I recently finished listening to two audio books, one which I loved and one which I didn't love but which I found myself unable to drop, so clearly something in it drew me.
Oustide Beauty by Cynthia Kadahota was the one I didn't love. Perhaps it was too slow, perhaps I did not love the reader, perhaps I was just not in the the right mood for it as it was a bit of a downer. I'm not really sure. But there was something that kept me going. Something in the plight of the four sisters who made up this story's main plot hooked me in and made me want to read more. Actually, now that I'm really trying to piece it all together, I think it was that I almost disliked the mother in this story - I could not feel sympathy for her self centered view and her poor parenting skills, and I think that turned me off.
How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt was the other book, and this one I really enjoyed. It was a journey story of a girl running away and yet also running toward something, although that was definitely not a conscious decision. This story moved beautifully from past to present and back, and I liked that very much in this book, in part because it was very clear what was happening before and now, and in part because they were always connected and I enjoyed trying to figure out how that was going to work. I really liked the strong girl character in this book and I thought it was fabulous that she learned to build a house and was really proud of that. There is sex mentioned in the story, but not a lot of graphic detail. Better for mature readers. Fans of Sarah Dessen would enjoy this book.
Available at Gresham High School on audio and at Multnomah County Library.