Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #2
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance
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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.
Okay first initial thoughts after reading this book… why haven’t a read more of this author! Seriously though, I loved this book. Like really loved it. Here are the two main reasons why 1) I laughed so much during this book, that my Boxer who normally sleeps in my lap while I read got so annoyed that she left and 2) The narrative itself felt like one long conversation with an old friend. I felt like I could have been Livie, or that Livie could have been my best friend. I mean really, it was like I knew this girl. If all of Tucker’s books have this same tone then I want to read every last one of them, like seriously, reader for life here.
So now for the specifics of the book. Livie is amazingly sheltered, well sheltered is the wrong word, because she has certainly see her fair share of things, but just because she was exposed to thing doesn’t mean she actually did them herself. Her sister (and therapist) manages to get Livie to start coming out of her shell the summer before she gets to college, and then on her first week at Princeton, her sister takes her to a toga party, she gets smashed, ends up with a tattoo, and a becomes forever intertwined with a guy who called her Irish. I loved Livie, yes she was experiencing a lot of things for the first time in the book, but she never came off as overly naive, in fact if anything I think almost every girl can identify with some of the thoughts she was having about the situations she found herself in. She holds herself to these high standards, that she believes she has to achieve, but she doesn’t really know her true self (but than again who does at 18), so it was great watching her figure out all these things about herself.
Ashton, well, hmmm, what to say… I wanted to not like him. I mean he’s kind of a man whore, but he’s so up front about it that it’s almost hard to hold it against him. And he never tries to go there with Livie, like he knows the way he lives his life isn’t good enough for her so her purposely tries to avoid getting too involved with her. But just like Livie, I was so pulled in by this feeling that there was so much more to him under the surface. And boy was there more to him than meets the eye, but I won’t ruin it for you guys, so moving on…
Livie dates Conner her first semester at school. And he’s everything you could want… on paper. But again, just like Livie, he never did anything for me. He never truly seemed invested in her. Yes he sent her flowers, yes he was attentive in that he was there. But when she was upset about something, his response almost always was 3-5 positive reinforcement words (i.e. you’re amazing don’t worry) and then that was it. It was like he never understood her, but somehow thought he did. Also when Conner gets drunk, I had this overwhelming urge to push him down the stairs (trust me you will understand when you read it).
Overall, I just completely fell in love with this story, wish I had read it sooner, wish I had read the first book already (when I finish writing this I’m gonna go buy some books). I loved the whole experience of this book. I identified with the characters so well. I loved the story line. I loved that I had so many laugh out loud moments, moments that I could easily see having happened to me or my friends and then us laughing about the next day over coffee. I can’t say enough about this book, so seriously if you like new adult books, then this is the book for you, without a doubt. Go buy it now. Seriously.