Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
In Ten Tiny Breaths, we got to know Kayce, in One Tiny Lie, it's her sister Olivia who is the main character. Olivia is now 18 years old, still a virgin, still a staight A student, and all set to leave for Princeton. Princeton and med school has been Olivia's dream since she was nine, and she's not about to change her mind now.
Kayce is really worried about Olivia, almost as worried as Olivia was about her three years ago. With some well-placed phrases, Kayce makes sure Olivia will have weekly chats with Dr. Stryner - the very unconventional psychiatrist who helped Kayce get better. Dr. Stayner gives Olivia weekly assignments she has to fullfil - from bungee-jumping to talking to orangutans.
*I received a free ARC of One Tiny Lie from Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
One Tiny Lie starts with Kayce and Oliva sitting on the deck, discussing mundane things, until Kaye asks Olivia if she’d be willing to talk to Dr. Stayner on the phone. Kayce is telling Olivia how worried she is about her – and Olivia can’t understand why anyone at all would be worried about her! She’s a straight A student, never drinks, doesn’t swear, stays clear of boys and helps little children. Her dream ever since she was nine years old is to go to Princeton, get into pre-med and become a pediatric oncologist. There is nothing at all wrong with Olivia, is there?
However, since Olivia is always the ‘good girl’ she agrees with Kayce to call Dr. Stayner, and he give her some outrageous things she ‘has’ to do each week during the summer. Like going bungee-jumping, talking to people she has never met before, doing crazy tings Kayce has been known for doing in the past. Oliva doesn’t understand why, but she does everything the good doctor asks of her. And it seems that the more outrageous his request is, the more Olivia tries to get it right. When she arrives at Princeton, she gets another phone call from him, where he tells her to party and that she should consider drinking tequila.
One Tiny Lie is a little bit lighter than Ten Tiny Breaths, but at the same time, it shows how different people deal with a difficult situation differently. Kayce was always acting out, doing anything she could to numb the pain and stay far away from people who might be able to make her feel. Olivia is the complete opposite, she is loving, sweet, caring and always ready to help someone else. As if she needs to feel the love, and does all she can to make sure those around her will love her and need her.
The first night at Princeton has Olivia, Kayce and Olivia’s new roommate Reagan go to a toga party of all things. And Olivia drinks jello-shots all night, until it is all a blur, but she knows she got her first kiss that night. The next morning she wakes up with her first hangover, with Kayce sleeping almost on top of her, and Reagan in the lower bunk-bed. Next to none other than Ash, the guy Olivia remembers kissing…
One Tiny Lie isn’t so much about Olivia’s past as it is about her future. What she has always planned to do and somehow sticking to that plan through everything that has happened to her is quite a feat. But when she starts volunteering at a children’s hospital, she realizes that her love for children might not be an advantage to an oncologist. She gets attached to her little charges at their first meeting, and she starts second-guessing her career choice, then she starts thinking more closely about her other choices as well.
Oliva grows a lot in One Tiny Lie, and I loved seeing her acting out a little, it isn’t normal to always be calm and collected, loving and smiling like it seemed to me she was most of the time in Ten Tiny Breaths. Of course, there is some boy drama, and I loved how Olivia’s heart told her one thing, but her brain and her own stubbornness pushed her in the opposite direction – towards what seemed ‘safe’ and what her parents would have chosen for her.
As Olivia unravels what she thinks she wants from what she might actually want, she lets her wild side out little by little, and I think One Tiny Lie shows how important it can be to let lose every now and again. It also proves that being a good girl doesn’t mean you never make mistakes, being a good girl has something to do with how you deal with those mistakes, and how you try to make amends when you screw up! If you like New Adult romances for their grittiness and the way they seem very real, you should definitely pick up both Ten Tiny Breaths and One Tiny Lie – I’ve found a new favorite author!
So I’m living his dream – my dream, too – and he’s not here to see me do it.
I’m starting to believe that she’s not a student, that Kacey and Dr. Stayner have somehow planted her here. I can almost picture them cackling while they hatched this plan. Student or not, though, I’m happy to have Reagan as a roommate. Except when she puppy-dog-eyes me into drinking with her.
“What you said in that note. Why?” He looks away for a moment and I watch his jaw clench. When he meets my eyes, there’s resignation there. “Because you’re not a one-hight girl, Irish.”
“Why did you say we can’t work?” His lips part and I think I’m going to get an answer. “Your tits look fantastic in that shirt.” Not that answer.
Right here, standing before me, is the life that I thought my parents wanted for me. The only life I ever saw myself leading. I’ve found it. And I need to get the hell away from it.