Monthly Archives: August 2016

You Know Me Well – audiobook review

 

You Know Me Well

 

You Know Me Well, an entertaining collaboration from authors Nina LaCour and David Levithan, follows a pair of teenagers as they navigate turning points in their lives at the end of the school year. The story is told in alternating, intertwined narratives through the eyes of high school students Kate and Mark. Although they have sat next to each other in math class all year, the two first really see each other at a bar during San Francisco’s Pride kick-off festivities. Despite being virtual strangers with a recognizable face, the emotional maelstrom of love and the unknown lead Kate and Mark to become instant friends.  It’s a jubilant story of new beginnings, dashed dreams, and evolving relationships. I highly recommend the audiobook version of this story as a great road trip or seaside companion.

If I didn’t already love David Levithan’s storytelling, I would have picked up this title for the sole reason that Emma Galvin narrates Kate’s sections. Previously, I enjoyed her turn as Tris from Divergent, the dystopian YA trilogy by Veronica Roth. She has the type of voice well-suited for playing strong and conflicted young women. If she reads the dictionary next, I’ll be first in line to listen. As Kate, a high school senior standing on the brink of the planned and the unknown, Emma explores the rocky terrain of desire, anxiety, friendship, and more, through skillful narration. The supporting cast of friends, family, and acquaintances are also wonderfully realized by both narrators.

Matthew Brown characterizes Mark, a high school junior in love with his best friend/secret non-boyfriend, so genuinely that I can’t imagine him as any one but Mark (and the other people he voices). Unlike Kate, Mark clings to what he wants, even when Ryan tells him that he just doesn’t feel the same way. Their relationship is complicated and it takes Kate and her outsider’s point-of-view, to help him through it all. Matthew provides nuanced characterization that aptly reflects the struggle Mark is experiencing. When the world feels like it’s falling down around Mark, the listener can’t help but feel it, too. Every awkward moment and new experience feels real.

You can learn more about the authors, narrators, and where to purchase a copy of this audiobook via the links below.

You Know Me Well
Authors: Nina LaCour, David Levithan
Narrators: Emma Galvin, Matthew Brown
Produced by Macmillan Audio
Length: 6 hours, 36 minutes
Release date: June 7, 2016
ISBN: 1427279500

Available as an audiobook from Audible, Audiobook, and Overdrive (check your local public library for availability in both eAudio and CD), as well as many other retailers.

Join the discussion on Goodreads!

Categories: audiobooks, fiction, friendship, lgbt, romance, Uncategorized, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Fall by Robin Alexander – audiobook review

The Fall Robin Alexander

 

Autumn is seeping into the leaves on the trees and the fog that envelops my morning commute. Last month, as I wended my way along an island highway in the Pacific Northwest, I listened to Robin Alexander’s The Fall, narrated by the perfectly cast Lisa Cordileone. It’s a romantic comedy featuring a multi-generational cast. The Fall is a lot of fun and a satisfying romance, as well. I highly recommend getting comfy with this audiobook and a hot beverage. Add a little wood smoke and it’s perfection

Noel Savino is a dentist with a large, boisterous Italian-American family. After being burned in relationships, she’s just fine with casual encounters. Sunny Chase, new to town, is hesitant to begin a relationship. Upon hearing that Noel is a love-’em-and-leave-’em type, she decides to play it cool and keep it physical. No strings. No demands. Despite instant attraction on both sides, the two women assume that a non-relationship is what the other wants. The other story line features Harper, Noel’s niece, and Lydia, Sunny’s daughter. They navigate high school, new friendship, and sexuality. As the younger pair, Harper and Lydia deal more with the angst and confusion surrounding complex friendship and sexuality.

