so completely over the course of this story. Her journey and ultimate transformation were absolutely stunning. No one can map out emotional growth and personal evolution quite like K.A. can.
“The only thing I regret is that it ever ended. And I’m the one who’s jealous. Insanely so.”
Ashton. I don’t even know where to begin with this incredible character. I’ve read a lot of damaged men, burying their pasts in women and parties, but none have made me feel for them quite like Ashton has. Ashton’s struggle was evident from the beginning and as the story progressed and we got to see more of this complicated man, I couldn’t help but be consumed by him. He finds himself emotionally exposed around Livie and the side of him she brings out is breathtaking. Their chemistry is undeniable, even when they’re both trying to ignore it. K.A. has written Livie and Ashton to compliment one another, to push each other’s buttons and to force one another to reveal their true character.
“Despite your extreme shyness, you will do just about anything not to fail. You don’t like to fail tests and you most certainly don’t like to fail people. Especially those you care about and respect.”
Every bit of Livie’s story tugged on my heartstrings. The uncertainty of being out on her own and her struggle to define herself came shining through in everything Livie did and said. Dr. Stayner also grew on me significantly in this book and I adored his role in Livie’s life. His quirky personality and unexpected behavior adds so much humor to this story. He is essential to Livie’s growth over the course of this book. Livie’s journey of self-doubt and self-discovery is genuine and honest. I could put myself in her shoes without hesitation. K.A. has once again written beautiful, authentic characters and an emotionally complex story that exudes love and life.
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Check out the rest of the Ten Tiny Breaths series:
In Her Wake (Ten Tiny Breaths #0.5)
Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths #1)
Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths #3)
Five Ways to Fall (Ten Tiny Breaths #4)