Story Rating: 4.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4.75 stars
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Length: 9 hours, 43 minutes
I sometimes forget how much I love Gideon by Lily Morton. I adore author’s Finding Home series, but I associate the series most with the first two books, Oz and Milo, as they are both among my all-time favorites. So for some reason, this book can get overshadowed in my mind. But listening to Gideon again in audio just reminded me how much I adore this redemption story. It takes a deft hand to make someone who is a villain of sorts in one story turn into the hero of another. And with Milo being such an incredibly sweet and sympathetic a character, it does cast Gideon into a negative light in Milo’s book. However, here Morton does such a wonderful job showing us Gideon’s vulnerability, that soft side of him that has pushed everyone away out of his own fear and self-doubt, that I just can’t help but love him. Gideon has never believed he is good enough, and certainly never believed he could live the life he wanted. So he is grumpy and rude and spends his days in a state of drug-addled oblivion. But when Eli comes along and not only accepts Gideon, but truly sees him, it changes everything. There is so much sweetness here and watching the guy with the prickly exterior go all gooey for the man he loves is so sweet and rewarding. If you want to hear more of my thoughts about the story, you can check out my original review here.
I have listened to this series, along with its companion Mixed Messages series, in audio with narrator Joel Leslie. I have mentioned this before, but for full disclosure, when I read Deal Maker, I immediately messaged Leslie and told him I found a book he needed to narrate, which ultimately led to Leslie and Morton connecting. That said, I have found Leslie to be just a perfect match for this series. His talent for accents and his ability to portray a large cast of characters has brought this series to life in audio. These two series interconnect and that means the characters often appear in each other’s books. Leslie does a great job with consistency, giving a natural flow when characters cross over stories. (I will admit to getting a huge smile whenever Oz opens his mouth.) Here in Gideon, Leslie also does a great job capturing the emotions and the tone of the book. Gideon himself is at times brash and grumpy, but also soft and tender, and Leslie is able to portray both.
I absolutely adore this series and Morton’s writing is stellar. Leslie’s narration then gives these stories just that extra touch that has made me enjoy the audio versions even more than the originals. If you haven’t read these books (or the Mixed Messages series), I highly encourage you to check them out in either format.