Monday, October 14, 2013

One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker

One Tiny Lie
by K.A. Tucker
Read: October 9 - 10, 2013
Published: 
June 11, 2013 by Atria Books
Source: NetGalley - THANK YOU!
Category: Contemporary New Adult
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths book 2 (Companion series)
Find: Goodreads | Amazon



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. (From Goodreads)
_________________________________________________________________________

One Tiny Lie is the companion sequel to Ten Tiny Breaths. Where the first book was about Kacey's road to healing after her years of closing off her emotions after her parents died in a drunk driving accident, this time it's her sister Livie's turn in the spotlight. While Kacey fell apart after the accident, Livie has remained strong and dependable. She has always had a solid plan for her life, including going to Princeton for college and becoming a doctor. The summer before Livie leaves for college, she's positive that everything is on track for her future.

Although Livie recognizes that she is straight-laced and introverted and the thought of even talking to a hot guy makes her break out in a sweat, she thinks her life is good and that she's dealt with any lingering issues about her parents' death. But Livie's sister Kacey, and the infamous and unconventional Dr. Strayner (if you've read Ten Tiny Breaths, he was Kacey's psychiatrist), think differently. Dr. Strayner begins to encourage Livie to get outside of her shell and experience life in an effort to challenge herself. 


While I liked the overall message that Dr. Strayner was trying to get across to Livie, I had a huge problem with his methods.  He literally suggests to Livie that she should loosen up and enact a 'Girls Gone Wild Video" when she arrives at college. Strayner, and especially Kacey continually insinuate to Livie that she needs to start drinking excessively and having sex in order to be normal. I am strongly opposed to that message being pushed on anyone. Although I recognize that Livie needed to grow up and face some major self-discovery, I was sad to see how much she changed as a person to get there. Perhaps I wouldn't have been as bothered by this message if I hadn't recently read Fangirl, which is also about an introvert with intimacy issues. But in that book, the MC grows in the story without undergoing a major change to her person. I realize that they're not the same people or stories, and I'm not judging the fact that Livie gets out of her shell, goes to parties and discovers boys. But I did not like the fact that other people kept telling Livie what she needed to do to become "normal" in college.


Because of that message, One Tiny Lie did not start off well for me. In fact I was solidly angry  at this book for the first 30%. But I seem to have the inability to DNF, so I kept going despite that. My other major problem at the beginning of this story had to do with the (main) love interest Ashton, with whom Livie has a drunken bonding experience when she arrives at Princeton. Livie finds out quickly that he is unavailable, but of course she can't seem to stay away from him. Although Ashton is hot and he and Livie have great chemistry, cheating is a deal breaker for me. I immediately wanted to dismiss him as a philanderer and get naive Livie away from him. Even though it's clear from the beginning that there's more to him than just a player, we don't know what's going on for quite a ways in the story, and it was hard for me to fully warm up to him before then. In general,  I have trouble trusting characters when I know they're keeping big secrets for most of a book. When we do learn everything going on with him, I felt really terrible, but I still had trouble with the cheating. I know that many people were able to completely overlook it, and loved Ashton from the beginning, but it was still hard for me. 


These aren't just issues on Ashton's part. When Livie finds out that Ashton is unavailable, she begins to date his best friend Connor. Connor is much more of the guy that Livie knows she "should" fall for, but despite that there isn't ever much chemistry with him. It's also clear that Connor isn't ever truly a competitor. What I mean is that though this book is set up like a love triangle, I never really saw it as that. Honestly, the triangle was minor in my list of complaints. I was more concerned with the cheating than worrying that Livie's heart was torn between two guys. As the story went on, I did feel sympathetic towards Livie and could understand that she was naive and confused. But some of her deliberate choices bugged me. 


Despite my frustration with this story, I still finished it and was pretty glued to it, which definitely says something about K.A. Tucker's ability as a writer. I liked the overall message Dr. Stayner was trying to get across to Livie, and I liked her growth, and realization that failure is part of life - though I maintain that she didn't need to change so much to get there. I did mostly end up liking Ashton, despite my hesitation for a lot of the novel. But it took me too long to warm up to him. When I read a romance, even an issue driven romance, I want to feel more butterflies and swoon, than the tears of frustration I felt for a lot of this book. That said, I have several friends who loved One Tiny Lie, so maybe you'll enjoy it more than I did.


Love Triangle Factor: Medium (or mild masquerading as medium to high)
Cliffhanger Scale: Completed story. Second in a companion series. Next book is Four Seconds to Lose and it features club owner Cain, whom we've met, and a girl named Charlie. Despite everything, I'm still interested in that book.

