Tag: romance

Audiobook Review: Chaos Theory by Nic Stone

Chaos Theory
Author: Nic Stone

Nic Stone

Dion Graham
Published: February 28, 2023
Audiobook: 5 hours 41 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To:  July 7-10, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Audiobook Description:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin, delivers a gripping romance about two teens: a certified genius living with bipolar disorder and a politician’s son who is running from his own addiction and grief. Don’t miss this gut punch of a novel about mental illness, loss, and discovering you are worthy of love.

Scars exist to remind us of what we’ve survived.

Since Shelbi enrolled at Windward Academy as a senior and won’t be there very long, she hasn’t bothered making friends. What her classmates don’t know about her can’t be used to hurt her–you know, like it did at her last school.

Andy Criddle is not okay. At all.
He’s had far too much to drink.
Again. Which is bad.
And things are about to get worse.

When Shelbi sees Andy at his lowest, she can relate. So she doesn’t resist reaching out. And there’s no doubt their connection has them both seeing stars . . . but the closer they get, the more the past threatens to pull their universes apart.

Jessica’s Review:

Nic Stone likes to take on tough issues and brings them to attention in a YA setting for the YA reader.  She begins the novel with an author’s note to bring attention and reader discretion to some of the issues brought forth in Chaos Theory. This one would be for older teens who can handle these issues. 

We have Shelbi and Andy and both have a far from perfect life. Both have been through a lot and are going through life the best that they can.  Shelbi has been burned by friends before and changes schools for her senior year. She just wants to make it through school and move on in life after high school. Andy has multiple family issues with a politician mother. And he’s an alcoholic who hasn’t come to terms with the past.  Both are at a low point and then meet. It’s a unique way they meet too.  They become friends, but with the challenges they both face will their friendship last? Or will they become more than friends?

We see both Shelbi and Andy’s home life and we get both sides. I adore Shelbi’s parents and Andy’s are just..Well… They have many issues.

There are many sensitive and triggering issues bravely and candidly discussed in this novel including mental health, alcoholism, teen pregnancy, abortion, parental abuse, suicidal tendencies, and self-harm. Stone writes her novels with a very realistic approach. She is also from the Metro Atlanta Georgia area, so I know about and have been to some of the places she writes about in her novels.

Stone is honest and frank about her own mental health issues in the past while informing us about the brain’s different functioning. Stone can seemingly write it all: Keep writing what needs to be written for those readers who need to be reached. 

Nic Stone herself narrates as Shelbi and Dion Graham narrates as Andy. They both did a superb job with the narrations!  Stone really brought out Shelbi and part of that is from her personal experiences. And I can’t help but think that Shelbi on the cover looks like a young version of Stone.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US 
Amazon UK

Audiobook Review: Forever Hold Your Peace by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Forever Hold Your Peace
Liz Fenton
Lisa Steinke
Narrator: Nan McNamara
Published: July 11, 2023
Audiobook: 9 hours 15 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To:  June 30- July 6, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Audiobook Description:

 Father of the Bride meets Bride Wars in Forever Hold Your Peace, in which two ex-best friends find themselves shockingly entangled after more than two decades apart, for fans of Good Company.

When their newly engaged kids ask all four divorced parents to meet each other over brunch, everyone RSVPs yes–secretly hoping someone at the table will get to the bottom of the bottomless mimosas fast enough to say what they’re all thinking: that this engagement, coming after a whirlwind romance between two people barely out of college, is too much too soon.

But at that brunch, it’s not the impulsive couple’s decisions that end up under the microscope, as it turns out June, mother of the bride, and Amy, mother of the groom, certainly do know each other–they’re ex-best-friends who haven’t spoken since their explosive falling out more than twenty-five years ago. Reeling from their unwanted reunion and eager to shift the spotlight off their past as decades-old secrets and rivalries come to light, the two moms battle it out for the prize of Most Enthusiastic About This Wedding.

But when their history—and their present-day shenanigans—threaten to crack the foundations of the happy couple’s future, June and Amy find themselves becoming unexpected allies in an all-hands-on-deck effort to get their kids (and themselves) a happily-ever-after two generations in the making.

Jessica’s Review:

This is the second book I have read from BFFs Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke and I have more of theirs on my TBR just waiting to be read! This is also their first book they have written in several years. If you follow them on social media you will know the story and their journey with that and their dedication of the novel to other authors.

It was a fun yet predictable beach read, but that’s how rom coms work. Yes, it was a mesh of Father of the Bride and Bride Wars!  If you like wedding rom com movies such as the previously mentioned Father of the Bride, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, (insert your favorite here, it WILL fit in with the others) then you will enjoy this book. I can even see it becoming a beloved wedding rom com movie.

The bride and groom are not the main focus of the novel but three of the parents and what happened in their past to destroy their friendship. The novel is about letting go, forgiveness, second chances and more! It is also done with humor, so the book is enjoyable. I will say this: Those mothers, OMG, they drove me crazy! I really thought ‘how old are we and how old are we acting’ several times.

The narration was very well done! I will look for more audiobooks narrated by Nan McNamara.

Fenton and Steinke tend to write thrillers, so you know they are on my list to read more of! This is far from a thriller and I also enjoyed it! I’m off to go see how many of their books I actually own now!

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me an copy to listen to and review! I enjoyed it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK



Audible Original: The Five-Year Hitch by Melissa de la Cruz

The Five- Year Hitch: Not Quite a Love Story
Melissa de la Cruz

Rachel Boston
Daniel di Tomasso
Published: January 7, 2021
Audiobook: 1 hour 10 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: June 15, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The story of two friends who have known each other all their lives — falling in and out of love. Sam & Miles belong together, except every five years, there’s a hitch and they don’t end up together. Now, as they tell their story to a reporter at a momentous occasion, will they finally break the five-year curse? Can these two friends and lovers find their happily ever after?

Jessica’s Review:

This was a super short listen at 1 hour and 10 minutes! And this was made specifically for Audible and even referenced Audible/pod casts a couple of times.  It is a couple telling their love story from age 5 to now at age 40, so it spans 35 years.  They get together and then fall apart every five years.  The two narrators tell the story extremely well and I never lost interest in it.  But they did get a little too ‘lovey dovey’ at times for me. They definitely made it seem like they were this couple with their chemistry they had.

But then we have that unexpected ending that just tugs at your heart strings.  I can’t say more except to just listen to this one!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK