JOSHUA, TX, United States | Member Since 2013
Lucy @ The Reading Date's review roused my affinity for stories about bullying and Iranian-Americans. Being a social studies teacher-reader, PERMANENT RECORDs mix of rich topics that could use an open dialogue and empathy led to my purchase of the book and then the audio.
It does not disappoint. PERMANENT RECORD has a similar feel of favorites, like Looking for Alaska, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and the The Silver Linings Playbook, but LESLIE gives a unique and authentic lens to experience all the frustrations of Badi's coming of age. Some of his struggles with friends, love, bullying and family are similar to any other teen, which makes him completely connectable to the reader. But he does have the additional issues of cultural expectations and nuances that make things harder for Badi.
You enter Badi's life in the wake of his attempted suicide. Though I agreed with Badi's anger about his parents changing his name to Bud Hess, I was hopeful for his new start at Magnificat's Academy. And in the beginning it was promising, he found friends that appreciated his wit and quirks. It doesn't take too long for things to seemingly spin out of control. Badi has found a home on the newspaper, but this emboldens him to speak his mind and not remain invisible. The problem is this coincides with the traditional chocolate bar sales that support only a portion of the student body, obviously not his particular slice of Magnificat. As Badi's refusal to participate in the fundraiser becomes known, someone decides to throw super octane fuel on the fire. A series of anonymous letters lambasting the Academy's treatment of lesser clubs has everyone pointing the finger at Badi.
NICK PODEHL captured Badi's experience. He took me there. I could see and feel Badi's frustration, outrage, angst and teenage indifference. NICK didn't lose sight of the lighter and hopeful moments either. But as things became more volatile, his pace and tension matched it. I wasn't going anywhere. He also beautifully portrayed Badi's family, their accents and their dynamic within their unit. NICK dialed in on the particular douchiness of Badi's terrorizers and concern of his friends. His females didn't lack either. I'll be looking for more of his narrations in the future.
Fabulously complex, yet Margarite & Kim bring you comfort in the big finale. All the major players are accounted for. They make a little sad and worried but reward you with laughter and meltable moments of yum.
Pretty Woman-esque spiced up & hotter. Gracie Grant was fabulous. She portrayed a young, yet no nonsense Chloe confident in herself & her place in the business world. Her Bennett was HOT. Dickish, commanding & sultry.
I absolutely loved the first 2, then the whole Saber storyline just wasn't resonating with me. I decided to give this one a go on audio. It was a treat. Though I had Angel sounding a bit more trashy in my head, I loved how the narrator pegged her. Pure of heart & talks straight from the gut in an endearing "keeping it real" kind of way. Angel's inner and actual dialogue kept me tuned in. But once again the Saber Evil Zombie Snatcher thing just didn't get me excited.
Not sure why we travelled back in time, but it was a nice jaunt nonetheless. Filled with all the trademark snark, action & southern drawl. But it shows a time when Gin was young and a tad idealistic, naive. The story unravels the events that made her a little more cautious & calculating along with a bit colder & realistic when dealing with human nature.
Now let's get back to future & a lot of Owen 😘
I'm really not sure how I feel about this book. I love that there is so much about family, especially sisters. But it meanders kind of slowly along kind of like how life does. It gave me time to reevaluate and shift where I wanted the book to go. In the end, I am content BUT still throw a "Really?!?" out there. Now, I need the sequel!
The narrator is SO Laura Jean. She has captured her sugary sweet, thoughtfully naive & whimsical sides. She also doesn't take anything away from the development of the other characters. But she is SO Laura Jean.
I was expecting ZOMBIES. JONATHAN MABERRY is a master zombie world builder, but he crafts an equally horrific threat to humanity. If you thought that zombies being unleashed on the capital was bad, now Joe Ledger has to track down Pure Evil. Nazi Doctor throw-backs tinker with everything from the ideal human to Dr. Morrow's worst nightmare. No one is safe, but knowing Joe is on the job makes me feel better.
RAY PORTER is masterful in this complex world of accents and all levels of crazy. The key is that he captures Ledger's alpha huskiness with a light inflection to capture his playful nature. He breathes creepy, evil and psychotic into all the crazies that are trying to make sure the Extinction Clock reaches zero. MABERRY and PORTER bring you a modern-day War of the World experience. I expect that I'll continue the series on audio.
YEKO gives the reader a solid scenario. Michelle is scorned and in need of saving. Jason, a firefighter, is a natural-born knight in shining armor. The bad guys are bad. They provide the initial burst of adrenaline that Michelle and Jason run with all the way to the end.
