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AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Jolia is a sophomore in high school: for much of her life she’s avoided speaking because of an insecurity about her looks. While intelligent, possessed of a great sense of humor and a vast list of interests, she’s typical of many of her age: worried about the thoughts of others allowing it to affect her in ways that impact her friendships, her openness and her confidence. When a failing grade presents and option to join the Speech and Debate team, Jolia’s worst fears are coming to life: speaking in public, Even more troubling, she can’t share the reasons for this change to anyone: not her friends, not even the object of her crush, Sam, a member of another school’s team.
The ‘saying nothing’ holds strongly through Jolia’s life: she doesn’t want to cause waves, so she usually remains quiet and watchful. The push to join the Speech and Debate team to improve her failing grade in speech class, becomes the path Jolia will travel to find her voice and solidify her own sense of self.
Solid prose and a strong arc for the story trajectory solidly support the engaging and well written point of view for Jolia: her rich internal life, her thought processes and observations on the various students, their relationships, behaviors and interactions Jolia’s friends are all presented, both pre- and post- Speech team, and the solid feel of being in the mix of Jolia during her day. A few twists and big reveals turn out to be so much less important than Jolia feared early on, and she does discover that silence is golden, but that the choice to provide support through silence, or simply avoiding issues by not speaking are two very different things, and she learns to speak up and out based on those differences.
Narration for this story is provided by Ashley Klanac and her voice for Jolia is solid and completely engaging. While she manages to insert the tones, emotional overlay and small variations to immediacy or hesitancy that were fully indicated by the text and situation. Each new character introduced was placed with care, their voices noticeably different without running into issues with over-emoting or sounding just ‘too’ caricature, despite some particularly clownish behaviors.
A lovely story that tackles the issue of facing your fears and learning more than expected along the way. A touch of a sweetly developed romance, plenty of interactions and social commentary and a well-defined growth arc for the main character, this is a story to please many and will speak to teens and tweens alike.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Blast for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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A beautiful young adult novel about friendship and developing self confidence.
Jolia's self confidence plummeted when she got braces and was bullied at school. Now that her braces are off, she is still doesn't believe in herself and has a phobia of public speaking. This is causing her to fail the oral presentation section of her classes. The best way for her to pick up her grades is to join the Speech Club.
I found Jolia very relatable, as I also had braces at her age, was bullied and was quite shy. The narrator was well spoken and easy to listen to.
I recieved this book free in exchange for an honest review.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I received this audio book for free in exchange for an honest review.
What a lovely coming of age book this was, I'm so glad I clicked the button to read this and not skip over it!
Jolia is a young girl that used to have braces, she doesn't have them anymore but that doesn't stop her from being so paranoid about her "donkey teeth" and the whispers and laughing behind her back.
She is so timid that she stops talking, not completely but to stand in front of her class and talk publicly is her worst nightmare!
She is failing in her speech classes because of this, so her teacher gets the bright idea to put her slap bang into a speech team!
The thing is Jolia is so embarrassed about failing her class that she cannot tell anyone, not even her best friend why, so she goes with it and steps in front of the audience!!
This was such a nice story, I really felt for Jolia, and a lot of the characters were very relatable, I mean didn't everyone have a friend that used to drop you as soon as a boy came on the scene?
Narration for the characters were spot on, I was never wondering who was talking or correcting words or phrases in my head while I was listening to the story.
A solid 4☆ listen!