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A Reader of Fictions: Review: Ten Tiny Breaths

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths

Ten Tiny Breaths  
Ten Tiny Breaths, Book 1

Author: K.A. Tucker
Pages: 256
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley for review

Description from Goodreads:
Four years after losing her parents, best friend, and boyfriend in a drunk driving accident, twenty-year-old Kacey Cleary runs away to begin a new life in Miami. Hardened by the tragedy, she's determined to keep everyone at a distanceā€”until she meets an irresistible and mysterious neighbor who is determined to melt the ice over her heart.

First Sentence: "'Just breathe,' my mom would say."

Review:
Don't tell anyone, but I'm a bit of a softie, and part of me really likes romance novels. I know I talk a big game with my rants about how pointless New Adult is a category, and I still don't subscribe to it, but this is the third supposedly NA novel I've read, and the third I've enjoyed. So there's that. Just keep it under your hat, okay?

What makes Ten Tiny Breaths stand out from generic romance novel fodder is Kacey. She's an amazing, engaging heroine, a far cry from the inexperienced, naive girl to be swept off her feet by a hot, brooding man. Instead, Kacey is violent, emotionally distant, and full of sarcasm and rage. Obviously, I related to her immediately. Kacey's closed off most of her emotions, except for anger, due to the death of her parents, a sister, and her boyfriend in a car accident, caused by drunken college students, which left her with just her sister Livie.

At the opening of Ten Tiny Breaths, Kacey and Livie are fleeing their Aunt's house, after her husband behaved inappropriately toward fifteen-year-old Livie. Kacey, 20, is old enough for custody, but her checkered past (drugs, alcohol, one night stands) prevent her from legally wresting guardianship from her Aunt and Uncle, so the two run away to Miami, Florida, where they move into a cheap apartment complex.

At first, this apartment complex appears disgusting and creepy, but it turns out to be just what Kacey and Livie need to slowly open Kacey up and confront her emotional problems. For example, Kacey's next door neighbor is a stripper named Storm and her daughter, Mia. Initially, Kacey judges Storm for her surgically-enhanced physique and profession, but she quickly learns how much more there is to Storm, and Mia and Storm sneak into her heart. I actually liked Kacey's relationships with the secondary characters more than her romantic relationship. It's always a delight when an author takes time to develop secondary characters, and not just the romantic leads.

Of course, there's also a seriously hot dude in the complex, because duh. Trent comes off as a bit of a manicpixiedreamboy for most of the book, though his character does round out as time goes by. The two do lean towards instalove a bit, but it's not too bad, since they're not actually declaring love. I'll just call it crazy levels of attraction and let that slide...mostly. The part that bothered me was how Trent, without doing anything whatsoever, was always immediately able to lower her walls and obtain Kacey's forgiveness. Not having to work for that was what made the whole thing smack of instalove when it really isn't necessarily. For how closed off she is, that didn't make sense to me, no matter how hot he is or how unique his eyes are.

The other detraction of the novel is that I saw the big twist coming a mile away. I totally called it, and that's generally a bit disappointing. On top of that, I felt like the part where Kacey dealt with her mental issues through therapy was rushed. Obviously, this was done since the intended audience is more interested in the romance than psychotherapy, but I would have appreciated a more realistic arc there. What's there is pretty well done, but I wanted more.

Ultimately, I think Ten Tiny Breaths has quite a few weaknesses from a plot perspective, but I rated up, because I was completely sucked into the book from the very beginning. Garnering an emotional connection from me and making me forget that I'm reading deserve a high rating in my book, flaws aside.

Rating: 4/5

Favorite Quote:
"I cock my head to the side as I take in Storm. 'Did you just call me a sissy girl?'
     She doesn't miss a beat. 'Did you just say "girl bits"? This is an adult club, not a day care.'"

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23 Comments:

Blogger Ashley @ The Bibliophile's Corner said...

I have been wanting to read this one for a while. I LOVE NA and I am super excited for this one.

Great review!

April 1, 2013 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

Hm too bad you called the twist really early, that's always annoying but it's good that it didn't really take away from your overall enjoyment of the book. I have to be honest and say that while I was super excited for this book ever since I saw the reveal I had absolutely no idea what it was about. I love how in NA the characters have the "checkered past" that you mentioned and they seem to grow so much throughout the story.

"Of course, there's also a seriously hot dude in the complex, because duh." bahaha Of course it's because duh! It wouldn't make sense without one *eyeroll*

It sounds like this one had a lot going for it and now I am even more excited to read it. But can I just say that I am so mad about the cover change for this one! Off the top of my head this is the first change where I liked the indie one better, a lot better.

April 1, 2013 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger erin said...

thanks for the great review! I'm so happy that I picked this up :)

April 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger KM said...

Look at you, loving another NA book. lol I'm still not sold on the genre myself, just because I feel like it's sexed up YA and therefore unnecessary as a genre (just put it in adult!), but I'd love to see it as an ACTUAL genre, more about the uncertainty of that age and what not. I'd like that.

