The Second Chance Year

Hachette Audio. Dec. 2023. 7:21 hrs. ISBN 9781668632109. $24.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Sadie Thatcher has lost her pastry chef job, her boyfriend, and her apartment. For the past few months, she has been living with her brother’s shy best friend, Jacob, while eating ice cream and watching The Golden Girls. On New Year’s Eve, her best friend persuades her to attend a carnival-themed party. There Sadie meets a fortune-teller and receives a powder that would allow her to relive the year again so she can redo it. She returns home, and she and Jacob share a hesitant kiss at midnight that deepens. When Sadie wakes up the next day, she is back in her old apartment with her ex-boyfriend. With the magic powder, she has the ability to change everything about her life, but she’s no longer sure that’s what she wants. Narrator Helen Laser keeps the tone upbeat, even as Sadie deals with sexual harassment and misogyny. She makes her voice small whenever Sadie avoids conflict and brings high energy to scenes where Sadie reminisces about how certain scenarios originally played out (usually ending with her telling someone off).
VERDICT There is romance here, but it takes a backseat to Sadie’s character development. Still, Laser’s engaging performance and the appealing story make this a pleasurable listen.
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