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Bex

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  • The Disaster Artist

  • My Life inside 'The Room', the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
  • By: Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
  • Narrated by: Greg Sestero
  • Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,994
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,503
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,477

Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" ( Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You Have to Listen to This Book!

  • By Henry Strickler on 08-28-14

Watch The Room. Read this Book. Watch The Room.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-18

You HAVE to watch The Room first. Preferably in a theatre where people yell out lines from the movie and chuck spoons at the screen.

Then read this book.

Then watch The Room again.

The watch The Disaster Artist movie.

I was introduced to The Room via a friend when getting my Masters. We had wine, and in a group, watched this train wreck of a movie aghast and with many giggles. THEN he made us watch it again with Rifftrax from the guys behind Mystery Science Theatre. We laughed so hard everyone got an amazing ab workout that night. The Room then went down in history as it grew in popularity.

I remember hearing about this book when it was about to be released. Somehow a friend of a friend who worked at the local library got Greg to come in and do a reading - later that night they did one of those spoon-chucking movie nights at a local theatre and Greg and his girlfriend visited. He did a Q&A and was super cool. And somehow a group from the event, including Sestero, ended up at a bar and closed the place down. No one talked about the movie or book, and he is such a nice guy.

Greg's experience on this film is amazingly awkward and funny and I'm happy to see him turn this weird experience into a book. I listened to it on the road trip back to my next level of grad school and oh man, this book is hilarious. Greg's Tommy-impersonation is spot on - I laughed so hard. I'm so glad he read his own book. And of course, he got a movie deal out of it.

Seriously. Experience this Room-ception in the order I listed above. Fun times.

  • Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance

  • Knitting in the City, Book 3
  • By: Penny Reid
  • Narrated by: Devra Woodward
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,010
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 951
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 948

There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn't been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Penny did it again

  • By Amanda on 02-10-17

"My name is Alex, and I’ll be serving you tonight"

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-18

YASSS PENNY!

Rocky start to a series I'll admit but this book comes in swinging! Wonderful fun.

I loved the first book and it's little sequel, and I was a bit rough on the second book, because, reasons, but THIS IS WHAT I'M HERE FOR. Penny Reid really starts to come into her own as she develops the characters of the knitting group - these books get better and better.

Sandra is obsessed with the butter chicken at a local restaurant and can't help but analyze her dates. After one leaves crying her waiter sits down to eat with her. It's actually kindof adorable how clueless she is that he's interested in her cause he's YOUNGER.

I'll admit, at 28, Sandra's position at the hospital is a bit advanced. I think she's more like a 24 year old than a 28 year old so Alex's age would be a bit more of a yummy cougary conquest - her freak out over their difference is a bit odd when he says how old he is it's not all that bad actually. Plus she's got such a good head on her shoulders for her friends it seems out of character that she'd care as much as she does, but thank goodness that doesn't last long cause this ride is FUN.

Oh and the bit about the t-shirt - you know the one - I LOVE THAT SO MUCH.

As for narration, maybe I'm biased from book 2 but I'm sorry, I just don't like this narrator. She does a bit better this round but the twang is a bit caricaturey. 4 stars

  • Friends without Benefits

  • Knitting in the City, Book 2
  • By: Penny Reid
  • Narrated by: Devra Woodward
  • Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,060
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,056

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she's unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Story was good, but the narrator ruined it!

  • By bookaddict on 12-07-17

Ugh. I just...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-18

I love this series.

That's all I got as something good to be said about this book. That and the glimpses of the other ladies in the knitting group. As for the rest... yikes.

Rant incoming. All the spoilers.

There's so much cringe. First, let's just get the audio out of the way. BUY THE BOOK if you want to read it. Do NOT listen to this audio version. I've listened to this series 4 times now and I gotta say I think I'm done with this book. I just can't.

Apparently I'm not alone in this review. Because NICO IS BORN IN IOWA. HE SAYS HE LEARNED ITALIAN AS AN ADULT. WHY IS HE SPEAKING WITH AN ITALIAN ACCENT. AND WHY DOES HE SOUND LIKE HE'S HIGH?! OR IN SLOW MOTION?

Bad narration, Devra Woodward (or production director). Full stop.

The book tho. As someone who loves the other books, this review hurst to write - I even waited a day (I'm listening to Sandra make plans with Alex now so I'm even calm) but it has to be said. I think this book is a good example of why, if you go the self-publishing route, you need good HONEST beta readers. And if you make a book with lots of hospital stuff, get nurse and doctor beta readers.

