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What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
It took far too long for anything to happen, and I didn't care about the main characters or their relationship because it seemed all they had to say about the other person for the first half of the book, was that they were so beautiful / gorgeous. If that is the sole reason for someone becoming obsessed with another person to the point of despair if they don't see each other, it makes me hate characters who are apparently so shallow.
It was mostly predictable and boring. I thought there was going to be a much better obstacle keeping the two characters apart, and when the 'reveal' happened I found it kind of silly, as if he'd just been upfront about it in the first place, I doubt it woud have been a problem at all.
I found a lot of the throwaway comments to be patronising and sometimes thoughtlessly insulting, for example, a gay character says that his boyfriend has a job as a drag queen but is 'not a cross-dresser, he's a real man'... I'm sorry but how does being a cross-dresser make you less of a real man?
Characters like the gay best friend seemed to only be included for the purpose of showing us how nice and open minded the heroine was, because they never appeared again after the first meeting. It felt as forced and stupid as introducing a dark-skinned character and talking with them about how great they look in warm colours just so she can prove she isn't racist. These days don't we just assume you aren't racist or homophobic unless shown otherwise? Do we need to admire the heroine because she can be friends with a gay guy? Big deal! The friendship was pointless, the scene with that character was therefore pointless, and as so much of this story did, it dragged.
I also found parts of the story a bit moralising and preachy. Drinking = bad. Violence = bad. Leaving an abusive relationship = good. We GET IT.
What could Penelope Ward have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
I wish she had made her male characters more realistic.
As someone who has a lot of male friends as well as an older brother, the idea that men sit around constantly confiding in each other about their feelings and their love lives is pretty ridiculous to me.
The author seemed to think putting a beer in their hands and scattering the word 'man' into their conversations with each other was all it took to make them believable male characters. It did not. They sounded like women. And obsessed overly-emotional women at that.
There was also a massive over-simplifications of subjects like drinking problems, violence, and autism. The scene where Alison makes almost immediate friends with an adult autistic woman by the giving and withholding of an iPad as a reward / punishment felt like a dog training exercise and made me cringe.
She could also have chosen a different name for her hero. 'Cedric' just doesn't do it for me. But that's just personal preference...
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
The narration was okay, although I heartily wish the flatmate character had not been British because American narrators doing British accents are almost inevitably dreadful. I have heard worse, but it was still painful.
What character would you cut from Gemini?
The unnecessary 'best' friend, the ex-boyfriend, the two-dimensional soon-to-be-ex girlfriend, the lonely diner guy… so many characters who served almost no purpose or were there simply to try and force us to think well of the heroine.
Any additional comments?
There were a few scenes I enjoyed, such as when they have a Skype call and Cedric raps. We actually see something more from the characters than just how hot or beautiful they are, or how obsessed with each other they are, and get some actual personality. One of the few times I started to almost care.
The Pubisher's Summary captures the premise of this story.. however it was the words, the chapters and the star-crossed characters that captivated me as Allison and Cedric instantly fell for each other at first sight. Furtive glances were made and a deep connection was felt - but loving words were never shared because the circumstances and timing were all wrong as Cedric had a girlfriend as well as secrets - secrets that could, and would eventually, devastate Allison and break hers, and Cedric's, hearts.
However, first there was a slow climb as they overcame misunderstandings, uncertainties, impossible odds and Cedric's constant guilty conscience because he was naively keeping back a very shocking and heartbreaking story from Allison in order to taste a little bit of Heaven before the truth would come out. And Cedric knew he was on borrowed time - because the truth was catching up.. and it was about to rock and change Allison's world.. as ghosts, painful memories and shocking revelations from Cedric's past would destroy hearts, futures, possibilities and beautiful dreams.
It was a very enjoyable slow to develop dual POV love story set amidst uncertain and tempestuous seas with likeable characters who finally worked through it all and got their HEA together. There were some touching sentiments, romance, passion, sex, a shocking secret, heartbreak, some unexpected new people joined the storyline and a sweet Epilogue. Good narration did what the Author couldn't do - they gave them voices and brought them, and all the scenes, to life.
Worth a credit? YES absolutely - I've had a very lazy Sunday listening to this book and I haven't regretted a single second of it.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
This would get. Full 5 and more but I just had a hard time getting past the idea that Cedric wasn't projecting feelings, including guilt when he first saw Allison. Loved the characters, sweet, loving, loyal and forgiving. Very happy with ending and I also like stories without cheating- if there is actual cheating the romance is often taken away. Not so in this story. The narrators were great. I will look for books they have done. Get this book, great story , not the usual. Plot
7 of 7 people found this review helpful