Sunday, April 16, 2023

Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan

Synopsis (via Goodreads): For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a long way from her old dreams, but the days of being a star on film sets are long behind her. She’s found success and satisfaction from the inside of a sound booth and it allows her to care for her beloved, ailing grandmother. When she arrives in Las Vegas last-minute for a book convention, Sewanee unexpectedly spends a whirlwind night with a charming stranger.

On her return home, Sewanee discovers one of the world’s most beloved romance novelists wanted her to perform her last book—with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest, most secretive voice. Sewanee doesn’t buy what romance novels are selling—not after her own dreams were tragically cut short—and she stopped narrating them years ago. But her admiration of the late author, and the opportunity to get her grandmother more help, makes her decision for her.

As Sewanee begins work on the book, resurrecting her old romance pseudonym, she and Brock forge a real connection, hidden behind the comfort of anonymity. Soon, she is dreaming again, but secrets are revealed, and the realities of life come crashing down around her once more.

If she can learn to risk everything for desires she has long buried, she will discover a world of intimacy and acceptance she never believed would be hers.

From the author of My Oxford Year, Julia Whelan’s uplifting novel tells the story of a former actress turned successful audiobook narrator—who has lost sight of her dreams after a tragic accident—and her journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance when she agrees to narrate one last romance novel.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes used in this review are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I was really enjoying Thank You for Listening for the first seven hours of the audiobook. There were even several laugh-out-loud moments that made me think I'd finally stumbled across a book worth my time (currently in a slump after a string of mediocre stories). Unfortunately, after investing nearly eight hours, the main character decides to be awful and stupid. Everything was falling into place perfectly, and then Sewanee decides to be someone not worth reading about. 

I like that this book has a main character with a disability. 

I like that this book addresses dealing with an elderly loved one that struggles with memory loss.

I like that this book has a male love interest that's sweet, charming, and understanding to a fault. 

I like that this book has a best friend that feels like family.


I did not like that Sewanee used her disability as an excuse. 

I did not like that Sewanee thought she - and only she - knew what was best for her ailing grandmother. She didn't even want to consider what her grandmother wanted for herself. 

I did not like how Sewanee treated the male love interest once everything was out in the open. She walked away, what, ten times? Nick still stuck around and tried to give her time to process her feelings. She ends up running away anyways and ignoring all of his attempts at conversation. Everything, and I mean everything, in their romance-novel-worthy relationship was falling into place and she squandered it. She looked a gift horse in the mouth and then shoved that horse over a cliff. 

I did not like how Sewanee chose to treat her best friend (the one that's more like a sister). Her friend had been there through it all and was always in Sewanee's corner. Sewanee was cruel and undeserving of such a friendship. 

All of my dislikes happened after listening to 68% of this book. I normally don't DNF this far into something, but her entire personality was a turn off at that point. She made bad decision after bad decision and I couldn't find a single redeeming quality that made me want to keep going. 

However, I do have a positive to end this review with. Julia Whelan narrates her own book and it's amazing. She is a phenomenal narrator that I really enjoyed listening to and will definitely look for in the future. (★★⋆☆☆ )


  1. I loved this book. I loved both Whelan's book. Sorry you were so put off by Sewanee

    1. Everything was going so well! I loved her interactions with Nick (in all his forms, lol), and I hated how she ended up treating all of the people around her. I felt like her anger and frustration came out of nowhere.

  2. It sounded like it had a lot of promise. Not liking a character can make me not enjoy the book as much.

  3. I'm glad you were able to find something you liked about this one.

  4. What a bummer, to get that far and have it tank. I wonder why she did that to her protagonist to that extent.

  5. Sorry to hear this one kind of fell apart for you towards the end. I enjoyed the book overall but definitely get where you're coming from with respect to the main character.

  6. Ah man! I was into it until that 68% with you! I agree that when I am that far in, I tend to finish the book instead of DNF.

  7. Eeek - not something you want to have happen after 7 hours! lol I can overlook more on audio for some reason - NO idea why and good to hear you liked the narration.

    Karen @For What It's Worth


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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
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