Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 3.75 stars
Narrator: Dan Calley
Length: 5 hours, 41 minutes
I am caught up with most of Garret Leigh’s more recent work and there are only a few books in her entire catalog that I have not read. I reviewed the ebook of Kiss Me Again and while I rarely, if ever, reread, the audio version sounded too enticing to pass up.
Ludo and Aidan made for great characters to add an additional layer to in audio format. Leigh does a great job with Ludo displaying his bipolar disorder and how it affects, and even runs his life. Ludo and Aidan at first glance seem a world apart, but they are both lonely and isolated for different reasons. Being together doesn’t take away their issues, but it gives them someone to lean on during turbulent times. And, having the words spoken aloud showed different sides to the story and the way both Ludo and Aidan’s minds worked. Despite their many issues, they are gentle with each other, creating a true love story as they accept everything about each other.
Dan Calley narrated here and I appreciated that he had a natural British accent, as so much of Leigh’s work is built around the way her characters speak, as well as their surroundings. Calley’s dialect is not one I hear often and if I had not read the book previously, I feel I would have been backing up the audio in the beginning to be able to follow the story. After some time though, I was able to ease into it and his dialect gave an authentic tone to the story. My issue is that Calley basically read the story without giving the characters their own voices. Ludo and Aidan sounded exactly the same and, even knowing the story, when they were having a back and forth conversation, it was not always clear who was speaking.
This story is emotional and tender at times and there is a pivotal moment that offered all the emotion in the book, but the impact got lost in the narration for me and definitely wasn’t as impactful in this version. There were also several places where the audio repeated itself. I enjoyed Ludo and Aidan’s story, and while the audio was pleasant to listen to overall, it lacked the emotional depth this story is built on.
The 2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalists were recently announced and Kiss Me Again was named a finalist and is certainly worthy of your time.