I'm semi-retired at 67 and a recent Cancer survivor.
Let it be known that this is getting like a 4.75 stars instead of what is shown as a 4. Hopefully, Audible will offer it's customer base the ability to fraction stars in the new look. Anyway, this is a powerful story of the struggle to deal with, work through, handle, manage or otherwise grow through not only tragic loss (Blythe's parents) but also unspeakable abuse (Christopher's family). How their lives cross paths, only to grow together, fall apart and move forward is a beautifully conceived story full of twists and turns that will have your heart racing and your emotions at the surface. The ONLY issue (which prevented the full on 5 stars) FOR ME was the over-done sexual encounters. After the first 10 or so, it got old and felt gratuitous; how many times do I need to read Christopher say "I want to hear you come" before it gets redundant and meaningless. Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude and enjoy erotic and sensual encounters a LOT but this was just over the top. With such a strong STORY of loss, love, loss, love and redemption, the sexual abundance did not add substance or meaning. This story was extremely moving and so beautifully crafted, don't let my wariness of the sexual content stop you from listening to it. Heck, I listened ALL NIGHT long to finish it--just could NOT stop until the story was done.
The characters of Blythe, Christopher, Sabin (perhaps my favorite character), Estelle, and Eric were so richly written and performed, I felt like I knew them and ached so for them.
About the narrator, reader, performer...Arielle DeLisle, well, I have one word for her. MAGNIFICENT. She handled many voices with ease, individuality, emotion, depth, believability and substance. As we who are devotees of the spoken book, the narrator can make or break. In this instance, Ms. DeLisle ABSOLUTELY MADE this book.
This is a very very worthy read.
I LOVED this audio...the story line is a good one and the characters are, for the most part, believable. Caden and Ever's lives are forever and always connected through a clever and skillfully crafted idea. I must admit to getting a bit weary of the angst and the 'overdone' letters (too many...we got the idea early on) but the story of how they met as teenagers, went their separate ways, only to stay connected over many years is quite well done and quite lovely. I still contend, as I have for many of the YA/NA books, that teenagers do not have the emotional maturity that is granted them by so many writers...however, given the events in both Caden's and Ever's lives, they maturity is slightly more acceptable. The book does progress through time as does their relationship and when they finally meet again, it is explosive and wonderful. Be forewarned, the book has a cliffhanger ending that will have you screaming for the second installment of their story. The second and third books are not out in audio yet but should be soon. You may want to read some of the reviews of those final two books of the trilogy before pursuing. The problem is not with Ms Wilder's writing skills at all. She is a gifted and powerful mind. It is the story.
As for the narrators/readers, I love both of these folks. Piper Goodever and Gabriel Vaughn read the wonderful Wilder books Falling Into You and Falling Into Us. Ms. Wilder and Audible know a good thing when they hear it and this book is no exception.
This is a very worthy listen...just be aware that there is a price (emotionally) to be paid at the end of this book and with the next two. I read/scanned them and wished I hadn't.
Thanks to Angela Goethals powerful narration of Colleen Hoover's Hopeless, I was so happy I decided to listen to this. I did not like the book/digital version nearly as much. The characters that seemed vague and not well developed when I read it took on a real intensity and depth that the book did not convey. This is a hard book to listen insofar as the substance and topic unfolds in a superbly crafted idea. I got somewhat weary of the angst but considering the topic again, it was more than justified. This is not only an excellent coming of age book, it is a reminder that not all teenagers lead charmed lives and that bad things happen to them. Dean Holder will always be one of my fave heroes of a book; Skye was amazing in her own right. It's a worthy listen and I highly recommend. I immediately downloaded Losing Hope thinking that it would pick up where Hopeless left off...I did not read the blurb on it intentionally for fear of being spoiled. I sent it back as it is the same story from Dean's POV...not what I wanted to hear again. So I returned it. That being said, Hopeless is indeed a terrific audio.