I tried to thumb my nose at new adult when it became this massive "thing" and everyone was trying it. But as it turns out, I actually kinda like it. More than like it. Because practically every novel I've read with "new adult" subject matter has been a hit with me. Maybe I've just got awesome luck picking new adult reads or maybe I should've just given them the benefit of the doubt from the beginning -- much like my recent love affair with YA contemps. Either way, I've had fun with the ones I've read so far, and Ten Tiny Breaths
was no different.
I didn't think I liked "issues" books, either. And truth be told, I still don't really think I do. I like seeing characters work through things and overcome obstacles, but it doesn't have
to be the type of tough subject matter that new adult novels always seem to hit upon in order to impress me. It's more about the characters, and Ten Tiny Breaths
was made of win when it came to that. Though I've not been through anything nearly as traumatic as the characters in this novel, I still connected with them and their pain on a level I didn't expect to. Because they were human. Their pain, their love, their sarcasm, their biting words...it was all real and true to who they were. Even crotchety old Tanner, landlord to this little "Melrose Place", was ultimately likeable.
I'm pretty good at figuring out who characters are in relation to one another in these books, regardless of how convoluted and confusing that relationship may become, or what secrets may tear it apart. Needless to say, I knew where this story was headed pretty early on. Yet, it didn't bother me that it was predictable, that the characters had been manipulated and toyed with. It probably should have, but it didn't. Maybe because in this story, everything was about healing, and according to some, you're never given more than you can deal with. And even though Kacey had already dealt with more than her lion's share of misery and burden, she was strong and capable.
Even so, everyone has their breaking point. It was empowering to see Kacey hit that point and rather than letting it own her, she sought help. For herself. And for her sister's sake. Because nothing was more important to Kacey than Livvie. The bond they share is precious and unbreakable, and I think the author portrayed it beautifully.
I also liked how this book was broken up into stages or phases. It reminded me of The Catastrophic History of You and Me
and how it was broken up into the stages of grief. I think this breakdown made the experiences of the characters that much more relatable, seeing as how at some time or another, we've all probably experienced grief to some extent.
The narration of this audio was great. I mean, I was swooning over Trent, even with the bad vibe I was getting from him, and I know it had something to do with the voice he was given. I don't know what it says about me that a female narrator made a male character more
swoon-worthy, but there it is. I'm glad to see that this same narrator is performing the sequel.
This wasn't exactly a stand-out in the new adult genre, which is usually the complaint I hear about this type of novel: they all generally follow the same pattern, the same basic storyline. But it was entertaining and had me laughing and sniffling as I listened. And that's all that matters to me sometimes. Thanks to Atria Books and Netgalley for providing a review copy.
This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue