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  • My Awesome-Awful Popularity Plan

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Seth Rudetsky
    • Narrated By Seth Rudetsky, Andrea Burns, Paul Castree, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Justin has two goals for sophomore year: to date Chuck, the hottest boy in school, and to become the king of Cool U, the table in the cafeteria where the "in" crowd sits. Unfortunately, he has the wrong look (short, plump, Brillo-pad curls), he has the wrong interests (Broadway, chorus violin), and he has the wrong friends (Spencer, into Eastern religions, and Mary Ann, who doesn't shave her armpits). And Chuck? Well, he's not gay; he's dating Becky, a girl in chorus with whom Justin is friendly.

    matt says: "Outstanding"
    "Ah-MAZ-ingly Entertaining!"
    If you could sum up My Awesome-Awful Popularity Plan in three words, what would they be?

    Fun, fun, (major) fun. It's categorized as a young adult book, but don't let that stop you. And if you're not a gay teenage boy, don't let that stop you either. Because this quest for a boyfriend/girlfriend is something most people can relate to.

    What other book might you compare My Awesome-Awful Popularity Plan to and why?

    Of course, it brings to mind Seth Rudetsky's other book, BROADWAY NIGHTS, which dealt with the grown-up version of the musically-talented and lovelorn hero, a decent guy who's looking for Mr. Right. This one, Broadway Nights, is hysterically funny and has a lot of insider information about the workings of Broadway. . Seth's use of language is really clever, so much so that I want to listen to the whole book again.

    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Seth Rudetsky is one-of-a-kind. I can't imagine this book without his narration, because he brings so much of himself to the role. That man can certainly turn a phrase! It's laugh-out-loud funny in places, entertaining throughout, and brings back memories of all that high school drama. Seth voices the main character, with terrific actors like Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Megan Hilty, Will Swenson, Josh Gad, and Ana Gasteyer voicing the supporting characters. It's such an assembly of talent!

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

    It caused a release of endorphins and kept me entertained on an otherwise uneventful road trip.

    Any additional comments?

    I liked both of Seth's books so much for their pure entertainment value that I had to email him and let him know. He sent me a message from his iPhone (!) a short time later, and now he has a dedicated fan in me. (His YouTube videos and other pursuits are really entertaining as well. He's a versatile musician who plays piano and conducts orchestras. Check him out.)

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    If you could sum up The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry in three words, what would they be?

    Thoroughly enjoyable
    (I know; that's more than three words.)

    Okay, here are 3 words: I LOVED IT!

    What about Jim Broadbent’s performance did you like?

    Jim Broadbent brings Harold to life in all his gentleness, determination, and vulnerability. Harold is an ordinary man who does an extraordinary thing and who changes his thoughts about his life, and the people in it, along the way. Jim Broadbent's voice is soothing and expressive and always seems pitch perfect for the narration.

    If you could take any character from The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would take Harold to dinner. His journey has made him very accepting and open-minded; he's always been a good, decent, pleasant man and I would enjoy hearing more of his thoughts.

    Any additional comments?

    This is not an ordinary book. This is an extraordinary book. The characters are so rich and full that they feel like friends and acquaintances, and the journey is unforgettable. You will always remember Harold Fry, and you will be better for having traveled with him.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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