Title: Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me
Author: Anna Martin
Narrator: Jesse Cota
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 6 hours and 17 minutes
At a Glance: I’m a big fan of this author, but I had trouble connecting with this story for some reason.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: and One Time I Kissed Him First
When you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.
As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years.
When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.
Review: This is the story of best friends, Evan and Scott. They meet when they are seven. What follows is the ebb and flow of their growing up and coming of age together. In many ways they are complete opposites—Evan, gay artist and the only son of a struggling, single mom; and Scott, the outgoing middle child in a wealthy family, who is also the captain of the football team. During their school years, Evan tries to keep his sexuality under wraps—he’s not at all prepared for the fallout—and having been bullied when he was younger, he can’t deal with the thought of Scott either rejecting him or feeling like this was something that was going to come between them and ruin their friendship.
The structure of the story moved back and forth from the grown-up Scott and Evan back to their childhood and middle school and high school years. After they go to different colleges, they see each other much less frequently. When Scott takes a job far away, and Evan returns to town, they still don’t have much of a connection. After Evan has come out in college, and Scott insists that he is interested in Evan but isn’t interested in anyone else knowing about it, they grow apart.
But when Scott’s younger sister calls on Evan, who has become her best friend in the following years, to help her with her wedding, Evan and Scott are once again thrust together. Evan has years of resentment built up, and Scott is somewhat clueless, but they fall back into some old patterns once again, and take their relationship to another level.
When a crisis with Scott brings Evan up short, he realizes that no matter what, he still loves Scott and will do whatever he can to help him. He’s loved Scott forever, and there probably isn’t anything that will ever change that. Scott is the one who has to make a decision, and Evan can only hope it’s the decision he’s been waiting for.
I’m a huge fan of this author, but for some reason I just didn’t connect well with these characters. Maybe it was the time jumping of the narrative. I like the ending quite a lot, but I felt like the rest of the story dragged. The narrator did a great job with the voice characterizations. This was my first audio from Jesse Cota, but I would definitely listen to another. As usual, YMMV.
You can buy Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me here: