I read Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker several months ago and was simply *blown away* by it. It was one of those books that was so much more than I was expecting. I was instantly excited at finding a new (to me) author and the prospect of several more companion books in the series.
One Tiny Lie picks up three years after the events in Ten Tiny Breaths and follows Livie as she pursues her dream of attending of Princeton. She is pushed by both her sister Kacey and unconventional therapist Dr. Stayner to break out of her shell and push herself to try new things. Before classes even start that includes a toga party, many Jell-O shots, a tattoo she can barely remember getting... and a run-in with campus sex-god/captain of the rowing team, Ashton. There's also Connor, Ashton's sweet and charming best friend who is everything Livie thinks she *should* want. So why is it Ashton that she is continually drawn to and feels a connection with?
I loved the progression of Livie's relationships with both Connor and Ashton. Tucker really excels at creating incredibly realistic and believable characters, so much so that I truly felt for them and at different times wanted to either hug them or throttle them. Livie was following a life plan that had been set in motion years before and had never once questioned if it was what she really wanted. With Dr. Stayner's insistence that she question her choices, and through trial and error, she begins to chart her her own course.
Despite my love for the characters, I did have some issues with OTL. Part of it was Livie herself. I understand that a large part of her story was for her to push her boundaries, try new things, and decide who she really wanted to be. But her switch from responsible good girl to one who was drinking at every gathering (often to the point of impairment) seemed completely out of character. Some might say it was just part of the college experience, but knowing that Livie's parents died because of a drunk driver, and then Livie being witness to Kacey's years of drinking following the accident, it just didn't seem to fit that Livie would so quickly and easily become the "I'm going to pound back a few drinks" kind of girl.
In addition to some of Livie's actions, my other issue (or maybe just slight disappointment) was that OTL seemed to be lacking the depth that I found in TTB. Yes, there were issues at play here but boyfriend angst seemed to be the number one driving force. In fact, it was another character's background, not Livie's, that had me most intrigued and truly had my heart hurting.
Even though this one didn't quite match TTB for me, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story and I loved both the new characters and the inclusion of those from the first book. Mostly I just love K.A. Tucker's writing and her ability to draw me right in and make me care for her characters. I'll definitely be continuing on with this series.
Note: One Tiny Lie is the second book in a series of companion novels but can be read as a stand-alone.