First off, I have to applaud Colleen Hoover for creating the unconventional main character of Ridge who is strong, positive, talented and happens to be deaf.
I listened to this story critically because I am fluent in sign language and work with children who have a hearing loss. I was uncertain how authentic Ridge's character would be and I couldn't help but wonder how his hearing loss would be perceived by others who consider themselves deaf. I am sure there are varying responses and opinions to his musical abilities and ways in which he communicated. I'm remaining neutral because I believe Hoover created an exceptional and loveable character and his inability to hear makes him extraordinary. I don't think she intended for Ridge to be typical in any way.
Sydney's character started off a bit shaky for me. I know she found herself in circumstances that made her angry and that fueled her to be a bit irrational. Name calling and punching people was immature (to a degree) and I thought this might be something that continued throughout the novel. I'm happy to say that it didn't. There's a lot of wavering between right and wrong in her mind and I found myself appreciating the ways in which rationalized and justified her feelings and actions. It all made sense whether you liked it or not.
I'm usually not interested in novels that include a love triangle, but this story wasn't what I expected. It had a strong undercurrent of good morals and respect with a focus on the internal, not the external attractiveness of a person. The messages in this story are also good ones: "listening" to the heart, not needing to be a hero to a woman who is already a heroine, giving yourself freedom and time to be alone to figure out what is right, etc.
As with her previous books, Hoover writes with great levels of emotion, angst, and humor (loved the pranks) not to mention that addictive quality that makes her books un-put-down-able. She takes what could be very predictable and twists it into something that is unique and bittersweet.
A bonus to this novel is the fact that it has an original soundtrack. All those songs Ridge and Sydney wrote are actual songs by Griffin Peterson. While I didn't purchase the Maybe Someday album, I did listen to all the samples on iTunes and found them to be a very complimentary, sounding better than I imagined them in my own mind. How cool is that?
Lastly, I have to say that the narrators for this book were really good, especially Zachary Webber who read as Ridge and really captured his quiet strength.
This book started out slow for me. I felt the building of Amy and Robin’s friendship took more time than I would have liked and added considerable length/listening time. I understood the reason for this was to call attention to details that would have greater significance later on in the story. Robin was never a likeable person to me, and the narrator chose to give her an annoying voice (which matched her personality). That voice softened throughout the story but was tough to tolerate in the beginning.
The story became intriguing once the accident takes place and more so when Robin makes a life for herself, separate from who her heart desires. I wasn’t expecting her deception to take on the longevity that it did. Bringing in the character of Declan further threw me and had me fixated not only on where the plot was going but how it would end. This was my favorite part of the story, and a good reason for that was not only because of his personal issues, which becomes a significant turning point for the main characters, but because the narrator really shined when she captured his Irish accent.
Although I was happy with the ending, I do feel the plot went on too long and was essentially too far- fetched for me. The setting is in the 1990’s, and the medical/surgical aspects didn’t fit in respect to capability. Modern methods may have delivered the smooth, beautiful outcome achieved (not only once but twice) but I don’t think results in the 90’s were as efficient. Then there's the moral turmoil Paul had to overcome which was discomforting even after everything was said and done.
This may have been the poorest quality audiobook I've ever listened to. I had issues and inconsistencies with both narrators for Crank and Julia. I just couldn't stomach Crank's Boston accent. His voice for Julia didn't remotely resemble the hasty style she read with. He also didn't do a British accent for Serena, which the female narrator did. The female narrator did do a wonderful job on all the characters voices (I liked her voice for Crank better than his actual voice). However, she read so quickly, blowing past natural pauses and then creating pauses where there shouldn't be any. She also swallowed a lot (she was a noisy reader) and the overall recording when she read sounded "cheap" as if she were just pressing a tape recorder, not in any kind of professional sound booth.
The story itself was just OK for me. Although I understood Julia's difficult past; it was hard to watch her continually keep Crank at a distance because of her own insecurities
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 (-:
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