Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Review: One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker

One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths, #2)
One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: June 11th 2013
My rating: 4 stars





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 fits 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.

My Thoughts:
I was surprised to find out how much I really loved One Tiny Lie. I had started reading it with a lot of apprehension because I found out there was cheating in the story, and I HATE cheating stories. It almost always ruins the story for me.  Why did I start reading when I knew this? Well, first of all I requested this title before I knew about the cheating.  Second, I was assured that the story was really good in spite of the hated subject.  I have to agree with that.

Livie Cleary is the sister who was very much overlooked in the previous book because her sister Kacey was such a train wreck.  Kacey was in the accident that killed their parents and left her in rehab for a year, so Livie had to be strong because her sister was not.  Now that most of Kacey’s demons have been dealt with, all eyes turn to Livie because no one can be that perfect and not crack at some point. Dr. Stayner, Kacey’s very unconventional therapist, basically forces his guidance on Livie. Not even letting up when Livie leaves Miami for Princeton.  He keeps trying to get Livie to look at her life, make sure all the decisions she’s making is because she wants them and not because she is leading the life she thinks her parents would’ve expected her to.  So with the advice to make some mistakes, and to loosen way-the-heck-up, Livie starts college.

Enter Ashton.  He’s beautiful, and Livie’s drunk at her first college party, and they can’t keep their hands or their mouths off each other!  Livie finds out that Ashton has a girlfriend and resolves to stay away from him, writing him off as a man-whore jerk.  Life has other plans when she strikes up a friendship with his best friend, Connor.  Connor is everything her parents would approve of.  He’s a steady guy, serious student, and comes from a solid family.  He’s good looking as well, but there’s no spark. However, because Livie feels this is the type of guy she should be with, she doesn’t say no when he asks her to date. Being that Connor and Ashton live in the same house and are best friends their paths cross, often….

So yes, this sounds like a recipe for disaster if you hate cheating, right? Well, here is why I think it worked for me: I think the author did a wonderful job conveying Livie’s naiveté, as well as showing how very young she is for her age.  She makes mistakes, stupid mistakes, but they are realistic “being young” mistakes, AND they are not done with malicious intent. Livie fully intends to stay away from Ashton, and Ashton away from Livie, BUT they end up together and their chemistry and connection make short work of their resolve.  Have you ever been with someone that you just click with intensely, you’re drawn to them like a magnet?  This is Ashton and Livie.  Plus, the whole Connor relationship is one that just sort of happens to Livie, he just keeps making the next date, and she doesn’t say no.  I know, messed up.  Another reason I was able to stomach this is because there were hints that all wasn’t as it seemed with Ashton and his girlfriend, or his life. 

I’m not saying that I agree or even condone what happened, but I don’t always have to like the actions or behavior of characters to enjoy the story.  If I can understand the motivations and reasons for their transgressions, I can look past them.  I did with Livie and Ashton. They just clicked for me and I wanted everything to work out for them.  They clearly cared so much for each other, they just needed to sort their shit baggage out!

I have ten pages worth of highlights showing how much I loved this story.  Here’s one of my favorites that had me totally laughing:

When pressed to come up with some redeeming qualities, this is Ashton’s note to Livie while in English class:

1. I'm brilliant
2. I'm charming
3. I'm hung like a thoroughbred
4. I've stopped philandering
5. I'm highly skilled, as you've learned the other night

P.S. Stop staring at my hands.  I know what you want me to do with them.*


One Tiny Lie was captivating story of two people finding the strength to live the life they want and chose to, instead of a life decided by guilt or expectation.  I’m so happy I read One Tiny Lie in spite of my reservations, because I ended up really loving it. 






*Quote taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.

24 comments:

  1. I'm really happy you enjoyed this one even though it deals with cheating. Like I told you I didn't enjoy the first book so I have up on this series. Amazing review as always Rachel :)

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  2. I actually heard a lot of mixed reviews for the first book in this series, so though I still have my e-galley of it, I haven't read it yet. I'm really glad to see that you enjoyed this second installment so much, Rachel, so I think I'll have to go back and give this series a try. Fantastic review, dear!(:

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  3. Yeah, I'm NOT a fan of cheating books, either, but I can see how it might work with someone who's so incredibly naive that she doesn't realize what she's doing.

