To Laugh Well: A Novel

By: JC Alaimo
Narrated by: Josh Horowitz
Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Sometimes a person needs to be lost."

Alexander Biden dreamed of new beginnings that only leaving for college could deliver. But when an unexpected visitor shows up the weekend he moves to Augustine University, he becomes uncontrollably anchored to a haunting past. 

While new friendships, one-night stands, and pharmaceuticals help him regain fleeting moments of normalcy, it's in a dangerous love affair that his fate lies.

©2018 JC Alaimo (P)2018 JC Alaimo

What listeners say about To Laugh Well: A Novel

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

deeply moving tale about youth and depression

It is so easy to stand back and give advice to someone who is experiencing depression, especially if we have never experienced it ourselves, or at least very minor bouts of it. This is one boys tale of having everything to look forward to a bright future, he seems to be heading in the right direction. He is loved and knows it so what is going on inside? I would recommend this book as a worthy read for parents of teens and of young people who may also feel depressed.

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The sad journey of a lost young adult.

Audiobook review **SPOILER TYPE REVIEW**

To Laugh Well, by J.C. Alaimo is a book about Alex, a high school graduate entering his first year of college, going to a different college than his girlfriend, and really being away from his home for the first time. What starts off as "normal" college behavior (binge drinking & partying on the weekends) quickly escalates to habitual, everyday habits and consistent poor choices. This is a story about a kid with all the potential in the world, and his too-quick spiral into chaos.

This is one of those books that I've been putting off reviewing because I just didn't know what to say. I finished this book and immediately felt blank. I don't know how else to explain it. For the entire book I found myself rooting for Alex, wanting him to make the obvious good decision, only to feel actual anguish when he chose the wrong path over and over. This book made me think back to the people I went to college with - those that I shared a dorm with, and which ones might have actually been going through something like this. How often I found myself in those very "chose your path" situations and am lucky to have made most of the "right" choices - the ones that didn't lead me down the path Alex kept choosing over and over. It broke my heart. This book broke my heart...that's what I'm trying to say. I'm not sad that I read it, I'm just sad that Alex's story had to end the way it did. I literally gasped "NO" with my hand over my mouth as it ended. While that sounds overly dramatic, I can easily slip back into the feeling this book left me with.

I have a son who is not even close to being college age and it made me think of ways that I could start now to make sure he knows to make positive path choices. I live by the saying "moderation in everything" and that includes things that are bad for me. Like Alex, I have a very addictive personality so I'm constantly telling myself that I can do something this weekend, but not again for many weekends. Alex couldn't say no. I know too many people who suffer from not being able to say no. This is a scary reminder of why "moderation" is extremely important. It's also a reminder that we need to let our friend and loved ones know that we care about them, regardless of their choices and that they can come to us for help no matter what.

The narration by Josh Horowitz is striking. He has a fantastic, convincing voice and he reads this book seamlessly. So much so that I had to double check that it wasn't the author self-narrating.

I requested and was given this book by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

1 person found this helpful

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To Laugh Well

Alex had been in a download spiral that began to slowly scrape away at his very psyche. In spite of a room full of people, he was miserably alone. In his own way, he was trying to reach out for help but didn't know where to begin No one was listening. His silent cries for help went unheeded.

1 person found this helpful

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Saw that coming

I saw that needing coming from a mile away and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. This book will have you laugh, cringe, and cry. Just be for warned. Everything is a party until someone gets hurt.

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Fun little read

First, I have to start off by stating that I got this book free of charge in exchange for a review, but as I always state, this does not in any way impact my review. My reviews are always honest and my own.

Even though I knew it was coming, there was still a part of me left confused simply by what the author chose to let me see while in Alex’s head. It’s like with Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, if the husband was innocent and we were in his head the entire first half of the book, wouldn’t we have known that without a doubt? It makes no sense that the MC would hide these truths…from himself.

Regardless of this, the moment was strong and I admire the author for the way it occurred and how it was written. I would have liked a little afterward to see how his friends handled everything since they were a key factor in a lot of things, but an argument could be had as to why the author chose not to include that.

If you or someone you know is suffering please help them seek help.

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sometimes a person needs to be lost

wow what can I say about this incredible book I think it's just a wow book one of those that you want to cherish and cuddle and love this one was an incredible experience I just adored this book so very much
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

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  • KD
  • 02-06-19

Good Young Adult

I always hesitate when it comes to young adult novels, you never whether you're going to get something closer to hunger games or something closer to well one of the numerous other bad young adult novels. With the terrible forced romance

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  • Emma Hughes
  • 06-02-19

To Laugh Well

This was a sweet and thought-provoking novel which I know many people, especially college/university students, will be able to relate to. A brilliant reminder to check on those you love and not disregard worrying mental health signs. I thought the narration for this book was outstanding and really fit the style of the story.

This book was given to me free of charge in exchange for a review.