“Ten tiny breaths…seize them. Feel them. Love them.”
Ten Tiny Breaths is the first book in the Ten Tiny Breaths series by K.A. Tucker. I’m not even sure how I heard of this book in the first place…my best guess is that the cover caught my eye under the “Readers Also Enjoyed” section on Goodreads. Any way, I’m so glad that it caught me eye, because this book was an incredible and touching read. I had seen the extremely high reviews of the book, so I was slightly hesitant, as sometimes I get my hopes up for a book that has high reviews and an interesting synopsis, only to give up 30% of the way through for one reason or another. That was not the case with Ten Tiny Breaths. This book really packed a punch emotionally. Despite the extreme trauma Kacey experienced and was dealing with throughout the book, it didn’t drag out, focusing extensively on her pain. Instead, it was fast paced and filled with twists and turns I never could have anticipated. This book lived up to every bit of hype.
Kacey Cleary’s entire life exploded four years ago when a drunk-driving accident killed her parents and left her scarred physically and emotionally. Now, she’s attempting to care for her younger sister Livie, while still dealing with the demons of her past. When her creepy uncle makes a move on Livie one night, Kacey decides enough is enough and moves them from Grand Rapids, MI to the warm beaches of Miami. What she finds there changes her life forever; A kind neighbor with an interesting nightlife, grumpy but affectionate landlord, and Trent Emerson, a man who is hiding a few of his own demons. Kacey wishes to remain numb to her emotions, to keep the pain away. Trent refuses to let that happen, and just when they’re beginning to find love, something happens that will send Kacey’s life to a screeching halt…again.
“Nothing but ten tiny breaths holds me together.”
I really felt for Kacey. Her life was not an easy one, and its hard to blame her for acting the way she did. When you experience that kind of pain, and can’t afford to get professional help, its easy to numb it by shoving your emotions deep inside of you and turning to alcohol. What I respect about her is that despite this, she still managed to care for Livie; she moved their entire lives halfway across the country to avoid a very damaging and traumatic experience for Livie. I’m not going to lie, in the beginning she kind of irritated me. However, as the book progressed, I couldn’t help but feel for her and her situation.
“I want to make you smile. For real. Always. Let me make you smile.”
Trent was just slightly short of perfect. From the beginning, he saw the sadness inside of her, and wanted to do everything in his power to help her and make her smile again. He was sexy, sweet, and attentive. So what makes him just short of perfect? There is one, pretty major, thing that Trent does that dredges up her demons and sends Kacey spiraling back to the darkness. I can’t say too much without giving away one of the major plot lines of the story, but I can say that about 3/4 of the way through, I hated Trent and was cursing myself for ever picking the book out. I actually wasn’t sure that it would have a happy ending. However, Trent was redeemed by then ending of the book, and I was left a happy, crying mess. That seems to be the usual for books like this though.
Another critically important aspect of the book was the cast of supporting characters. Every single one of them- Storm, Livie, Brad, Caine, and Dan- were extremely well-developed. This is especially important since the rest of the series deals with (some) of their characters, so establishing strong backgrounds in the first book can get readers really excited for future books.
Ten Tiny Breaths was incredible. I laughed, I cried, I yelled a few times. This book captured my heart and absolutely obliterated my emotions. It was perfectly paced as well, like I said earlier. It wasn’t too slow, but at the same time it wasn’t so fast paced that I felt like I couldn’t catch a break and just breath (Hopeless, anyone?). It was paced just right: things would be going well and then BAM…then things return to going well and then BAM…you get the idea. It worked though, because I was completely entrenched in Kacey and Trent’s world. I highly recommend this book, and I myself am extremely eager to read the rest of the series, starting with Livie’s story, One Tiny Lie. Seriously though, this one gets 4.5/5. The cover is gorgeous as well! This may be one of the books I cave and buy in paperback, it was just that good.