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This is the first book that I've read by Rachel Van Dyken and I really enjoyed it! I was able to pick this one up via KU and switched back and forth between the ebook and audiobook. Summer Morton, Jeremy York, and Aiden Snow were perfect as Emerson, Miller, and Sanchez. Summer Morton especially shined as Emerson, but I really enjoyed her male voices as well. Listeners should be aware though that Aiden Snow doesn't appear until pretty late in the book, so keep that in mind if you're listening mainly for him.
The characters in Fraternize were hilarious and relatable and I loved unraveling the tangled history between Miller and Emerson. Of course, it was Sanchez who really stole the show though. He was both exactly who you thought he would be and completely unexpected. The addition of his POV made a huge difference for me and I really wish that it had been included earlier in the book. The secondary characters were equally awesome and I especially loved Kinsey and Jax. The bickering between them and the over-protective brother antics were a highlight and I'm hoping we will get a Jax book in the future too!
I loved Van Dyken's take on the love triangle trope and felt that it was honest and true for our characters. The ending was almost too sweet and perfect, but it did make my heart happy and the epilogue set the stage for the next book perfectly! Can't wait for Kinsey's story next!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This was my first book written by Rachel Van Dyken, but it won’t be my last. I loved the writing style and how the story was presented. It grabbed my attention, I actually only started listening to it because I had a spare 30 minutes… and I got lost in it for 3 hours, I was so engrossed. I wanted to know what was going to happen next, who was going to get the happy ever after.
So, I bought this book without reading the synopsis, something I rarely do, because, well, I’m picky. Then I read the synopsis and kinda deflated, I don’t like humiliation at the best of times, but especially if centered around weight. I just can’t. Of course, I had already started listening to it, so I figured I’d give it a chance. HOLY CRAP!!!!! This book was NOTHING like I expected. I can’t say that a love triangle is the type of trope I’ve ever sought out, but in this instance, it was done so well that I couldn’t help but love it. Both guys had something about them that was charming and lovable. Clearly, I’m not going to be able to say too much about the book and events because that would be a huge spoiler and you really don’t want this spoiling. You want to have this play out for you and stay on the edge, not knowing who Emerson is going to end up with.
These characters are fantastic. I love them all so much, they each bring something fun and compelling to the story. The banter between them is so fun.
Emerson is my spirit animal, I don’t know how she chose. I couldn’t even decide for her. I was so torn. She’s strong, stronger than I think she even gives herself credit for. She had a dream and even though she could have given it up, she didn’t. She kept fighting.
Sanchez was everything you thought he’d be and nothing you thought he’d be, I wanted to dislike him, I mean, come on, he’s a cocky football player who makes a bet every season on getting a cheerleader into bed and he’s set his sights on the ‘bigger’ girl. He’s an ass, and he turns that around so quick I think we get whiplash. You watch the change in him and it’s really quite beautiful. You can’t help but sit there and hope he doesn’t get his heart broken. I was rooting for him to get the girl.
Miller, sigh, I loved him, I got mad at him and I fell for him all over again. He’s so sweet, to begin with, every girl needs a friend like Miller, but then he’s so angry when he first encounters Emerson again and you really don’t know why, but as time goes on that attraction is undeniable and you’re sure they’re going to kiss and make up. And, yeah, I was also rooting for him to get the girl too. I wanted the second chance romance.
The relationship between the three main characters is compelling and you really don’t know which way it’s going to go until close to the end, and then a twist is thrown in to try and throw you off course. Here is a little spoiler, this book does not contain a lot of sex, if you’re hoping for the ‘players’ to be getting it on every chapter, I’m sorry, but this isn’t that book. Sexual tension, yes, heaps and heaps of sexual tension. This is a book that is very much character driven, my favourite, it’s about how each of them deals with, accept and move on from the past. It’s a story about friendship. Another thing I love about this book is that the guy that doesn’t get the girl doesn’t settle, he doesn’t get a runners-up prize so to speak.
This is the first performance I’ve heard by Summer Morton, but it will not be the last. I thought she was a fantastic choice for Emerson and handled both Miller and Sanchez really well too. I’m always nervous when I’m introduced to a female narrator, I’m so picky about what I like and male voices performed by a female are always a toughy, but I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more.
Jeremy York was as wonderful as ever. I could listen to him for hours, oh wait, I did. He really brings the emotions of the characters to the forefront. Although I did like all of the different voices, he was just so perfect as Miller it’s hard to comment on the others. Miller’s character experiences so many different emotions throughout this book and Jeremy brings each and every one of them to live and gives them a sense of realism that is hard to match.
So, as mentioned above I was super excited that Aiden Snow was narrating this book. In fact, he was the main reason I ran to audible. There I was listening away, tapping my fingers and doing the whole ‘Aiden, Aiden, where is Aiden’ speech in my head. Aiden Snow turns up in chapter 34, yes, you read that right, chapter THIRTY-FOUR!!!! I want to be mad about this, I want to curse the author and audible for not warning me about this. However, listen to chapter 34 and tell me that was not one of the best chapters in this book, not just the performance, but the emotion, that chapter alone sums up this book and why I’m not so mad. Aiden Snow is the perfect choice for Grant Sanchez, he has that deep, gruff sexiness going on that just fits the character. The way he conveyed the emotion the characters were experiencing was wonderful and effective. Did I mention sexy-time also ensued? And dammmmmmn, yep, the perfect voice for that. Trust me, even though Aiden narrates 4 chapters it actually enhances the story hearing those chapters from Sanchez’ POV and in a different voice.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful