(Ten Tiny Breaths series, book 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 am kicking myself for not reading this sooner!
This is a beautifully written story that gave me the perfect amount of angst, humor, and romance. I had high hopes for this novel, because of how much I was utterly and completely consumed by Ten Tiny Breaths. While this one didn't quite measure up to its predecessor, it was still a really wonderful read and made me adore Livie even more than I already did.
Olivia Cleary is an old soul. After her parents are killed in a car accident and her older sister spirals into the depths of drugs and alcohol, Livie is forced to be an adult; to be responsible well beyond her years. She has been the solid constant amongst uncontrollable chaos. With her dream of attending Princeton and eventually becoming a doctor on the horizon, her life path is still very much intact. Until she meets Ashton Henley; the biggest womanizer on campus with a past no one really knows much about…because that's exactly the way he wants it. While Livie battles with the fact that he is the exact opposite of who she should be with and yet refuses to let him go, she begins to question everything – Princeton, her career choice, her whole entire future. It's not a clear path anymore. It's blurry. With a blank slate in front of her, she is left to decide whether to continue down the path she has had laid out for her since she was eleven years old, or start living for her and realize that what needs may not be what she always thought she wanted.
Not surprisingly, One Tiny Lie is incredibly well written and while there are a ton of college romance stories out there, K.A. Tucker found a way to make this particular one unique. While this technically could be read as a standalone novel, I wouldn't recommend it. Reading Ten Tiny Breaths first will give you really valuable character insight, as well as establish the relationship Olivia has with her older sister, Kacey and various other secondary characters mentioned throughout this book, including Dr. Stayner. I absolutely love how much he genuinely cares about Livie's wellbeing, and any scene that includes him is guaranteed to give you a laugh!
There is a love triangle, but honestly, it doesn't feel like one. I am someone who isn't a big fan of triangles – I usually always find myself pulling for the guy that isn't picked, and let's face it, that's heartbreaking to me. It's like I got invested in a relationship only to be dumped through a text or something equally as awful at the end. So, yeah…love triangles aren't usually fun reads for me. However, there are some that I can tolerate and actually enjoy; the ones where it is a blatantly clear who the main character should choose. Sure, it might take out some of the drama or suspense of "oh my god, who is she going to choose?!" but that's better for me. I don’t want to fall in love with the guy she doesn't pick. I want to be happy with who she chooses, not left pouting in a corner. Needless to say, One Tiny Lie falls into the category of "love triangles I actually enjoyed." Connor was charming and a very likable character, but he never outshone Ashton to me...and that's saying something considering how many times I wanted to smack Ashton right across his perfect face! That boy frustrated me to no end, but I still always found myself rooting for him.
One Tiny Lie is a beautiful story that, to me, is more about self discovery than the actual romance. There is the element of romance, but this is the journey of Livie discovering how to live for the present and let go of the past; that maintaining the same route all of your life isn't always the best option. Sometimes you need to take a detour to get to where you're supposed to be.