Audiobook review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: The Boy Most Likely To
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews, Jorjeana Marie
Story rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Audio rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Overall rating: 4 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:
– find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
– need a liver transplant
– drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:
– well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle.

MY THOUGHTS

I prefer to write my reviews as soon as I finish a book. But sometimes I don’t have time or I’m not in the mood to put my thoughts on paper. So I put the book and my notes aside for later. Most of the time my emotions deem, and my thoughts get quieter and quieter. And I end up not writing a review at all. However there are books that stay with me for a long time. The Boy Most Likely To is one of these books. I’ve read it more than three months ago, but my emotions are still fresh and I can’t say good-bye to these characters.

In truth I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I found both Tim and Alice interesting characters in My Life Next Door, but they weren’t my favorites, and I didn’t expect to love them. I also couldn’t imagine them as a couple. But their romance squeezed my heart. It was wonderfully sweet and touching.

And I fell in love with Tim. His voice is so genuine and fresh. He hides behind his jokes and flippant attitude, his charm is his armor; but he is so vulnerable.

Alice is another story. I finally understood what stood behind her actions. She hides behind her good looks and takes up too many responsibilities. It took me longer to warm up to her, but in the end I loved her too.

And of course Garretts… I adore this messy chaotic mob. Angie told in her review “I think I’ve been quietly missing the Garretts for the last three years.” And I feel the same way.

But I did have issues with this book. There were several unexpected events. While they trigger main characters’ growth, I wish that the author would do it differently.

My thoughts about the audiobook:

The audiobooks is narrated by my favorite narrator Jorjeana Marie. I love her voice and would listen to anything narrated by her. I’ve listened to several audiobooks narrated by her, and she brought the characters to life every time. She never became a narrator of one character. Unfortunately sometimes it happens. I was so impressed with Natalie Ross performance in Fever series, that her voice is Mac’s voice for me. Though, it’s definitely a personal thing.

MacLeod Andrews is a new to me narrator, and he is very good. I admit his voice wasn’t what I expected for Tim, and it took me some time to get used to MacLeod Andrews’ voice. But once I immersed in the story I couldn’t imagine Tim to sound differently.

The narration was really good and I highly recommend the audiobook.

The Boy Most Likely To is emotional and full of depth book about growing up, family, friendship and love. Though I would like the story progress differently, and I didn’t enjoy several plotlines I loved this book. And I can’t wait to read another book by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

Review: Act Like It by Lucy Parker

Title: Act Like It
Author: Lucy Parker
My rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

MY THOUGHTS

“Almost every night, between nine and ten past, Lainie Graham passionately kissed her ex-boyfriend. She was then gruesomely dead by ten o’clock, stabbed through the neck by a jealous rival. If she was scheduled to perform in the weekend matinee, that was a minimum of six uncomfortable kisses a week. More, if the director called an extra rehearsal or the alternate actor was ill. Or if Will was being a prat backstage and she was slow to duck.”

Act Like It was charming. Absolutely charming.

Lainie Graham is an actress at the Metronome in London. She had an affair with her castmate Will Farmer. After he cheated on her (which came to her knowledge via gossip magazines) she is more embarrassed than heartbroken. And she has to act passion with him on stage every evening. One day she is approached by her management and told to fake relationship with her another castmate – arrogant, bad-tempered, though talented Richard Troy to improve his public image. Despite their mutual dislike and annoyance they forced to spend time together.

Fake relationship is one of my favorite tropes and I’ve read a lot of books with it. But Lucy Parker delivered this overused romance trope with such class and charm that this story stand out among others.

I loved Lucy Parker’s writing style. So so much. Her way with words filled me with joy.

This book made me smile. A lot. I think there was constant smile on my face while I was reading it.

“The article had helpfully included a paparazzi shot of her from about three months ago, when she’d left the theatre and been caught midsneeze. Farmer’s costar and ousted lover Elaine Graham dissolves into angry tears outside the Metronome.”

Romance was delicious. Swoon… While brooding type of hero is not my favorite, I fell in love with Richard. I loved their banter with Lainie.

I also want to mention Lainie’s family. I have a soft spot for big loving families in my books, and Lainie’s family was just that.

“Your family is very…you.” He smiled faintly. “Open. Friendly. Talkative.”
“Loud, demanding and bossy?”

If you are in the mood for a charming romance with British humor, I highly recommend Act Like It.

