As a musician at the popular college café Coed Joe's, high school senior Kai Manter is never lacking for male attention. Out, proud, free-spirited, and sexually aware, Kai sets his sights on his darkly Gothic and undeniably bad-tempered coworker, Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university. Sporting long hair and alluring hippie style, Kai expects his interest will be reciprocated, with satisfying sex as the end goal. That's what usually happens. But Jamie's lessons in life have been harsher. Having been sexually abused by his older stepbrother for several years, Jamie has grown an impenetrable outer shell meant to keep the world at a safe distance.
Kai is angry at first when he takes the brunt of Jamie's bad temper, but after Kai accidentally discovers the abuse Jamie has suffered, he wants to fix things. Kai's plan is based on what he knows best - music - and he stages a "musical intervention" to let Jamie know he's not alone and things can get better. When Jamie's perspective changes and he emerges from his shell, Kai changes, too, gaining a whole new understanding of what sex can be when love is there too.
©2013 Mia Kerick (P)2014 Harmony Ink Press
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"If Music Be the Food of Love Play On"
I loved the charming, self confident attitude that Musician Kai went into the story with and the way that he grew through the course of the book.
Tristan Wright narrates the audio-book and does a great job with the many male voices. His energetic and optimistic interpretation of Kai and his meeker and more childlike voice for Jamie really worked well together. For the most part Tristan isn't too annoying when trying to voice the female characters. There is one crying female that got a bit grating but then I've never been good with crying women.
Tristan Wright also narrated the audio-book version of A Broken Kind of Life but THAT was stiff competition with Tyler Stevens having done such a phenomenal job with the adult version.
Kai Manter is a charming, self confident high school senior with a pair of latter-day hippies as parents and two supportive siblings. Musically gifted and good looking Kai is out and proud and brags in the first chapter about his last 10 conquests.
But then he spots Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university who works as a waiter at the coffee house where Kai sings. Jamie has earned the nickname "Pretty Vacant" due to his good looks and his stand-offish attitude with anyone that tries to be friendly.
Turns out that Jamie was molested by a step-brother who is still giving him problems though moving out of the family home has stopped the worst of it.
I really like both MC's. The relationship that irrepressible young gay musician Kai has with his older brother is just great.
However I'm had a bit of trouble with the whole "Music as Intervention" idea. As much as I believe in the power of music to grab and change one's emotions, the way it's used in this story, (and the many song titles) just seems a bit far-fetched to me. But it's integral to the story and if one can set that aside, the story is a really touching look at how these two come together to affect Jaimie's recovery.
Kudos to the author for making this more than just a "rescuing a tragic waif" tale. The way that Kai grew through this story really made it a worthwhile read. Also the feelings that Kai had toward the end when he wasn't needed as much for rescuing, rang true and made this a richer and deeper story.
"Compelling tale on a sensitive topic"
I wanted to give this book 5 stars soooo badly because it is beautifully written but the author spent way too long on the first part of the story and ended up having to quickly finish up the tale in an epilogue rather than giving us a fully developed "Happy ever after" it deserved. Better editor or more experience, maybe next time. Nevertheless the author is very talented and the reader did a perfect job.
"Great narrations; hard subject matter"
This is a very hard book to rate b/c it deals with some very heavy issues, childhood abuse. But the book is a YA, told from Kai's POV as an 18 year that reminds of Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted's Big Adventure. There are a lot of "dudes" and "bros" in the dialogue. That is a little off putting when you are talking about someone helping someone else coming to grips with being molested as a child. But I understand why the author did it; it was a way to speak the language of an 18 year old male who, until he met Jamie, really was a pretty shallow character. But through his attraction to Jamie, Kai grows into a man who really knows how to love with his whole heart. He speaks ("intervenes") to Jamie through his music and together they begin the healing process for Jamie. I don't really agree with the ultimate path taken, but I'm sure it is a path many abuse victims have chosen.
The narrator for this book was fantastic. He really gave voice to both Kai inner dialogue and Jamie's emotional roller coaster. Overall, definitely worth a credit.
"Great YA- GLBT read!"
I haven't read the print or ebook version, so I don't personally have an opinion one whether one is better than the other. However, I did greatly enjoy the audio version.
All of the musical points certainly helped to keep it interesting and captivating. All of the songs fit perfectly to the scenes and characters. It was a unique twist and the title was a great fit.
Kai, definitely. He was a wonderful character. A little headstrong, but determined. They kind of fall line in line anyway.
I think the ending was really moving. It showed perfectly that the boys still had a ways to go, and healing takes time, but they were taking steps in the right direction to make it happen.
High school senior Kai Manter, a musician at a popular campus cafe is out, proud, and overly confident. When he turns his sights on Jamie Arlotta, a usually quiet, ill-tempered coworker and college freshman, he believes his interest will be easily reciprocated. After all, that's how it's always been for Kai. Jamie proves differently. His troubled past with a sexually abusive step-brother has left him wary and broken in ways Kai can't possibly understand, but he wants to. Trying to figure out a way to get through to the hardened Jamie when he doesn't seem to have a lick of interest in anything coming out of Kai's mouth certainly won't be easy, but Kai has to try. A musical intervention just might be the thing to get Jamie to finally listen, but that doesn't mean it'll be enough to heal the past and present wounds.