This whole book is "tell don't show." The love interest, NICO, is a comedian. How do we know? We are told he is. The one joke he tries to pull off with the other resident doctor (who, according to Elizabeth is the same level as her but somehow holds authority over her in the beginning? Was that an accidental character change without a full transition?) falls flat, the doctor gives a douchey half-laugh, and that's it. All we really know about his show is that he jello wrestles girls in bikinis and the audience (in part) is naked. What the what? And the clincher is when clueless Elizabeth points this out even tho she never watched it, he informs her that he's an uber feminist because all the bikini models are grad students (etc) and the girls he wrestles are lesbians and things is a funny inside joke on the audience. HAH. I mean...

To be honest, this book wasn't really funny at all - it was more of a drama - a train wreck between two clueless people.

Nico has been in love with Elizabeth from the beginning so he showed it, like some boys do, by tormenting her. But not just tormenting. In Kindergarten he frigging cut one of her braids off. WHAT? As a parent I'd be livid. In high school he introduced her to new kids as a boy. He harassed her on a level that left her traumatized and then he's all indignant when she chooses his friend over him. And he never apologizes, really, in the whole book. If he was so clueless he should have an OMG what have I done?! moment but he doesn't. He "understands" and tries to bring her over to his way of thinking.

And Elizabeth, sigh. I liked her in the earlier books but I honestly wonder how she's a doctor. She actively sabotages her creditability on a regular basis by pulling pranks. 10-year-old pranks on doctors when they're with patients. WHAT? That whole lotion in the glove thing was not remotely funny and the weirdest part is, she droned out the voice of the doctor who was nicely berating her for her behavior. Oh she'd be fired by that point. Medical career gone.

Not to mention Meg. Who's apparently OBSESSED with Elizabeth to the point of helping out her stalker. She actually terrorizes Elizabeth too - and after the main stunt she pulled she would have been fired. All those years and dollars invested in med school to be a bratty adult? WHAT? That's too many WHATS but you get what I mean.

In the beginning, that stunt with the lotion... Meg switched the doctors which is why Elizabeth got caught - so meg was an accomplice. Elizabeth could have shoved that in her face the moment she admitted to it - and it doesn't even cross her mind. She spends most of the book which cringey inner monologues (Freaking Nico) obsessing over someone she pushes away constantly and OH THE ANGST.

She actually gets physically violent at one point. She actually starts hitting Nico because she feels pressured and when he leaves she's like OMG YOU LEFT?!!! I just...

I think Sandra needs to hand her over to her Psychiatrist friend to be honest. You'll meet him in the next book.

And this review hurt to write - I just had to get the rant off my chest because, ugh. I love this series, Penny Reid is wonderful, and even enjoyed this book the first time, but with every listen these things become glaringly obvious.

Beta readers, authors, get good beta readers.

  • Neanderthal Marries Human: A Smarter Romance

  • Knitting in the City, Book 1.5
  • By: Penny Reid
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Grace, Sebastian York
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,069
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,003
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,000

After just five months of dating Janie, Quinn - former Wendell and unapologetic autocrat - is ready to propose marriage. In fact he's more than ready. If it were up to Quinn, he would efficiently propose, marry, and beget Janie with child all in the same day - thereby avoiding the drama and angst that accompanies the four stages of prematrimony: engagement; meeting the parents; bachelor/bachelorette party; and overblown, superfluous wedding day traditions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Wedding to End All Weddings

  • By Angela S. on 04-11-17

FUNNY SIDE PIECE. (Also, read book 2 first)

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-18

This book reads like a "coming back to it" novel where there are other books already written and this is a bit more shoved in the middle. Because there are spoilers for book 2. Like big ones. And to be honest, having listened to the series several times, I do enjoy this in it's numberical order because I know what's coming but if you're new to it, maybe check out the next book first.

Also this book reads better. Like the author has grown as a writer. There's some pretty funny stuff included.

That said, there's not much of a plot. It's more just a continuation. But you know what some readers want? More of their favorite characters. And that's what this book is. It's like the deleted scenes you won't see while book 2 is going on.

This really kindof hammers home my theory that Janie is on the spectrum. And written wonderfully so. She goes to London and while another person with a fascination with facts might scour the city's historic offerings (like me - often to the exasperation of my friends), she instead looks up a local knitting group to hang out with. DESPITE NOT KNOWING HOW TO KNIT. Gurl. Plus her determination to make her and Quinn's life hell if they're getting married so statistically soon.

I didn't address her constant use of the word "slamp" in the last book, but while some thought it was excessive, I think my current characterization of her plus her lack of sexual experience might make her want to make up a word for Quinn's "Wendell" past. It's like she's trying not to say slut or tramp and so makes up a word that does neither and both at the same time. Awkward yes. Is Janie awkward tho? Yep. I think it works. Even more so when she meets one of his former slamps and it turns out she's human. Does Janie use logic to help her see that her judgement of Quinn was a bit harsh? Yep, and as someone who has a more analytical than emotional mid, I admit to reveling in that moment. But what came of it was a friednly moment that paid off later.

I enjoyed the vegas trip. Hilarious. Good times.

  • Neanderthal Seeks Human

  • A Smart Romance, Knitting in the City, Volume 1
  • By: Penny Reid
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Grace
  • Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,753
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,595
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,590

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn - the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies - to make her an offer she can't refuse.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun, funny and very entertaining

  • By SIMARA on 11-21-17

I’d like us to be twinkies and cockroaches.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-18

Is this book awkward? Yes it is. Just like the title of this review.

Okay so here's the thing. I really enjoyed this book. Then I read some reviews and it seems that listeners either love of hate it. But you're reading the comments because you've either already read it and want to see who you agree with or you are checking to see if you should get it. I'm aiming this review at both. Newbies first.

I think Janie is on the spectrum. The book never addresses this, but having autistic friends means this reading experience is a bit different from those leaving reviews about how clueless Janie is to the world around her. It's almost like she's got book smarts and uses them as a coping mechanism for when she feels awkward which is pretty much all the time. She's a pretty, curvy gal who doesn't realize she's beautiful - is it a trope? Yes. Is it done well? I think so. Because people like this exist. And I adore Janie. She's wonderful.

Is Quinn rich? Yes. Why? Because he he legit has some dealings in his past and that earned him some cash in a not so noble way and he's trying to be a better man. Is he the neanderthal? Kindof, tho Janie considers herself the neanderthal in this title.

So is this a "Girl on the sprectrum meets brutish alpha rich guy? Yes. And some of us like that. Is there knitting? Kindof? It's more that the gals in this series are all knitters and have a Tuesday Knit Night. Shout out to special yarns and whatnot but that's about it.

Okay go get this 'cause you'll like it. The rest of this review might be spoilery.

As a first book in a series it's not bad. However I think it has a serious case of tell don't show. The cover TELLS us it's a smart romance - which is why some of these reviews are a bit rough. It's not really a smart romance. The protagonist is smart. The love interest is smart - it's how he earned his wealth. But the romance itself is a bit normal for check-lit.

There are sooooo many tropes in this book that knock down the "smart romance" title. Wealthy hot guy is super attracted to "average girl" (read, not SUPERHAWT), love at first sight (not really - she'd been conspicuously watching him during her lunches - that's not love at first sight that's a crush finally making his move) but this book breaks these tropes down a bit. And to be honest, a lot of what people have said in the reviews about Janie not realizing Quinn was her boss or that she is pretty and doesn't think so could be explained by having a lack of social skills because she's autistic.

And Quinn didn't just earn money because he was awesome - he got it from some pretty shady methods - I mean he's legit blackmailing people - and tries to go legit, even more so when he meets Janie and realizes how far on the bad-guy spectrum he falls. I kindof dig it.

Rough start? Yeah, but I enjoyed the heck out of this book. Janie is funny and Quinn thinks her awkwardness is adorable. 4 solid stars.


  • Capture: Elements of Chemistry

  • Elements of Chemistry Series #3
  • By: Penny Reid
  • Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 442
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 415
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 408

It's been nine months since Kaitlyn Parker has seen or heard from Martin Sandeke - nine months and five stages of matter. She's lived through the worst of first-love heartbreak and is most certainly stronger (and less likely to hide in science cabinets) than ever before. But now Martin is back, and he wants to be friends. But he's sending mixed signals to the Bunsen burner in Kaitlyn's pants. Will Martin recapture Kaitlyn's heart? Can Kaitlyn and Martin ever be just friends?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!!!

