Audio Review: Restless Waters by Jessica Park

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RESTLESS WATERS Audiobook
Author: Jessica Park @JessicaPark24 @wordsmithpublic
Narrated by Arielle DeLisle
Music by Troy
Release date: November 2015

Goodreads  |  Amazon

A storm is coming, and with storms come restless waters.

Pulled from the depths of catastrophe and depression, Blythe McGuire has learned to escape from her past while embracing the future. A future now entwined with the Shepherd siblings.

With Chris, she shares a staggering romance that kicks heartbreak’s ass.

With Sabin, she shares an intense friendship, one that’s becoming more complicated than either had expected. A friendship now being put to the test because Sabin’s brutal past still haunts him. Because trauma is the gift that keeps on giving without mercy.

Now Sabin is the one left drowning and struggling to breathe, and his turmoil threatens to send all three into dark currents they cannot escape. Even after going through her own hell, saving Sabin will take much more than Blythe had anticipated. Their connection and their love could help, but getting him to reach for her hand could be Blythe’s biggest challenge ever.

Grace Review

 

 

Story: 4 stars
This is a story of a long and heartbreaking, but overdue, road to recovery.

It has been awhile since a read Left Drowning, so it took me some time to remember the love story between Blythe and Chris, but the author did a great job to catch me up, with little reminders of the pain the two suffered in their childhoods and how they helped heal each other.

Although Blythe and Chris were the focus of book one there were other victims of Chris’ dad.  This story focuses on Sabin, Chris’ brother.  It is important to note that Left Drowning should be read before this book to get a complete picture of the trauma this group of friends suffered.

There are some interesting dynamics at play between Blythe and Sabin and I honestly can’t remember if that existed in the first book. However, their relationship is called to question often in this book. Sabin’s emotions were so back and forth, it almost felt bi-polar.  At times he is the life of the party, cracking jokes and keeping everyone entertained. And then there are other moments were he just snaps and says some very angry words directed towards Blythe and Chris.  I sensed what was triggering the outbursts, and it kind of made me worried.

Sabin is holding a lot of pain and anger about the past that he’s never fully exposed.  But we get that exposed emotion in this book. The most powerful moment being when he confronts Chris about that anger.

This story cemented several opinions about the main characters.
***Blythe is a truly amazing friend.  The steps she takes for those she loves, her patience, her ability to forgive, all make her a friend everyone should want.
***Sabin confused me, but I think he was just as confused about himself.  He pushed those he loved away for fear of getting hurt, but that love was not what he thought it to be.  (This may sound confusing, but Chris does a great job of untangling the web).
***And speaking of Chris, this guy was simply perfect.  The perfect brother.  The perfect friend.  The perfect boyfriend.  I loved how much he’s matured since the last book and become a stable force in Blythe’s life.

Performance: 5 stars
There are audio books that can ruin a good story.  Then there are audio books, like this one, that only enhance the story.  Given what I know now, I would highly recommend this audio over reading the book.  Why, you ask?

1) It felt like the narrator was deeply connected to the story.  She had a great deal of passion and that come through load in clear in her words.

2) Sabin expresses himself often thru music, singing the words he can’t say.  And this audio is uniquely special with the inclusion on his songs, performed by Troy.  These songs not only were beautiful, but it made the audio highly entertaining.

Overall: 4.25 stars
Blythe, Chris and Sabin find a way to fix the bridges between them, making their family and friendships stronger.  With the help of some new West Coast friends, including a horse named Mia, Sabin finds the peace he envied with Blythe and Chris.

This is a powerful story that is felt through the powerful performance of the narrator and musician.

– Grace

*A complimentary copy was provided for an honest review.

1j

 

From Author Jessica Park

Gah! I am so excited for the release of the Restless Waters audiobook! It’s always exciting when a book I’ve written comes to life in a new form, but this project snowballed into something more beautiful than I could have imagined. I wasn’t sure I was even going to do an audiobook, but then I reconnected with my fabulous Left Drowning narrator, Arielle DeLisle. Once she was on board, my enthusiasm for creating this version of my book soared. She understands my characters as well as I do, and she’s the only person in the world I would entrust to deliver their voices.

