cover image She Got Up Off the Couch

She Got Up Off the Couch

Haven Kimmel, , read by the author. . HighBridge Audio, $34.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59887-011-4

Kimmel's exuberant vignettes, recounting her youth in Indiana during the '70s, were made to be read aloud; most sound as though they started as funny stories told to friends. Following A Girl Named Zippy , this book features much of the same cast of characters, including her aggravating but dear sister Melinda, her great friend Julie and her eternally uncooperative hair. When her mother rouses herself from her couch and goes to college and grad school, a whole new world opens up, as well as new darkness on the home front as her father has to come to terms with his newly empowered wife. Kimmel has natural comic timing and reads at a perfect pace, imitating her characters' voices just enough to get their personality across without making it sound forced. Listeners will frequently find themselves laughing aloud as Kimmel relates her charmingly hyperbolic takes on teen rivalry at her Quaker church camp, their house's infestation by mice, her fierce love for her new nephew and her mother's adventures in learning to drive. The candid, self-deprecating humor that suffuses the anecdotes is even more striking when conveyed through Kimmel's sweet but sly voice. Even when she recalls suffering through some fancy occasion that requires her to wear shoes or being in agony after badly breaking an arm, Kimmel manages to make the situation hilarious, and the effect is even stronger in the audiobook than on the page. Simultaneous release with the Free Press hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 10). (Jan.)