Ten Tiny Breaths is the story of a young woman and her even younger sister, who leave everything behind in Michigan to start over in Miami after a tragic drunk driving car accident takes the lives of her parents, her best friend, and her boyfriend. Kacey is damaged beyond repair - her scars are on the outside and the inside - and she's become a hardened shell of her former self. Her only goal is to take care of her sister Livie, keep her head down, and survive. When she meets Trevor, the handsome neighbor next door, her shell begins to crack, and she wonders if maybe she can learn to open up again. But Trevor has baggage of his own, and the weight of his secrets threaten to tear them apart.
The book isn't bad, but it's not fantastic either. There are a lot of holes in the story, and Kacey is hard to like. I admired her, though; she's written as a strong woman who clearly has had a lot on her plate. And Tucker writes her as a flawed character, which is a nice change from the typical sainted main character, but sometimes Kacey is too flawed, and it turned me off from her, and worse, it made me not care what happened to her. But Tucker's secondary charcters are where it's at. I cared more about the woman living next door (even if she had the dumbest name ever: Storm), her young daughter Mia, Livie, Officer Dan, and the guys at the strip club where Kacey ends up working, than I did about Kacey and Trevor.
I was dissatisfied with the ending. This novel is going to be marketed as YA fiction, and I really didn't like the message the ending sent. It's hard to talk about this without spoiling the plot twist (even if you do see it coming), but Trevor's secret means that he and Kacey can never be together. No amount of therapy, no amount of time, nothing can resolve this in to a happily ever after ending, and that's where Tucker lost me. It's hard enough for young girls - young boys, too, but as the mom of a girl, I plug in more to the girl issues - to recognize unhealthy relationships and avoid them. They don't need the books they read to perpetuate that unhealthiness.