First the narrator, Ashley Litz, should do voice-overs regularly, just not audiobooks. Her transition from dorky, teen valley girl to the seductive, slightly British accent of Dank was not likable in the least. She should have just read the, in her voice. She sorta ruined it for me right there- but I pressed on.
Then there were the names... Who names their daughter Pagan? Seriously? I understand we're looking for uniqueness but that was ridiculous. It was annoying to hear but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as Dank. I laughed when I first heard it- let alone that's the name of our male protagonist, Dank. Yup, Our male lead is Dank.
Last is the most serious: the story. Pagan has been seeing dead people all her life, yet she has no idea why. Is it a hereditary thing, did her mom see them- what is the deal? And the fact that she just ignored them and never tried to rid herself of them made her flat to me. A chunk of her lifelong situation is explained to her by a dying, little girl in the hospital! She even managed to hide her apparitions from her mom and best friend since third grade! Wow!
Pagan is also a pathological liar! The entire book, she lied to everyone, herself included! She never liked Leif but suddenly fell for him after tutoring him. Speaking of which, students with learning disabilities have an educational program set up, so having another student to assist was totally unreal. Then to add more gasoline to the flames, Pagan used him for comfort, while pining for Dank!. That's rank!
The story's flow was a bit slow and characters weren't relatable. The conversations were so exaggerated (like everything concerning her mom) and her best friend 80's girl banter. I found myself not caring what happened to anyone, especially Pagan. The book didn't carry much direction; if something happened it was either predicted or just went nowhere. I only rated Existence 3 specs for the originality of "No Spoilers" Anyway, the mellow, climactic ending is really the only reason I'm moving to book 2, along with already having purchased it.
And if I have to hear another song spoken by Dank again...
Have a great book and day! 📚
Rating: 👓👓👓/5 specs!
* Predestined and Leif 2.5 is next.
** eBook provided via Audible gift credits.
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