In Her Wake by K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #0.5
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: September 1, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: eARC, 256 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Before you knew him as Trent in Ten Tiny Breaths, he was Cole Reynolds—and he had it all. Until one night when he makes a fatal, wrong decision…and loses everything.
When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends—the ones who have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.
Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional, and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. Nor can he shake the all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip on what once was important—college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.
And there’s only one person who can give that to him…
Days after finishing it, I’m still in absolute awe over In Her Wake. I knew Trent’s story would be painful, but I really didn’t expect it to be as hard to read as it was at times. I love Trent. I have since he first appeared in Ten Tiny Breaths as Kacey’s sexy neighbor and I stuck with him after the upsetting revelations during the book. My heart ached for him, nearly literally, as I read this book.
If you’ve read Ten Tiny Breaths, you know the basics of the story. (If you’ve not read Ten Tiny Breaths, stop reading this review immediately. Pick up a copy of Ten Tiny Breaths instead.) Kacey loses her best friend, boyfriend and parents in a tragic car accident caused by a drunk driver. Trent (real name Cole) wasn’t driving, but he was in the other car. His two best friends died that night, too. One mistake responsible for the lives of six people – and irreparable damage to at least another two lives. It was tragic and heartbreaking. It broke Kacey. After reading TTB, we knew she hasn’t been the same since. We never knew just what all Trent went through, however.
Trent’s story tore me apart. (Seriously, I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it as I write this review.) The guilt he felt. The pain. The loss. It gutted me. This was no easy read, trust me. It was a quick one, but it was rather dark at times. Trent’s head wasn’t an easy place to be in, but I never even once thought of setting this book down. The Trent we met in TTB is so far from this Trent that it’s difficult to believe they’re the same person. Old Trent was a little creepy in his determination to make things right with Kacey. Do I blame him? No, not really. He lost nearly as much as she did that night. I can’t really fault him for trying to make things right. Or, as right as they can possibly be.
The only thing that disappointed me about this book, being perfectly honest, is that I didn’t get any more of Kacey and Trent together. Had this book delved into their meeting, but from Trent’s POV, I would have loved it that much more. But, I guess we already know Kacey and Trent’s story. In Her Wake wasn’t meant to retell it. It was meant to give us insight into what led Cole to become Trent and seek out Kacey. It was his story and his pain. It wasn’t pretty, but it was real and unflinchingly honest. It was full of angst, but also hopeful in the end.
In Her Wake was a great addition to the Ten Tiny Breaths series. When you go into this one, be prepared to feel all the feels – good, bad and everything in between. This series was incredible from start to finish. I can’t believe it’s really over now. *sad sigh*
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.