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Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Walk On The Wild Side: being a review of Eat, Prey, Love

by Kerrelyn Sparks
narrated by Gia St. Claire
audiobook: 10.1 hours

Eat Prey Love (Avon)Confession time: Every once in a while I like a book with a lot of steamy scenes in it.  And I also have a thing for shapeshifter type characters.  I can't read these kinds of books all the time, but I do like to pick one up now and then just for fun.  When I saw a review of this book at my friend Monica's blog I had to laugh out loud at the title - I mean, right?!  But when the review said the book could stand on it's own and that I didn't have to read the rest of the series to enjoy it, AND that it was "HOT, HOT, HOT!" I knew it was time to take a dip in the paranormal romance genre again. When HarperAudio offered this for review I jumped on it like a cat on a mouse.

About the Book:  Carlos is a shapeshifter searching for a mate of his same species.  He fears he may be the last of his kind, other than the children he's adopted, and he's determined to search the world over in the hopes that he is wrong.  Caitlyn is an otherwise normal human who happens to be able to communicate with cats.  When Caityln and Carlos meet the sparks fly, but they know they are wrong for each other.  Is there any way around this?  The drama of their relationship takes place in the larger story of the ongoing battle between the "good" vampires, shapeshifters, etc. and the "bad" ones, a story which frames this entire series of books.

My Thoughts:  I have some very strong opinions about this book.  Let's split them into sections, shall we?

The Narration: This is a case where the narrator actually ruined the book for me.  Being an audiobook afficionado, I am very picky about the narrators of the books I listen to.  There are so many fabulous narrators out there - why could the powers that be not have picked someone who fit this book better?!  This narrator should be working on YA titles - she's certainly got the voice for it. Other than seeming rather young, she also reads with a smile in her voice, a habit that can be rather distracting.  If you don't know what I mean, try reading a sentence out loud, then read that same sentence while smiling.  It changes the entire feel of the sentence, doesn't it?!  She read most of the book like this, even parts that were supposed to be more serious.  She even read chapter titles like this. Ugh. And then! She butchered the accents.  Now I know that not everyone can do accents, but there are a lot of narrators who can, and if your book has lots of accents in it then you really need a narrator who can make them sound at least believable.  It was actually painful to listen to some of the accents in this book. *shudder*

The Steamy Scenes: As I said earlier, one of the reasons I wanted to read this book was for the steamy scenes.  Some of them were good and those definitely kept my attention and got my pulse to speed up.  Then there were others. I don't want to go into detail but let's just say that things were a bit too easy for Caitlyn.  Carlos must have some sort of magic touch because he didn't have to do much of anything, if you know what I mean.  I want my steamy scenes to be realistic, ones where I can imagine myself having that same experience.  If I were Caitlyn I'd have been disappointed time and time again.

The Rest:  You'd think after all those complaints that I really hated this book - not true!  The story was over the top but fun and the characters were definitely interesting.  I can see how this series might be a good escape from reality - it is certainly a walk on the wild side.  However the narrator really did ruin it for me; I simply couldn't enjoy it.  I know I'd have had better luck had I chosen to read it in print.

Your Thoughts:  Are there any "guilty pleasure" books that you're willing to admit that you like?  When you indulge in them do you review them on your blog?  And have you ever had a narrator completely ruin a book for you?


TheBookGirl said...

Great post Heather :)
I only started listening to audiobooks early last year, and while I enjoy them I will ONLY listen if the narrator is one I like. No matter how much I might otherwise like the book, I simply will not listen to the audioversion if the narrator is not to my liking.

I don't know if I consider it a "guilty" pleasure, but one category of books that I like but don't really review on my blog is sports-related stuff. I am a baseball lover, and watch alot of other sports, but I am afraid that there would be little interest in sports books reviews on my blog. I do, however, post them on goodreads or library thing.

Alyce said...

Your comments about the narrator made me laugh - what were they thinking? I'm sure that would have driven me crazy.

My guilty pleasure reading is the Outlander series. Lovely time travel/historical fiction with many love scenes. :) Some of those scenes really make me giggle on the audiobook (the narrator is great though).

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I am a total narrator snob - and yes, I have stopped listening to audio with poor narrators (unfortunately now I can not recall which).

I am fairly new to audio - about two years and am just now learning to stalk narrators I enjoy :)

Heather J. said...

TheBookGirl - There is one particular narrator who I refuse to listen to - I just can't stand his voice and refuse to listen to anything he's worked on. And thanks for sharing about the sports book! I'm sure there are other fans out there (I'm a HUGE ice hockey fan - LET'S GO CAPS!) but I have to admit I haven't ever seen many reviews of sports books ...

Alyce - I've only made it through book 2 of the Outlander series but I LOVED it so far. Now THOSE are some great steamy scenes!!! And the narrator is Davina Porter - she's very good and I've liked her work for many years.

Sheila - After all these years of being an audiobook fan I've learned to read the narrator's name before I decide whether to listen to a book or not - there are some I avoid like the plague and others who I'd listen to if they read the dictionary. :)

Robin McCormack said...

Yep, one reason I don't like listening to audio books is I can't stand people's voices. If it the wrong voice for the story, totally ruins it. I added it to my wishlist to read. I love paranormal romances. However, haven't read anything by sparks yet. I usually don't review these on my blog. Read for pleasure totally.

Sarah said...

Your comment on the steamy scenes was hilarious! I often have this same thought, though, whenever I read scenes like that. Especially when it's a female author!

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