All This Time

S. & S. Audio. 2020. 745p. $29.99. ISBN 9781797112435.
Gr 7 Up–Kyle’s world is shattered in more ways than one on the night of his high school graduation. All his plans for the future are stripped away in just one short hour: An unforeseen breakup with his girlfriend, Kimberly, coupled with a horrendous auto accident sets in motion a series of traumatic events. As he struggles to put his life and body back together, he meets another broken soul who shares her aspirations, thoughts, and fears with him. Together they gradually build a tenuous friendship which could become more. Reality and fantasy begin to entwine as Kyle seems to move in and out of dreams and a world with Kimberly and without his long, hard-won recovery. Though this novel provides an excellent discussion of depression, responsibility, and resilience, the resolution is predictable and unexceptional. The authors often miss opportunities to explore the effects of trauma, the passage of time, and the meaning of healing. Supporting characters rarely grow or change which causes Kyle’s conversations with them to be repetitive and tedious. Kyle, however, develops from an immature teenager into a flawed, but durable, adult. Narrator Timothy Andrés Pabon’s masterly performance supports this character development. While he at first narrates the novel in the voice of a young teenager, Pabon slowly alters his voice to express Kyle’s maturity.
VERDICT This coming-of-age story with a fantasy twist will make an excellent addition to collections with young adult audiobooks. Give this to mature teenagers and adults who enjoy multilayered story construction.

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