Audiobook Review: Open Road by M.J. O'Shea

Angus has been with the same guy for ten years. When his boyfriend breaks up with him the night of his thirtieth birthday party and announces his engagement to a twenty-two-year-old less than ten hours later, Angus is… a mess. To put it lightly. He spends days in bed, drinks himself into a stupor every night, and ends up losing his job and his apartment. His best and oldest friend, Reece, decides it’s time for an intervention. And a change of scenery.

Reece and Angus take off on a buddy trip across the US. They don’t have much of a plan; they just start driving. It takes Angus a couple of days to do much more than grunt when Reece talks to him, but slowly he opens up. They drive, talk, heal, shout, drink a bit too much sometimes, dance, meet new friends… and somewhere between Portland, Oregon, and Portland, Maine, they fall in love.

Which was the last thing in the world Angus expected.

Narrator: Ronnie D.
Listening Length: 6 hours and 4 minutes

Before I start, I'm gonna refer you to Lori and Sheziss' reviews on the book itself. My rating is for the audiobook edition only. The only reason I finished the audiobook was the story and I really wish I had read it.

Because, goddamn, this audiobook is a bit of hot mess and not in a “It’s a mess, but I’d still bang it” kind of way. I was really looking forward to listening to this slow burn, friends-to-lovers romance and I could tell when I was listening that I loved the story. The narration? Not at all.

I expect to hear affected speech patterns in skits or commercials, those mediums have a brief amount of time to make an impression so everything is cranked up to 11. Fair enough. This wasn’t a story told in minutes though, this was six freakin’ hours of too damn much. I’m fine with a little camp, a little campiness can be fun, but to have that one note for that long turns the characters into caricatures and these guys deserved better than that.

It wasn’t just the overly effusive speech I had a problem with, it was the consistency. Both Angus and Reece had about three different voices for each and when it was just the two of them speaking it felt like there were a half dozen people in the room. Poor Angus was stuck in a permanent whine and varied between falsetto, breathy old woman to VERY falsetto, breathy small child. It is a slow burn romance which worked perfectly for the story, so when the sexy times happened, all I could do was cringe and wince. I should never cringe and wince during a hard won boning. Not ever. Then there’s Reece; sometimes he sounds like a normal dude (not often) but otherwise he vacillates between Tad, the entitled frat douche and Thurston Howell III. Every time he called Angus “Babe” I was transported to the island via a three hour tour. A threeeee hour tooooour.

This story could, and should, have made an amazing audiobook. There was a lot of great dialog and a lot of those ‘moments’ that readers love. The road trip was epic and made me want to load up the car and head out. A few pronunciations threw me repeatedly, please stop calling a mojito a mo-jee-toe, for instance. I digress into bitching again, my apologies. It was just frustrating as a listener because again, this is the perfect book to be transported into audio format, but the execution failed for me.

My nit-picks could very well just be my own, but I would highly recommend listening to the sample first and most definitely read the book.

**a copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review**

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