Thursday, October 22, 2015

Audiobook Review: Lone Star by Paullina Simons

Title: Lone Star
Author: Paullina Simons
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: 1st September 2015

Narrator: Lauren Saunders
Time: 21hrs 34mins
Book Source: Library Borrow (Borrowbox)


Synopsis: Chloe is just weeks away from heading off to college and starting a new life far from her home in Maine when she embarks on a great European adventure with her boyfriend and two best friends. Their destination is Barcelona, but first they must detour through the historic cities of Eastern Europe to keep an old family promise.

Here, in this fledgling post-Communist world, Chloe meets a charming American vagabond named Johnny, who carries a guitar, an easy smile—and a lifetime of secrets. From Treblinka to Trieste, from Karnikava to Krakow, from Vilnius to Venice, the unlikely band of friends and lovers traverse the old world on a train trip that becomes a treacherous journey into Europe’s and Johnny’s darkest past—a journey that jeopardizes Chloe’s plans for the future and all she ever thought she wanted.

But the lifelong bonds Chloe and her friends share are about to be put to the ultimate test—and whether or not they reach Barcelona, they can only be certain that their lives will never be the same again.

My Thoughts:
I love Paullina Simons' books ... Lone Star is the eighth I've read. The Bronze Horseman trilogy is one of my all-time favourites along with The Girl in Times Square. Simons' prose is breathtaking and in that, Lone Star does not disappoint.

Lone Star is Chloe Divine's story, a coming of age story. Chloe and her best friend Hannah, together with their boyfriends, brothers Mason and Blake are off on a European adventure, (or misadventure) before college; with a little side trip to Latvia and Poland to fulfill family obligations.    

I liked Chloe and Blake, and tolerated Mason. 

But Hannah ... uggh, irritating, self-involved, take, take, take. Haven't we all had a friend like that? 

The first 150 pages (the build up to the European trip) are interminably slow but I think I got off easy with the audio. A friend gave me the paperback to read but it's a doorstop so I borrowed the audio from the library and I think it took the edge off that start. At 21 hours 34 minutes it's a looong audio, thank goodness Lauren Saunders does a fantastic job with narration. I'd certainly pick up another book narrated by her. 

The first 150 pages, (the build up to the European trip) are interminably slow but I think I got off easy with the audio. A friend gave me the paperback to read but it's a doorstop so I borrowed the audio from the library and I think it took the edge off <i>that</i> start. At 21 hours 34 mins it's a looong audio, thank goodness Lauren Saunders does a fantastic job with narration. I'd certainly pick up another book narrated by her. 

Part of me wishes that the beginning was pared back and more time was spent on the end, it was over in the blink of an eye. Or cut the beginning and speed dial ... Johnny Rainbow. 

Johnny Rainbow is such an interesting character, can't say he's my favourite character, (could Chloe not see his bloodshot eyes and shaking hands, his evasiveness?) but he added excitement and romance to the story, he was the catalyst for movement in the story and change in the friends' relationship. I was caught up in the excitement of Johnny's relationship with Chloe despite my misgivings. 

... but I could feel other undercurrents.

The historical aspect, Johnny's knowledge of the Treblinka extermination camp was one of my favourite parts of the story, both heartbreaking and mesmerising. 

When I realised who Johnny Rainbow was, I was sad. There were whispers but it took me a little while to hear them. 


Not my favourite Paullina Simons, not by a long shot but I certainly felt the Paullina Simons' magic in the second half.


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12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes read The Bronze Horseman ... epic!!

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  2. Hmm think I will put on the long range possibles. Sounds like the audio version is the way to go. You have me intrigued about the second half of the book and Johnny Rainbow.

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    1. Second half was all sorts of wonderful. Hope I didn't put you off Kathryn, there are a lot of 5 star reviews on Goodreads, check them out.

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    2. No you didn't put me off! Never fear!

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  3. This sounds delightful, I actually have the other series you mentioned- The Bronze Horseman trilogy on my wishlist..good to know it is your favorite

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    1. yay ... the trilogy is EPIC! Hope you like this one too Kimberly.

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  4. Bummer that it wasn't great for you :(

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    1. not great but still good ... I can live with that lol

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  5. 21 hours is a long audiobook! I'm glad you liked it. I still haven't tried this author but I've heard of her other trilogy.

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    1. the 2nd half flew Mary, I'm sure you'd love Paullina's writing too.

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  6. Really need to read more of her. I've only read one!

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