One Tiny Lie: A Novel

One Tiny Lie  - K.A. Tucker 3.5 STARS"Go forth, and make thy mistakes."So I gave Ten Tiny Breaths pretty much the same rating but I might just like this a smidge better. So much so that the latent soap opera watcher in me may have enjoyed this a little too inappropriately that I've been sorely tempted to give it an outright 4. But where this book fell short, it fell a little too hard. So much so that I can't really find it in myself to rave and recommend it to anyone without expecting some backlash.Livie Clearey's lived her life following the path and structure her parents seem to have designed for her. Straight A's in high school. Pre-med at Princeton. Med-school to get into Pediatric Oncology (which, sidenote, is all sorts of warning signs because nobody in pre-med and and very few in medschool wants to get on that depressing train). That was until her sister Kacey and her therapist intervenes who through a series of (ridiculous) non-therapy sessions eventually lands her smack in the middle of the bermuda triangle of her, Ashton (the wrong kind of right guy) and Connor (the right kind of wrong guy).You really want to recommend THAT trope to anyone without some Xanax handy?The Good✔ One of the reasons why I jumped this ARC is because while I wasn't the biggest fan of TTB's plot twist towards the end, KA Tucker's writing fits this genre very well. Very easy on the eyes and the brains, no unnecessary whoring of adjectives or excessive scene exposition. The storytelling feels clean, the dialogue sharp (most of the time) and the characters consistent (again, most of the time) which always does great service to mostly predictable plot lines.✔ I appreciate that the drama on this one was relatively restrained compared to TTB. The plot twist didn't give me too much of a whiplash that the story begins to blur the lines of realistic fiction and fantasy. Most of the story points were believable as much as I guess the drama in Gossip Girl was believable (specifically season 1 and 2, I KNOW that's not saying much).✔ I actually liked Livie... outside of the love triangle. Her burden of walking a path made for her and not of her own choosing was very relatable to me. I liked the contrast of how Ashton seems like a carefree character but yearns for freedom while Livie shies away from it because she doesn't know what to do with hers. The Bad ✘ At the heart of this book was a very, poorly designed love triangle which only sets out to make the participants act like dickholes and asshats. I'm very forgiving towards manwhores and quite lax with cheating in books if the cause can convince me. But Livie didn't merit enough emotional conflict to string along two guys at the same time. She's a smart girl and the choice was made so very obvious yet she hung on to the other guy while lusting after the other making her come off as a selfish horndog.And no, owning up to it in the end doesn't make it okay.✘ Ashton is a puzzle to me. I do love his backstory and his Livie-related antics were mostly cute. What I don't get is how he had those past experiences and still have the predilection to "man-handle" Livie especially in the early chapters. I wish the effects of his father's abuse were given some detail and depth instead of just focusing on the abuse itself. ✘ All of the Kacey-Trent appearances still made me squirm because of their own blend of cray. I'm still not sold on their HEA.✘ I was not a fan of using the Deus ex Machina resolution.. well, of everything. Using one character as the device to resolve every single issue raised in the story was pushing it a little too far. It leads to question why Ashton didn't do ALL those things before and thus avoiding the unsavory aftertaste of the character acting out on his drama. ✘ And speaking of drama: the cancer kids subplot could've been handled better. It felt trying a little too hard in making me feel something. They're kids. With cancer. You really don't want to pile on the tearjerkers beyond that because you'd just end up making me feel like I'm getting manipulated to cry.The UglyIrishTo much Irish-ing! It reminds me of what little I read of Beautiful Disaster with all the Pigeon-ing. I really wish someone would do something about this for the actual published edition because it was REALLY annoying.There was a stretch of conversation between Ashton and Livie where his every turn of phrase ended with "Irish" which I can't quote because of the publishers' restrictions but this might do:Ash: here are your fries, Irish.Liv: Thanks Ash, can you pass me the salt please?Ash: Those fries are salty enough, Irish. You can't risk gaining your first fifteen seeing as you can't jog without tripping, Irish.Liv: but it's organic potatoes!Ash: nope sorry, Irish. Gonna go out in the rain and run shirtless now, Irish. The world implores me to.Get it? Irish? Potatoes? Ah, fuck it. I'm gonna wrap up this up because I may have gotten carried away (again). Overall, I did enjoy this book just not something I'm brave enough to recommend to anyone. But I'd still grab the last book in this series hoping KA Tucker's great writing will find the perfect plausible story to match it and finally hook me in.ARC provided by Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.