cover image Rumble


Ellen Hopkins, read by Kirby Heyborne. Simon & Schuster Audio, , unabridged, 7 CDs, 9 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-8510-8

In his narration, Heyborne proves once again to be a voice-actor extraordinaire, especially with his portrayal of Matthew Turner, the protagonist. In this book about loss, each emotion of the complicated but immediately sympathetic and likeable young man—including faux indifference, teenage lust, and indignant grieving—is realistically verbalized by Heyborne. Hopkins’s story line is logical and progressive, highlighting an endless loss and encompassing grief, the loss of a sibling, suicide, bullying, homosexuality, divorce, and relationships with authorities and peers. Dialogue is thoughtful, yet free-flowing, and Heyborne never fails at vocally embodying the essence of each character. The tale remains consistently cohesive until the last several tracks, when a rushed and unsatisfying ending is saved only by Heyborne’s unwavering telling of an otherwise expertly written story. Nevertheless, the coupling of Hopkins’s words with Heyborne’s voice is still fairly close to a slice of audiobook heaven, and a sequel to this book, offering the reader yet another glimpse of this impressive character in his altered young adulthood, would be most welcome. Ages 14–up. A S&S/McElderry hardcover. (Dec.)