Author: TJ Klune
Publication Date: January 16, 2017
Narrator: Kirt Graves
Audiobook Length: 12 hours, 10 minutes
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars
In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.
The people here know certain things as fact:
Amorea is the best little town there is.
The only good Commie is a dead Commie.
The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.
And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.
Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.
But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls, and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.
Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves.
To put this lightly, this book is one of the biggest mindfucks of all the books I’ve ever read. And it is fantastic. Admittedly, I did try to start this as an e-book before, but it never worked out. However, when I found out that the same narrator (Kirt Graves) who did Wolfsong also narrated this book, that was an auto-buy for me. His narration is clear and his voices are so distinct, that I have no issues telling one character from another.
My reaction to this story is one of the following, at any given point of the story:
-THE FUCK IS THIS
-oh that’s messed up
-IS THIS LOST
-Sean’s “yeahs” *swoons*
-*crying from anxiety*
-CAN’T STOP LISTENING
-*silently screaming because I’m listening in public*
It’s actually kind of difficult to write this review and at the same time, spoil nothing. But here goes. We have Mike Frazier. The story is told from his point-of-view, and he lives in the little town of Amorea. He owns a bookstore called the Bookworm. He knows everyone in town and everyone knows him. He is 36-years-old and has been dancing a dance with a server at the diner named Sean Mellgard for the past three years. He thinks Sean is too young for him, but they definitely share an attraction to one another. And the entire town gives them knowing looks and watches them with great interest. Everything in Amorea is perfect. It’s the perfect, idyllic town, full of agreeable, friendly people. It’s the year 1954 and everything is just fine.
Until it isn’t.
Mike starts…noticing things. He starts hearing voices, seeing things that aren’t there, and remembers things that couldn’t possibly be his to know. Strange things are happening, but what?
It was fucked up, the whole situation.
This is a very interesting book. We learn a lot about the characters, grow to fall in love with them and their quaint, little town life. I totally rooted for Mike and Sean to get together. I did start to question, as the book went on, whether or not this book was truly a romance novel. I didn’t quite feel that spark between Mike and Sean. Sure, they were cute and awkwardly innocent with one another as they tried to go on dates with the entire town watching them. But, it wasn’t until literally the very end of this book where I was in love with both of them being together and anything else would have left me devastated. At the core of this, I suppose you could call this a romance. It’s a bit unconventional, compared to most romances, but a romance all the same.
I am kind of conflicted about this story and the characters in general in light of everything that happens. Do I like everyone? Do I not? All I know is that I love this book because it was an absolute trip. The story is suspenseful and the narration is done well. I really liked Mike and Sean – the bookstore owner who just loved books and the cute guy from the diner and his just-for-Mike smile. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for something just a little bit different and love a fantastic story.