Audiobook Review – Always by Sarah Jio

Audiobook Review – Always by Sarah Jio
Audiobook Review – Always by Sarah JioAlways by Sarah Jio
Published by Ballantine
Publication date: February 7, 2017
Genres: Romance, Women's Fiction
Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
288 pages
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

A woman on her way to a romantic dinner with her fiance encounters a ragged homeless man—who turns out to be the ex she’s never gotten over. A romantic and gripping novel about the fierce resilience of the human heart.

Torn between two men, Kailey Crane is faced with an impossible choice: embrace the bright future she has with her new fiance, or dedicate herself to reclaiming a past love that may be gone forever. Set amidst the Seattle music scene of the 90s as well as the present day, Always parallels the past and present in a unique love story about a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice.

Story Locale: Seattle, WA


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Sarah Jio’s ALWAYS is a second-chance romance and women’s fiction hybrid that some may enjoy. Due to an abundance of plot holes, less-than-stellar writing, and melodrama galore, I far too many problems and I didn’t like this book.

View Spoiler »Being as this is a women’s fiction novel, I can understand that authors don’t want to weight down the plot with medical jargon but it seemed like the author took the easy road. This was such a huge part of the book, yet the author never really explains exactly what Cade has,View Spoiler »I’d really like to know what sort of medical research the author conducted in preparation for this book.

Kaley was conveniently able to get Cade in a program that magically solved all of his problems!  View Spoiler »There was no real explanation as to how this was possible. I have some knowledge ofView Spoiler » being as I sort of work in the health field and this just seemed so implausible. I needed some sort of rationale.

The circumstances surrounding Cade’s disappearance was entirely unrealistic. Cade is a prominent and well-known record executive and co-owner of a record label. People recognized him EVERYWHERE. Yet, not one person in TEN YEARS was able to track him down and find him when he stayed in the same city? I don’t buy it, not to mention the fact that Kaley is a reporter. Aren’t reporters known for digging up information and tracking people down?

The ending was also completely unrealistic. View Spoiler »

The premise of this novel is intrinsically soap opera-esque, and I knew that going in. But I thought that with Sarah Jio being more in the women’s fiction genre the melodrama would be tamed down. It wasn’t. Readers who have a much higher tolerance for melodrama and who don’t necessarily need the plots to make sense may enjoy this book more than I did. The writing was very pedestrian with very little nuance and eloquence. I don’t enjoy being spoon fed when reading a novel. I like to be given the opportunity to use my brain a little bit with the story unfolding before me instead of being told to me.

Audiobook comments:

On a more positive note, the narrator’s performance was good. So if this novel sounds like something you’d like, you can listen to the audiobook and know the narrator was decent.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Audio for providing me with a copy for review.

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  • I liked this one more than you did (3.5 stars) but yes to all the plot holes even though I went with it. My issue was the heavy handedness with the homeless issue. It just wasn’t subtle at all and I found it annoying (not the issue itself in the book just how it was handled). Great review!

    • I totally agree with you on how the issue of homelessness was handled in this one. I work with a lot of homeless individuals during my day job and felt like both that and the health aspect were really watered down. Homeless is a complex issue and it wasn’t treated that way here. I actually had that point in a draft of this review but took it out so I didn’t seem so harpy! Thanks, Grace! I always like seeing you around!

  • I’ve seen so many who have raved about this author’s books, but I’ve never read them. I’m a little curious about the traumatic brain injury (I had to read the spoilers) and where she was going with it, but I’m not curious enough to try this one. On another note, I’m now number 24 in hold at the library for your recommendation of Idaho. *sigh* #maybethisyear

    • I had read The Violets of March by her several years ago and liked it but this one was not a winner for me. I wouldn’t recommend it but I know several of my fellow readers really enjoyed this one.

      Yay for #24!! I hope you like it when you get the hold in a couple of years. LOL!