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Celebrating Diversity Through Literature


  • Love Comes Silently: Senses Series

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Andrew Grey
    • Narrated By Max Lehnen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Caring for a loved one with cancer is tough. Doing it alone is overwhelming - especially when that loved one is a child. But ever since Ken Brighton's partner left him, Ken has spent his days at the hospital with his daughter, Hanna, hoping for a miracle. Maybe the mysterious care packages that appear for Hanna don't qualify, but they bring a spark of hope into his and Hanna's tired life-and so does Ken's neighbor, former singer Patrick Flaherty.

    PrismBookAlliance says: "My new favorite Andrew Grey"
    "My new favorite Andrew Grey"
    What made the experience of listening to Love Comes Silently the most enjoyable?

    I have read or listened to a LOT of Andrew Grey titles. I love that so many of his are available for audio. He is a go to comfort listen or read for me because his characters are real, they deal with adversity in a mature way, and they are relatively low-angst, while still offering a complete and rich story. Love Comes Silently is no different.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Patrick, of course. I love that he silently (hah!) does so many good things for Ken and Hannah. I love how he is with Hannah. I love how he is with Ken. My heart breaks for him as he thinks he isn't good enough for Ken to want.

    Have you listened to any of Max Lehnen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was my second one. I like it even better than the first. I listen to enough audiobooks that I have favorite narrators. I was a little disappointed when In Search of a Story was not by one of my favorites. Max Lehnen was an unknown but I quickly discovered his style is perfect for the story. Unlike many narrators, his voice is not distinctive and so he melts into the background and the story becomes the focus. That opinion was reinforced as I listened to Silently.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Cry of course. It is an emotional story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tales From Foster High

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John Goode
    • Narrated By Michael Stellman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Kyle Stilleno is the invisible student, toiling through high school in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Brad Greymark is the baseball star of Foster High. When they bond over their mutual damage during a night of history tutoring, Kyle thinks maybe his life has changed for good. But the promise of fairy-tale love is a lie when you're gay and falling for the most popular boy in school. A coming of age story in the same vein of John Hughes, Tales from Foster High shows an unflinching vision of the ups and downs of teenage love and what it is like to grow up gay.

    Riva says: "Nice surprise"
    "Why did I wait so long?"

    Review originally written for Prism Book Alliance

    The story
    On the surface, Brad and Kyle couldn’t be more different. Brad is popular; Kyle is invisible. Brad is a “have”; Kyle is a “have-not”. Brad is straight; Kyle is… no one cares. Once they get together, however, you find out that life may not be so perfect for either one of them. Tales from Foster High looks at a budding high school romance in a manner akin to the famous John Hughes films of the 80s (with several relevant references included for good measure).
    While certainly fiction, Goode gives a fairly realistic look at high school in small town Texas in the time period depicted. (And yes, I can say that because I WENT to high school in small town Texas in a semblance of the time period depicted). Kyle and Brad don’t just get together and live happily ever after. They have to deal with bullies and homophobic peers and bigoted teachers/school officials. But they also find friends and allies in places they didn’t think they would. Kyle has a hard time accepting that Brad does want to be with him. Brad has a hard time accepting that his life as he knows it is over.
    The first chapter (formerly the novella Maybe with a Chance of Certainty) is told from Brad’s first person point-of-view. The second chapter (formerly the novella End of the Beginning) is told entirely from Brad’s first person point of view. Finally, in the 3rd Chapter (formerly the novella Raise Your Glass) we get alternating points of view. All resulting in a balanced view of each teen’s struggle with friends, family, and each other.
    Much of this book, I was thinking it was going to be getting 5 full stars. It lost a little bit in the end with a little too much predictability in the plot surrounding the school board scene. It was well written, just didn’t leave me enthralled the way the rest of the story did.
    The Narrator
    When reading a book for the first time via audio, the narrator can make or break a story. This was my first time listening to a Michael Stellman narrated book, however, I sincerely hope he narrates the rest of the series. Yes, you can take that to mean I want to rest of this series on audio!
    His voice was perfect for my vision of Brad and Kyle. While he didn’t take undo effort to differentiate every character’s voice, there was enough inflection variations that you didn’t lose who was speaking. In all honesty, his voice disappeared and let the story shine.
    My conclusion
    Now I have a dilemma… Do I wait for End of Innocence to make it to audio, or add it to my TBR now and just read the eBook version? I just can’t make myself wait, so I will be going with the later option.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A to Z

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Marie Sexton
    • Narrated By Mark L. Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Zach Mitchell is stuck in a rut. His college boyfriend left him ten years ago, but Zach still lives in the same apartment, drives the same car, and feeds his ex-boyfriend’s ungrateful cat. His Denver business, A to Z Video Rental, is struggling. He has annoying customers, eccentric neighbors, and an unfulfilling romance with his landlord, Tom. But things start to change when Zach gives a job to a combat boot-wearing punk with an attitude, Angelo Green.

    Justin says: "A good love story with plenty of steaminess!!!"
    "Great story, horrible narration"
    What did you love best about A to Z?

    I LOVED this story. Sexton is one of my favorite authors in this genre. She gives us beautifully written love stories between 2 men with all the angst that goes with it and not more than is needed.

    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark L. Jones?

    Anyone... No seriously, he sounded BORED reading. Paul Morey, Sean Crisden, or Sawyer Allerde would have done SOOO much better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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