While I enjoyed this book immensely, there were MANY very uncomfortable moments throughout the book. It was reminiscent of some of my most awkward moments which took place during my teenage years!
The sheer pressure of wanting so badly to be liked by people that you have come to idolize for no particular reason seems ridiculous now, but Charlie's letters bring back all of the memories of the unrequited crushes and quests for popularity.
Charlie is dealing with especially tough teen years due in part to wanting to please everyone at his own expense as well as having not yet found his voice and not knowing how to express what he wants or needs for fear of upsetting someone he cares about.
He is so grateful that Patrick and Sam actually spend time with him and appear to like him that he will do almost anything to remain in their good graces. Unfortunately, his gratitude for their friendship and self doubt are a normal part of being a teenager, especially since he has an enormous crush on Sam.
There are times in this story where I REALLY wanted him to "grow a pair" - but through the excellent narration and compelling story line, I realized that Charlie was doing everything he could and despite constantly trying to please others, he was striving to become the best person he knew how to be.
This is a great read for anyone who wants to take a trip down memory lane back to those critical years where you were still making embarrassing mistakes in the quest to become well liked and popular.
Whereas this book is very different from most romances, I welcome the differences. Unfortunately, it seems like it is written from the "tween" group at some points because simple aspects of the relationship are so difficult for the primary characters to sort out.
My biggest problem with this book is the reader and some of the voices she uses, which are so distracting they are almost laughable at points.
I am positive that I would have enjoyed the book more without her sounding like my kindergarten teacher reading "the big, bad wolf's" voice for certain characters and yet being so monotone for others.
Overall it was a decent book, but not one where I would research other titles from the same author.
Whereas this book has a good story line and idea, not to mention a great narrator, it is hard to get to know the characters, due to their constant departures from what we are presented with as their upbringing and personalities throughout the book.
Jack's character is never fully developed when Andrew enters the story, and although Andrew is given more of a back story than Jack, there is no real explanation for how quickly things develop between the two them, despite their religious upbringing and fear of discovery.
The characters know essentially nothing about each other, yet decide to make life changing decisions within a week of meeting based on remaining in each other's lives forever.
The plot remains interesting, though somewhat repetitive at times, and continues to build to a climax. Then suddenly, the book ends without warning or any loose ends being mended.
I had no idea when I purchased it, that this was supposed to be a series of books and felt somewhat cheated that there was no ending at all and no completed installment that I could purchase right away to satisfy my curiosity.
I will probably buy the second book, but if it is more of the same - I am done with the series; because I didn't realize I was buying into a series.
The combination of Craig Daniel's writing and Luke Wilson as a narrator truly gave me a sense of knowing what it was like to BE Edward.
Edward is a good guy who is doing his very best to navigate through his solitary life in a confusing world where he is continually "flummoxed" by his interactions with others; all while attempting to stay on the good side of his very demanding father.
It takes Edward all of his 39 years and 200-something odd days and an excellent therapist to come to the realization that life could be better with other people involved in it.
This epiphany (I LOVE the word epiphany!) is gradually arrived at with much sadness and hilarity in equal parts.
Edward is a very simple man to understand if you are "in his head" where this book and narrator puts you - but it is abundantly clear how someone attempting to interact with him and not in his head might be confused by his actions and directness.
I can't wait to read the follow-up to see how Edward is doing! I am going to order it now.
A work of fiction should always have enough drama to hold your interest, but this book goes above and beyond. I hope to NEVER attend a church with so many over-sexed people with such evil intentions for one another.
The story line is rather loose, but Weber pulled out his heavy duty super glue and tacked it together anyway and forced it to work.
I am familiar with Mr. Weber's work and there is always drama involved, but I usually find it entertaining. I was disappointed this time because of all of the overly-manufactured drama to the point that no one, no matter how much of a Christian they appeared to be, was above getting down and dirty.
Despite not being a fan of the story line, I was impressed with the reader's performances and how they made the book come alive.
I was very disappointed with the writing versus part 1 of the novel. I think that most of the character's personalities completely changed to the point where half of the characters seemed mentally unstable.
In the first installment, at least Granville had a reason for being crazy and over-the-top! But in this one there was entirely too much manufactured drama!
The reader's performance was still excellent and he did his best to save this book to no avail! I would give the reader a 5 for his performance, but there is only so much his performance can do to save such a travesty.
Whereas I loved Granville in the first story and he pretty much stayed the same - the writer did not remain true to most of her characters and made some of my favorites appear to be very shallow and indecisive sociopaths!
I was really looking forward to finding out what became of everyone from the first book, but this was a definite let down!
I would not waste a credit on a third installment.
