Some of you may not know that I'm a bit of a NetGalley
Ten Tiny Breaths Official Synopsis:
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.
One Tiny Lie Official Synopsis:
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.
The first book, Ten Tiny Breaths, focuses on Kacie Cleary and her 15-year-old sister Livie (Olivia), who are dealing with the death of their family in a car accident. Their parents, Kacie's best friend, and Kacie's boyfriend all died in the accident, but she walked away. They're living with their aunt and uncle in Grand Rapids, MI; their aunt is a bible-thumper and the uncle tries to molest Livie one night, and after that the sisters pack their bags and move to Miami.
One Tiny Lie takes place three years after all of these events, when Livie is a freshman at Princeton, her father's alma mater, and one scene from that book overlaps with the ending of Ten Tiny Breaths, as well.
I'd give both books 4 out of 5 stars, but they are very different books. One Tiny Lie started out a bit "fluffy," so I mistakenly thought that it wouldn't be as dark as TTB, but I was wrong about that. The sisters have to overcome their demons in both books, but OTL has Livie helping someone through his demons as well. I loved that the TTB characters were prominently featured in OTL - even though they were still in Miami and Livie was in NJ at Princeton, they popped up now and then - and we get to learn more of the sisters' backstory as well.
I also have the next book in the series, Four Seconds to Lose, from NetGalley, which focuses on Cain, one of the characters in TTB. #4 in the series, Five Ways to Fall, focusing on Ben (also in the first book), will be out on June 24, 2014.
*Disclosure: I received e-galleys of both of these books from NetGalley to facilitate this review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.