Audiobook Review: Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me by Anna Martin

and One Time I Kissed Him First

When you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.

As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years.

When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.

Listening Length: 6 hrs 17 mins
Narrator: Jesse Cota

Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me is told in a non-linear style that is really easy to follow and all props go to the author and narrator for making the story flow so perfectly.

This is such a purely sweet love story and I loved the build-up of each kiss as these two grew up together. I respected how the author never sugar coated growing up. The story is relatively low on the angst scale, but we’re talking about a time period with teenagers, so it’s gotta happen at least a little bit. BUT, there’s no manufactured drama just because, teenagers don’t need it, they can build up plenty on their own. When you’re a teenager in the middle of feeling impossible love though, like Evan felt for Scott, it’s so important and we’ve all been there to some extent, but to be gay and be in love with your “supposedly” straight best friend is an extreme unrequited love hell. Anna Martin and Jesse Cota nailed those feelings so well and then some since Evan was so in love with Scott and Scott was just . . . growing up and figuring it out. It was never easy, but it wasn’t needlessly painful either and the restraint the author showed to keep the realistic feelings was much appreciated.

Reading/Listening about Scott and Evan growing up made them some of the most fully fleshed out characters I’ve met in a long time. I saw them as little kids, teenagers, young adults and as men and while they grew and changed, they still remained true to their personalities as described throughout. It was really impressive considering how the story is non-linear and the cohesiveness of the characters made it so easy to just, really like these guys and want them to get their HEA.

And, while I wanted their HEA so damn hard, there’s no way I would have bought into it if it had come along earlier than it did. Scott and Evan were best friends since they were little dudes, they had to grow up, grow apart and then come back together, even if the growing apart bit sucked. The easy way out would have been to have Evan be the one to do the kissing throughout, but having Scott be the one who initiated smooches one through five kept the story much more interesting and also made me believe Scott when he declared his bisexuality. And good on Scott for going all in with his sexuality, it fit his personality and everything I’d learned about him. Evan had a bit more reticence in buying into Scott, and that fit his more introverted personality.

A really important thread throughout the story is the friendship between Scott and Evan, even during the angstiest angsty moments when they were apart, I never doubted that they didn’t love each other on some level. When things got real for Scott, Evan was right there and while I don’t doubt the two of them would have gotten together at some point regardless, the reality of Scott’s illness had Evan getting his shit together pretty quickly, putting his introverted self aside and getting to Scott as quickly as he could. I do love me some hearts and flowers now and again, but having a partner step up and be the rock when he’s needed is damn sexy in my book and that’s when the romance really started flowing for me.

This is the first I’ve listened to from this narrator and he did such a good job of giving Scott and Evan the voices the author created for them. He paid attention to the author’s descriptions and brought that to the characters from the time they were kids until the final kiss. I would, no question, like to listen to him again.

I just overall loved the love in Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me. Angst fests, crazy ass shifters and what not are always fun, but sometimes some grounded characters whose love evolves and grows as they do is just the book hug you need.

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

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