MOUNTAIN HERO was a nice nugget of a romance. Being short it walked the line of a perfectly paced build. The action and story are evenly paced and developed. Jason's calm and strength make him easy to fall for. But Michelle was a little uneven. Understandable, but her character bounced back and forth between "save me" and "I'll save myself". It made it a little hard to see what Jason saw in her. But who am I to deny some much-needed body heat in a mountain storm.
ALAN TAYLOR was kind of stoic with a touch of fire that made him a perfect voice for Jason. It matched his calm with something yummy just underneath the surface. But he did lack last touch of huskiness that would have brought home all the FEELS.
WINGER was magic to my ears. It had all the ingredients: main character with a strong voice, quirky-connectable supporting cast, depth and meaning. But ANDREW SMITH knocked it out of the park with wit and humor.
I enjoyed being in Ryan Dean's head while he worked through his Coming of Age story. Bullying, Man Codes, being apart of a Team and all the boy shenanigans they can come up with. The desire to kiss available lips warring with trying to escape the "friendship" zone with the girl he loves. Care packages with condoms and a "Your First Time" pamphlet from your loving mother.
Ryan Dean is smart, funny with a sensitive side. He unapologetically wears Pokemon underwear. He embraces the "Wild Boy" persona and goes for it, even when fear and uncertainty creep in.
SMITH's words and MARK BOYETT's narration are DY-NO-MITE! MARK captures the young, unsure, geeky Ryan Dean that is a tad unpredictable with throw-up of the month and mind. None of the oddness, wildness, passion or bravado escape his range to express all that WINGER has going on between the covers. He perfectly pegs all the screwballs and neanderthals in the supporting cast of characters. His females are feminine with a little fire. MARK's pacing and emotion create a movie in your mind. He had me there in the moment right along Ryan Dean. I felt like I was in the car with Screaming Ned, shrieking, cussing and losing my shit too.
There will be more SMITH and BOYETT in my future. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this audiobook.
I know. It's about time. I'd heard so much about THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY that I bought it for the library, but didn't read it. Then Felicia @ The Geeky Blogger's Book Blog decided to highlight favorite audiobooks. Guess which one popped up more than any other? Yep. So when I was manipulated by Audible to buy audiobooks, I knew this had to be one of them.
I was immediately drawn into Nastya's world. I liked her wit and sarcasm and had to know what caused this girl to decide to remain silent. And not only that, but why was she outfitted in an armor that made her unapproachable and up for speculation. She seemed so strong and self-assured and powerless at the same time. Then the running, the relentless need to get herself to exhaustion so her mind could rest. I wanted to know her story.
And it would take an equally broken, Josh, with an equally thick wall of amour to not only intrigue Nastya, but frustrate her right out of her shell. Their story is one of damage and trying to deal with it. They can't quite seem to wrap their own brains around who they are now after. After the loss. After the things and people who have been taken away. Much less can they figure out how to navigate the everyday high school world carrying around so much pain. They aren't who they used to be. They've changed. So they erect walls and lots of barriers to keep everyone else out and try to protect what little they have left. But it is lonely.
This is a book to experience. I woke up at 2:30 am to snoring, so I plugged in my audiobook like usual to go back to sleep. But this was different, I couldn't go back to sleep. I stayed up the rest of the night following Nastya and Josh. My eyes leaked, my stomach was in knots and my heart broke. It was powerful and sad and beautiful.
CANDACE THAXTON captured Nastya's anger, jadedness and intelligence. KIRBY HEYBOURNE was Josh. He was strong, withdrawn, but attentive. They took the story that KATJA wove and made it play out in my mind in 3D. BRAVO.
There really aren't adequate words for me to describe all the ways I enjoyed being along for the ride with ARI & DANTE. This Coming-of-Age novel is so full, even the silence speaks.
There is never a doubt that these two boys needed to find each other. Their own special baggage is exactly what is required for them to connect, question and work through things. It may be as comical as their Mexican-ness or lack of to grief over their missing pieces. As in most Coming-of-Age novels, they need to learn to be OK with who they are and reconcile what kind of person they want to be. Their journey takes you through all the FEELS, laughing to frustration to tears. It isn't easy, but they get there. I appreciate the fact that in the end they had each other all the way, plus a pair of wonderful parents for support. The lesson I walked away with is learning to be UNASHAMED with who you are.
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA was phenomenal. He had the perfect blend of age, unease and bravado that could take you through the rage, snark, laughs and the range of emotions of teen boys. Ari had more bravado and Dante had more excitable wonder. He also captured both sets of parents, their calm, love and specific personalities. SAENZ & MIRANDA served up an experience that won't be forgotten.
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