If I Speak True by Jessica L Brooks (Audiobook Review + Author Interview)

If I Speak True - Jessica L. Brooks, Jessica L. Brooks, Angel Clark
A bookstore nerd and masked man of mystery in an atmospheric YA Contemporary Fantasy.

Dahlia Kennedy's 16th birthday marks a decade of mysterious dahlias arriving and strange, lonely dreams of being in a forest. The only difference of this birthday, however, is that for the first time, someone is there with her. And he's practically from a whole other era. The more often Dahlia visits Rowan in his land of Ambrosia, the stronger their connection grows. But is Ambrosia real? Is he real? What's going on between the two of them, exactly, and why does he insist that she keep it to herself?

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SERIES INFO: This is Book #1 of 2.5 (so far) in the “Flora” Series. According to the author, the final novella (#2.5) & book (#3) will likely be released in 2017. The audiobook for #2, Open Thy Heart, has been delayed; but she hopes to release it in late spring. And she is “in the process of searching for the *perfect* narrator” for #1.5 By Sun and Candlelight.

Dahlia: She seems like someone I would have enjoyed hanging out with in high school. Bookish, with just a few close friends.


Rowan: I like that he is careful about proprieties and mindful of the age difference. So many YA heroes aren’t anyone I would want my daughter (if I had one) to be interested in. BUT, his constant mysteriousness was very frustrating (although we learn the reasons for it later on).


Dahlia & Rowan: The main thing that kept this from being a 4* book was that there was too much “tell” and not enough “show” for their relationship. We are basically “told” that it is developing over time, as they meet & have great conversations; but we rarely get to “hear” those conversations for ourselves. We get lots of dialogue in the scenes with David, but skip over all but a few highlights of Dahlia & Rowan’s courtship. I would have like to spend more time with them, as they were getting to know one another. It might also have helped balance out the fact that he was careful to never talk about anything significant in his own life.


Dahlia & David: Oh man, I feel for you Dahlia. I have been in your exact situation with a long time friend, and it isn’t any fun. / I appreciate that she compares David liking her to her liking Rowan, and is able to be compassionate.



Her descriptions are especially good.  Listen carefully when she first explains her "dreams." It is a verbal "map" to the land.  I want to visit the beach, especially at night; a gorgeous guy as a companion would be plus too.



As I said above, I found the extended "mysteriousness" of everything a bit frustrating. Once things started being explained, the story really got going and became more action packed. I think we could have gotten to the action sooner if we had spent less time in the daytime world. The ending definitely leaves everything hanging. (I don't want to say a lot more, lest I ruin the mystery)


Note: there are some volume changes (e.g. when a character shrieks)
Pros: Her voice was very age appropriate / Good emoting w/o being overdramatic / Good speed. I actually listened on regular speed, rather than my usual 1.25.
Cons: Rowan’s voice took a little while to get into. / There may have been a point at which the wrong last name was used for Dahlia (I noted it, but forgot to record the time point, so I couldn’t recheck it).

HIGHLIGHTS(S): Dahlia works at a book store. / Scene in the snow / Scene with the stars & pillows / Peanuts, The Princess Bride, Ever After and other great cultural references. / The fact that her first crush, the jock, isn’t also a jerk.

I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: Love triangle (although I understand the parallels that are being drawn)

--Narration: AVERAGE
--Enjoyment: Slightly ABOVE AVERAGE
--Re-readability: AVERAGE

I received this book free in return for an honest review, courtesy of Audiobook Blast dot com.

If I Speak True by Jessica L Brooks; read by Angel Clark; produced independently in 2015 / Length: 11 hrs 59 min (Unabr) -- Buy Now




Tell us something about your lead character(s) that we don't already know. [Exclusive]

Dahlia is soon going to seriously question her role in Ambrosia. Not only that, but she'll struggle with the expectations the Royals have of her and, more importantly, the expectations she's put on herself.


Oh, and she has a heart-shaped birthmark on her left foot between her second and third toe. :D


If you were to spend a day with your lead character, what would the two of you do?

If Dahlia and I were to hang out, we'd probably get coffee and then hit up a book store and talk books all day! (That or I'd beg her to introduce me to David in Shaver and then take me on a trip to Ambrosia!)


Audiobook / eBook / Paperbooks? Which is your favorite and why?

I love all three, but honestly, I love paper the most because they're so beautiful wherever they lay, they're easy to loan out, and they're often wonderful conversation starters! However, I also love ebooks because I can usually buy more of them at a time; and audiobooks rock, because you can be entertained while driving or doing dishes, or whatever!


What are your pet peeves when listening to an audiobook?

I don't really have any pet peeves other than the pace. I'm a fast reader, and narrators read rather slowly, so that drives me nuts. Thank goodness there's an option to speed it up! :)


GMB: A listener after my own heart.  1.25 speed is my usual for a first time book; and I've been known to bump it up to 2x on relistens.


Jessica can be found at: http://coffeelvnmom.blogspot.com/