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Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Audiobook Experience: Gayle Forman

A couple of months ago I noticed on a blog, I wish I could remember which one, that they had an audiobook on their IMM post.  This prompted me to ask what this blogger would recommend to someone who had never listened to an audiobook before.  The overwhelming response was: If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman.  

On a trip to the library I noticed they had both audiobooks and thought, what the heck?  I mean, what's the worse that could happen, I don't like them?  Big whoop.

This girl was mistaken.  I LOVED THEM!  These two audiobooks were probably the best ever to introduce someone into the amazingness of audiobooks.  I have a 40 minute drive to and from work each day and usually I listen to music, but audiobooks sounded interesting because I thought I'd be accomplishing something.  

I had no idea I was missing out on so much.  Anyway, I wanted to write up a little summary about each so here goes!

From Goodreads:
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make -and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

I had read this book before listening to it, but I thought since it came so highly recommended I would listen anyway.  There isn't much to say except amazing.  They picked the perfect person to narrate the book and it was told in such an exciting way.  You knew when to be happy, sad, and sit at the edge of your seat.  The audiobook evoked as many emotions, if not more, than reading the book previously.  I can't say enough good things about this.  If you have never listened to an audiobook before, but have been thinking about...I highly recommend this one!

From Goodreads:
It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I had not read this book before listening to the audiobook so it surprised me when I put it in.  I wasn't expecting the male voice of Adam to be telling the story.  Yes, I know it says it's told in Adam's point of view, but after listening to If I Stay I was expecting to continue hearing Mia's voice.  Anyway, This was a different experience than the first audiobook because I hadn't read it before.  I was worried before I started it whether I would be paying attention enough to understand what was going on and follow along the story.  I wouldn't say that driving is distracting, but there is a lot to think about when you're on the road so I wasn't sure how this one would go.  Once again, AMAZING.   I easily followed along with the book and couldn't wait to get in my car after work or the following morning to continue listening again.  I found myself sitting in my car listening for every spare minute that I had because I couldn't wait to find out what happened.  The relationship of Adam and Mia was so real.  I'm not insinuating that everyone goes through the tragedy that Mia did, but couples in high school do have a tendency to grow apart, go there separate ways, and find themselves in new lives.  People may even find themselves reminiscing on those past relationships and wondering, "what if".

Well, Mia and Adam were able to explore the what-if.  We are told their 24 hour period of time in which they meet up again and learn more about each others' past.  They seemingly hash out what happened between them and learn to deal.  Adam and Mia were a sweet couple, and it was a little surprising to find they were not together when this book began.  After the ending of the first book, I expected almost a happy little love story, which was not exactly what I got.  Anyway, the skills of storytelling on the part of the narrator are awesome.  I felt more connected in the novel as if I was feeling more emotion because I could hear the emotion in the narrator's voice.  It was awesome.  Because I fell totally in love with these two audiobooks, I have now pick up Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver which was another recommendation!

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