Intervention was the first Young Adult I'd picked up in a while. Perhaps nothing had caught my interest in that genre enough to get me reading, or maybe I'd been too focused in on the more adult side of novels. Either way, I'm happy something about the blurb caught my attention and I gave it a chance. I have to say, the novel was the first ever YA GLBT I've ever read, also, so that's something new to add to my list as well. Interestingly enough ... while I'm at it, I should point out this was the first audiobook I've listened to. I prefer ebooks or, even better, a physical copy in my hands, so I wasn't quite sure how this was going to work out for me reading/listening wise. However, once I figured out the speed of the reader I preferred, and settled in, I really enjoyed listening.
Kai and Jamie are both interestingly complex characters, and complete and total opposites. They just are. From their styles, to their lives, to their attitudes, behaviors, and outlooks, the two guys are just at way separate ends of the spectrum. Given Jamie's bringing up compared to the much more open, lax way Kai was allowed to spread his proverbial wings in a healthy, honest way, it's not really a far stretch when it comes to wondering why. Some readers might find Jamie to be ... without sounding completely insensitive ... juvenile. In some ways, a lot of them, he is. Mentally, emotionally, he's definitely stuck at a younger age because of the experiences with his step-brother. Frankly, that's a more truthful and real approach for the victims and survivors of sexual abuse than most people realize. Once that situation takes place, it's happened. There is no magic wand to wave and make it go away. It's a personal and public struggle a person battles with for the rest of their life. I was incredibly impressed the author didn't simply wave that wand and make Jamie all better. He had to work, and he still has to work to get better beyond the happily ever after the story provides.
By no means is this story a easy read. There's some trigger warnings that should be taken into account. Jamie is so tragically broken you can't help but want to shield him from everything. Kai just happens to be the one person willing to take on that giant task and get the job done.
I genuinely enjoyed reading Intervention. I thought the story and characters were relate-able for their age group and situations. I felt the author handled the *many* difficult topics in the novel with care, sensitivity, and understanding, but not necessarily with a kid gloves sort of attitude that would have totally turned me off. As the title and blurb suggests, there's quite a bit of musical suggestion and influence to the story, so that gives it an added appeal as well. And as for the narrator, that was a great choice in voice to read this tale. He was perfect for it, really.
This audiobook has me scrolling through the lists for my next read/listen from audible. Well done to the author.
"for a YA adult book, excellent!"
Kai and Jamie both work at Co-ed Joe's, Kai is a musician and sings for his supper, Jamie waits tables. Jamie is closed off from everyone and everything around him, Kia is a (his words!!) slut. Jamie catches Kai's eye, and Kai goes in for the kill. And gets rebuffed. Kai keeps trying, but when Kai discovers WHY Jamie has shut himself off from the world, he uses everything at his disposal to make Jamie his.
Had I come across this book, I would have passed it over. It billed, on Amazon, as a YOUNG ADULT. But I was asked to audio review it, and I didn't know that at the beginning. AND I'm so glad I didnt!
Kai is a year younger than Jamie, in his last year at High School, but he knows who he is and what he wants, and Kai wants Jamie. When faced with Jamie's brick wall of emotional nothingness, he pulls out the stops and goes for it. BUT while doing so, Kai changes in ways he never thought possible. He openly admits, at the beginning of the book, to being one to take what he wanted, how he wanted, and as often as he wanted. But faced with falling for Jamie makes him change, he doesn't just want Jamie, he begins to need him, his company, his love.
When Kai finds out about Jamie's history, and the abuse he has been suffering, Kai changes, again. He realises there is more to life than sex, and even if Jamie never fully lets of his past, Kai wants him in his life.
I loved Kai. The entire book is written from his point of view, in the first person, (more on that) so we get to feel his thought processes, yes, FEEL, them. We get to go through all of Kai's thinking about how to get Jamie, how to keep him, and most importantly, how to love Jamie in a way Jamie can accept.
Its well written, with sweet scenes between Kai and Jamie as they learn what works for them, and Jamie grows more confident with Jamie. It deals with some very difficult subjects so I've filed it on the over 18 shelf, BUT I've also filed in on the Young Adult shlef. Odd?? yes. But I've filed it over 18 ONLY because of the subject it deals with. The book is almost clean, some kissing and touching, thats all.
Tristan Wright narrates this book, and he has a young voice, suited well to telling the tale of an 18 yr old boy dealing with things that some adults would struggle. His (American) accent isn't too strong, and he keeps his tone clear and even, meaning I got every single word. The distinction between the characters is obvious, making a smooth transition when having a conversation with multiple characters. I should like to hear him read something else, but I can only find more YA books.
The only thing I can fault it on is we ONLY hear from Kai. Jamie really needed to have his say.
