Author: Karen Stivali
Narrator: Robert Neiman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 3 hours and 53 minutes
Category: New Adult, Contemporary
At a Glance: If you like new adult books, this series may be just what you’re looking for. I can recommend this book and the entire series.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Spending the summer together on Fire Island brought Collin and Tanner closer than ever, but back in their conservative college town, challenges confront them at every turn.
As they search for their new normal in their old environment, Collin’s brother Sean surprises them with help when they need it most. But when word about their relationship gets out, trouble erupts with friends and family. When Collin’s relationship with Tanner becomes an issue in his brother’s custody battle and Tanner struggles with his feelings for a heartbroken Wendy, Collin wonders if everyone he cares about would be better off without him in the picture.
In order to save them both, Tanner must make it clear to Collin that their love for each other is all that matters.
Review: Collin is newly out. He’s been disowned by his family for it. Tanner is newly out too, but his family accepts him and Conner. After coming out as a couple, spending the summer together on Fire Island, they now return to school to face a whole new set of problems. In the middle of finding a new normal for them, Collin’s older brother reaches out to him because he’s sorry about his own reaction but also because he’s in a bit of a crisis.
The young men find themselves in the middle of family drama, personal drama in the dorms, but they also find themselves being supported by unlikely people. Once the secret of their relationship starts to be known, other people their own age react in small minded ways that the couple must overcome. This leads Collin to break. He feels his presence in Tanner’s life is the real problem, and he tries to free them both of the stress of a new relationship by running. How all these thing come together is where the Moment of Clarity comes into play.
This is the third book in the series, and having read/listened to the previous books is a help but not necessary to understand the characters. The themes are familiar but not cliché. Presented through the eyes of new adults, the answers are not always as clear and the path is not always smooth and even.
The audio quality here is crisp and even. Robert Neiman is very effective at conveying both the randomness of events and the underlying love between Collin and Tanner. Even when things look the darkest, the narration helps build an environment where the listener can become fully involved in the story. It is always a treat to hear a narration where the whole story is treated evenly and all of the characters get the same attention. These novellas have very short running times, so it is important that a narrator not mess with the pace of the story by reading too slow or making the listener work too hard to follow along. Clear character voices and even narration during exposition parts really makes for an enjoyable listen.
I can recommend this book and the entire series. Fortunately for the listener, the same narrator has been reading the entire series and has been consistent throughout. If you like new adult books, this series may be just what you’re looking for.
You can buy Moment of Clarity here: