Audiobook review: Forget About Me by Karen Grey
Once again, Karen Grey transports readers back to the late 1980’s, complete with corded telephones and mix tapes. As a child of the 80’s, I found myself chuckling at the random out-of-date references and remembering with utter fondness the process of making a good mix tape. The setting works for the story without feeling forced or overwhelming the reader with constant reminders of the time period. Although set in the recent past, Ben and Lucy’s story is completely relevant and would work as a contemporary romance, if not for the setting.
Forget About Me features my favorite romance trope, a second-chance romance. Ben and Lucy were secret lovers seven years ago, the summer after her senior year of high school. The emphasis on secret because Lucy’s older brother, Tony, was Ben’s best friend. When Tony was killed in a car accident that same fall, Ben moved to California and never came back, ghosting Lucy and his best friend’s family. Now Ben’s back in the Boston area and fate, in the form of a stray dog, brings the two back together.
Ms. Grey shares Ben and Lucy’s story through an effective mix of flashbacks and present day interactions. They fell in love seven years ago when they were two young adults with big hopes and dreams. Their lives each took a turn after Tony’s death, and now they need to both get past the anger and hurt from the past seven years, and see if they are still compatible as friends and lovers now that they are adults. They both hold so much pain, guilt, and anger, and the author does a fabulous job allowing both to deal with their emotions and grow as individuals and as a couple. Reading Forget About Me brought forth so many emotions, and I completely loved experiencing each and every one along side Lucy and Ben.
As both characters reconnect, they come out of a fog that blanketed their respective lives. They find joy again, not just in each other, but with their careers and family. One of the most touching (and favorite) moments is a heart-to-heart Ben has with his dad, who tells him: “Live the life you’ve been granted, not the one you wish you had.” It is such a beautiful moment. Tony’s death impacted so many people, and now everyone is coming to terms with how it changed them, and how they can hopefully move forward.
Narration: The story is shared in the alternating, first person, present tense POVs of Lucy and Ben. Each narrator excels at capturing their character’s persona. They both do a great job with age and accents, making each character unique, and each convincingly portrays the opposite sex with much success. I absolutely love Mr. Pallino’s voice. He captures Ben’s regret and sorrow, but also his joy. Ms. Wilder is perky, lively, and adorable sounding. Both narrators “wear their hearts on their sleeves,” exuding emotions through performance. And while not a narration aspect, I love how the flashbacks are preceded and followed by the sound of a tape recording rewinding.
In the end, I just loved Forget About Me. The story features real characters with real emotions. I love watching Ben and Lucy work through the pain, anger, and rough spots because love is worth it.
About the Book:
Ben Porter may be living the dream, but it’s not his.
His dad’s health scare might not be the ideal reason to come home for the summer, but it’s a welcome break from the stellar glitz of Ben’s life in Los Angeles. Even if modeling has him rivaling Marky Mark’s fame, posing isn’t his passion. Landing a role with a Boston Shakespeare theater brings him closer to fulfilling his dreams of being a real actor.
Facing the reason he went west in the first place? That’s another story.
Lucy Minola’s dreams were shattered seven years ago when a drunk driver smashed into her brother’s car. She knows it was her fault. So as penance, she works hard to care for her family, goes to confession faithfully, and buries all the feelings she had for the person who left when she needed him most: her brother’s best friend.
When an injured dog brings them back together, Lucy’s good-girl facade begins to crack. Women everywhere are obsessed with the rad body they see in magazines, but she’s the only one Ben seems to notice.
She can’t trust herself with the man who walked away… but can she let him go a second time?
Author: Karen Grey
Narrators: Emma Wilder & Brian Pallino
Series: Boston Classics #2
Genre: Nostalgic Romance
Audiobook Release Date: November 23, 2020
Publisher: Home Cooked Books
Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)
Reviews in the Series:
What I’m Looking For by Karen Grey (Boston Classics #1) – Audiobook Review