Audio Obsession #9. Audiobooks with multiple narration.

Audio
Obsession
Audio Obsession is a feature where I spread my love for audiobooks around blogosphere. Here you’ll see all things audio related.

If you know me at all you know that I love audiobooks, and I try to get more people to listen to audio format. Several of my friends complained that they have problems getting into the story, when one narrator performs several characters. So I’ve made a list of audiobooks with multiple narration. I’ve listened to several of them myself; others are praised by my fellow audiobook lovers. Click on the cover and you’ll find the book on GR.

Review: Fall with Me (Wait for You #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Fall with Me (Wait for You #4)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

SUMMARY

Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

MY THOUGHTS

DNF 25 %

I used to be a big fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout. I devoured her books. And to this day I feel very nostalgic toward her earlier books; her Covenant series is especially close to my heart. For some reason her latest books didn’t work for me at all, with the exception of The Return which I loved. Though it’s probably result of my warm feelings toward Covenant series, since The Return is a spin-off. Anyway, unfortunately I didn’t like Fall with Me.

I found the main character Roxy immature. Her silly monologues annoyed me a lot. She was obsessed with Reece. Just a couple of quotes for you:

“The driver’s door opened smoothly, and my heart—my damn, traitorous bitch of a heart—skipped a beat as a long denim-clad leg appeared, along with flip-flops with a tan leather thong. Why did I have to have a thing for guys who were ballsy enough to wear flip-flops, because, oh dear, I really did think that was entirely sexy paired with faded jeans. Another leg appeared, and the door blocked the torso for a moment—only a second. The door closed, and I got an eyeful of a worn Metallica shirt that did very little to hide a well-defined, totally yummy-in-my-tummy six-pack. The shirt was practically mating with his stomach, clinging to each ripple. It was doing the same to his biceps, essentially taunting me.”

“My gaze roamed over him. I was really just thinking about how the polyester material of his work pants moved along his thighs.
God, he walked with the kind of lethal grace that should be illegal.”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a drool-worthy hero. But his good looks are not enough, I want some essence behind it. And I hadn’t found any here. So this constant description of his fine physic started to get on my nerves pretty quickly.

Also I have to mention “eyes-thing”. I invented this term for constant descriptions of expressive and soulful hero’s eyes. It’s the whole trend in YA and NA nowadays. Almost every author feels the need to mention guy’s eyes (not once, but constantly). It annoys me a lot.

I didn’t bother to highlight every mention of eyes, but I quote a couple:

“Thick lashes lowered, shielding cobalt-blue eyes momentarily. When he looked up again, his eyes practically burned with the intensity uniquely his.”

“His eyes, such a deep blue they appeared black in the low ligh”

One of the things I used to love in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books was well done sexual chemistry. I called her “chemistry queen” in one of my previous reviews. But I didn’t feel any spark here.

Another issue I had with this book is mystery. While I love romantic suspense, this aspect of the book annoyed me.

As you can tell Fall with Me didn’t work for me at all, but I’m looking forward to read The Power. I really hope it would be a winner for me.

How do you feel about spoilers?

A while ago Milka from Read.Read.Read made a great discussion post The Appeal of Spoilers. She divided people into three categories depending on their attitude towards spoilers:

  1. Those who hate spoilers and would kill anyone who spoil something for them
  2. Those who are consciously looking for spoilers
  3. Those in the middle (generally avoiding spoilers, but can open them from time to time)

It’s a thoughtful discussion, and I’m not going to rehearse it. If you are interested in topic, go right there. The reason I mentioned Milka’s discussion is that I clearly remember what I was thinking when I was reading it. She mentioned in her post that she once spoiled a show to her roommate and it was a reason for their fight, because her roommate was mad.

I don’t like spoilers. I never consciously look for them. I don’t open spoilers in reviews. Well there was this time, when I went straight to the last page and read it. I can’t believe I’ve done this. But I won’t be this mad or want to kill the person who spoiled a book for me. Or so I thought.

I was wrong.

No, no, I haven’t killed anyone (yet, lol). But for the first time in my reading life I feel so strongly toward a book that I hate even the thought of being spoiled. And this is about a series I haven’t even started.

To think about it I’ve never been hugely spoiled. At least not with books that matter. After all I managed not to be spoiled about Divergent series. I’ve only read the first book, and I have all intentions to finish this series, maybe watch movies. And yes, despite this buzz around Divergent I still don’t know how it would end.

