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“Must Love Chickens” is a very entertaining, sweet story that’s as much a love story for our cultural ideal of small towns as it is a love story for the main characters.
While I do, of course, include the mandated disclaimer at the end of my review, I want to point out right away that I received this audiobook as a free review copy. This is the very first time I’ve ever requested a review copy of any book, and I was very excited to have been accepted to review the book. What I want to explain, or perhaps clarify is a better word, is why I requested this book. Narrator Lori Prince. That’s why.
I was halfway through Jea Hawkins’ “Something About You”, and was about to get on an airplane to visit my mom. At the airport, I realized I would need more Lori Prince. So I bought Heather Blackmore’s “It’s Not a Date”, despite mixed reviews for the storyline. Why? Because Lori Prince is the narrator, and I was really enjoying her voice on “Something About You”. Also, because that’s the same desk that Bold Strokes Books used for the cover of Georgia Beers’ “Right Here, Right Now”. Helloooooo! First those legs, now the bare feet…that’s a nice desk.
Anyway, I’m sitting at the boarding gate, looking at email, and I see that a review copy of “Must Love Chickens” is available. Narrated by…Lori Prince! Oh please!! I requested a copy, got on the plane, and checked my email as soon as we landed four hours later. Hooray! My request was accepted. So…I listened to the book (when my mom wasn’t around!!!), and here’s my review!
As I said earlier, this is a fun story of idyllic farm life; gathering apples by hand (does that really still happen anywhere?) and feeding friendly chickens…each of which has their own personality (the chickens provide eggs, they aren’t eaten!!). The MCs are very very likable, the small town secondary characters are friendly, and the big-city secondary characters are shallow and/or bitchy.
Much of the story revolves around big-city, rich family, MC girl Natalie trying to decide which camp she really belongs with. Family insists on big-city, of course. But who or what will make her happy…or want her to be happy. Yes, those are the questions many of us face, and it’s enjoyable being with Natalie as she decides. We don’t really learn as much of MC Jess….she has her own painful past, but she is more confident in knowing where she belongs…or, I should say….where she WANTS to belong. Understanding and choosing what one wants is very much a central theme of this delightful book.
For the most part, there’s very little angst in the book, and Natalie and Jess often communicate well…both in, and out of the bedroom. ;)
But…there is, in sort of Melissa Brayden fashion, just enough self-doubt and uncertainty thrown in late into the book for each MC to internally question each other’s “true feelings” for each to make assumptions about what the other may want to be moderately annoying. Really…they were doing so well together…this is a sweet romance…assuming the worst without talking….really? Sheesh.
I enjoyed Natalie’s conversation with her grandmother. As much as I agreed with Natalie’s internal assessment of the adage “if you love something set it free” being a “crock of shit”, I was surprised that the author made Jess’ decision not to try to influence Natalie’s ultimate decision work…work very well, in fact.
I really enjoyed listening to “Must Love Chickens”, and I will listen to it again when I want to relax with a story and voice I know will make me happy. 4.25* for the book, at least another half-star added for terrific narration, rounded up without reservation to a highly-recommended 5* audiobook. This isn’t complex or hugely thought-provoking…this is highly enjoyable entertainment. Get this audiobook!!
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
My rating and my review was not in anyway affected by my having been provided a review copy.
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