Audiobook, Contemporary Romance

Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata


TITLE: Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin
AUTHOR: Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Carly Robins
TIME: (9hrs, 8 mins)
Blurb: Listening time 9 hours 8 minutes
Twenty-six-year-old Gaby Barreto might be a lot of things (loyal, sarcastic, one of the guys and a pain in the butt depending on which family member you ask), but dumb isn’t one of them. When her twin brother invites her to go on tour as his band’s merch girl, she isn’t exactly screaming at the top of her lungs with joy.

With no job opportunities pounding on her door, an ex-boyfriend she would still like to castrate, and no end in sight to moving out of her parents’ house in Dallas… it would be dumb to say no to the chance of a lifetime. Two bands, three continents, one tour. Spending the next ninety-plus days with three beloved idiots and eight complete strangers shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

If only the singer of the headlining band didn’t have tattoos… a great personality… a fantastic body… and if he wasn’t so funny….

Let’s be real: Gaby never had a chance against Sacha Malykhin.

Gaby Barreto just got dumped by her boyfriend of two years and kicked out of their apartment, all while not having secured employment after graduating with a degree in History.

So when her twin brother invited her to tour with his band as the head of Merchandising, she couldn’t refuse. There she met Sacha Malykhin, lead singer of the other band on the tour, and they became instant friends.

Anyone who has read a Mariana Zapata book knows that she builds friendships, simmering attraction and angst before she introduces the actual romance. So her books aren’t about hot sex and stolen moments but they feature lasting bonds of romance.
That’s why when I wasn’t connecting with the audiobook initially, I put it down. I knew it was probably a mood thing and I was right. When I came back to it, I listened to the book in two days.

Gabby (“Flabby”) and Sacha (“Sassy”) were really cute. Their relationship was sweet and playful. Both characters felt authentic and relatable. I also enjoyed the camaraderie, even though at times it was over the top. Some of the playful instances, like taking a poop in a plastic bag and the name calling felt like High School than a college graduate age adults. That’s why I docked the story half of a star. It was a bit juvenile and got old quickly. I did love the personal growth in how they dealt with the growing feelings between them. They always seemed to be aware of the other and in their own way, take care of the other. I like friends to lover tropes more than my friend’s sibling trope and this book had both. Gabby and Sacha finally got on the same page that was soothing like beautiful music to my sould. (HEHEHEHE!)

On a side note: I am trying to remember how Gabby was portrayed in Kulti because that book was mentioned and Gabby was big into soccer. I may have to re-read Kulti sometime next year.

This book won’t be in my Top 5 Mariana Zapata novels, but it is still an enjoyable read for those who prefer romance over steamy and smutty love stories.

Autobiography/Memoirs, Nonfiction, Review Books

The Last Black Unicorn by by Tiffany Haddish


img_2798Title: The Last Black Unicorn by by Tiffany Haddish
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Format: Audiobook (6 hours and 29 mins)
Genre: Nonfiction; Biography; Memoir
Published By: Simon & Schuster Audio
Purchase Links: AudibleAmazon (US)
Synopsis: From stand-up comedian, actress, and breakout star of Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish, comes The Last Black Unicorn, a sidesplitting, hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself.

Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, Tiffany learned to survive by making people laugh. If she could do that, then her classmates would let her copy their homework, the other foster kids she lived with wouldn’t beat her up, and she might even get a boyfriend. Or at least she could make enough money—as the paid school mascot and in-demand Bar Mitzvah hype woman—to get her hair and nails done, so then she might get a boyfriend.

None of that worked (and she’s still single), but it allowed Tiffany to imagine a place for herself where she could do something she loved for a living: comedy.

Tiffany can’t avoid being funny—it’s just who she is, whether she’s plotting shocking, jaw-dropping revenge on an ex-boyfriend or learning how to handle her newfound fame despite still having a broke person’s mind-set. Finally poised to become a household name, she recounts with heart and humor how she came from nothing and nowhere to achieve her dreams by owning, sharing, and using her pain to heal others.

By turns hilarious, filthy, and brutally honest, The Last Black Unicorn shows the world who Tiffany Haddish really is—humble, grateful, down-to-earth, and funny as hell. And now, she’s ready to inspire others through the power of laughter.

Enjoyment: ♥♥½
Narration by Tiffany Haddish: ♥♥½
Plot: ♥♥♥
Writing: ♥♥♥
MY THOUGHTS: ♥♥♥
Thanks to this audiobook, I am more aware of Tiffany Haddish’s journey growing up with a mentally ill parent to her time in foster care to her current status now that she finally achieve stardom with her hit movie Girls Trip.
I can’t say that I liked her book as parts were entertaining, parts made me cringe, but it was clear she was determined to be a comic. I appreciated the authentic feel of listening to Tiffany’s story in her own voice, but I wonder if the audiobook would have been more palatable in a voice of professional narrator. Her recitation wasn’t smooth even though she was reading her own words. Plus, her cheeky and court jester narration style got old on audio even though I surmised that she was trying to use humor to cushion the uncomfortable situations and events.

Tiffany has had many struggles in life. It’s always interesting to see how  people can persevere and I am proud that she is finally winning in life. However, I had a hard time with the flow of this story. The transitions were choppy and the narrative just wasn’t well laid. I prefer biographies to go in a linear or chronological timeline and Tiffany jumped around a lot. I would have enjoyed this story if we were hanging out and she was telling me these stories in doses, more like a serial short story than a full out novel. I applaud her for the realness of her struggles like illiteracy, homelessness or her brief stint as a pimp. She was forthright and I respected her for not sugar coating her background. I actually think she is inspiration because she made it with so many odds against her. It took almost twenty years of grinding to realize her current success. I take from this story that we have to keep fighting despite our obstacles to attain our goals. I wish her much success and happiness and I hope that I get to see her live at a comedy show.