5 Fangs, excellent story and extremely well narrated.
"YA story done well by Tristan Wright"
Kai is a high school senior who plays music at a local coffee shop when not in school. He’s planning on going to the local university for musical theory and is incredibly talented. He meets Jamie, a waiter at the coffee house and a college freshman, and is instantly attracted to the snarky, solitary boy.
Over several weeks Kai is rebuffed by Jamie time and again, and just when he thinks he’s finally going to give up on Jamie, he saves Jamie from a beating by Jamie’s older brother, Evan.
It turns out that Evan has been doing a hell of lot more than just beating Jamie, and it has caused Jamie to be the surly, reclusive boy that he is.
Kai, with the help of his way-cool older brother, Chuck, devise a plan to help Jamie “recover” by conducting a “musical intervention”. In other words, Kai plays set-lists each night that tell Jamie it’s ok to hurt, ok to be angry, ok to need help, ok to find new love and ok to stand up and tell the truth.
Over time, Kai wins Jamie’s trust and the two get romantically involved. With Kai’s and Chuck’s help they even convince Jamie to confront his family with the awful truth and help Jamie to move out and away from the horror.
First, all hail the awesome cover. It is really eye catching and tells its own story. Awesome.
Now understand, this is a YA book, so it has some features that separate it from an “adult” book. (That sounds creepier than it is, but you know what I mean.) First, though Kai is very sexually active, the boys only have what is essentially hinted-at sex. Almost fade to black, but not quite that pristine.
Also, the audience is clearly not adults. Kai calls Jamie Dude, or Buddy, or Bud, ad-nauseam, to the point that, for a grown-up reader, it can be really distracting, and feels detached or unemotional. Also, the music referenced is fairly modern, and without knowledge of the lyrics, some of the meaning to be found in the “intervention” is lost. Mia does a fairly good job of summing up the lyrics for the reader, but I think if you know the songs the book has more meaning.
Another issue I ran into was the “slang”. I’m not sure if it was done intentionally or not, but anyways is used frequently. Not just in dialog, spoken by the teens, but in the paragraphs of explanation, that is not dialog. This is a pet-peeve of mine, and it definitely brought me out of the story.
There were times when I felt like the horror Jamie experienced was a little down-played, but it’s hard to know whether that was intentional or not. Was it just the way a “boy” would deal with this (meaning Kai) or was it a way to make the story a little more palatble? I’m not sure. It was a great topic to face for the YA audience, and in a way, I can understand the “lessening of the blow” to ease the reader into the topic.
I also can’t say I agreed with the way Evan’s confession and subsequent “compromise” was handled – you’ll have to read it to see what I mean – but I think that when someone confesses to crimes this heinous, jail time is deserved, family or not. I know Jamie was concerned for his father’s health, but really?
I loved Kai’s internal dialog, funny, smart and sincere. I also loved Chuck and the rest of Kai’s family, how they helped to support Kai and in turn showed Jamie what a healthy family looked like.
The relationship between Jamie and Kai was also a strong point in favor of the story. I appreciated what each brought to the relationship. Kai grew a lot and his high self esteem, great family, and glowing optimism for the future was exactly what someone with Jamie’s past needed to heal.
I think, in the end, if you have suffered from abuse/know someone who has, you will be interested in this story. If you are a young adult, you will find something in this story for you. If you love music and current music especially, there’s something in this story for you. All in all, I was pleased with the book, and if I had been (ahem) several years (dare I say decades) younger, I would probably have really loved this book.
Tristan Wright was the “right” guy for this narration. (See what I did there?) He did an excellent job. He had several different voices he used to great effect, and even his female voices were good. The sound quality was excellent and the teen-speak was perfect.
I had enjoyed Tristan Wright’s narration of Superhero by Eli Easton and would look for him in the future as a good narrator, especially for youngish guys.
I give the book a 3.5 of 5 stars, the narration a 5 of 5 stars for an overall of 4.5 of 5 stars.
4.0 stars I really liked it!
What an emotional, heartfelt, compassionate, heart wrenching tale of not judging a book by its cover!!!
Poor Jamie! When you find out why his first impression is so cruel and heartless, you just...I don't know, become ready to be his defender. But man, he made that difficult for poor for Kai at times.
My heart just broke for Jaime but I was in awe of Kai, being so young and slowly maturing to the point where he became the light in Jamie's life without pressuring Jamie for something he wasn't ready for.
I believed when Kai and Jamie fell in love and the dynamics of both their families lives seemed real. I appreciated the fact that Kai was the younger one and the dialogue written for him was so freakin adorable and believable as a high school kid.
I'm gushing right now when I think of the positivity this story embarks on after the bad.
The only thing I was disappointed with was the fact that Even could hurt someone else and that was never addressed in this story. I really wish it was because what he did and what he continued to do is a danger all parents deserve to be aware of. It's scary.
I'm so glad it was Tristan Wright who narrated this story, because he brought the 2 young main characters to life. I think once he polishes up and gets better with each narration he does, he'll be amazing with performing in his narrations. He did an excellent job though, I honestly believed he was Kai. I was sad when the story was over because I loved listening to every word he read.
Amazing story and wonderful narration!
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