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I LOVED Neanderthal seeks human. The story captivated me and I couldn't get enough. I tried to pike this story and it started off promising. But between the weird Italian accents (one person had Italian heritage but wasn't from there had a bad Italian accent) and the story that took FOREVER to go anywhere after hour three, I stopped listening. I have almost four hours left and I just can't bring myself to finish. Glad I got it on sale.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
No. This sounded like having Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson read the script from When Harry Met Sally.
Any additional comments?
A few hours into the book, I had to stop listening and I bought the kindle version to finish it. Once I did that, it was pretty enjoyable. As suggested by other readers, there were also some problems with the story. But there were also many laugh out loud moments. This is the third book that I have read/listened to by Penny Ried and I think her books need more editing. They are probably too long and could do with fewer internal dialogues of the characters. However, Friends Without Benefits definitely has many Rom-Com moments that will leave you smiling and liking the characters despite their flaws.
1a) This biggest issue was the narrator. It makes NO sense that she uses an Italian accent for the main love interest, Nico, who grew up in Iowa! I know Italians living in Italy who have less of an accent than she gives him. Also, the accent she does use is terrible. I really could not keep listening.
1b) This novel should read in a much more light-hearted tone for big chunks of the book. The main character, Elizabeth, is supposed to be known for her sarcasm and Nico is supposed to be a comedian. Both end up sounding like tragic moody characters in some broody new adult vampire romance. When Amanda Ronconi narrates a book, you hear all the sarcasm and laugh at all the jokes. This sounded like having Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson read the script from When Harry Met Sally.
2) Aside from the narration, it was really hard to buy Nico as a shock comic with the heart of a feminist. I'm not saying that it's not possible, but the writing does not do a good job of convincing you that the underwear model turned raunchy feminist comedian is a thing that could exist in the universe. I think that Ried just used this device as a set up for the big finale of the book, which just ends up feeling kind of false and staged as a result. We get a Nico POV in the epilogue and he does sound more like how his character is described, but I found him to be way less likable in it.
3) There are other issues with the writing. As other reviewers pointed out, toward the end of the book, the characters do dumb things (no spoilers, but trust me). Also, an alert for people who care about authenticity. As someone in healthcare, a lot of the medical stuff sounds weird, it's just not the way people in the medical field talk about things - the patient is getting mysterious infusions that only Elizabeth is can administer. The way her residency rotations work is not right. Most people in the medical field will tell you that no doctor (besides an anesthesiologist) ever administered IV therapy. She also gives the impression that the side character who is an Advance Practice Nurse is doing bedside nursing, which is not how things work. If you are willing to suspend your disbelief about Nico's profession and the stilted medical discussions, the book has some good qualities.
On the plus side:
1) The book has many genuinely funny moments that truly caused me to laugh out loud.
2) If you ignore the fact that Nico makes a living as a raunchy comedian, his devotion to Elizabeth and the way he took care of her after a trauma they experienced in their teens will have you all swoony.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I expected to like this book as much as Neanderthal Seeks Human, sadly I didn't. The two main characters became more and more irritating and annoying as the storyline progressed and some of the plot lines were just ridiculous. By the end I just didn't care.
Troubled grief riddled child/adulthood story. The internal dialogue in this story went on and on. I know this is how it can be I real life the negatives on repeat in your mind overruling thoughts and reality but my sympathy waned into irritation.
Loved Nick, what a lovely person it's a shame the humour/charisma he's supposed to have didn't translate to the audio book, frankly nothing he said was either funny or witty...
It was very well narrated. I had an issue with him having an Italian accent having lived all of his life in America??? However, her Italian dialogue was unoffensive to listen to.
I love this book and the audio was convenient for the long car drive to and from university :)
I almost heard the clunking mechanisms that kept the protagonists apart. It didn't help that the flimsy, poorly explained reasons she kept her distance from Nico seemed to keep changing and were all fairly silly. I didn't feel connected to the main character at all and never really got a sense of who she was. Such a shame, because I really enjoyed the first book in this series.