San Francisco, CA, United States | Member Since 2011
People have been way too hard on this book. I admit for the first three hours I was not enjoying myself and I found the amount of characters hard to follow, especially since it was told primarily in third person. I had no idea how much I depend upon the narrator using different voices to tell characters apart!
Once you get used to the style and get to know the characters this is an engrossing book exploring how people can so easily hurt each other, especially their children, without ever realizing it. Each character was rich in detail and emotion and I loved how by seeing so many points of view you could see every angle of every situation and understand all the reasons people make the horrible choices that hurt the ones they love.
I am recommending this book to fans of literature and wonderful characters, but not to fans of happy endings and whimsy. That will not be in this story. But if you want to read something thought provoking and detailed, this is an amazing book. I feel that if this had been Rowling's first book it would be getting critical praise instead of the lukewarm reception it has received because of people's pre-conceived notions of who she is and her writing style.
I've read (well, mostly listened to) all of Sarah Dessen's books and I was super excited to devour a new one. I love Dessen's rich characters and how she develops relationships the most. I can really loose myself in her stories, and be somewhere new and exciting while I'm reading.
This book worked in that way for me. I blasted through it in a few days (a rarity for me) wanting to immerse myself in the main character Emaline's world, but I still feel conflicted about the book in general because although I was entertained thoroughly I was also frustrated with some of choices made in this book.
The family dynamics in this novel were excellent as always. You could really understand the situation and feel for the characters. It was a bit more complicated than usual, which I actually enjoyed as a good change of pace.
The love story portion of this book however was bordering on terrible. I could never figure out if I was supposed to like Theo or hate him. I definitely leaned towards the latter, and even caught myself groaning and rolling my eyes while he talked. His character was painful and made it hard for me to enjoy an otherwise good story. I don't know if Dessen intended it to go like this, or if it was just a miss, but either way, it has put this book second to last in my personal ranking of her novels.
The narrator wasn't great, but wasn't so bad that it distracted me. I found myself annoyed with some of the character voices, but I got used to it after a few hours.
I wish I could give this book three and half stars, since it was more entertaining, but more frustrating than most books I listen to. If you're a Sarah Dessen fan, this one will be a disappointment, but it isn't so bad that you need to skip it. If you are new to her books I recommend starting with Just Listen, The Truth About Forever or Lock and Key instead.
My favorite books all have some basic qualities in common: a quirky yet relatable main character, a conversational first person writing style and an intense emotional love story. Sprout had all these things in spades and is the best thing I have read so far this year. I enjoyed it so much that even though I finished it yesterday I haven't started a new book because I just want to sit with this one for a while.
The main character Sprout is a dictionary reading writer type nerd and is quite relatable to a big reader/writer like myself. As much as I enjoyed Sprout's eccentricities it was the emotional core of the book that really touched me.
I have not read many books with a gay male love story at the center, but the way it was told in this book was relatable to me as a straight female. When Sprout's heart skipped a beat so did mine; I really felt his passion, which is all I can hope for when reading a love story.
To me, the few "sex scenes" referenced in another review were quite tame and involved only kissing. There were no details given that wouldn't fit in a PG-13 movie, so unless you are offended by kissing ears or grabbing your lover's butt, there shouldn't be an issue with this book. Hopefully that's not too much of a spoiler/dissappointment to you!
Though mostly I think it sucks that I feel like I have to reassure people that the gay sex isn't overwhelming. Hopefully if you're reading this you're not even thinking about that part and are just looking for a good story about a lost boy searching for himself and a better understanding of the messed up world that surrounds him.
If that is what you're looking for you will definitely find it here.
I found this narrator to be terrible! I'm surprised the book got as many high ratings as it has. I kept making my friends listen to it to figure out why her accent sounded so fake. I decided she must be Australian faking British, turned I was wrong, the accent is real, which is even more upsetting!
The story is cute though. I actually finished the book because I wanted to know what happened. Save yourself some frustration and read it the old fashioned way.
Now, maybe I'm a wuss, but since we're talking about romance novels here, I can't imagine that I'm the only one who was apprehensive about this book because of the ghost factor. I listen to books mostly to keep me calm while driving and to fall asleep at night and, as much as I enjoyed the story, this book did not fit the bill.
My suspension of disbelief is strong, so the ghosts in here were a little too upsetting. I had to listen to something else before bed and only listen to this book on my morning drive. The ghosts weren't so bad that I couldn't listen at all, but just bad enough to keep the book from being relaxing like I wanted. The good news though is that the story was interesting enough that I found it frustrating that I couldn't listen to it more often.
So if you're sensitive to horror elements like I am, just thought I'd put my two cents in before you have a bad night (like I did). It's still worth the listen if you're a Crusie fan, just don't start off listening at bedtime!
I've read all of John Green's books and enjoyed them, two in print, two in audio, but none of them spoke to me quite like this one.
Hazel is a well written and interesting protaganist but I really think it was Kate Rudd's spot on narration that took the book over the top. She somehow managed to perfectly embody the main character's personality while still managing to make the other characters' voices distinct and not annoying.
This might be the first time I haven't been taken out of the experience of a book by an irritating vocal choice. It's been 5 days since I finished this and I am still in awe.
I am a Meg Cabot lover and proudly call her my favourite author, but this book leaves a lot to be desired. Usually I devour her books in a day or two, but this one took me two weeks!
I didn't sense the author's usual passion for her characters and the reader seemed like they were trying to push themselves too hard into doing accents they couldn't do.
I'd say listen if, like me, you're a Meg Cabot complete-ist, but otherwise skip it.
And if it's your first time to the author, definitely start with a different series! Perhaps the Airhead novels or The Mediator series. Or if you want a vampire connection and something more adult go with Queen of Babble read by Ilyana Kadushin (whose voice you'll recognize from Twilight).
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