It is hard to rate audio books when you just don't like the "tone" of the story. With an audio book, a lot of the "tone" comes from the narrator's POV/performance.
This book just seemed whiny. The heroine seemed whiny even when she was saying/doing noble acts. The "comic" relief (at least I think this character was to be comic relief) seemed whiny and pitiful. The stud muffin seemed whiny. The stepfather who was in about 5 percent of the story seemed whiny.
Basic story, small town girl who made it big disses small town. The small town girl who reached the pinnacle (literally) came tumbling back down, all the way down, destitute down.
Small town boy with unrequited passions is there for small town girls when she stumbles home.
Small town boy stands staunchly against the small-town small-mindedness, until the last 30 pages where he starts to get a doubt, the doubt blows up in his face and he has to make the big mea culpa.
The mea culpa was well thought out and well done and at least the hero's whininess in this circumstance was understandable and the heroine dealt with it in a nonwhiney way.
And to the contradictory part of the review. This premise, this story, needed a much longer, much broader platform. An interesting premise with some thought-provoking issues were brought up. But they were dealt with quickly, not very satisfactorily in this small amount of pages. I will just say for a woman who says she has been living outdoors for a while, no mention is made of her cleanliness so I can only assume she is clean and smells good. That just seemed to be a plot hole.
I have heard good/great things about Ms. Dimon. I was excited to see this book on Audible. I am disappointed. I think I will give Ms. Dimon another chance. I won't be giving Gwen Hughes, the narrator, another chance without lots of research.
Oh, and I don't usually pay any attention at all to the covers of books, but this one just caught my attention. It is a cute, colorful cover. It would be perfect for a YA book. The portions of the cover models' faces that you can see look very, very young, not more than 19 or 20. They are leaning up against a wall and the female is dressed very young. It just doesn't fit the book at all to me. Both the H and the h are very physical people, outdoor lives. The young folk on this cover look like they have been inside all their lives. Just seems discordant.
Yeah, I really didn't like this book if I am picking apart someone's stank factor and the cover models' youth.