[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]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.
**Warning – This is a Mature YA/New Adult book. Contains sex and violence**[/quote]
This book is hard to review for a couple different reasons. First, there really isn’t anything I can say to really do it justice. The storyline itself is awesome, but combined with the writing execution, it is near perfect. Second, there are so many twists and turns and secrets and lies, that it’ll be hard to skate around that because as usual, I don’t want to give anything crucial away. This is definitely one of those stories that is best to experience rather than have spoiled by someone’s review.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]”Ten tiny breaths…Seize them. Feel them. Love them.”[/quote]
Kacey is a 20 year old, super jaded, closed off from everyone girl who flees her home state of Michigan with her 15 year old sister in tow after a creepy molestation attempt by their uncle. They’ve been living with their aunt and uncle the past few years – ever since losing their parents – along with Kacey’s best friend and boyfriend – in a car accident. This accident was the result of a couple drunk college guys. Kacey was also in the car, and was the only survivor. Much more than that, she witnessed each of those people she loved take their last breath. She literally watched them die. You can imagine what this would do to a person. Kacey, though, she thinks she’s surviving all right. She does what she needs to to get by, and her focus is on her sister, Livie. She’s determined to give her the life she needs to set her up for the success she would’ve had if their parents wouldn’t have died.
Upon moving to Miami and finding themselves in a dingy old apartment building, Kacey meets Trent. While sparks fly immediately, Kacey is of course so closed off, and therefore she finds herself upset that she feels the way she does around Trent. I loved Trent instantly. Something about him seemed so perfect for Kacey. I had some feeling he could right her wrongs. I just wasn’t sure how.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]”To be honest, I saw you walking past me with your laundry and I grabbed the first thing I could think to wash.”[/quote]
The relationship that develops between Trent and Kacey is both beautiful and heartbreaking. They deal with their fair share of issues, because they both have pasts they won’t discuss, and Trent wants nothing more than to “fix” Kacey. In the same regard, Kacey doesn’t think she needs, nor does she want to be “fixed.”
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Somehow he’s managed to slide a finger in under my titanium coat and touch me in a way that no one else has ever touched me.[/quote]
Another amazing aspect of this story was definitely the supporting characters. All of them were so well-developed and honestly, any of them would’ve made great main characters with stories of their own. Kacey’s younger sister, Livie, is one tough cookie. She is wise beyond her years, as you could imagine to be the case, but she’s strong and smart and she loves those around her. She isn’t scared to connect with anyone.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Where I’m a looming thundercloud, she’s the sunshine breaking through.[/quote]
The next door neighbor, Storm, and her daughter Mia captured my heart from the first second we met them. I knew they’d help soften Kacey, but also be there for her in a way she had missed since losing her best friend. Storm gets Kacey a job at the club she works at – and the guys they work with are also so integral when it comes to furthering the storyline. Literally, every person had their place, and it was so well fleshed out, it all made sense.
I loved Kacey’s tough exterior, because on the inside you could tell just how damaged she was and just how hard it was for her to fight to keep up those pretenses. I won’t give anything away on the dramatic turn of the story because it’s just too crazy and heartbreaking and scary to give away, but it was amazing. I was stressed out about how it was all going to play out. Ms. Tucker certainly had me guessing!
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]The world moves forward, oblivious to this significant shift in my tiny universe.[/quote]
I give Ten Tiny Breaths 4.5 stars and HIGHLY RECOMMEND anyone who’s a fan of a romantic drama with plenty of twists and turns. I cannot wait to read Livie’s story next year. I know it’s sure to be amazing.