Title: Pura Vida
Author: Sara Alva
Narrator: Joseph Northton
Run Time: 2 hours and 23 minutes
At a Glance: A strong narrator reading one of my favorite novellas by a talented author—this one is worth picking up.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Simon has found himself in an open relationship for the summer—though not by choice. Instead of wallowing, he’s decided to make the most of a family vacation to Costa Rica by hooking up with the first hot guy available. Trouble is, he has no clue how to go about doing that.
Luckily, he runs into someone with a little more experience. But when the moments of lust turn into something more, Simon isn’t so sure he’ll be able to return to his old relationship. And there’s no way to hold onto this new one, either, as thousands of miles will separate them in only a few short weeks. Either way, he’ll have to learn to let go.
Review: Simon is a young college guy visiting Costa Rica with his family over the summer. His mother and sister and father all have ideas about keeping busy during their three week stay at the resort while his father is doing business. Simon would like to find someone to take his mind off the less than satisfactory way his “something,” Leo, has left things “open” during their summer vacation from school.
Simon meets Juan by accident when he literally stumbles over a sea turtle looking for a nesting site. Being somewhat clueless, he disturbs the turtle and incites Juan’s anger. But resigned, Juan seems to forgive him and when he and Simon run into each other again, there is something else there too, perhaps. From then on, Simon tries to spend as much time as he can with Juan—and not just for the sex. He actually likes Juan and enjoys talking to him and getting to know him and about his life.
But of course, all good things must come to an end, and that includes Simon’s time in Costa Rica. Simon feels terrible leaving, but he’s not sure what is happening, and he can’t seem to articulate what it is he is feeling exactly for Juan, so he goes back to the States with his family and his nice college life.
It turns out that his summer vacation has a bigger influence on him than he thought, and he’s made some changes at school and in his course of study. When he returns to Costa Rica with his family on another business trip, he’s a bit anxious to see Juan again. Things have definitely changed, but is it for the better? You’ll have to read and find out.
I’m a big fan of Sara Alva’s, and this novella was one of my favorites from the 2013 M/M Goodreads annual free story event, Love Has No Boundaries. I read and reviewed Social Skills in early 2013, and I’m always hoping for more new words from her. I think she captures this age of her protagonists very well, the dialogue and the insecurities especially.
The narrator did an excellent job with the voices and the accents. I would definitely listen to another book narrated by Joseph Northton. Recommended, especially for fans of new adult stories.
You can buy Pura Vida here: