10 June 2012

Audiobook Review: Lucy in the Sky

2¢ Worth: When I accepted Lucy in the Sky for review I was expecting a fun coming of age story from an honest male point of view. It was, but it was also so much more than that. There is all this unexpected depth and adventure. It starts with Gene, a fifteen-year-old boy in Milwaukee, telling us about the summer of '69 when his estranged cousin Lucy came to town and changed everything. The story is told with the same inner voice style of The Wonder Years. Except in this story, Winnie Cooper is a hot older hippie chick.
But just when I thought I had this story figured it out, it spun me like a game of spin the bottle. Lucy has some big secrets and Gene embarks on a dangerous life-changing journey and road trip to help her.
Whippersnappers: Gene is a horny teen so there is talk of certain body parts and woodies. As the story progresses there is sex, drug usage, and mentions of violent anti-war activism. There is also some religious ponderings and profanity. However, none of it felt gratuitous and our beloved Gene is a good guy through it all.

Wooed: One of my favorite parts of this story is that it really made me see 1969. In a way it's historical fiction. It opened my eyes to what it must have been like to be a teen then. It made me ponder how those things could shape a person. It helped me understand an entire generation a bit better. I feel like I get that summer and all it's complexities and contradictions way more now.

Warning: The ending is what Mr. Whimsy called a "dude ending". It wraps up all the strings but doesn't completely flesh it out.

Words aloud: It took me a minute to adjust to the author's fast-paced unpolished narration style but once I did I was hooked. I think it made the story more authentic and ultimately by the end of the story I was so convinced John was Gene that I had to remind myself this is a work of fiction. Mr. Whimsy said, "I wish all narrators read at that pace." If you find the speed is too much, remember your iPod allows you to adjust the speed on audiobooks.

Wrapping: I don't love this cover. Maybe if it was zoomed in a bit more à la Almost Famous.



Wholly: I really enjoyed Lucy in the Sky. It made an impression on me. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Audio is the way to go. All that inner dialogue rocks on audio. I also think it would make a perfect father's day gift for just about any guy. Mr. Whimsy dug it and I'm thinking my father-in-law would love it too. How many books can you say you liked and the men in your life would too?

Wind-up: Lucy in the Sky was written and narrated by John Vorhaus and is 6 hours and 42 minutes long. Audiobook rating: 4 stars. Narrator rating: 4 stars.

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

54 comments :

  1. I bet Mr. BookBelle would like it too. He's a big fan of The Wonder Years. I'm going to look into this one. Thanks, JuJu.

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  2. I loved The Wonder Years so I think I'd like this one too!

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  3. Ending is slightly hanging, eh.... I probably wait until more books comes out in this series before attempting to start...

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    1. It's not hanging. He ties it all up. He just doesn't elaborate.
      And it's a stand alone.

      But I know what you mean. That is totally what I do with series.
      :)

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  4. Haha! "Dude ending" That's perfect, I am totally going to be using that phrase in the future.

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    1. :) Cool. He will get a kick out of hearing that.

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  5. Great Review! I actually listened to a snippet and it sounds like one of those narrators that once you get down their pacing that they add to the storyline. I agree the cover would have looked better zoomed in a bit :)

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  6. i would like to read about this time period. thanks for the great review!

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  7. How fun! I love reading about the 60s, and this sounds like a compelling story. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  8. I'm so excited to know you enjoyed this book. It sounds like such fun and I love historical fiction. Sounds like the author did a good job of transporting you back to the year 69. I have one book to finish then I can start reading this one...can't wait!

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    1. Yay :) Good luck! I will be interested to hear how the book and audio compare.

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  9. You're right: it's definitely rare for me to find a book that the men in my life might like, too! I actually got my boyfriend and dad to read The Hunger Games series, but that's only because we all saw the movie first. Still: I count it as a victory!

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    1. Thank you :)
      That is totally what I've found.
      And Mr. Whimsy read The Hunger Games series after seeing the film too.
      I too counted it as a victory and looooved seeing him excited about it.
      It's very rare that we can discuss book characters together.

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  10. Juju- Im addicted to your fun audio reviews.....love them. :)
    This one sounds super fun, Im listening to The Witness by Nora Roberts right now....its really good!!