So, as thrilled as I was to have her attached to this project, there was one idea I had to present, and I wasn’t sure how it would go over with her…

Restless Waters includes lyrics from my friend and phenomenally talented musician, Troy. Beyond that, he actually wrote a song for me! Er, well, for the book. “Coward” is the powerful single he created, and everything about it reaches into my heart. More music from the book is available on his recently released EP, When The Lights Came, and he’ll also be releasing more music from the book soon!

So, I couldn’t imagine having these lyrics narrated… I mean, it’s one thing to read the lyrics in the context of the book, because it’s sort of the equivalent of poetry, but I felt sure something would really be lost if they were read aloud. More than that, we had an opportunity to do something incredibly unique and dynamic.

Because Arielle is a sassy rule breaker and a rebel, like I am, she agreed: We would ask Troy to record acoustic versions of his music to incorporate into the audiobook.

And then Troy agreed.

And then suddenly the three of us were working together seamlessly on this production! An indie trifecta, each of us bringing something different to this work, and all of us supporting and cheering on the other. It was an extraordinary experience.

Troy and I have been trying to work together for years (his former band, In Like Lions, is mentioned in Flat-Out Love!), and we finally got our chance. Troy is, without a doubt, the voice of Sabin. Nobody sings with Troy’s level of passion, emotion, depth, soul, and beauty. It was an honor to use his lyrics in the text of the book, but hearing his voice as Sabin’s in the audiobook is phenomenally moving, and I am so grateful for all the work he put in. Troy also narrates the chapter titles and opening lyrics, and I think it’s just perfect having him as Sabin doing those introductory pieces.

As far as the three of us know, an audiobook that incorporates music as the Restless Waters one does hasn’t been done before, so that’s another thrill for us! Listeners not only get to savor Arielle’s perfect narration (Man, does she capture these characters and all the ups and downs of the story!), but they get to hear what it would be like to be right there with Sabin as he sings and plays guitar.

We are so proud of this audiobook and terribly excited for fans of the Left Drowning series to take a listen!

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Here’s sample from the audiobook with a scene that features Blythe and Sabin… and also an exclusive first listen to Sabin (well, Troy!) singing “City Lights.” Enjoy!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5105qc5zxae6vc/citylights_excerpt.mp3?dl=0

1h

From narrator Arielle DeLisle

Restless Waters was a project I held very close to my heart. The timing of how it came together for me — as a narrator and collaborator and fan of the prequel I’d recorded 2 years ago — was truly a beautiful experience for me. It’s one of my favorite projects I’ve worked on, ever. To say this was an intense recording experience would be an understatement! Not only was this thick with emotion and depth, which required a lot from me as a narrator, a challenge I absolutely loved, but it also is an exceptionally unique multimedia audiobook. I could not imagine a better suited team, all of us with our own personal connections to the work, and all driven toward the end-product being as great as we could make it.

Working with Troy and his producer, Dante, to get just the right feel and timing to allow the story to unfold around and on top of the music was a beautiful enhancement to this already moving story. I have a background in commercial production and was able to facilitate this collaboration, and Jessica and I were on the same page — if we break the rules of how audiobooks are produced, it has to have meaning and it has to be perfect. The script informs the narration, introducing the music adds dimension to the tone, and the blend of narration and music work together to create an atmosphere that you just don’t get when it’s only one piece or the other. I love what we’ve done and couldn’t be happier with how it all came together.

1j

Read Restless Waters, Chapters 1-2

http://www.jessicapark.me/preview-chapters.html

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3 winners will receive Left Drowning (ebook) via Amazon

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About Jessica Park

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Jessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Please visit her at jessicapark.me and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicapark and Twitter @JessicaPark24

Connect with Troy

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Website: http://troy-music.com

 

 

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