Sunday, June 25, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Imperfection of Swans by Brandon Witt, Narrator: Kirt Graves

Title: The Imperfection of Swans
Author: Brandon Witt
Narrator: Kirt Graves
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Length: 9 hours, 52 minutes
Kevin Bivanti’s dream is to open a wedding dress shop, a place with the stunning gowns to make every bride-to-be feel adored. At thirty-eight, he quits a successful advertising career to buy an old brownstone in a trendy Boston neighborhood and to make his dream a reality. When one of his cosigners drops out, fate intervenes, ushering in Casper James, who hopes to open his own bakery. With Casper willing to take the risk, their ambitions meld into a wedding dress and wedding cake boutique.
Extensive renovations to the brownstone, an affair with his ex-husband, family drama with his mothers, and the anxiety of significant life changes push Kevin to the brink of a nervous breakdown. In the midst of stress and uncertainty, Casper becomes more than a business partner, a mutual attraction that adds another layer of intensity and risk.
With their dreams on the verge of reality, Kevin and Casper must find the courage to face the stress of managing their attraction, the gamble of a new business venture, and the resurgence of Kevin’s personal demons.

*Audible provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

I bought this book ages ago, but never moved it up in my TBR pile, and that was a mistake! I was thrilled to have the opportunity to listen to the audio of this book, and it was absolutely perfect! The story of Kevin Bivanti is not an easy one, and through most of it, it was heartbreaking for me. From the outside looking in, Kevin had everything. He had a loving, involved, supportive family and extended family. He had a great job that he was good at. He worked out and was in fantastic shape. But, that was just the surface Kevin. The internal Kevin that we readers experience is broken, insecure, lonely, and ridden with anxiety. He pops pills like many people pop chocolate. This has been Kevin's life since middle school, behavior his family didn't notice. His comfort was always his bridal magazines with the beautiful gowns inside. Kevin's dream was to own an upscale bridal gown shop, an idea that one of his mom's fully supported. When his mom finds the brownstone, it seems the time has arrived for Kevin to get his dream. Thanks to a co-worker, Kevin's dream is expanded a little when the chance to add a bakery to his location is suggested and thus begins the partnership between Kevin and Casper.

Honestly, listening to this story, I would not have been surprised if there wasn't a HEA. Kevin has so much going on internally that it's a wonder he has lived to the age of 38, and that his medication, stress, eating disorder and reflux hasn't caused an early death. There were a lot of other characters in this book, but it really was about Kevin and the work and determination that helps to make improvements in his life. That allows him to finally find a little bit of happiness within himself. It's impossible to not to love and hurt for Kevin. And I absolutely adored Casper. He saw what no one else saw, and he was willing to call out concerning behavior and bring attention to it. Kevin's family was hilarious, meddling and overwhelming! They were involved in everything from start to end, and they loved big.

This story was narrated by Kirt Graves, and he did a fantastic job. There were a lot of characters that were very involved in this story, and the narrator was able to provide distinctive voices that allowed the reader to easily follow along in the story. He gave such life and emotion to this beautiful, heartbreaking story. Honestly, his narration was just perfect. He conveyed feelings and emotions with his words, had a great cadence without long pauses, and just allowed the reader to be caught up in the story.

I highly recommend The Imperfection of Swans, in either audio or written form. This book brings to light the body issues and eating disorders that can happen to men, that can be overlooked in our society. At the end of the story we get a message from Brandon's best friend, who was the inspiration for Kevin and the cover model for the book which was a really nice surprise and also a sad reminder that Kevin isn't just a character in a book.

Overall: 5+++

Performance: 5+++

Story: 5+++

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