I read this one back in February of 2014 so when the opportunity arose to review the audio book and I saw that the narrator was Michael Ferraiuolo...well I was all over that one because he's fast becoming a favorite audio book narrator for me.
So in terms of the story my original review still holds good and is attached here...
I love it when a book surprises me and this one did exactly that. It was a wonderful surprise. It went from being a pleasant, enjoyable story to "OH MY GOD, I cannot put this book down!"
At the beginning things were ok and as anyone who has read my updates know my only peeve was Matty, not the character the name. Try as I might I could not shake the image that to me a Matty is a 5 year old boy. I know it's my personal issue, but it's there and if you've read the book you know there are scenes where no 5 year old boy belongs, so for me there was that. But putting that aside and chanting my mantra of "Matty is a big boy." I got through it.
Now the important part the story, it was sweet and sexy, heartbreaking and romantic and sometimes so incredibly intense I felt swamped by the emotions being played out.
There were a host of wonderful characters in this book aside from Matty & Rob who were just incredible together. These two characters came together like a piece of perfection. I loved Matty's family, loving and supportive as a family should be, his friend Elliot, totally an over the top diva but also a staunchly loyal friend, Rob's friend, Billie and his roommate with benefits who he might have liked a little Angus, Anja, his other best friend and the mother of their son Ben and so many other minor characters who filled out this story and gave it life. This was a story that was also heartbreakingly grounded in reality for Matty and that left this reader with a very real message...Sometimes finding your happiness isn't about getting what you want, it's about grabbing on to what life has given you and realizing that we all make our own happiness.
I'm just going to add some thoughts about the narration and honestly I could just sum it up with 'Michael Ferraiuolo was awesome. I love the voices he gave to all the characters especially Rob and Matty's skating coach persona of 'Yuliya Yasneyeva' that voice was total perfection.
Mr. Ferraiuolo ticked all my basic requirements when it came to what I want in an audio book to perfection. The voices were clear, distinct, unique, expressive ...in a nutshell I was a happy, happy girl listening to this one and I see a re-read...err, listen? I'm never quite sure what word to use for this but it's gonna' happen again...soon, this ones going on my 'Play It Again Sam' list and if 'Training Complex' comes out on audio and Michael Ferrauiolo is narrating it I'll happily review that baby two and march off to audible.com credit card in hand to get me a copy...I care not how it happens just that it does.
'Training Season' is a very positive example of the fact that while a bad listening experience can spoil a good read for the listener the opposite is equally true. I loved the book but having Michael Ferraiuolo bring the characters to life through his reading added an extra level of enjoyment for me and this awesome 4 star read is now a glowing 5 star read.
An audio book of 'Training Season' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.