First off, I have to applaud Colleen Hoover for creating the unconventional main character of Ridge who is strong, positive, talented and happens to b..Show More »e 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.
Maybe this is partly because I didn't realize this was part of a series, so I listened to this on it's own without any information from the other book..Show More »s, but I found it really hard to root for either character in the romantic pairing, and therefore found it really frustrating to listen to.
Warren can't pay his rent and spends all day lying around watching porn (and don't get me started on how disrespectful he was towards Bridget when he was trying to find her own porn video. What an invasion of her privacy!) I'm supposed to want this guy to get his girl? I'm supposed to think he's sexy? Was very turned off by him.
Bridget is not much better. She is rude to the point of nonsense. Is it realistic for her to be this way? I know we delve more into her character later and it is explained, but I still found her hard to deal with. I just couldn't understand why they liked each other, and found their sexual tension forced. I love this genre, but this book gave me none of the fun, romantic feelings that I was expecting.
The writing style itself is fine, and I think I could enjoy other books by this author with more likable characters. I did like the characters of Ridge, Brennan, and Sydney, so maybe their stories will appeal to me more.
The narration had some glitches- It was clear when the author would cut to another take for a few paragraphs, because the pitch of his voice would change, like he might have been standing farther away from the microphone.