So back to my current situation. I was talking about The Raven Cycle series. I was patiently (ok totally impatiently) waiting when I could binge read it. And with the release of The Raven King all I see in my feed are updates, quotes and reviews for this series. And you know what? I’m not reading any of them. My fear of spoilers is so strong.

I get that sometimes you can’t fully express your feelings and thoughts about a book without spoilers. And here comes another important thing that I want to discuss. We may feel differently about spoilers, hate them or seek them out, but I think we all should respect other readers and always hide our spoilers, or at least warn about them, so those who want to know can open them, and those who prefer stay in the dark can pass them. Also I noticed that while most reviewers use spoiler tag, there a lot of spoilers in comment threads. On several occasions I was spoiled not by review, but by comments.

That’s all for today. And don’t you dare to spoil me about The Raven Cycle of Divergent series. I would kill you (just kidding, lol).

Mini-review: Paper Princess (The Royals #1) by Erin Watt (Elle Kennedy, Jen Frederick)

Title: Paper Princess (The Royals #1)
Author: Erin Watt (Elle Kennedy, Jen Frederick)
My rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals. He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

MY THOUGHTS

Paper Princess is one of those books that are not perfect by any means, but you don’t care because you are too busy flipping pages. It has this addictive quality that forces you to stay up reading late into the night.

In truth there a lot of stereotypical tropes in this book: your usual player hero with bad attitude (actually five of them), virginal heroine, villains that are absolutely evil and, of course, standard scene

Spoiler
There are angst and unrealistic plot. But I don’t want to go there and discuss Paper Princess’ faults, because this book was so entertaining and I couldn’t put it down.

So if you are in the mood for a strong optimistic heroine, five sexy brothers, “rich world” setting, don’t mind a bit of angst and can look post some unbelievable events, I highly recommend this book. I promise you’ll have such a good time.

PS. About that cliffhanger. Yes, it’s brutal. When I first heard that this book ends with a cliffhanger I planned to wait and binge read the whole series as I usually do. I can’t deal with cliffhangers. Then for several weeks all I saw in my feed was: “How I loved Paper Princess!” and “What a wonderful story!” And I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to read this book so much. So yes, there’s a cliffhangers, but I have no regrets.

How Hunger Games movie changed my reading life

I always read a book first and watch a book to movie adaptation second. But there was one life-changing time I did the opposite.

Yes, I watched Hunger Games before I read the book. You are probably wondering how this is possible. You see Hunger Games trilogy is not very popular in Russia. So I’ve never heard about it before movie was released.

So I went to movie with my husband one day. It was a romantic comedy, and they showed Hunger Games trailer. I was intrigued, so next week we went to watch Hunger Games. I absolutely loved this film. My husband liked it too. He read all three books and highly recommended them to me. He read books in Russian, but I decided to try to read in English.

So it was the first book in English I’ve read for entertainment. Needless to say I loved it and binge read all series. After that I began to read books in English, I discovered GR, found many blogs, met many wonderful reviewers and my life as a reader never was the same.

PS. I’ve meant to write this post ever since I’ve read Cait’s post

Audiobook review: All Played Out (Rusk University #3) by Cora Carmack

Title: All Played Out (Rusk University #3)
Author: Cora Carmack
Narrator: Bernardo de Paulo, Alexandra Marcuse
Story rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Audio rating:
Bernardo de Paulo – 5 of 5 Stars
Alexandra Marcuse – 4 of 5 Stars
Overall rating: 4 of 5 Stars

MY THOUGHTS

Cora Carmack continues to deliver romantic and sexy stories. I enjoyed All Played Out a lot. Read More

Commenting back: Is there such thing as too late?

A while ago I posted a discussion Blog vs. GR. And then real life took hold of me, I went MIA from blogosphere for a whole month. I had a couple of posts scheduled ahead, but that was all. I didn’t post anything on my blog, I didn’t visit other blogs, and I didn’t answer comments on my blog. When I finally returned to blogging there was so much to catch up. So I went to my friends’ blogs, I posted my stuff, but I never answered comments on Blog vs. GR post. It was almost six weeks after I initially posted it; I thought it was too late to answer these comments. Read More

Audiobook review: All Broke Down (Rusk University #2) by Cora Carmack

Title: All Broke Down (Rusk University #2)
Author: Cora Carmack
Narrator: Kate Delane, Teddy Hamilton
Story rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Audio rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Overall rating: 4 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause. Read More