Save Me by Lisa Scottoline – Audiobook Review

Save Me by Lisa Scottoline, narrated by Cynthia Nixon
Published in audio by Macmillan Audio, published in print by St. Martin’s Griffin, both imprints of Macmillan

Synopsis:

In an attempt to protect her bullied daughter, Rose McKenna volunteers as a school lunch mom. After witnessing an emotional attack on Melly, her shy 3rd grader, Rose is attempting to reason with Melly’s tormentors when an explosion rocks the lunch room. Suddenly  Rose must decide whether to save the three girls in front of her, or whether to go off in search of Melly, who she is reasonably sure is hiding in the handicapped bathroom adjacent to the kitchen, where the explosion seems to have come from. Rose’s decision at this crucial point first finds her hailed as a hero, but soon reports come in of another injury, and Rose becomes the most demonized woman in her small town. How can she balance assuaging her guilt, protecting her family, and avoiding being sued?

Thoughts on the story:

Scottoline doesn’t pull any punches with Save Me. The story opens with Rose as lunch mom, and the ensuing explosion. The horror of the fire and of attempting to rescue your child are immediate. It is quite an opening, throwing the reader straight into the midst of Rose’s now-chaotic life. It is really pretty brutal for awhile, Rose is continually beaten down by the feeling that she could and should have done more, she is mobbed by reporters, and often talked down to by her own husband. In some ways. the turn Save Me  eventually takes is a relief, a break from the gut-wrenching guilt, pain, and misery that has come to characterize Rose’s life. At the same time, however, the end of Save Me seems to become almost another book entirely, as Rose delves into the surprising cause of the fire.

Thoughts on the audio production:

In all honesty, I was a bit terrified at the idea of listening to Cynthia Nixon for 8 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I like her and have nothing against her voice, but I had visions (auditory hallucinations?) of not being able to hear anything but Sex and the City‘s Miranda for the entire book. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Nixon really is a capable narrator. My only real problem with her performance was her voice for Melly, which sounded masculine and a bit gravelly instead of young. The audio also highlighted for me a couple of textual annoyances that I would likely not have noticed if I had been reading the book. One was the constant mention of the klieg lights, whenever the reporters hovered around Rose, and the other was the fact that Rose seemed to be completely and annoyingly incapable of keeping her cell phone charged.

Overall:

I think many readers will find Save Me highly enjoyable in either print or audio.

Save Me is the SheKnows Book Club pick for March. If you’ve read it, join us for a discussion on Lisa Scottoline’s Facebook page from 8-9 pm Eastern on Thursday, March 29th.

 

 

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio/Print*
Indiebound: Audio/Print*

I’m launching a brand-new meme every Friday! I encourage you to review any audiobooks you review on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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The Whole World by Emily Winslow – Book Review

The Whole World by Emily Winslow

As Americans studying abroad at Oxford, Polly and Liv drifted naturally together. Shared experiences will do that to you, after all. Even so, they are quite different. Polly is often overly serious, Liv has a tendency to read things she shouldn’t on her employers computer. One thing they do have in common is Nick, a handsome grad student. When Nick disappears, though, everything the girls have begins to fall apart, and painful secrets from Polly’s past are brought to light.

I must say, I think that Emily Winslow is a highly talented debut novelist. She takes things that would come off as overly dramatic and eye-roll-inducing in most books – like Polly’s past – and makes them real and tragic instead of ridiculous.

The most interesting thing about “The Whole World” was the somewhat ambitious narrative style. Four separate characters from a range of ages and cultural backgrounds each were allowed to narrate one section. Their stories didn’t follow exactly from one another, but did fall roughly in line so that there remained a good narrative flow. What was impressive about this was not only the way that the story was plotted to make sure that each character got an interesting piece of their own story, but also Winslow’s ability to give each character a distinct and authentic voice.

Although “The Whole World” is a mystery or suspense novel, I wasn’t racing through it to find out the solution to the mystery. Instead, I was savoring the lovely language, the story Winslow created for me, and the competing ideas of just what exactly constitutes ‘the whole world.’ Highly recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

This review was done with a book received from Random House, at the request of the author.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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