Despite the sparks, they just can't seem to make it work. Aadon is mired in guilt over his inability to help his older brother, damaged by events far too similar to Jesse’s past. Jesse is stuck in his own desperate wish to forget the painful shadow that continues to threaten him and any hope of a happy future.
The only way to move forward is for Jesse to acknowledge he’s broken and for Aadon to accept he can’t make him better.
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Von M. N. Am hilfreichsten 10.07.2018
This review contains mild spoilers for some things that happen in the book but nothing too revealing.
It's jarring from the start that the limited POV switches in the middle of the paragraph from one main character to the next. One sentence, you're privy to the thoughts and emotions of character A, and in the next sentence, you hear how character B is feeling about it. It's confusing and it threw me out of the story several times. When you do alternating POV (of which I'm a fan) stick to ONE point of view per scene or chapter - don't switch right in the middle of a paragraph.
The love story wasn't terribly interesting to me. I liked that there was tension and that the relationship wasn't an easy, magic fix to Jesse's problems. I also liked that right after victim-blaming Jesse, Aadon felt bad for doing it and later apologised properly for what he did. However, I didn't feel the spark between these characters.
Jesse's best friend Sarah comes across as controlling and overbearing and despite all attempts at explaining and justifying her protectiveness, the reader/listener can't really help disliking her - even when they're hell-bent on liking female characters on principle, the way I am. It only gets worse that, near the end, it's revealed that she's been in love with her gay best friend all this time, turning her into the worst cliché of a "fag hag".
As for the narrator. He's got a nice voice, and he certainly attempted to distinguish the characters, but I found Aadon's occasional slips into what sounded like a Southern drawl more annoying than anything else - but that's purely a personal opinion and I'm sure there are plenty of people who'll enjoy that.
What I did find slightly jarring is that more than once you can hear background noises in the recording, as if the narrator has been shifting around a lot while recording the story. I recognise that a lot of indie audio books are home made in every way, and being an amateur narrator myself, I know about the difficulties of finding a sound proof place to record on top of giving a solid performance. However, this is a performance that is being marketed and sold, and there are plenty of examples of indie productions where this isn't an issue.
I'm sorry I can't give this audio book (and this story) a better rating, but in my opinion, a lot of people will be better served listening to something else for 8.5h than this one.