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  4. I'm glad that you enjoyed this book better than I did, Rachel. I just never got over the cheating and I've seen it happen to my close friends and it makes it difficult for me to accept it. I also never saw what Livvie saw in Ashton although they did have great chemistry together.
    Great review, Rachel! :)

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  5. I haven't read this series yet but I heard it's very bittersweet. Cheating stories annoy the crap outta me, I may be young but I love true relationships :D

    Fab review, hon! <33

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  6. The beginning sounded like a really deep read. :) I totally go for these books. Hehe.

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  7. OK, I didn't read your full review since I have this on my Kindle and I've yet to read it for the same reason--I hear Livie pulls a 180 and turns from geek to something else entirely. Plus, that cheating issue is kind of a turn of, too. I'm glad you liked it overall though:)

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    1. I think Livie was still sort of a naive geek in this, and that's part of what made the whole cheating thing more forgivable. Plus, she never takes it far with Connor the supposed "boyfriend". Basically he was her BF just because she never spoke up or protested.

      I hope you end up liking this if you pick it up, Siiri. :)

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  8. That's great you gave this one a shot and found you highly enjoyed it! always a nice surprise. I don't mind cheating stories, but I agree, there has to be something TO it, or the characters just all seem like the bad guy. Love the quote - hilarious!

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    1. Very true, Lauren, and it's the only reason I ended up enjoying this story.

      That quote was hilarious and Ashton the male protag was just delicious throughout! :)

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  9. I ended up loving it to despite the cheating. Great review

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    1. Glad it wasn't just me, Brandi! :)

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  10. Oh Rachel, you did such a great job of explaining why this worked for you despite the icky subject. I often read books about stuff I absolutely would not condone in real life, but I'm always interested in how authors imagine being in someone's head in a difficult situation, and it sounds like this author really did that. Thanks for the review!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  11. I hate cheating too but unfortunately it is a big ugly part of real life. LOved that list you shared with me and even though I don't condone cheating, I am very curious about this one.

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  12. oh wow.. This sounds so different than the usual love story!! Also, that cover is just PERFECT! I LOVE it and I would probably buy it just f0r the cover! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  13. I haven't read this one, but it's pretty great that it scored 4 stars from you! Cheating is a topic that really, really irks me though, and it gives me a lot of pause when reading it. I think though, that if it's done well like you said, it might be okay. Thanks for the lovely review!

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  14. I love, love this review, Rachel. And I'm happy you enjoyed it despite being so hesitant. That quote was epic!

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    1. Thanks, Andrea! I'm so happy I ended up enjoying it. I did love that note Ashton gave her! Had me totally laughing. :)

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  15. Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective, Rachel! I did feel hesitant to pick this up because of the cheating bit but now I think I'll change my mind. Thanks again!

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  16. I had this ARC but I never read it - yes, I know. I am a bad blogger. But I don't like cheating stories too and it's really hard for me to pick up something that has that theme.
    I agree with you about enjoying the novel no matter that you don't like the choices of characters.
    Great review, Rachel.

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  17. I appreciate all the pros, but cheating is too big of an issue for me, I just can't handle it. It's a deal breaker for me. I know you usually feel the same, but I'm glad you were able to move past it and enjoy this.
    Great review.

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  18. *gasps* What is this?!? Am I seeing this right? You actually liked it! On another note, don't mind my dramatic side, it comes with this book. lol. Though I like how you reasoned Livvies actions because taking her age in consideration, it makes sense, but I just wished she would have said no to Connor. That made things so much worst for me, but I did like Ashton a lot in the beginning. The jello thief scene was my favorite. I saw the cover for Four Seconds to Lose this morning and I can't wait to read it. I was a little hesitant, but after that premises, who an say no?
    Great review, Rachel!

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    1. I do wish she would've got the courage to speak up to Connor sooner, as well, Aman. I need to check out Four Seconds to Lose. I have no idea what it's about but I really like this author's writing so I'll be adding it to my TBR no doubt. And thanks! :)

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  19. Thank you for this thorough review, Rachel! It really gave me a good picture of what to expect. I'm still very nervous about how I'll handle the cheating, because it seems like it will be determined by how well I'm able to connect with Livie. But after reading FANGIRL and LOVING it, what I'm most worried about is how I will handle Livie's loosening up. The MC in Fangirl is incredibly shy and introverted but though she grows in the story, she maintains that essential part of herself without becoming the quintessential loose college girl. I'm nervous about how I'll take Livie's growth and seeming encouragement to party. Hopefully, I will be able to believe her naiveté. And hopefully I will like Ashton too, because I'm not sure about the romance or the triangle, which is sure to irk me. Basically, I'm really hoping that this one is a huge pleasant surprise when I finally work up to reading it.

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