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.
I really enjoyed One Tiny Lie. A lot of other readers actually liked OTL better than Ten Tiny Breaths but I didn’t really feel the same way. It’s not that I really liked one better than the other, they were just different. Although Kacey and Livie are sisters they are so very different.
One Tiny Lie is Livie’s story and picks up a few years after Ten Tiny Breaths. Livie’s on her way to Princeton to fulfill her dream of becoming a pediatric oncologist at her father’s Alma mater. Despite her parent’s tragic death Livie has never experienced any typical teenage rebellion which worries Kacey. So Kacey sets Livie up to talk with her psychiatrist Dr. Strayer. Dr. Strayer’s methods are anything but normal (and really, borderline, if not unethical), often prompting Livie to partake in all kinds of antics. Livie completes all of Dr. Strayer’s tasks. She even begins, with Dr. Strayer’s help, volunterring at a local hospital, spending time with the children in the oncology department.
On her first night at Princeton, and after a few drinks, Livie meets Ashton. Ashton literally steals a kiss, in the form of stealing her Jell-O shot, from Livie which both enrages and excites her. Ashton is everything Livie doesn’t want, he’s arrogant, reckless, and involved with somebody else. Although their chemistry is undeniable, Livie ignores her attraction to Ashton and sets her sights on Connor.
What ensues is a whole mess of situations that force Ashton and Livie together and the tension between them begins to boil. Livie is forced to make a lot of really difficult decisions. Does she really want to be a doctor? Can she be happy with Connor? Will she ever stop feeling the way she does about Ashton? Is Princeton the right school for her?
Here’s where things get tricky. Livie makes some questionable choices and I’ve read a lot of reviews bashing her for her mistakes. I just want to say, she’s 18 years old, she’s dealt with the death of both her parent’s, and her sister spiraling out of control as a result of their death. I think she has the right to make some mistakes. Could she have handled things better? Yes, but I empathize with her confusion and indecisiveness. It’s difficult realizing who you are and who you think you should be.
I loved the chemistry between Ashton and Livie. It’s rare that I find a couple that really makes me feel all giddy. I felt like every time things got close to escalating the brakes were slammed. I found myself screaming in my head “OMG, REALLY, JUST GIVE IN!” Anyways, there is a bit of a love triangle times two since Livie is in a sort-of relationship with Connor and Ashton is in a relationship with another girl (arranged by his father).
Anyways, One Tiny Lie has both Livie and Ashton figuring their lives out and struggling with some pretty heavy issues. I found the story to be engaging and exciting from start to finish. The only thing I wish is that Connor was a little more three-dimensional, as I felt he was a bit of an afterthought at times. I would highly recommend One Tiny Lie.
With regards to the Audio book, I loved Elizabeth Louise’s portrayal of Livie. She did such a great job and Livie’s naivete and character really shined through. I also loved Louise’s voice portrayal of both Ashton and Connor. Her Irish accent was great! I definitely felt that she was the perfect narrator for Livie’s story!