This story was quirky, fun, and predictable (but not in a bad way!). Even though the reader can figure out the underlying plot there are still aspects that are surpassing, amusing and touching. Julie arrives in Boston to start her first year of college only to find out the apartment she put a deposit on doesn't exist. Her mother pulls some last minute strings and Julie is off to spend a few days with a family of an old friend of her mom's. This Watkins family is ecentric. There's nerdy college student Matt, the Harvard professor mom, ultra brainy research analysis dad, and immature 13 year old Celeste. Out of the picture, traveling the world is the handsome eldest brother Finn. Oh, and then there's Flat Finn, the life size cut out of the real Fynn that Celeste totes around with her wherever she goes. While the family dynamics are certainly strange, Julie really connects with them, especially Finn who she strikes up an intimate on line relationship with via Facebook. But then there's Matt who she's really good friends with. Julia sets out to help Celeste loosen her dependence on Flat Fynn while uncovering the real reason behind the family's dysfunction.
Kate Rudd is really hit or miss as a narrator for me. I liked her narration of this book, but I didn't love it.
The story was so typical for this new adult genre. The lack of good communication to clarify assumptions could have simply resolved so much. But then there wouldn' have been any angst. I understand that...I just didn't have any patience for it.
Kate wasn't bad. I think I had difficulty with the overall story, not the narrator.
Forgiveness and trust was a nice redeeming message in this book.
I just didn't have much patience for a story that was so predictable that by the first chapter or two I had it all figured out (and it did play out exactly how I thought it would). The relationship between Markus and Willow was fun and romantic, but the overall storyline was one big cliché. Are there really people as shallow out there as Willow's sister and Markus' dad? I found them and the story to be unrealistic. The best thing about this book was the dual narration by Kirby Heyborne and Shayna Thibodeaux (who also narrates under the name of Candace Thaxton).
I have never seen this movie, (I was aware of a few quotes and the reference to the banjo music) so I listened to this book blindly. The build-up was slow, but filled with foreboding. When things did turn, they turned sharply and violently. What sets out as an adventurous canoe trip for four friends turns into a monstrous act of survival against man and nature. I really can't exactly pinpoint why I didn't like this novel more. One of my favorite narrator's, Will Patton, did a wonderful job reading it, but I felt the pacing might have been my main issue. This book is heavy on details and the connection between man and nature. From a purely literary perspective it was impressive-full of emphasis on symbolism and foreshadowing and an amazing, descriptive transformation by the main character
For me, the narrator neither added to nor subtracted from the content of this story. When Soren Johansson, a Mormon, dies of brain cancer in his early 40's, he is stunned to find himself in hell. This is no hell that he or anyone else has ever fathomed. The reason he and the other people were cast in this particular hell is because they did not believe in Zoroastrianism. Who would have thought that's why you would end up in hell? But don't worry, this hell is not forever. Your ticket to getting out is to simply go through the vast library that awaits you and find the book about your life without any errors in it. So begins Soren's new "life" in hell. It may take you awhile to really understand the dimensions in this hell and when you do, you will not only wonder at its possibility but you will also find more value in time and life in general. This story made my head spin a bit but mostly it left me with a strange, unsettling kind of uncertainty about what could be.
This was a relatively predictable yet steamy love story. The narrator's charming Scottish accent was what sealed the deal on getting this audiobook (I couldn't have replicated that in my mind while reading it!)
There's no doubt that I would have enjoyed this book immensely had I just read it; however, listening to Sebastian York completely capture Drew Evan's unabashed sexuality, arrogance and hilarity was perfection (hence the 5 star rating). I have read several books where the womanizing bad boy/man falls for the inexperienced good girl/woman. What makes this book unique is that it's written from Drew's point of view and we are in his unfiltered mind the whole time.
His player ways are challenged when he meets his new co-worker, Kate Brooks.
First off, Kate is engaged and Drew has a rule about never hooking up with anyone he works with. Needless to say, his previous rules and MO go out the door. But Kate is not playing his games-at all. The undeniable sexual tension between them is heightened when they compete against each other in order to land a coveted investment account-one they are both willing to play dirty to get.
What this book comes down to is Drew navigating in completely uncharted territory when it comes to Kate…and love. He makes some serious mistakes, but the guy IS willing to make up for it. All I know is you can plant me inside Drew's mind any day. I lost track of how many times I laughed out loud (when not laughing I was continuously grinning). I almost tripped over my own feet on the treadmill a few times because I was so distracted by the humorous banter between Kate and Drew. This audiobook was so entertaining, that I started listening to some parts over again. It's hilarious, steamy, romantic and a ton of fun.
This was a fun, sexy and very addicting book to listen to. I liked the alternating chapters read with a female voice for Olivia and the male voice for Cash and Nash. There wasn't a surprise twist for me...it was what I thought. I still liked it though (-:
This is a dark book, and listening to it is the perfect medium for it because Jenna is confessing her story on cassette tape. At sixteen years old, Jenna Lorde has a damaged past. After being in a psych ward and home-schooled she is now attending a public school where she befriends her chemistry teacher. I can't tell you how many times I thought, "Boundaries, Mr. Anderson, boundaries!" But soon there aren't any. Jenna has her secrets, but guess what, so does Mr. Anderson. I liked the ending...it was emotional and the last bit I heard was perfect.
I really loved "How To Love." This isn't an easy, predictable read; it's love captured at its hardest and messiest times. This book tells the story of a girl, Reena, who always wanted to go everywhere, but instead becomes trapped and goes nowhere and a boy, Sawyer, whose afraid of being left behind and takes off without a word to anyone-takes off for a very long time. After more than two years, he comes back. To say things have changed would be an understatement. Things are very complicated for him and Reena now, but then again, before Sawyer ever left there were a multitude of complications between them. Told in alternating chapters from before Sawyer left and after he returns, Katie Cotugna painfully explores love, patience, guilt and forgiveness and Merritt Hicks does a great job of narrating it all. This is my favorite kind of young adult novel-one that's well-written, authentic, emotional and will appeal to adults of all ages.
I've put off writing this review for awhile, because I just don't know quite how to rate this novel. There were brilliant moments while listening to this book where pain and anguish were subdued by something so heartwarming or heart-stopping that I felt it was truly amazing. Then there were some aspects and portions of the book that I felt bordered too much on high school cliché or just plain bothered me (Josh's nickname for Nastya was one). I understand that the characters are in high school and that young adult is the genre for this book, but I expected it to transcend beyond that making older adults forget that they aren't the intended audience. There are times that this book accomplishes that and others where it doesn't. That being said, this book is worth reading/listening to and worth recommending. It has one of the best opening lines (where Nastya talks about her hand and what she wants to do with it) and one of the best closing lines-her two word answer to Josh that was flabbergasting. This book wasn't perfect but it did have moments of perfection and I do see why the majority of people reading it give it 5 stars.
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