I listened to all the people who DEMANDED I read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by taking advantage of the two free Audible books that I got this year. And guess what I learned?
Morgan Matson is extremely skilled in the art of MAKING ME CRY.
Because so many people recommended it to me, I didn’t bother looking up a summary of the plot before diving in. I thought that I was simply in for a fun, roadtrip-filled ROMP.
And while there was lots of romp-like fun to be had, what I didn’t count on was that Amy would go on such a personal journey as she and Roger made their way across the country. She finds her way back to herself and the mother and brother she’s grown increasingly distant from in the wake of her dad’s death, which she blames herself for.
She also finds her way to Roger.
Coincidentally, Morgan Matson is also extremely skilled in the art of making me swoon.
You guys… just. Roger. I recall feeling similarly about Second Chance Summer‘s Henry, but these are just… such nice boys. Cute nice boys. Nice boys who are cute. And funny. So hard to find and even if he wasn’t being particularly “romantic” with Amy during most of the novel, they had such chemistry and he was so sweet and damaged in his own little way that I… well, I swooned.
Initially, I felt very ‘meh’ about the audio, but I totally warmed up to Suzy Jackson as the voice of Amy. She didn’t do special “voices” like I’ve come to expect from other audiobooks, but her voice had all of the emotion that Amy felt in it. It was like Amy was really telling me her story. I know that if I ever reread the book in textual form, I’ll hear Jackson’s voice in my head because she was so very Amy.
To sum up: Though I can recommend the audiobook version without any reservations, mostly I just recommend that you read this book in whatever format you prefer. As long as you read it.(less)
I picked this audiobook up at a library sale quite some time ago, but on most long drives, I preferred to jam out to t...moreTo be posted on Almost Grown-up:
I picked this audiobook up at a library sale quite some time ago, but on most long drives, I preferred to jam out to the radio. On my most recent trip to Orlando, however, I felt like being more entertained. I had a 3 hour trip up and a 3 hour trip back, so the 5 hours and 33 minutes of listening time sounded just about perfect.
Mary Kay Andrews paints a lovely picture in the beginning. Keeley Murdock is about to marry A.J. Jernigan, the “love of her life” and the son of one of the most influential families in town. When Keeley calls off the wedding (well-deserved– A.J.’s a cheating scumbag), his family takes it upon themselves to ruin her interior design business.
Luckily enough however, a rich new client has just come into town: Will Mahoney. Mahoney’s just bought the town “bra plant,” and they’re all biting their lips over whether or not he’ll be laying people off or not. Keeley gets over her distaste of the man to perform the interior design job he’s set for her. It’s ludicrous, of course. The deadline’s insane and it’s for a woman that Will wants to marry, but has never met.
Having no idea what, exactly, I was in for, I was a little worried that there would be some lurid sex scenes. I don’t mind reading them, but imagined that listening to them might make me squirm. I needn’t have worried. The only red flags were some profanity and a little sexual content (nothing detailed).
The narration by Isabel Keating was also performed admirably. Keating uses different tones for each character, ramping up and toning down the Southern accent as needed.
Hissy Fit was full of laugh out loud moments, wildly funny characters, and some self-discovery as well.
It certainly made my drive go by much more quickly.
Overall rating: 3.5/5. A great “test drive” for someone new to audiobooks, like me!(less)
While listening to the audiobook of The Sweet Far Thing, I laughed. I swooned. My heart pounded with fear. And I wept. Libba...morePosted to Almost Grown-up:
While listening to the audiobook of The Sweet Far Thing, I laughed. I swooned. My heart pounded with fear. And I wept. Libba Bray broke me.
As with the other books in the series, Gemma has so much to deal with. There’s her various family issues, the Realms, the Order, the Rakshana, her friends, society. It seems that everyone expects something of her and she can’t work out what she should expect of herself.
All of it can get a bit overwhelming, but c’est la vie, non?
