Summary from Goodreads:
Just breathe, Kacey. Ten tiny breaths. Seize them. Feel them. Love them.
Four years ago Kacey Cleary’s life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend, and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, holding her boyfriend’s lifeless hand and listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, twenty-year-old Kacey and her fifteen-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. Struggling to make ends meet, Kacey needs to figure out how to get by. But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle anything—anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.
Trent Emerson has smoldering blue eyes, deep dimples, and he perfectly skates that irresistible line between nice guy and bad boy. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey is determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their mutual attraction is undeniable and Trent is determined to find a way into Kacey’s guarded heart—even if it means that an explosive secret could shatter both their worlds.
*I received an eCopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
It took me forever to finally get around to reading this one and I’m now kicking myself for that decision. I loved this book! It was so hard for me to put it down! Within 5% I was thoroughly engrossed in Kacey and Livie’s world.
The story begins with Kacey taking her little sister Livie, and running away from their aunt and uncle’s house. Kacey is desperate to protect her younger sister from their sexual predator uncle and escape her painful past. When they move into their new apartment complex in Miami they meet Storm and Trent, two people who will alter their lives forever.
I loved Livie, she was by far my favorite character. She was calm and sweet and totally selfless despite her age and past ordeals. For losing her parents at such a young age she embodies such grace and charity.
Kacey…although she was the main character I had a bit of a difficult time with her. I completely understand her behavior and inability to get close to anyone after being involved in a car accident killing her best friend, boyfriend, and parents. However, at times I found her rather difficult to digest. She was a bit rude and acidic with her comments. Additionally, I do understand (for lack of a better word…since I’ve never experienced such tragedy) why she would be angry and bitter but while she constantly makes the point that she wants to protect and be a good sister to Livie…she’s kind of selfish and disregards Livie’s feelings in regard to their parents’ death.
Trent…Trent was the PERFECT male MC. He was kind, considerate, and understanding. Although, he makes his interest in Kacey well known, she tends to be hot and cold towards him. It’s obvious she feels something for him but her past seems to get in the way a lot, understandably. Trent, however, is very patient and acts as a friend to Kacey. The little things he said and did to try and win her over were so heartfelt that I couldn’t help but adore him. He, like Kacey (who refuses to talk about her past with him), has a dark secret. I have to say I was pretty shocked when I found out what it was, it completely blindsided me.
Kacey and Livie’s friendship with Storm was so wonderfully written that it was probably one of the highlights of the book for me. Storm, herself, had a dark past and was trying to overcome the repercussions of an abusive relationship and raising her young daughter on her own. Storm was so incredibly strong and although Kacey didn’t always deserve her friendship, Storm never gave up on her. I loved her.
Ten Tiny Breaths is a wonderful example of what New Adult should embody. It was beautifully written and well-paced. I didn’t feel a sense of insta-love and the chemistry between Trent and Kacey was a slow-burn. Also, being someone who is thoroughly invested and working in the mental health field, it was nice to see inside Kacey’s treatment rather than just glossing over it. It wasn’t necessarily the most realistic situation but made for a beautiful ending.
Ten Tiny Breaths was about learning to forgive oneself and others, coping with tragedy, and most importantly, moving forward.