Along the way they receive solicited and unsolicited advice from their respective families. The Fall has great cast of supporting characters, such as Sunny’s uncle Ethan (a semi-retired hairdresser with energy to power a solar system) and Noel’s parents, Inez and Joe. Cordileone’s vivid characterization of Ethan highlights his tendency towards dramatics, while also presenting his thoughtful moments with softer tones. One of the narration challenges was vocalizing the mish-mash of New Jersey and Baton Rouge, Louisiana among the characters. As soon as she read that description of the accents, I paid closer attention to how she handled the voices of Inez’s and Joe’s adult children. Noel and her siblings grew up with parents who spoke with Jersey accents and with the Baton Rouge accents of their community. It was an interesting vocal blend that ultimately works. The audiobook was an immersive experience because Cordileone brought the characters to life through expert pacing, tone, accents, and wonderful energy.

You can learn more about the author, narrator, and where to purchase a copy of this audiobook via the links below.

The Fall
Author: Robin Alexander
Narrator: Lisa Cordileone

Audiobook produced by Dog Ear Audio
Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
Release Date:
June 2016
ASIN: B01GQTYS2Y

Available from Amazon and Audible.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Check out my review of “Me and My Boi” at The Lesbrary!

“Gender has no boundaries, and neither does lust.” — Sacchi Green, Introduction Me and My Boi, edited by Sacchi Green, is a collection of twenty erotic encounters between those who, in addition to identifying as lesbian, also identify as bois, butches, masculine-of-center, or eschew gender labels altogether. These individuals seek out sexual romps and emotionally […]

via Julie Thompson reviews Me and My Boi edited by Sacchi Green — The Lesbrary

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Curbside Wanderlust

As soon as June rolls around, I get the itch to pack up my gear and go camping or drive aimlessly down random highways. Most of the time, though, I can rely on my never-ending stash of books to satisfy my craving for adventure. I have paperback books squirreled away in my car for trips on the ferry; books on my smartphone for long queues; audiobooks on my Kindle Fire for my lengthy commute; and various books on my Nook for any time, any place. Right now I’m looking to satisfy my wanderlust vicariously via stories featuring fun road trips and camping. Not quite a substitute, but a good supply of fun, outdoorsy-based reads is worth is its weight in gasoline.

There are a lot of engrossing stories out there and it would take me much longer than the length of this post to list them all. I’ve chosen instead to highlight a few that I’m currently reading.
the trip

Robin Alexander’s The Trip is an entertaining story about a  crazy making family road trip. Jill Savoy,  is wrangled into a weeks long road trip by her grandmother and her grandmother’s best friend. Charged with maneuvering Sally, the mammoth RV and apple of her father’s eye, she tries to retain her sanity in the face of blatant matchmaking, raucous senior citizens, and surprise detours.
infinite loop.jpg

 

Meghan O’Brien’s Infinite Loop, on the other hand, is a road trip prompted by personal tragedy. The tale’s leading ladies, Regan O’Riley and Mel Raines, form an instant connection at a straight bar. Soon after meeting, a close friend of Mel’s is shot and the world turns upside down. Road trips can bring out all sides of a person and provide plenty of opportunities for Murphy’s Law to manifest.

 

camptown ladies

 

Camptown Ladies by Mari SanGiovanni continues the zany adventures of the Santora clan as they take on a seemingly Sisyphean task of sprucing up a dilapidated campground. They’re a tight knit bunch, so when something goes awry, there’s sure to be more than one pair of hands involved.

 

More stories, this time featuring outdoorsy thrills + romance + laughs

When the idea for this post germinated, I struggled to find novels that featured the great outdoors as the primary backdrop, but no as a setting for suspense novels or thrillers or crime dramas. A pile of stories with heart melting romance, raucous adventure, and friends for life, awaits you! Enjoy!

Categories: family relationships, fantasy, fiction, lgbt, librarians, romance, suspense | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Story!

Check out my post on autobiographies and memoirs on the blog “Women and Words”!

Our Stories, Our Voices: Queer Women’s Autobiographies & Memoirs by Julie Thompson “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” – Hamilton: An American Musical “I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself […]

via A Reader’s Perspective: Our Stories, Our Voices: Queer Women’s Autobiographies & Memoirs by Julie Thompson — Women and Words

Categories: audiobooks, Guest Post, lgbt, Memoirs & Autobiographies | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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