Nov 11, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 2 Comments

Audiobook Review: Always Something There To Remind Me by Beth Harbison

Contemporary Romance/Chick Lit
July 19 2011
Audio CD
Running Time 9:30
Received from publisher
Read by Orlagh Cassidy

Kick Ass Chick – Erin Edwards

From Goodreads –
Two decades ago, Erin Edwards was sure she’d already found the love of her life: Nate Lawson. Her first love. The one with whom she shared everything–dreams of the future, of children, plans for forever. The one she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Until one terrible night when Erin made a mistake Nate could not forgive and left her to mourn the relationship she could never forget or get over.

Today, Erin is contentedly involved with a phenomenal guy, maneuvering a successful and exciting career, and raising a great daughter all on her own. So why would the name “Nate Lawson” be the first thing to enter her mind when her boyfriend asks her to marry him?

In the wake of the proposal, Erin finds herself coming unraveled over the past, and the love she never forgot. The more she tries to ignore it and move on, the more it haunts her.

Always Something There to Remind Me is a story that will resonate with any woman who has ever thought of that one first love and wondered, “Where is he?” and “What if…?” Filled with Beth Harbison’s trademark nostalgia humor and heart, it will transport you, and inspire you to believe in the power of first love.

———-

Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison is a book about first love, love lost and love found.  It really is a lovely idea for a story, and the way it’s written is really different, so it’s unfortunate that I wanted to shake the heroine almost the entire time I was listening to this book.

This is another review that has taken me a few tries to get working.  The same thing occurred while listening to this book as what happened while I was reading Tuesday’s book.  The things I liked, I liked a lot.  The things I disliked, I disliked a lot.  So I will be formatting this review the same way I did Tuesday’s:  with an ‘I liked this’ and an ‘I didn’t like this’ frame.

First, a little recap.

Erin fell madly deeply and all the other “ly” ways one can fall for Nate when she was in high school.  She was young and she had some very high expectations for Nate and how he should be treating her while they were dating.  Erin was very young and Nate was a little older.  He is not the kind of guy who would openly swoon over a girl, but that’s what Erin wished he did.  So she dated others and whined…only to go back and beg Nate to forgive her and to continue being patient with her.  And he (almost) always did.  I was amazed at how much patience Nate the nineteen year old had.  But one day, it was all too much for him and he ended it with Erin.  This almost destroyed her and she hasn’t ever been the same since.

Years later, Erin is seeing a man and he proposes.  She can’t seem to be able to give him an answer  because suddenly Nate, a man she hasn’t thought of in ages, pops into her head and makes her question pretty much everything.  She wonders where he is, what he is up to and so on.  She wonders if they hadn’t broken up, whether or not they would still be together now.  All questions that make sense.  All things we’ve all wondered when unhappy or insecure in a relationship.

What I liked about the story –

  • I liked the idea.  Okay yes, I did not really have a boyfriend in high school as I wasn’t ready and boys had cooties, but I remember how strong your emotions are when you are that age.  The author captured that aspect of teenage Erin perfectly.  The absolute heartbreak when things didn’t go your way – be it your outfit didn’t look as fab as you hoped to your best friends looking at you the wrong way to your crush not saying the perfect thing when you expected him to.
  • I liked Erin’s daughter’s character.  She was great.  Acted her age but had moments of real insight.  She reminds us that we can’t dismiss our kids.  They are more in tuned with us than we realize.
  • The story goes back and forth between the present and 1985.  I know that sometimes that confuses a story but in this one it really works.  In fact, I can’t see any other way to tell this tale.
  • I LOVED the narrator.  Orlagh Cassidy is an amazing narrator!  She captured the characters perfectly.  The story going from one era to another didn’t faze her.  She changed her voice accordingly and it came across flawlessly.  She really did a GREAT job with this book.

What I didn’t so much like about the story –

  • Erin’s character.  I can forgive the whining and the ‘whoa is me’ in a high schooler – because that’s what high school kids do – but as an adult I found it to be a little excessive.  Okay, I found it to be very excessive.  Erin the adult is so melodramatic she drove me bonkers!  Through the entire book she couldn’t make up her mind and her thoughts were just so…dramatic!  I can’t think of another word to describe her.  And she whined.  Even in her thoughts, she whined.  In real-life, a friend like her would absolutely drive me to drink.  The hard stuff.

Would this book have worked better if I had read it as opposed to listened to it?  Perhaps.  In my head, I wouldn’t have made Erin sound AS whiny since I don’t really embellish my characters while I’m reading.  I’m not saying the narrator did it badly – as I said, I loved her.  What I mean is that the narrator did it right and that I would probably have done it wrong and in doing it wrong I may have been able to tolerate her character a bit better.  (Does that make sense?! lol)  But overall, even though I liked the idea of the story, the going back and forth from one time line to another and the feel of the story, I just couldn’t get passed the main character and her overly dramatized manner.

2.5 stars

  1. I completely understand what you are trying to say, the interpretation of a character by a narrator can make or break a book, and you always wonder if you would had liked the book better if you read it instead, that happened to my with Dragon Bound, I dislike the interpretation of the heroine of the second book that I didn’t bother reading or listening to it(Storm’s Heart). even tho. I loved Dragon Bound,and I thought the narrator did a great job with the rest of the book.
    Great review tho. you alway convey how you truly felt about the book, it seems that her attitude was a little annoying too.

  2. Lupdilup – This is the one I was telling you about – although I’m sure I didn’t have to tell you that since it’s pretty obvious. It’s amazing how a narrator can make or break a book. Authors must be quite nervous when they learn that their books are going audio! lol

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