Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Audiobook Review: Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me by Anna Martin

From The Blurb:
6 h 17 min 
and One Time I Kissed Him First
When you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.
As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years. 
When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.

Karen's rating:

Friends to lovers one of my favorite themes...

Evan and Scott have been friends since the second grade...not just friends but best friends and going from friends to lovers isn't just a matter of growing up for these two. It's through Evan's eyes that we share their journey of growing up, growing apart and coming back together again each time culminating in a kiss before once again going their separate ways...until that last kiss.

I've had this one on my TBR list for a while now and saw the audio book as my chance to indulge in this story. Overall I really enjoyed it. While the story wasn't given to us in a direct time line of when these kisses happened and I'm usually a 'give me the events in order type of girl' I found myself enjoying it none the less. It actually had a more organic feel to how everything played out. I felt like I was there in Evan's mind watching his memories unfurl in the way that was relevant to him and defined his relationship with Scott versus simply being told a story...I'm not sure how much sense that makes to anyone else but if it doesn't than we can just go with 'it worked for me', ok?

These men were best friends for most of their lives the fact that they each followed their own paths as well when it came to their careers and where they wanted to be felt real for me and only added to how much I wanted them to end up together. In general I enjoy stories with strong individuals capable of taking care of themselves, but willing to compromise to get what or in this case who they want.

In many ways this wasn't a romance so much as a love story. It was day to day life drawing two people together and showing them how right they were for each other only to have them repeatedly pull away from each other. But life just kept persisting and drawing them back together until pulling away from each other ceases to be an option and neither of them is interested in denying the inevitable any more. There were no big, dramatic, grand gesture or events leading to one or both characters having some grand epiphany that the other was the love of their life. This was love that was nurtured by friendship and time.

There was really only one part of this story that didn't fully work for me and that was the fact that I never truly felt that Scott was fully comfortable with his bisexuality. Not that he was in denial of it. While he may have started out that way in the beginning I did get the sense that he was past that point. He acknowledged it and he did have relationships with both men and women for a while but somehow I just didn't feel that he was totally comfortable with it and I would have liked to feel that he'd come to accept this part of himself a bit better than it felt like he had. However, that he so obviously wanted a life with Evan and was willing to relocate and wanted to live with Evan and didn't care who knew they were together also told me that maybe Scott was far more comfortable with things than I felt he was...so what do I know, right?

Now about the narrator...'Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me' was narrated by Jesse Cota and as near as I can find out this may very well be his first audiobook. I'm certainly hoping that if it is, there's more coming. I really enjoyed the narration on this story.

Jesse Cota's voices were good, expressive, consistent and felt right for the characters and Stop the presses, I know there are those who will read this and possibly die of shock but there are children's voices in this book and those voices are those of Evan and Scott when they are in second grade. Not only was I ok with his kids voices I actually liked them especially Evan's. He sounded like a really cute kid. So really how impressive is that? If you know me it's pretty damned impressive.

"Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me" was for me a really sweet story about friends to lovers that had the bonus of a well done narration but what appears to be a new voice in the world of audiobooks and one that's definitely worth listening too. I look forward to reading more books by this author and hearing more audiobooks from this narrator.


An ARC of "Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are.  (Mason Cooley)

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