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The Boy Who Couldn't Fly Straight

The Broom Closet Stories, Book 1
Narrated by: Zachary Antonioli
Series: The Broom Closet Stories, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: Young Adults, Ages 13 & Up
4 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Summary

Closeted high school sophomore Charlie Creevey's quiet life in the Sierra Nevada Foothills is shattered one day when a menacing stranger invades his home, forcing him to flee to the Pacific Northwest.

Barely escaping with his life, Charlie is whisked away to Seattle to take refuge with an aunt and uncle he doesn't know. There, he discovers he hails from a family of witches, and will soon be initiated into the craft and must face the reality that he is a gay witch.

Just as he starts adjusting to a new school and a new life, an evil coven of witches known for killing teens in and around the Pacific Northwest attempts to kidnap Charlie.

At the same time, he tries to deny his growing feelings for popular junior Diego Ramirez. Facing his first gay teen love, he learns the hard way that ignoring his heart endangers him and everyone he cares about.

Will Charlie refuse to accept who he is, or will he acknowledge the truth in order to stay alive and protect the people he loves?

If you enjoy young adult paranormal stories or LGBT paranormal romance novels, you will love this series!

©2013 Jeffrey A Jacobson (P)2017 Jeffrey A Jacobson

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    5 out of 5 stars

great story

great story, I could not put it down, I recommend it and am going to read part 2

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Profile Image for Ryuhi
  • Ryuhi
  • 20-05-19

Too little time spent on the plot

The book has many of the typical ingredients of a YA series, protagonist with one parent missing, some strange things starting to happen and a big reveal of the supernatural world.
All of that mixed with teenager issues - and minority issues in this case.

That overall should be a workable mix, but it just does not quite deliver.
The key problem is that there is just not enough of the supernatural happening here.
We get some buildup, but nothing really comes of it.
We see antagonists moving in the background but there is no resolution to that at all.
Yes, this is the first book in the series, but it should have some dramatic resolution and there just is none.

And alas I cannot help getting the impression that the author was more occupied with highlighting social issues than focusing on the arc of suspense.
I do not think this is the way to go about this. I know many good stories which work social issues into the narrative in an organic way and use both to strengthen each other, but here, it feels more like the the plot takes a back seat.
Given that many characters come off as well rounded and sensible and mostly avoid having one character suddenly act out just for the purpose of getting to learn a lesson, I think that is rather a shame.

It feels like the book could have been pretty good otherwise, but I ended up feeling zero excitement for a sequel. I was mostly driven on by wanting to get to finish it.

Given how bleak it can be to find a story as a gay teenager where you can actually feel at home, where you can identify yourself with the characters and not feel alienated, I definitely think there should be more fun and suspense.
I still remember that time pretty well and I do not think this book would really have been what I wanted back then.

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Profile Image for Vijay J. Deguzman
  • Vijay J. Deguzman
  • 10-04-19

Ends abruptly.

Unusual. It ends strangely. Nothing gets resolved by the end of the book. I wouldn't even call it a cliffhanger. It's almost as if it's only the first half of an actual finished story. Pretty unsatisfying. Would not recommend.

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  • Bruce D. Parker
  • 21-01-19

Fun, but slow and incomplete

A fun story that bogs down sometimes rehashing itself or over stating a point. The story is further diminished by leaving too much unresolved and unstated at it's end, setting the scene for the next volume.

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  • SassiKassi
  • 05-11-17

Love the story...

But not so much the narrator.
I've read this story myself at least 4 times, I love it that much. I purchased the ebook before it was split into two separate books. Maybe because that's the way I've read it, but I like it better as one. This one just felt unfinished and it was a very awkward place to end it.
I love Charlie and Diego and I'm eager to read about their further relationship development.
I also love the storyline and various characters.
I'm not sure I'll continue listening to the future audiobooks in this series. Although Zachary Antonioli isn't bad, he's not great either. I think it's more a tribute to Jeff's writing that we can tell which character is speaking, rather than the narration. Zachary managed to get some inflection in his voice at some places in the book, but he really didn't distinguish voices much at all. I'm sure it's difficult to do that, but it makes the book sound so much more alive to give each character a distinct voice.

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Profile Image for Tim
  • Tim
  • 02-11-17

Bad editing mars this half-of-a-story.

Barely into the book, I was so distracted by the narrator's obvious cut-and-paste performance I almost quit listening. It felt like they went though and sliced out any and all silences in the performance, and simply cut and paste any corrections in without caring about audio levels or mic quality or tone-of-voice differences. And then there were several obvious places where they forgot to cut out the narrator's obvious corrections and restarts of sentences. It's like they completely rushed the editing of this audio book and it suffers for it.

Fortunately, the reading does get better about 10-15 chapters in, presumably because the editor got bored with making the book move at light speed for whatever reason, and finally let the narrator breathe a little more. I just wish they hadn't screwed up the beginning several chapters so much. The narrator himself is decent, though because of the weird cut-and-paste editing, he has obvious changes in tone mid-sentence a lot.

The book itself is good, once you get through the open few chapters of dancing around the subject of witchcraft given away on the front cover. It has an intriguing premise and a believable cast of characters. It sometimes felt a little like the book was telling me how the protagonist felt more than showing me, but I enjoyed it, especially once I got to around chapter 20, when the plot finally got moving. The chapters are short, which feels like a detriment, cutting the action apart so often, sometimes to just continue the scene in the next chapter right where the previous left off. One chapter literally cut off mid-conversation just for a cheap cliffhanger that was immediately backpedaled at the start of the next chapter! And the descriptions are thick with flowery descriptions, which works well for a bunch of scenes where showing instead of telling adds a lot to the story, but bothered me immensely when I was watching the "time remaining" tick down, which leads me to the book's biggest pitfall...

There's no ending! It just kind of STOPS at some point, with absolutely nothing resolved and every single plot thread left hanging. It feels like the author took a much longer book and just chopped it in two or three parts and released the first part as a "complete book", when it's most certainly not. There's still rising action taking place in the final few chapters, still build up for the big overarching thread in the penultimate chapter, and then the book just stops! It's not even a cliffhanger ending! It's just a normal chapter that finishes it off, and then the Audible guy says he hoped I enjoyed the production. That's not how you end a book!

My recommendation is to maybe wait for the next book(s) to arrive before reading this one, because this is HALF a story. And maybe by then, they'll get a competent editor to fix this performance too.