  • By Ladyvirtigo on 11-10-18

This is not a book. This is Part 3 of 1 book.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-18

And so it ends. Okay, honestly, if you have the Romance package, it's worth a read, just because Penny Reid is a lovely author. And this one is a good 7 hours so I see why there was division but 2 at most - not 3. Her writing produces gems ("Barnacles!") in this book quite often and while I did actively eyeroll throughout the story I also laughed. Or at least gave a grudging smirk. Hah.

My last two reviews were not as nice because, well, like the titles say, this is not a whole book. Both of the first two ended at the cliffiest of cliffhangers and I expect better from my Winston Brothers author. However, it's a decent new adult book.

That said, it's kindof a watered down 50 Shades. Capture seems an apt title since it seems Kaitlyn has become emotionally ensnared. Martin gets to throw his wealth around in this book (literally he - spoilers - buys her a piano and has it set up in his apartment) but the distance between these two becomes a gaping hole. I still have no idea why she's with him, even with his past revealed.

As far as the protagonist goes, Kaitlyn does kindof learn to walk a little more steadily on her own two feet, even if it's in a bumbling way. Her rejection of her parents money and her move into music leads her down a more solid path of discovery. And there's Martin, still obsessing over her. I suppose my frustration comes from the missed opportunity to show character growth - Martin could become less douchey and Kaitlyn could hold her own and become a 50/50 power couple. That's not quite what happens. But they get a HEA so... yay?

If this is your first Penny Reid book PLEASE head over to her Knitting in the City series. It's a delight and will lead you to the wonderful Winston Brothers series. Alllll the Reid books you could ever want.

  • Heat

  • Elements of Chemistry, Book 2
  • By: Penny Reid
  • Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 375
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374

When things heat up between Kaitlyn Parker and Martin Sandeke - previously known as the jerk-faced bully - Kaitlyn places her trust in the one person she never thought capable of earning it, let alone keeping it safe. Fortunately or unfortunately for Kaitlyn, where she gives her trust she can't help but also give her heart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Martin really is the Count of Monte Cristo!

  • By Liv on 08-06-16

This is not a book. This is Part 2 of 1 book.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-18

So here we are again - thank you Romance Package for providing me with the opportunity to finally read this book that is randomly divided into 3 parts.

Penny Reid writes well. So well that I'm really starting to hate Martin. Martin is so well written that it's clear he's NOT a good match for Kaitlyn. AT ALL. And Kaitlyn, hide in the closet, anxiety riddled Kaitlyn, gets pushed into spending her break on an island with the entire crew team. And somehow this super creepy college guy who she heard drugs various girls to rape them is casually hanging out there too, despite her having told Martin. What the what. Kaitlyn would be hiding in the closet the whole vacation. And of course, there's a miscommunication to cause angst.

I'm a little let down by this. It's the fluffiest of fluff pieces - so I wouldn't call it a "smart romance" at all. Enjoyable for young adult angst, if that's your thing. I was hoping for a bit more depth because I enjoy Reid's Knitting int eh City and Winston Brothers series.

  • Attraction: Elements of Chemistry

  • Elements of Chemistry, Book 1
  • By: Penny Reid
  • Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
  • Length: 4 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 477
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 447
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449

Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can't escape the notice of Martin Sandeke - bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe's hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor-who also happens to be Kaitlyn's chemistry lab partner.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Ardent Penny Reid Fan, but so mad re: cliffhanger

  • By JJ on 12-20-15

This is not a book. This is 1/3 of a book.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-18

I enjoy Penny Reid's books, they're fun light fluff and sometimes live up to the "smart romance" style she claims. This book is okay, but it's not the whole book. It looks like a trilogy but it's really a longer book chopped into thirds. I know there's a contemporary theme of authors leaving cliffhangers near the end of a book - which is lazy - people should want to read your next book because it's good, not because you left them hanging. This one goes beyond and just stops. Weird.

BUT - Thanks to Audible's Romance package I can get these all in a row "without paying for them" even tho I pay for the membership. If you have this option still when you read this, it's the only way it's worth it. Otherwise you're wasting 3 credits on 1 book.

I like that the protagonist is a bit odd. She's got this overwhelming anxiety and hides in closet as a coping mechanism. Now why would an OMGHAWT and rich frat boy who rows crew be willing to give up all the ladies because - this might be a spoiler but you know it's coming - he's secretly in love with her?

