When I found this audiobook and read the title, I thought it was an expose` of hotels--all the little particulars of making rooms ready for strangers. Only a few minutes into the narrative I realized I was completely wrong. A few more minutes and I was hooked--the protagonist begins the book as a hapless valet at a moderate New Orleans hotel. The book chronicles his rise to front desk, through a move to New York, and dreams of a larger life. It can be surprisingly sad in parts--remembering his friends in New Orleans post-Katrina, but laugh out loud funny in others (I'll NEVER forget the guest with the brown paper bag). The reader has the advantage of being the author, so he knows exactly where to delight and surprise the listener. To me, wanting something different, this book was exactly right, even though it was nothing like I thought.
I do not make it a habit of not finishing books, whether reading or listening. This, however, was an exception. The charactes are not sympathetic and it was difficult to care what happens to them. Even the narrator's voice could not save this dull, predictable story.
When I chose this audiobook, I should have paid more attention to all the specifics. I didn't realize it was a YA novel, nor did I realize it was the beginning of a trilogy. Personally I am a bit tired of the format--taking 3 books to tell a story. This story starts off fairly promising, with sympathetic characters and a new spin on an old concept. But towards the middle it begins to break down. As I finished listening to the book and realized the story's resolution was going to take two more books, I found I wasn't interested enough to continue. To each his or her own-this was not my favorite.
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