From the Jump

Books on Tape. Jul. 2022. 9:19 hrs. ISBN 9780593589977. $76. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Though they keep her life in order, Liv’s strict lifestyle rules have kept her from many experiences, including joining her college friends’ annual trip abroad. Reaching her breaking point, she abruptly quits her graphic designer job and joins her friends in South Africa, where a new closeness begins to develop between her and Deiss, one of their group. Upon returning home, she finds she’s not only out of a job, but also a home. Moving in with Deiss, the two fight their growing attraction, fearing if they act upon it, their friend group won’t survive the aftermath. Prolific narrator Brittany Pressley’s unquestionable talents shine in this contemporary friends-to-lovers romance. Nimbly navigating the large cast of characters, her expressive delivery and knack for unique voices keeps listeners invested in Liv and Deiss’s love story. Pressley’s portrayal of Liv’s internal anxiety makes her a more realistic protagonist. When conflict ensues, Pressley deftly moves between Liv’s pain and angst and the antagonist’s mean-spirited and jealous reactions to the protagonists’ relationship.
VERDICT Though a nonessential purchase, Pressley’s narrative skills add a higher level of enjoyment to this slow-burn contemporary romance.
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