11 comments:

  1. I received an ARC of the first book in this series, but it was so typically NA that I skipped it altogether. I don't think I'd enjoy this one at all, especially with the message to party and have sex. :/ Thanks for such an honest and helpful review, Lauren!(:

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can definitely see being completely frustrated and angry with that message -- in fact, I am. How could a medical professional even consider that kind of advice? Loosen up, sure. But through drinking and random sex? Um, I think I'd be finding a new doctor because that seems like medical malpractice, especially if anything happens to her!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's great that you ended up being so glued to it after wanting to DNF at one point. I haven't read these books yet.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, hon! I'm so sorry you didn't enjoy it :( I've heard in multiple reviews that Livie is like a different person in this one and that's the reason most of my friends have rated it three stars or less. And then we have the cheating ... Well.. I have the ebook and I'm still excited to read it, but I have a feeling I won't enjoy it as much as I liked TTB. Though.. I liked that fine, but didn't love that one so.. I just hope I have slightly better luck than you and Aman for example.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm with you on this one! It wasn't my favorite either and it really made me hate Livvie. I don't know why she had to change this much, it was ridiculous. At first I wasn't a fan of Ashton, but he did grew on me until the very end where...well, when all the shit when down. I'm still very interested in continuing this series and I hope the next one is much better.
    PS: I never saw it as a love triangle too, but it was still pointless and dragged out. Also, I read Fangirl last week and loved it. Now that's how you portray some college experience for an introvert realistically.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Unfortunately, this isn't the type of book I would likely pick up. The peer pressure thing is a definite turnoff (because it comes from adults), but I could get behind the book if the MC learns a positive lesson from it. From the sound of it though, it seems like this doesn't happen. Or maybe it does? However, because the doctor plants a potentially destructive seed in his patient's mind like that, I'm completely out. Thanks for your thoughts, Lauren!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like that these are companion books about sisters. Some of my favorite romance novels are like that. Did you like Ten Tiny Breaths? Ahahaha, okay I just skimmed your post on it and the other novels AND YES I agree with you about that kind of plot. It bothered me SO MUCH in one of the books whose cover you used -- I will refrain from publicly naming -- but everyone else seems to love it o.O.

    "He literally suggests to Livie that she should loosen up and enact a 'Girls Gone Wild Video" when she arrives at college." <-- Can't he get his license revoked if someone perceived that as sexual harassment? I mean, you said his methods were unconventional, but that's taking it to the extremes.

    "Strayner, and especially Kacey continually insinuate to Livie that she needs to start drinking excessively and having sex in order to be normal. I am strongly opposed to that message being pushed on anyone." <-- Um, me too. Even if I didn't quite like FG's handling of drinking, NO NO NO to this one. This is like the number one rule that all colleges and high schools and parents try to teach. Don't peer pressure. And also what, not normal ... okay, lol, I haven't even read the book and I'm angry.

    "But I seem to have the inability to DNF, so I kept going despite that." :( :( I wish I could give you that ability because wowza, that'd suck not to have, especially with a book that makes you angry...

    "Although Ashton is hot and he and Livie have great chemistry, cheating is a deal breaker for me.... Even though it's clear from the beginning that there's more to him than just a player, we don't know what's going on for quite a ways in the story, and it was hard for me to fully warm up to him before then. " Me too. And I honestly am not a fan of the there's-more-to-the-player plot either o.O. I think I just never believe that no matter how well written the character is.

    "Despite my frustration with this story, I still finished it and was pretty glued to it, which definitely says something about K.A. Tucker's ability as a writer." I'll give NA novels this - even if I'm not they're hugest fan, they are, as you say, kind of addictive. Even the book I mentioned above that made me angry I finished too (yes even after my comment on DNFs :P).

    Eh, I'm glad you found some parts of the book to like, though. Better than to have tears of frustration for the whole thing... (And what's with club owners being named hellish things?)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think I might have the same issues as you! Any decision is the wrong decision if you are doing it because it's what you are "supposed to do." And I don't have a problem with sex and drinking, but I DO have a problem with peer pressure. And cheating. I hate when a book is good enough that I want to know the end, but annoys me with every page. It's like the worst torture for me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Um....needs to drink excessively and have sex in order to get better? :-( What kind of a psychiatrist does this? I would have been angry, too!

    That being said, if an NA series is that compelling to you on a book two, I definitely need to check it out. I have lucked out with a few that I've read recently, so I am cautiously optimistic about hidden gems in this genre.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was compelled to keep reading this, too, despite some of the same reservations. Granted, I read this one BEFORE Fangirl, so I didn't have a similar book to immediately compare it to at the time, though now I would probably downgrade my rating for this one because Fangirl was epically superior to OTL. I also agree that this didn't feel like a traditional love triangle, though I hated the cheating aspect as well, up until it was really explained. Even then it wasn't great, and I couldn't totally get over the betrayal to the other parties. BUT, I am looking forward to Cain's story in the next book...he's been such an enigma up to this point.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't really know what to say. Well, yes, I do. FAB review, Lauren! I had interest, but I think I would compare it to Fangirl and even if I didn't, I might DNF it because I would hate being so angry for at least 30% like you. The psychiatrist sounds awful. The love interest sounds awful. The story doesn't sound great. I mean, you have to change yourself to be "normal" in college? Drinking and having sex and being irresponsible is not normal. It's stupid. Others can do it and I won't judge them, but to tell ME that I'm not normal because I don't have bad habits? Ha, obviously drunk. Bleh. And those kind of love triangles are like filler triangles or fakes. You KNOW there's no competition. Don't even try.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...