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    1. Awwww thank you darling :) *hugs*

      Nora Roberts?
      Nice!
      How is it?
      I've always loved her made for TV movies and I bet the audios are blast. Will you be reviewing it? :)

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    2. Yes.....its very good so far. Im not a huge Nora Roberts fan, but I forget she really is a fun writer.

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    3. I love that there is romance and mystery.

      How's the narrator?

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  11. Ooh! I love the way you write these reviews...so to the point!

    I think I want to read this one!

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  12. The Wonder Years was one of my absolute favorite shows back in the day. I would love to check this book out and revisit that type of flavor. Not to mention gain a better understanding of what the world was like for my parents when they were teens. I am definitely going to check it out. Love your clean easy to navigate review!

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    1. I loved it too :)

      Plus even though my parents immigrated and therefore didn't really experience the 60s, it helped me understand my in laws.

      Thank you so much for the sweet compliment.

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  13. I really like audiobooks. I haven't gotten any new ones lately, though. Shame. I need to check into this one!

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  14. You're right...it's not often THAT happens. Great review as usual Juju... ^_^

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  15. Really - you didn't like the cover? I think it is actually cute... which may be the only nice thing I can say about this one! LOL! It doesn't sound like my kind of book. :-)

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    1. I like the gal. I think it's the yellow background that I don't heart.

      Totally understandable btw :)

      I like to review all kinds of stuff.

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  16. what a great recommendation and who doesn't like the wonder years?!? this one is going onto my audible wish list!

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  17. Your review definitely makes me more interested in reading this one! I really like that time period but I wasn't sure if this one would be worth reading or not. I think I'm going to have to check it out now! Great review!

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  18. I have yet to check out an audiobook read by the author, and The All Male Review challenge is coming up so I think I'm going to add this one to my list. Audible is running a sale right now, so the timing is perfect. Thanks for the excellent and helpful review, Juju! You are so good at spotting the good stuff.

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    1. Reallly?
      You sooo gotta change that.
      Try Neil Gaiman too! :)

      Yay! So glad to hear that.

      Thank you pumpkin.

      BTW awesome avatar picture. You look fantastic!

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  19. The zoomed in picture is much cooler. I laughed out loud at Mr. Whimsy's "dude ending" reference. Great review! I really should start reading audio books.

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  20. Great review. I've never had the experience of audio books but you made it seem so much fun. So I'll probably give it a try. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  21. interesting description of the book. I was pre-teen during the 60's and I have been known to hum the Beatles song. . .

    Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
    Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
    Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
    Ah... Ah...

    I hope the book isn't as weird as the song :)

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    1. Right on! Then I bet you would dig this one.
      And don't worry, it's not as weird as the song.
      :)

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  22. I don't have an iPod...but ...who knew that speed could be adjusted!

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  23. oh this book sounds great! and i'm glad its a book that dudes would like too. maybe i'll recommend this one to my guy friends. they're always asking for recommendations but they tell me they don't want any of that chick lit stuff...

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    1. Yay! And I know exactly what you mean.
      I struggle a bit sometimes to find ideas for Mr. Whimsy.

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  24. Heh, it's funny, I was actually thinking about Almost Famous while I was reading your review before I saw the picture. I agree about the cover!

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  25. I'm definitely more of a fan of your version of the cover, but more because I detest that yellow background and the font that was used. Yours is a huge improvement and I love the nod to Almost Famous. ;o)

    Fab review! I love the term "dude ending"! LOL I'm not sure I could keep up with the 60/70's jargon, but I'm definitely intrigued. :)

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    1. Yes! I think that's my issue with it too. I'm such a font nerd. Certain fonts make me smile and certain fonts make me grimace.

      Thanks :D

      The jargon was fun!
      I was totally using some of the words while reading it.
      It amused Mr. Whimsy.

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  26. What?! You can adjust the speed of audiobooks on your ipod? Wow, I didn't know that. I have to go figure that one out now.

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  27. i did not know you could adjust the sped, either. i am so going to do that. awesome feature

    thanks for the review :)

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  28. Wow, I'll have to look into this for the hubby. He's always looking for something different to read. I love that it's set in my neck of the woods.

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