Review: Ten Tiny Breaths

◆ Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
◆ Read April 2014
◆ English Edition
❝ 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.❞
This is such a hard book to review because I loathed the first half of it, but then the second half was better so I'm kind of torn between giving it two or three stars. Though I did enjoy it to a certain level, the good things certainly did not outweigh the bad which is why I settled for two stars in the end. 

Let me start of with what I did not like about Ten Tiny Breaths:

Kacey is an unlikable protagonist. Certain things can be excused given her situation and past, but she was still selfish, rude, aggressive and a bitch. But most of all, I thought Kacey was a hypocrite, judging everything and everybody while at the same time not being much better than them. While reading I came to really loathe Kacey (and not in a good way either) and not even the ending could change that.

Which brings me to the the love interest and supposed love story. We know nothing about Trent except that he is apparently incredibly, smoking hot. Basically no other characteristics are given and I'm still wondering why the hell Kacey suddenly opens up completely to a guy she barely knows. It seems that her entire reasoning is based on the fact that he is good looking and has a nice body. My second point: this is such a bad love story. The basis for their relationship is sex and physical attraction but there is zero focus on an actual emotional connection. It's not love I saw in mind while I read, more like friends with benefits.

To continue on this note, the first half of the book contained no actual plot except for Kacey falling in "love" Instead there was a constant focus on sex, sexuality, nudity, looks etc. Kacey literally focuses on nothing else throughout the entire book. She thinks more about these things than the average man! It gets so incredibly boring and adds nothing to the plot, it only makes Kacey seem more shallow. She thinks everybody in the world wants to have sex with her. If this is what New Adult is supposed to be like, then it has lost all appeal.

What else? The book features some really unrealistic events that made it blatantly obvious that Ten Tiny Breaths is fiction. Examples are the snake incident with Trent miraculously being present and kicking in doors, Kacey being accepted as bartender without as much as a second's thought or interview etc. I don't mind a bit of unrealistic, but this was just too much.

Lastly, I hated that there was a serious case of stalking going on for years, but that it was cast aside quickly, not to be touched on again as a topic. It does not necessary paint stalking as something acceptable, but it does not portray it as something seriously wrong either. In fact, to a certain level excuses are made and it kind of justifies the whole ordeal. I had the same issue with Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey and I'm disappointed that it keeps happening.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's focus on the good things:

There was some character development towards the end, right around the plot twist. Kacey becomes aware of how much her sister Livie has been hurting too and she learns to forgive. Furthermore, we suddenly get insight into who Trent is and to a certain level what goes on in his mind. This in particular really touched me and finally got me to feel emotionally connected to the book.

In addition, I loved how the author chose to focus on all victims involved in a drunk driving accident. It's not just about Kacey - who was present - but also about the person who indirectly caused the accident, his family and friends, Kacey's family and friends. It shows a perspective that people don't often think about - that people make mistakes and that some mistakes are almost unbearable to live with.

Even though Ten Tiny Breaths has many faults (this review has turned into some sort of rant, hah), the good parts redeemed it and made it in an "okay read", thus the two stars. 

2 star because:
✓Some form of character development towards the end
✓ Focus on all victims involved in drunk driving
✗Unlikable protagonist
✗Too much focus on sex and nudity, too little actual plot
✗Strange portrayal of love
✗Unrealistic events
✗ Casts aside the issue of stalking


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