Out of Character
Author: Annabeth Albert
Narrators: Kirt Graves, Joel Froomkin
Series: True Colors, book 2
Publisher: Publisher (date)
Audiobook, Listening Length: 9 hours and 58 minutes
Romance, New Adult Contemporary Romance
Jasper Quigley is tired of being everyone’s favorite sidekick. He wants to become the hero of his own life, but that’s not going to happen if he agrees to help out Milo Lionetti, his former best friend turned king of the jocks. High school was miserable enough, thanks, and Jasper has no interest in dredging up painful memories of his old secret crush.
But Milo’s got nowhere else to go. His life is spiraling out of control, and he’s looking to turn things back around. Step one? Replace the rare Odyssey cards he lost in an idiotic bet. Step two? Tell his ex-best-friend exactly how he feels – how he’s always felt. Jasper may be reluctant to reopen old wounds, but he never could resist Milo.
There’s a catch though: If Milo wants his help, he’s going to have to pitch in to make the upcoming children’s hospital charity ball the best ever. But as the two don cosplay for the kids and hunt for rare cards, nostalgia for their lost friendship may turn into something even more lasting…
I enjoyed this second installment in the True Colors series about the same as I enjoyed the first book in the series, Conventionally Yours. It’s a great New Adult romance, with a major focus on Milo coming to terms with his past and his present and getting his shit together.
There is just something about Annabeth Albert’s writing that doesn’t quite click for me. Maybe I’m just too old and as an elder millennial I can’t connect with these young folk, I don’t know. Neither Milo nor Jasper felt really fully fleshed out and REAL to me, and I didn’t 100% buy into their chemistry. It was sort of like “Oh, now they’re friends, oh, now they’re in a relationship. I know because these words here say so,” but I didn’t ever really feel it.
Still, lots of fun descriptions of gaming, cosplay, streaming, and general nerdiness abound. Annabeth Albert also takes on some larger issues like learning disabilities and being afraid to come out when you’re a jock.
I listened to this on audiobook, narrated by Kirt Graves and Joel Froomkin. At first, both narrators were really grating to me, especially the narrator for Jasper’s chapters. Eventually I got more used to both their voices. I did appreciate how well both narrators did at keeping the character’s voices/tone consistent regardless of who was narrating – Milo especially had a very distinct voice/dialect and the narrator for Jasper did a great job capturing that in his chapters.
This is the second book in the True Colors series, and can be read as a stand alone. The characters from the first book appear in this one as fairly minor side characters.
A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.