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Friday, April 24, 2015

Audiobook Review: Last Heartbeat by T.R. Lykins


Title: Last Heartbeat
Author: T.R. Lykins
Narrated by: Andrea Emmes
Series: Last Heartbeat, book 1
Genre: YA, Romance
Publisher: T.R. Lykins
Source: Review copy from narrator
Format: Audiobook
Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
Alexia has fought hard to overcome a tragic illness in her past. Barely getting on with her life, she finally leaves home to enter the real world. This first big step makes her appreciate all that she has struggled with. This next step in her life also leads her to a possible heartbreak. How can Alexia keep up with all of her struggles and keep going on?

Phillip has lost someone close to him when he was younger. This person was the most important person in his life. He has struggled to get past this loss, and once he does, he finds out something about his favorite person that makes him feel the hurt all over again. Why can't Phillip move on for good? Can he really forgive someone in the past if they no longer live?

A chance meeting has Alexia and Phillip spending hours talking. This sparks an attraction for each other. Every day, running into each other makes the attraction grow stronger until they finally give in to it. When another accident strikes, both of their pasts come barreling back to haunt them. Can they move forward knowing the secrets they now know about one another? How much more can two broken people endure? Will they find their way back into one another's arms, or have they finally come to a breaking point in life?
Last Heartbeat is the first book in the Last Heartbeat Series by T.R. Lykins, the audiobook is narrated by Andrea Emmes.

When listening to audiobooks there are cases when you like the story and like the narration, other cases when you like the story but don’t like the narration and others when you don’t like the story but like the narration. Last Heartbeat falls on the latter for me. I had couple of problems with Last Heartbeat, but my biggest problem with it was that it felt too young for me… or maybe, I’m too old for it, who knows. I’m sure a younger audience (teens) could enjoy this book more than a mature audience.

My second problem was the way it was written. I’m all for dual point of views. I love to see what is going through the heroine and hero’s heads, but in this case the dual point of view failed because it felt repetitive. Let me explain, first we get Alexia’s POV and in the next chapter we get Phillip’s POV, the problem was that it was the POV of the same scene from previous chapter, so it was almost like a retelling of what I just listened from Alexia’s POV, but now from Phillip’s POV. There was very little new info from Phillip’s POV to make it worth it. It actually bothered me so much I ended up listening to Phillip’s parts at 3X speed (I started at 1.5X and went up from there). His POV got better towards the end, but it was a little too late for me.

The story also felt very predictable and didn’t let anything open for guesses. I don’t want to know everything that there is to know at the first scene. I want to discover things slowly. Sadly, that was not the case with Last Heartbeat. Since Alexia and Phillip first encounter I knew immediately what was the connection between them, I can’t say much because it’ll be a “spoiler”, although I’m sure everybody could deduce from the first scene what I’m trying not to tell here. We know in romance all couples go through a problem before finding their HEA, from that first scene I also knew what was going to be the problem that will break them apart.

Another problem I had was that Alexia and Phillip suffered from insta-love. I didn’t feel their attraction and never noticed when they fell in love. They went from hi, what’s your name? To I can’t live without you in a blink of a time.

But everything is not bad with Last Heartbeat. I really liked that it touches a very serious and important topic like organ donation. I’m a fervent believer in the importance of it and love that Lykins is giving voice to its importance in this book. Last Heartbeat is also a sweet story, as I said before, I think it is perfect for young readers.

Now onto the narration, I have said before and I say it again, Emmes is great doing different voices, she has a gift for it. I always knew who was talking and not once I felt confused with the interlocutors. Emmes knows how to generate emotions just by changing the cadence in her voice and she is perfect for young voices.
As I said on the beginning of my review, I liked the narration and think this was due to a very successful casting.

I’m not planning to continue with this series, but for sure I will listen to more books narrated by Emmes.

My Story Verdict: 3 Paws
My Narration Verdict: 4 Paws
My Overall Verdict: 3 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
Last Heartbeat
The Life Gift

Other reviews Goodreads

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