I am never sure that I like most of the friendships in this series. Though they have their moments where I sympathize with them and even feel proud of them sometimes, largely speaking, I dislike Felicity, Ann, and Pippa and fail to understand why Gemma holds onto the bonds of friendship with them. But since she has, I understand the responsibility she seems to feel to help them. Though I’d say Gemma has the greatest burden to bear under the title of the “Chosen One,” the others’ problems are no small matter.
My favorite scenes? No question. The ones with Kartik. He made me feel all warm inside.
And my least favorite? If you’ve read or listened to it, it’s not too hard to guess. It’s the scene in which, as I said earlier, Libba Bray broke me.
Josephine Bailey’s narration in this audiobook is flawless. Each character that she voices, she does so with such distinction that one is never at a loss for wondering who it might be. As scenes grow more weighted, her narration perfectly reflects it. I know that when I read the books again myself one day, I will hear Gemma’s voice echoing in my head as Bailey voiced her.
A long book and by extension a long audiobook at 20 hours and 29 minutes, but if you’ve got the time, you won’t regret it.
Overall rating: 4.5/5. Hands down my favorite book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy, even if it broke my heart.(less)
As I opened the page to draft this post, I saw an article that referred to Beautiful Creatures as the “anti-Twilight” and du...morePosted to Almost Grown-up:
As I opened the page to draft this post, I saw an article that referred to Beautiful Creatures as the “anti-Twilight” and dudebros, I HEARTILY disagree. Perhaps they mean the movie and only the movie. Because the movie is why I read the book in the first place because it looks AWESOME (and I still intend to see it).
But the “anti-Twilight?” Not so.
TRUE, there are no vampires. True, the main point of view is a teenage male. And true, it has a storyline of it’s own that does not follow the path of Twilight. But it still has a hell of a lot of the (by now overdone– though to be fair, maybe they weren’t when this was published) paranormal romance elements. Which is fine if you’re into that, but it’s not really my cup of tea these days.
Also, OH MY CHRIST, Beautiful Creatures is so. Damn. Long. I’ve seen publishing industry people complain that a book is “as long as it needs to be,” but I truly, truly don’t think that’s true in this case. It seems like we rehashed so much of the same material through a back and forth with the relationship of Ethan and Lena and how the entire county of Gatlin hates Lena and UGH I was so tired of it.
What was done really well was extremely well-drawn scenes. They were vivid with details that pulled me into them. I was there. Also, Stohl and Garcia have an amazing cast of supporting characters– their personalities were all so interesting. If I’m honest (and I think you know I am), I think I cared more about them than Ethan and Lena, though.
Edited to add: Also, I lost count of the action moments where Ethan used a variation of the phrase "But I couldn't move." BB BOY, SEE A DOCTOR.
Ok, so I mentioned, this is a long-ass book, especially on audio– 17 1/2 hours. Reading it physically would have been way faster.
Shout-out first to the narration. Kevin T. Collins is an EXCELLENT narrator, with a wide range of voices that employed for each character so that I could easily tell who was “speaking.”
HOWEVER, for some reason they decided to add a crap load of sound effects to the audio, which was HIGHLY dustracting and irritating. I mean I get adding music for songs that are only in the book. But when you tell me there’s a knock on the door and then have THE SOUND OF KNOCKING, it’s a little bit of overkill. Likewise, I didn’t need “weather” sounds like wind and rain. For me, it distracted me from the story itself.
Also, there was the issue of Ethan’s dream sequences on audio. Maybe you people who have read the book can tell me… are they actually described? Because at certain points he seemed to be dreaming and there were looooong stretches of SOUNDS… but no words. Like it sounds all tinkly, sometimes creepy music and wind and I was like ‘wtf’ until he woke up and resumed the story.
To sum up: Beautiful Creatures is long and lengthy and is filled with tons of the typical hallmarks of paranormal romance, so I guess it depends if you’re into that kind of thing. But despite solid narration, the sheer length and the editing style mean I don’t recommend the audio route.(less)