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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Audio Book Review: Turn Up For the Book by Julia Franklin

Here is a book with British drama and humor that includes a book shop... fun for book lovers. :-)

by Julia Franklin
  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 3 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Books Are Loud
  • Release Date: September 20, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005QAA90K
Also Available at Electric Breeze Audio UNABRIDGED by Julia Franklin
Narrated by Julia Franklin
LENGTH 10 hrs and 3 mins
PRICE £7.99

Genre:  Romantic Comedy, British Chick Lit
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Product Description
This is a debut novel from actress and audiobook reader Julia Franklin. 'I've read somewhere between 300 and 400 novels as audiobooks over the last 25 years,' she says, 'so I thought it was time to have a go at a novel of my own.' The result is Turn Up for the Book, a romantic comedy that begins with the breakup, one Christmas, of a marriage.
Poor Viv has begun to look like the sofa she sits on most of the time. No wonder her unfaithful husband, Clive, is leaving her for a glamorous supermodel. But over the next 12 months, she will find that books and friendship will move her to a different kind of sofa altogether. Set against a background of publishing, food, and drink, oh yes, and maybe murder, Turn Up for the Book is a lovely lighthearted companion to warm you on dark winter evenings.

I think I would classify this as British chick lit more than romantic comedy.  It actually begins rather tragically but there is a good bit of irony and comedy further along in the story, with some true “laugh out loud” moments.

The primary figure in the story is Viv who has allowed her appearance to deteriorate over years of marriage to her unfaithful husband, Clive. This time Clive has chosen to leave her rather than just have an affair.  To make matters worse, he is leaving Viv, and their teenage son and daughter, for the beautiful wife of one of their best friends, Keith.  Keith had left his first wife, Ruth, for the beautiful model, Ursula.

Viv is devastated by Clive’s announcement and the children are angry and soon have emotional struggles that add to Viv’s own emotional difficulties.  Viv works at a book shop called Turn Up for the Book. Her employer is stingy and mean but Viv loves the work and is a diligent employee. As the book progresses the reader/listener has the fun of hearing Viv’s imaginary comebacks to and plans for ridding herself (creative murders) of her boss.

Ms. Franklin weaves the characters with good development so you understand where they are coming from and you can follow their interactions.  When Ruth discovers that Ursula has left her ex for Clive, she doesn’t have a lot of sympathy for Viv until she learns that it was Keith and Clive that told Viv to terminate contact and friendship with Ruth. Ruth is now a successful restauranteur and she calls Viv and pushes her to assert herself and pull herself from the depression she has settled into.

Viv is required to do a live interview at an author book signing. It is surprisingly successful and she gets called in to do a short weekly ‘Review the Book’ radio program which gets off to a slow start.  One night, in complete frustration, Viv steals the show and creates quite a stir by being bluntly honest about the “popular” books.

Clive discovers that Ursula isn’t quite what he expected while Keith begins a new relationship. 
There are new boyfriends for Ruth and Viv who have ironic connections to some of the other characters.  Although the story started on a sad note it ends up in an ironically positive position.

Ms. Franklin is the narrator so who better to tell the story as she intended it?  I enjoyed her British accent that fit so well with the characters' emotions. It is a shame that the sole rating I saw at Audible was negative as I found this an enjoyable listen even though it is not a genre I read a lot. I think you should give this book a try, in ebook or audio, if you don’t mind a bit of romantic drama and especially if you enjoy dry British wit, humor and irony.

Audiobook JukeboxThank you to AudioJukebox and Books Are Loud for the opportunity to enjoy and review this audio.

I will add this to my New Author, ARC and Audio Challenges.

1 comment:

  1. It is a great story. I'm British and was also surprised at the review. Cultural differences maybe? The good news is that it has received 7- 5 star rating over at! So it would appear that you are in good company!

    Mr Reader


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