Also, gorgeous cover alert! I'm a sucker for covers that have pictures of people underwater. I don't know why; I just think they're so pretty. Like all the Mara Dyer books and IMAGINARY GIRLS and NEW GIRL. They're all so cool!

April 1, 2013 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Molli Moran said...

Ooh, emotional connection? YES PLEASE. I thiiink I won an e-copy of this awhile back, if I'm not mistaken. I read several stellar reviews of it in a row, which was enough to make me curious about it. I forgot it was considered NA. I'll have to make sure it's on my TBR! Nice review, Christina, and even though you were able to figure out the twist, I'm glad you still liked it!

Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

April 1, 2013 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

This sounds interesting so I think I'm going to give it a shot! I haven't tried NA yet, so I'm a bit wary but there's always a time to try new things! It sucks that you could spot the twist, but now I'm just even more intrigued! :)

Plus, I love the title! Great review!

April 1, 2013 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Dragana Mitrovic said...

I'm a romance novel fan myself, but lately I started reading them too much and neglecting other genres. So I am trying to cut back on my romance reading ways - although your review is tempting me. :D
I'm sorry that the plot twist was transparent but at least the book was good enough to make up for that. And I especially liked that secondary characters are well developed and message that you should not judge people based on appearance.
Great review.

April 2, 2013 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I bought this a while back and still haven't gotten to it, but I really want to soon. I am glad that you enjoyed this. It's too bad that the twist was easy to predict, and there were some plot issues, but at least it had a fabulous emotional aspect. I am all about the emotional connection!! Awesome review!

April 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Kat Balcombe said...

I admit to buying this one purely due to the cover, but I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it - even if it is NA ;-) Maybe this is where I should start with NA....hmmmmm....

I hate it when parts are rushed through that I'm curious about, so I won't hope for too much from the mental health/therapy side, but otherwise, I'm eager to get to this one.

Fabulous review !

April 4, 2013 at 2:34 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 5, 2013 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'm sure you'll love this one then!

April 5, 2013 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Calling the twists isn't generally a huge issue for me. As long as it's not glaringly obvious to the degree that the characters should have seen it coming but are blindsided, it's not usually a huge issue for me. I generally feel rather clever. All NA characters have a checkered past; it's a rule.

Bahaha, right? He's got to be model gorgeous!

I think you will like it, Jenni!

April 5, 2013 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hope you like it too!

April 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I know, right! Who am I? This one definitely didn't feel like YA to me. Way more like adult. Honestly, they've all just read like adult romance novels, only instead of being set in big business or historical, they're in college. That's literally the only difference. Oh, and the heroines tend to be less virginal.

So pretty! I do like a lot of the underwater covers, though I feel like I shouldn't. Hair just looks so awesome underwater.

April 5, 2013 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yup. Though from a plot perspective, this was more of 3/3.5, I will always rate up for drawing me into the story. That's like the pinnacle of achievement in my mind, making me forget about the act of reading and feel like I'm part of it. Haha.

April 5, 2013 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Intrigued that there IS a twist? They can be fun. I'm not usually the most twist-focused reader, but there are some great ones out there.

April 5, 2013 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I like my mish mash of stuff. It helps keep me from burning out on one genre or another. Ha, sorry for the temptation!

Well-developed secondary characters are always a treat. So often they're blurry and indistinct, especially in romance.

April 5, 2013 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'm sure you'll like it Amy! I think it's maybe more up your alley than mine even. :)

April 5, 2013 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

It's so purty, no? I'm surprised you went for this one, though. But I love how random your reading tastes are! It's the sign of a kindred spirit.

Yeah, I mean it's not terrible, but I would have liked more.

April 5, 2013 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger AnimeJune said...

I've been kind of feeling the same way about New Adult, honestly - and the fact that the first three NA novels I read reviews of ALL HAD THE SAME PLOT (girl and boring boyfriend go to college and girl INEVITABLY cheats on him with a Bad Boy and DRAMA IS HAD BY ALL) did not really warm me up to the genre. But this story sounds really interested. Maybe I'll give it a try.

April 5, 2013 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Dragana Mitrovic said...

Yeah, I like to mix up genres too, as you said, it keeps the things interesting.
Well Atria Books, declined my request for eGalley and NA books are too much risk for me to spend money on them, so I am saved from temptation this time. LOL

Yes, sometimes I love some romance novels more because of secondary characters, they can make a lot of difference.

April 6, 2013 at 3:10 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I super do not blame you. The only reason I read it was that I have autoapproval from Atria on NetGalley. I wouldn't spend my money on NA either. Most of them are romance at this point, and, generally, I probably wouldn't reread a romance novel, so there's no justification for the expense. Besides, I already have a couple romance authors I love (Jennifer Crusie, for example) and own, so I'll reread that stuff.

April 6, 2013 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, yuck. I would hate that. The closest to that that I've read is Easy, but they were broken up; she didn't cheat. He might have, or he might just have said he wanted to be with other girls and dumped her, but I don't really remember. Drama was had by all, though. None of the ones I've read had that as a plot though, thankfully. Cheating turns me off, even with my favorite authors. It makes me feel rage.

April 6, 2013 at 9:34 AM  

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