The first thing I did upon finishing Heft was too search "Liz Moore" for a follow-up book. This book is ripe for a continuation!
I was positively enthralled with the two readers and their depiction of the main characters in this book. The book itself was very interesting and I was made to feel like I knew the characters by the voice inflections and genuine artistry that the readers exhibited!
Although I was a little disappointed with the ending, I could not have enjoyed the book more. I felt that I got to know and understand each character.
I look forward to hearing more from Liz Moore.
I looked at this book a couple of times before I actually bought it. The only thing that changed my mind were some of it's good reviews and they were ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!
I truly enjoyed this book and the narration. While I would hate to run across a character like Granville in real life, he was pure comedy to me. I could not wait for his parts to come in the book - almost every time I laughed out loud at his thought processes.
Each character was so different and well thought out. They each brought something special to the story, although I would have liked to have known Tisha a little better.
This is a book that I definitely would have enjoyed in a printed format; but the narration was so on point and enjoyable that I feel anyone who only purchases the print version is really missing out on one of the most enjoyable parts of the story.
Although there were some significant pauses that should have been corrected prior to publishing and some rather cheesy side effects that did not add to the story, those would be my only issues with the narration.
I am anxiously awaiting the sequel to this one and I pray that they keep the same narrators.
The most enjoyable thing about listening to Gone Girl was the fact that you COULD NOT anticipate what would happen next!
This book is so refreshing in that I was able to listen to it in it's entirety and immediately want to listen again! Not once did I guess where the plot was going, I just let it take me and enjoyed the ride!
I loved how detail oriented the book was and how it did not disappoint by not tying loose ends together, although there were a lot of loose ends to keep up with!
I cannot think of a book that I would compare to Gone Girl... I would compare the "Back to the Future" movies although it seems a strange comparison.
Both Gone Girl and the Back to the Future movies had a lot of twists and turns in the plot that need to be explained and "wrapped up" and both did an excellent job of creating a plot with a lot of "moving parts" that needed to be tamed in the end and there were no disappointing "band-aids" used to explain something away... For every intricate plot twist, there were enough explanations and "AHA moments" to keep even the most jaded reader understanding and believing throughout the book.
Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne were outstanding in their performances on this book. I can not imagine anyone else performing this book. THEY WERE NICK AND AMY!!!
Their performances were not overly dramatic, just believable and really drew you even more into the plot.
There were many moving moments in this book and I would love to go into a deeper explanation, but for fear of a spoiler, I will just say that in Amy's case, I have never loved a character that I didn't like so much in my life!!!
This was the first book that I read by Gillian Flynn and I immediately went and purchased all of her other books and I can not wait until she comes out with a new one!
Gillian Flynn has a writing style that is all her own and she knows how to create the most compelling characters I have ever encountered in my reading.
I did not want to do anything other than listen to this book. I was annoyed when the phone rang or when I had to sleep! I can listen to this book over and over...
No I would not recommend this book to a friend. I found it to be somewhat depressing and I had a hard time dealing with how little most of the characters respected human life.
I also felt that a lot of the profanity used was unnecessary and distracted from the story itself.
I would give Tracy Brown another try because despite the overwhelming hopelessness that is depicted in this book, it definitely held my interest throughout the story. I was intrigued by how fully she would develop some characters, yet leave you guessing about others until she would come back and fill them out much later, which always felt like an afterthought to me.
There were several characters that I never understood their motivations like Jada's mother and her sister, Dorian and Bourne's mother.
As much as I would like to give specific examples of how these characters acted without any real explanation or depth and then were filled out towards the end and tried to be made into heroes/heroines, it would be a spoiler - so I will just say that some of the changes of heart felt like later editing where the author said "I have to have some good in some of these characters!"
I understand from reading the reviews that there is a second part to this book - I am still debating on whether I will listen to it or not; but my possibly not listening to it is based more on the fact that the same reader will be performing it, than the fact that I have given up on this author.
The performance was very distracting to me. This is a story which was set in New York and most of the characters sounded VERY southern.
Some of the voices were completely at odds with the descriptions of the characters and while I always knew who was talking with the various voices, they were "overdone" and actually made the story harder to relate to for me.
The book would have been better had they not used the sound effects. They were used in a sporadic way that seemed odd and unnecessary.
Read a book with a happy ending!
I purchased this particular book based mostly on the excellent reviews it received - but although it held my interest, I found the depiction of most of the characters lacking in true growth and although I grew up in "the hood" I sometimes found the vulgarities within the conversations uncalled for and a bit too much for me.
Perhaps as a person who grew up with many of the same problems that plagued Jada and Bourn and overcame them, I had less patience with the victim mentality the book constantly fell back on as far as how they were raised and lack of parenting.
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