About mini reviews:
Maybe you’re not an audio book person, or maybe you are. I provide mini reviews of audio books and give a recommendation on the format. Was this book improved by a voice actor? Would a physical copy have been better? Perhaps they complement each other? Read on. . .
Sienna Diaz is the biggest name in Hollywood. She’s a writer and lead actress, and she won an Academic Award for best actress — in a comedy no less. She’s also on the fat side, her manipulative younger sister is her manager, and male actors try to cling to her in hopes that fame will rub off. When Sienna heads to Tennessee to start her next picture, she ends up lost on the Appalachia mountains, where Jethro Winston finds her. A wildlife ranger who has worked for five years to get back into everyone’s good graces after stealing cars, gang activity, and sleeping with every woman in town, Jethro is looking to stay on the right path. But when these two meet, yada, yada, yada.
Penny Reid wisely choose to write a large family; there are six Winston brothers and one sister, so that’s a guaranteed seven books to lasso readers with. I didn’t read the first book, and it seems to make no difference. Every Winston brother is bearded in the way that craft brewery dudes are now, and gorgeous, which to makes me roll my eyes. I know it’s trendy to be a woodland hipster, but not every guy looks great with a beard, and not everyone is factory-made perfect. Sienna describes herself as the “fat funny” Latina, but annoyingly she excuses her size by explaining she exercises daily. People do not need to excuse or explain their bodies to justify their existence. Yes, Sienna eats a cookie or donut if she wants to, but she also shares her clothes sizes, which is a big no from me. Penny Reid gives readers an opportunity to think, “Oh, she’s not that fat.” Jethro almost always explains his love for Sienna with a comment about her body.
On the other hand, Chris Brinkley and Cielo Camargo are the perfect choices to narrate Jethro and Sienna. Thanks to their natural accents and ability to capture one another (e.g. when Camargo narrators and reads dialogue from Jethro), I enjoyed listening to this book for quite a while. However, I got impatient and wanted the story over when there were still about four hours left (it’s twelve hours total) because it felt like nothing was happening. There was excessive talking about how much Sienna and Jethro love each other, they’re so perfect for each other, she doesn’t care if she hurts her career when the media learns about his past, etc. And Reid lays several of Chekhov’s guns all over the place without firing them, meaning her book is a terrible tease in an unacceptable way.
Pros: good audiobook readers, warm and fuzzies, fat main character.
Cons: fat character “acceptably” fat, plot could be shorter, lacks conflict.
This may be the perfect book if you’re in a reading slump or want something light, so if you do check out Grin and Beard It, I would recommend the audio version.