I think this story needs more. But I can't keep typing on the subject because this isn't even half the book. More later.




  • Fiercely Emma

  • Cake Series, Book Three
  • By: J. Bengtsson
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt, Zachary Webber
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,620
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,519
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,512

Emma, older sister of renowned rock star Jake McKallister, has crafted a quiet existence for herself. Fiercely independent, scorned at work, and indifferent to relationships, she's spent the past decade trying to move on from the crime that shook her family to the core. But unfinished business from Emma's troubled past looms heavy, threatening to destroy the fledging love she's found with the only man to ever jump-start her wounded heart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love J. Bengtsson

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-05-17

Third book is just as good as the rest

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-18

By the end of the second book you really start to get to know the McKallister crew and now we finally get to understand why Jake and Kyle's sister Emma is such a snot. She bursts onto the page with a bratty teenager scene that makes your eyes roll and your palm twitch - even if you're not a violent person. Oh, you'll see. But she learns quickly that her attitude is pointless as her whole family is shredded by the violence her brother experiences and her whole world changes.

It turns out that rather than becoming a better person, Emma did more of a sidestep, becoming a hero to her siblings because no one else would help them during the crisis but still being as rude as she was as a teen when she hits adulthood. None of the nurses and most of the doctors who work with her can't stand her, and her friends is even worse. We got this glimpse of her in the previous books - we just know a bit more detail this time around. So that makes it even more fun when you get introduced to the super-genuine Finn Perry, a stunt man and struggling actor who has one of the craziest backgrounds a character can have.

I genuinely loved Finn from the very beginning - and knowing how these books work out before they even start, you watch his collision course with Emma with dread because she will eat him alive. What ensues is actually a very fun listen. Especially with the return of Webber, Finn is even better because of it. And of course, Andi Arndt is a star as always.

5 stars.

  • The Theory of Second Best

  • Cake Series, Book 2
  • By: J. Bengtsson
  • Narrated by: Zachary Webber, Andi Arndt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,482
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,343
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,334

Kyle McKallister has lived his life in the shadows. Younger brother to one of the world's most elusive and embattled celebrities, Kyle has carved out a comfortable existence touring with his famous brother and living in the lap of luxury with no commitments or plans of his own, only a deep, haunting loyalty to his brother. But his life is about to be shaken up when the opportunity comes to compete on a popular reality show.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great series!!

  • By jodiod on 05-01-17

I think I just became a Zachary Webber fan

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-18

I swear I should have found this narrator before - I actually discovered this book while searching for titles Andi Arndt has narrated because she and Sebastian York seem to be the power couple of the audiobook world. Now there's a love triangle because Webber totally rocks my socks. He's got this inflection that reminds me of Ryan Reynolds/Deadpool and I just ADORE it. Of course, this book series is wonderful so it's even better to listen to.

So you can read this alone and I almost did, not realizing until I downloaded it that it was a second book in a series. You'd think the title would clue me in, but this book is not second best, if anything it's better. Kyle's brother is a famous rock star from book 1 and Kyle has pretty much been piggybacking on his brother's career his whole life - and he's starting to notice that others are noticing. So he signs himself up for a Survivor-style reality show.

Bengtsson is quickly showing she's got a knack for writing for the real woman - as she adds another lovely addition to her pool of characters in the form of Kenzie, a small town girl ready for something different after stepping in for her mother when she passed away during the birth of triplets.

I think the most surprising thing is that neither Kyle nor Kenzie bothered to Google survival skills and pretty much just showed up to wing it on the show - that's the one thing that bugged me. If I could win a million you know I'd be learning how to capture/make fresh water, built tents, stay warm, and learn how to fish with what I was given. Heck, at least I know how to make rope because Tom Hanks spent quite a lot of movie time during Castaway doing just that - but neither of these survivalists attempted anything like that during filming and relied primarily on what was given. But then again, maybe that's how some people play those games (I never really watched the shows).

Other than that it's fun to watch them flounder together. Kenzie is a bit adorkable and Kyle is the young anti-commitment guy you'd expect in a romance novel - the kind that doesn't realize what he's missed until she's gone. But while that might be predictable, we get so much after the reconciliation that it's worth it. And we even get an extension of the first novel since this book begins before the first and stretches past it giving us a glimpse of the drama in Jake's life from a different perspective. We also learn a bit more of what went down a decade ago.

Good fun. 5 stars.