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  • Thoroughly enjoyable!

    4 stars — I really enjoyed both Mr. Brinkley and Ms. Buhr as narrators. I will admit that with the accents, it was the first time I had to slow down the narration instead of speed it up. And also, not the greatest choice for road trips, b/c Mr. Brinkley in particular has a lot of volume changes (which is actually really awesome, just not conducive to a car). But I LOVED their voices for Levi and Jocelyn, as well as their range of voices for other characters. Levi was pretty adorable all around. I loved how much he cared for Jocelyn, and how he wanted her in his life no matter what the role. I really felt for his unrequited feelings. I also really appreciated that Connor and Sylvia helped show him some truths about his feelings for her, and how there’s no way she’d know he had those feelings. He definitely made some mistakes along the way, but that just made him more relatable in some ways. Jocelyn could be frustrating herself. She was SO strong physically, and had adapted to a seriously challenging new life. But as much as she’s met those challenges, she was stunted in her emotional development. It was like she was using the barrier of the wheelchair as an excuse not to put herself out there. And while that was hella frustrating to read about, I could totally see how that could happen. It felt very real. But ARGH! I just wanted to smack her sometimes! She was so blind, and almost willfully blind. What I appreciated about the story is that it didn’t drag out as long as I worried it might. She was stronger on the inside than I thought, she just needed that challenge. The strength of the story was definitely the two of them together. I LOVED their friendship. I loved their sarcastic banter, and how they supported one another and pushed one another. And when things started to go further, I melted! I LOVED the first forays into romance that Levi made — OMG that first present! I died! There were some awesome secondary characters in this one as well. I loved how close Levi was to his family, and how they supported and welcomed Jocelyn right from the start. And Joy!!! OMG! Does she get a book? She needs a book! I loved Joy! How could you not? She and Joc were so different, but that’s what made the friendship so endearing, you know? So yeah. I definitely enjoyed this first book in the Donner Bakery series, and can’t wait to see what else is coming!

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