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Anything But Fine | Tobias Madden | Audiobook Review

Why did I listen to Anything But Fine?

Anything But Fine was available for review on Netgalley. I was immediately intrigued by the premise and of the main character being an injured male ballerina. I also could tell that this was going to be an emotional read but I was hoping for a bit of sweet romance. Plus, it was set in Australia!

What is the story here?

Anything But Here follows Luca who had misstep on a flight of stairs which leads to a broken foot. Prior to his injury, he was a star ballerina preparing to audition for the Australian Ballet School. All of a sudden his dream is crushed and he is forced to change the course of his life. Everything is different and he isn’t sure where to turn especially when he meets Jordan, the star of the rowing team. Jordan presents as straight but the chemistry between them is real. Isn’t it?

How did I like Anything But Fine?

Anything But Fine is a sweet sweet read. I loved Luca’s voice from the first page. At first, it appears that he has everything he ever wanted. Yet when he falls down the stairs and breaks his foot, it feels as if he’s losing everything all at once He is such a flawed and beautiful character. He’s sad and angry but also snarky and witty. And he be a real asshole. He acts because of what he is feeling intertwined. Everything gets pretty messy and I couldn’t help but cheer him on.

The relationships within this story really have a staring role. First is Luca and his ballet friends. He has been friends with these girls practically since he first started ballet. When he is injury he pushes them away – too hurt with what is going on to handle their friendship. In all honesty, this is a good thing because some of these girls are toxic. The second relationship witha staring role is Luca’s new friend Amina. Amina is Luca’a first friend in his post-ballet life and she really is the best. I loved her. She’s overly chatty but with the sweetest of intentions. She’s also nerdy and caring – and so much of a better friend than his former ballet buddies. The third relationship, of course, is a boy. His name is Jordan and he’s your typically nice jock. Their bond starts out as occupational therapy buddies and slowly leads to something more. I enjoyed their bond and thought their journey together felt real to me.

Another relationship that is key within this story is Luca’s relationship with his father. In many ways, Luca uses his father as a punching bag. He just throws his anger and disbelief while his father tries to take it in stride. He is completely supportive of his son and their bond is simply beautiful. Within the relationship ideas of widowed parenthood and simply be widowed are addressed. There was a hit of comparison with Luca’s losing the thing that was do dear to him and his fathers use of his wife. Both affect the characters very deeply.

How was the narration?

Anything But Fine is narrated by Matthew Backer and is nine hours and thirty six minutes long. I listened to it at 1.5x and found it to flow easily. The narrator used different voices for each character so it was easy to keep track of everything. I also enjoyed the way the narrator read the descriptions of Australia and the areas within it. Anything But Fine is very well done in audio and I would definitely recommend for others to check it out.

Rating: 4 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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