Publisher: Papoti Books & now Atria Books
Publication date: December 11th 2012
My rating: 4.5 stars
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.
Ten Tiny Breaths was more than just your average New Adult read to me. It was about survival, healing, and moving on. Add a very sweet romance full of build-up and longing, and you have the makings of a perfect read for me!
Kacey and Livie have fled Michigan for Florida taking a long bus ride away from their aunt and uncle, their guardians after their uncle makes a play for fifteen year old Livie (pervert!). Kacey and Livie were in their care after a drunk driver killed their parents, Kacey’s boy friend, and best friend in one fell swoop. This accident had Kacey in the hospital enduring months of rehab and surgery after her side was shattered. Her body is now only held together with pins, metal, plates, and a bad attitude. It’s taken four years but now she has the body of a fighter and working out is one of the only ways Kacey channels the intense rage and anger she feels for the drunk driver.
Apparently Kacey isn’t the only one fleeing their past. Trent has just moved into the same apartment complex, and when Kacey meets him she’s drawn in immediately by his good looks but also from his intensity. He looks at Kacey like he’s sees her underneath her cool and calm façade.
Like I said before Ten Tiny Breaths felt a little different from the usual New Adult. Don’t get me wrong, the romance was a major part of this read which for me that’s a plus because I’m all about romance in my reads. However, that was not all that made this story special to me. The new friends Kacey makes at her apartment were very much part of the story and I just adored them. Storm, the blond bombshell/stripper who helps Kacey and her sister Livie out, was like a long lost older sister to these girls, and I loved how they basically formed a new family unit.
Kacey was an easy protagonist to relate to and like. She was never whining about her lot in life, she was always just trying to get by and make the best of things for her and Livie. Trent has his own demons that you have suspicion about very early on. At least I did. When everything is finally revealed I have to say my heart went out to him more than anyone else. Everything Trent and his family went through brought tears to my eyes. The romance between Kacey and him was a slow burn and there were many swoony moments I savored, but more than anything else I just loved the tenderness and care Trent showed to Kacey:
Trent squeezes me close to him. “I don’t hate you. I could never hate you. Give me heart, Kacey. I’ll take everything that comes with it.”
This story shows how a tragedy can affect so many people, on so many levels. The power of forgiveness in healing, and putting yourself in other people shoes was also an important part of this story. I appreciated how the author showed that turning your thoughts completely inward is really counterproductive to moving on and being mentally healthy.
I’ve had Ten Tiny Breaths sitting in my Kindle for ages and I’m glad I finally opened it up! The author is coming out with another book in this world: One Tiny Lie on June 11th , which will center on Livie, the younger sister. I can’t wait to pick that up. Very soon now!