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Livie Cleary has always been Miss Perfect--but she soon learns that perfection isn't all it's cracked up to be, and finding out who she really is might mean making some mistakes along the way.
"Make me proud." These were the last words Livie's father ever spoke to her. In the seven years since her parents' tragic death, Livie has done her best to live up to this standard through her every choice, word, and action, while looking after her sister with strength and maturity. But with college right around the corner, unexpected challenges will test her resilience--and her heart.
Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she's dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes; set herself up for medical school; and meet a good, respectable guy to someday marry. Her plan definitely does not include Jell-O shots; a lovable, party animal roommate she can't say "no" to; or Ashton, the arrogant--and extremely attractive--captain of the men's rowing team who makes Livie's usually nonexistent temper flare. Worse, he's best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fit Livie's criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?
As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn't have, she's forced to let go of her last promise to her father, and, with it, the only identity she's ever known.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-09-23
- Reviewer: Staff
This follow-up to Tucker’s Ten Tiny Breaths focuses on Kacey Cleary’s younger sister, Livie, who goes off to Princeton while still grappling with the drunk driving accident that killed their parents and upended the Cleary girls’ lives. Livie is the supposed “perfect” one, and Kacey is determined, with the help of weekly phone calls to Livie from psychiatrist Dr. Stayner, to break Livie out of her conservative, cautious bubble and allow her to live life to the fullest. To add spice to this superficial coming-of-age story, Livie has to choose between proper Connor, whom she meets on campus, and his roommate, Ashton, whom she meets at a drunken bash before classes start. Unsurprisingly, it’s “naughty” Ashton who gets her heart racing, and the constant comparing of the two—she dates Connor but has passionate encounters with Ashton—gets tiresome. Also predictable: there’s more to Ashton then meets the eye; his troubled past adds melodrama to Livie’s already tragic personal situation. Meanwhile, Livie intends to follow her dream of becoming a pediatrician, volunteering at a children’s hospital, but finally learning that she lacks the emotional fortitude for such a demanding profession. Unfortunately, too many elements don’t work here—including an off-the-wall psychiatrist who does most of his therapy over the phone and gives bizarre advice (he recommends bungee jumping and drinking tequila) and a too-neat ending where everyone ends up living together happily ever after in Miami. Agent: Stacey Donaghy, Corvisiero Literary Agency. (Jan.)