Review of Separate like Stars by Diana Kane, Audiobook narrated by Abby Craden
I had this book on my TBR list for a while now when I realised that the audiobook was recently released, narrated by no less than Abby Craden. Time to tackle that TBR list and treat me with a good narration at the same time.
Jordan Cohen is a successful writer of bestsellers with film adaptations from her books and a movie star girlfriend. But when her former best friend and high school sweetheart Olivia Bradley returns to her hometown and to Jordan’s life, she’ll have to confront what happened between them and what to do to be happy again.
This is a second chance romance between two women who were inseparable as teenagers but were separated by life circumstances during their college years. There is a long flashback at the beginning of the book describing the origins of their relationship which is a sweet YA romance and then back to their reconnection in their adult lives.
At 137,000 words, almost 12 hours of audiobook, there is a lot going on, some things more relevant than others. I’m not completely sure, but my guess is that this novel was originally fanfic and readapted as a novel. The length and the way the chapters are organised like small stories within the bigger one seem to reinforce this idea. Consequently, a good part of this book could have been left out without affecting the main story. It’s something that might have annoyed me if I didn’t have Abby Craden narrating it to me, so no harm done. Due to the length of the story, the reader can get the full experience of the relationship between the mains, with a heavy dose of angst but also funny moments and very hot scenes. There’s something for everyone in this novel.
The story is told in first person from the point of view of Jordan exclusively. She’s a multidimensional character with flaws, fears and doubts. She could sometimes be frustrating, but again, Abby Craden’s narration made her sound better. I possibly wouldn’t have been so forgiving if I was reading it but I can also understand the sources of Jordan’s indecision. As the reader isn’t in Olivia’s headspace, we see her through Jordan’s eyes; kudos to the author to show that she’s got many redeeming qualities.
I’m glad that I’ve listened to the audiobook version as Abby Craden makes every story so much better. All her voices were distinct despite the characters’ age and gender. This is a novel that conveys a lot of different emotions, from funny moments to angst-driven scenes, but as usual, Ms. Craden delivered with top-notch talent. I loved her interpretation of Jordan, I think she’s got her personality perfectly. If you are a fan of Ms. Craden’s narrations, then you are going to enjoy this one too. 4.5 stars.
Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins