I'm back with a lighthearted and easy read, The Total Package, by Stephanie Evanovich. I pulled one of my classic read-listen combos on this book, which made it a breeze to read. William Morrow was kind enough to send copies to my entire real world book club, so we all got to enjoy the book courtesy of the publisher. Read on and find out what I thought of The Total Package.
Release Date: March 15, 2016 (first published July 7, 2015)
Pages: 256 / Audio Length: Approx 6.5 hours
Narrator: Katie Schorr
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Review Date: August 10, 2016
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis: Star quarterback, first-round draft-pick, and heartthrob Tyson Palmer has made a name for himself with his spectacular moves. When the head coach of the Austin Mavericks refuses to let him waste his million-dollar arm, Tyson makes a Hail Mary pass at redemption and succeeds with everyone . . . except Dani, whose negative comments about his performance draw high ratings and spectacular notices of her own.
Dani can’t forgive Tyson’s transgressions or forget the sizzling history the two of them shared in college, a passionate love Tyson casually threw away. And even more infuriating, he doesn’t realize that the bombshell with huge ratings is the cute girl whose heart he once broke.
But can a woman trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other? And what will happen when Tyson—riding high now that he’s revived his career—realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani? Can he make some spectacular moves to get past her defenses—or will she sideline him for good?
*Disclaimer: This book was given to myself and the rest of my real world book club. No review was promised.
Harper Audio Podcast
While I did enjoy Tyson's character, I had a hard time relating to Dani's. I kept thinking (or saying out loud in some instances), "What is wrong with you?!", "That's a normal reaction for that sort of news...", "Don't be such an idiot!", and more. Dani was just frustrating. Thankfully, Tyson, and other characters, helped me to manage the things I didn't like about Dani. I love a strong female character, and Dani missed that mark, substantially.
Despite my frustration with Dani's character, I found the story easy to read and easy to listen to as well. As I do many times, I engaged in both reading the book and listening to the audiobook. Narrator Katie Schorr, did a great job bringing the cheesiness of some of the scenes down a notch so that the audiobook wasn't totally embarrassing to listen to without headphones.
I suspect that when the group talks about this book in a few days, I'm going to hear many similar opinions. Even the most die-hard romance lovers will likely roll their eyes at a few the things going on. Where there any surprising plot twists? Nope. Did it need one? Probably. I saw a few missed opportunities for the story, but regardless and to the books credit, it did keep my attention and kept me engaged, I rated The Total Package 3 bookmarks. I was really feeling a 2.5, but since I don't do halves (and I liked Tyson), I rounded up on my rating instead of down.
If you go into this book expecting a lighthearted read that follows the average romance formula, then you won't be disappointed.
Happy Reading & Listening,