Review of When Sparks Fly by Kristen Zimmer Audiobook narrated by Lynn Norris
Eight years after Zimmer’s debut book The Gravity Between Us stormed the lesfic world by surprise with an engaging new adult celebrity romance, most lesfic fans thought we weren’t going to read another book by this author. So when I saw that her new book was being released on audio narrated by the talented Lynn Norris, I decided to give it a try. I’m really happy I did.
Britton Walsh has been a foster child all her life. Now at 18, she only has to finish her high school senior year to gain her freedom from the care system. Her latest foster parents seem to be alright but her foster sister is a mystery. Avery Cahill is beautiful and popular, the antithesis of Britton, but Avery is also guarded and is keeping a secret. As Avery and Britton slowly form a bond, they also start to have feelings for each other. Can both young women leave their past and fears behind and build a future together?
This was a very entertaining YA novel with the perfect balance of romance, angst, banter, and teenage drama. I think the fans of the genre are gonna love it. The story is told from Britton’s point of view, whose life in the care system has been hard but she’s a fighter and determined to make it better. Soon she’ll learn that Avery, who has everything that Britton craves, also has reasons to be unhappy. Both young women will learn to find comfort and support in each other.
I’m hardly an expert in YA books but I thought that Ms. Zimmer did a very good job at describing the struggles of teenagers when dealing with their peers, family issues and dating. The best parts for me were the time shared between Britton and Avery from when they hardly talk to each other until their bond grows. The dialogues, the body language, the things said and unsaid, were very well written. Their chemistry was, for a YA book, super hot, and there was even an explicit sex scene which might not be the norm for the genre but made sense in the context of the story.
I remember listening to the audiobook of The Gravity Between Us and feeling disappointed by the two-narrator performance. I admit I was a bit wary that this one would be another letdown, specially after reading great things about the novel. But I shouldn’t have worried at all. The audiobook was narrated by Lynn Norris who unfortunately doesn’t read much lesfic. Someone, please do something to rectify this. Her performance of the different emotions was impressive and she kept a great pace, but what impressed me most is her ability to interpret different voices, specially for the numerous teenage characters. After the recommendation of my friend Jude, I listened to her narration of JS Fields’s Ardulum series and was even more amazed. But that’s the theme for another review.
Zimmer’s fans who waited for so long for her second book will definitely be happy with this one. The story would have been 4.5 stars but Ms. Norris upgraded it to 5.
Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins