Audiobook mid-week meme

Current audiobook: Right now I am listening to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot on my iPod. Usually I have one going in my car, too, but I am between audiobooks at the moment, having recently finished up Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.

Impressions: Enjoying it so far. The subject matter is intriguing, and the narrator, Cassandra Campbell, does a great job.

Current favorite audiobook: I said this the other day but Columbine by Dave Cullen is absolutely amazing. It would be excellent in print, too, but the narrator, Don Leslie, has an incredibly deep, haunting voice that fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the book.

One narrator who will always make you choose audio over print: I really don’t have one. There are some narrators I really like but none that would force me to choose audio instead of print.

Genre you most often listen to: I’m open to listening to just about any genre. I typically enjoy nonfiction because I have more patience for it when I’m listening rather than reading the print version.

If given the choice, you will always choose audio when: The narrator is particularly good, or I’ve heard from other bloggers that the audio specifically is the way to go for that particular book.

If given the choice, you will always choose print when: The book seems like it might be confusing, it has different time periods or something where I might get lost listening rather than reading it in print. Or if I know from experience that the narrator grates on my nerves.

The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan

The Art of Forgetting The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan
Published by Dutton Adult, an imprint of Penguin
Review copy provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours

Marissa Rogers has always taken a backseat to her vivacious and charismatic best friend Julia. But when Julia is in an accident and suffers memory loss, everything changes for the two women – Marissa is forced into the alpha role, and Julia has to work hard just to remember ordinary things about her life. Julia begins bringing up memories from the past that Marissa would rather keep locked away, forcing Marissa to question aspects of their friendship she thought she’d forgiven years ago. It’s up to Marissa to find the confidence and individuality this new Julia requires as a best friend, and to figure out if she’s willing to forgive Julia once again.

The Art of Forgetting is a compelling story about friendship, but it is more than that – the book really is about Marissa’s journey to find herself, to become her own independent person who makes decisions not based on what someone else wants or needs but based on her own needs. It is about Marissa taking an honest look at her friend Julia, good bad and otherwise, and deciding if she really can be friends with this person despite everything. I really enjoyed everything about it.

Marissa is a great character. She is unsure of herself, not very confident, and unwilling or unable to stick up for herself, but what makes her great is that she has real development as a person over the course of the novel. By the end of the book she truly blossoms into a confident, happy person, sure of what she needs out of life and what her wants are, and for me that was the best part of the book. Her growth was authentic and fit in with the rest of the story, and I think it was done perfectly. Julia, on the other hand, was more difficult for me to like but I have to admit that even she grew on me by the time I finished the book. She had her own development as a person to go through, and Pagan definitely wrote her character to be realistically flawed, in a way that she was forced to grow and change for the reader to appreciate her.

This novel made me stop and think about what a best friend really is, and what responsibility one has to his/her best friend. Julia was selfish and put her own needs ahead of Marissa’s, yet Marissa would just forget about all the ways Julia bested her again and again throughout the years of their friendship. When Julia has the head injury, Marissa actively thinks about how easily and quickly she’s forgiven Julia so many times, and begins to think that maybe she shouldn’t be so forgiving, maybe Julia isn’t what a best friend should be. It made me stop and think about my own friendships, how yes I’ve hurt my BFFs and they’ve hurt me, but we’ve always been able to forgive and forget and our friendships have grown because of those kinds of issues. What I liked about this novel is that Marissa actively considered the fact that Julia might not be a good friend to her, and came up with her own conclusions about what is really important in a friendship. I won’t share those conclusions with you (you’ll need to read the book for that) but I was satisfied with her decisions and definitely thought about my own best friends as she was thinking about and reflecting about her friendship with Julia.

I really enjoyed The Art of Forgetting. The characters came to life and the story really made me think about my own friendships. I had a difficult time putting the book down once I got into the story and I would definitely recommend it.