"I guess this was what they meant by a loss of innocence. Who knew?"
Russel Middlebrook is 23 years old, gay, and living in trendy Seattle, but life isn't keeping up with the hype. Most of his friends have a direction in life - either ruthlessly pursuing their careers or passionately embracing their own aimlessness. But Russel is stuck in place. All he knows is that crappy jobs, horrible dates, and pointless hook-ups just aren't cutting it anymore.
What's the secret? What does everyone else know that he doesn't?
Enter Kevin, Russel's perfect high school boyfriend. Could rekindling an old flame be the thing Russel needs to get his life back on track? Or maybe the answer lies in a new friend, an eccentric screenwriter named Vernie Rose, who seems plenty wise. Or what the hell? Maybe Russel will find some answers by joining his best friend Gunnar's crazy search for the legendary bigfoot!
One way or another, Russel is determined to learn the all-important secret to life, even if it's a thing he doesn't even know he doesn't know.
©2014 Brent Hartinger (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
With as much expertise as Hartinger used in transitioning Russel's story from one for young adults to new adults, so too has Hurley brought Russel to life. The text is different. It's less vague, and there are explicit references to the world around the characters. No more guessing. You know exactly where the characters are. The text is more advanced insofar that it is written for adults, providing slightly coarser language and depiction of scenes, though never distaste fully. Russel continues to embody the same thoughts and feelings as all of us, and he struggles and acknowledged his flaws, just as we must. Never have I read a book (or listened to one) in which the character feels so human—so real. You can't help but find yourself in Russel. And he's oh so charming :)
Josh Hurley continues to narrate smoothly, capturing all of the raw emotion going through Russel's head. His voice lends itself perfectly to such a likable character. He has also managed to age with Russel out of Russel's teen years. His pacing is perfection.
The new characters are good, too. Especially Vernie. And the ending. Oh the ending. I was smiling broadly the entire last chapter!
Highly recommended, especially if you've read the YA series first. I love that I can keep listening, growing, and enjoying Russel without feeling like it isn't age appropriate.
🌺 Lover of Amazing Stories 🌺
What an interesting and somewhat fun journey to self discovery you get to go on with Russell. And his best friends weren't obnoxious or annoying. Their side stories added to the overall enjoyment of this entire story.
There were some preachy parts I became really bored with but once you get past those, the story really does make you laugh and leaves you feeling really good by the end.
I wasn't too keen on who Russell ended up with, only because you really do not get to have any quality time getting to know the person.
Had there been an adventure the two went on together without drama, that may have helped the perception and opened me up to liking them together. I felt they were kind of thrown together at the end because a HEA was needed and expected.
And that HEA was rushed and felt awkward, especially with how wonderful the rest of the story was. That's why this ended up being a 4 star instead of a 5 star for me.
💞 Josh Harley 💞 Amazing as usual! 😍
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know was my introduction to Russel Middlebrook. I haven't read the young adult Russel Middlebrook series , but I didn't feel like I needed to in order to enjoy this more New Adult version of the character.
23 year old Russel graduated Magna Cum Laude with a double major in psychology and political science from the University of Washington, but he doesn't want to go into those fields and is paying back student loans and his portion of rent on his friend Gunnar's houseboat by working two crappy jobs as a lifeguard and in a bread shop. He feels like everyone has it more together than he does, while he just flounders around trying to figure out what to do with his life.
You see, Russel figures he's surrounded by people who have either an Unstoppable Career Drive or Passionate Aimlessness and he feels like he's missing something. His crappy jobs, unsatisfying hookups, and horrible dates just aren't cutting it anymore. When he saves the life of an eccentric older woman who later befriends him he gets some much appreciated lessons in life.
Cute, humorous at times, and with interesting characters, even though it got a little lost in itself at times, it always managed to find its way back. However, it is the narration that made this truly enjoyable for me. Josh Hurley really does an excellent job with the different character voices, silliness and seriousness of the story. It's all about finding yourself and growing up, even when you think you should already have all the answers. We're all just a work in progress.
While this was my first Brent Hartinger story, I'm definitely going to check out Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams (Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years #2) and see where Russel's road leads him next.
I have and reread this book, as well as listening to the audio more than once. I love how Russell and Kevin went through a relationship that was on and off. how they went through high school breaking up than getting back together again in their senior year. Than break up again when they was in college. I like how they ended up together in the end. It is so amazing and I hope they get married. I also like the sex scene (LOL) and the funny parts.
Thought process of Russel Middlebrook
The writing style is very good but the filler made the story weak at best. I did not like Gunner and the Narration of Gunner's voice.
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