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  • When Everything Is Blue

  • By: Laura Lascarso
  • Narrated by: Michael Mola
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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When Everything Is Blue

By: Laura Lascarso
Narrated by: Michael Mola
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Summary

Sometimes the people we need most aren’t bonded by blood but by something deeper. 

When they were kids, golden boy Chris Mitcham rescued dweeby Theo Wooten from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed romantic feelings for his best friend that “arise” at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take. 

When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and the stunted, tenuous relationship Theo has with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery? 

In this quirky coming-of-age romance, Theo’s path to manhood is fraught with several awkward firsts, a few haters, but also the tender comfort of an unexpected lover.

©2018 Laura Lascarso (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cute romance!

This was a sweet and steamy YA opposites attract romance


The world building was descriptive and original

The characters were authentic, and relatable.


I loved the author's writing style.
The narration was enjoyable and engaging as well.


Definitely recommend

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Sweet coming of age story

This is my second book by the author and she has done a wonderful job with her coming of age story. I like Laura Lascarso's easy-going writing style, which fits well with the young people in this book. The story is told in the first person exclusively from Theo's point of view, which allows you to get to know him very well.
Theo and Chris are wonderful characters who struggle with everyday things like school and skating and have been best friends for years. But how do you handle it when you suddenly realize you have more feelings for your best friend?

The themes are super fitting for coming of age and were told in a realistic and believable way. It's about first love, about betrayal and disappointment and how to deal with it, and about complicated family relationships that don't get any easier when you find out you're gay.
None of the protagonists are perfect and that's a good thing. I felt well entertained, but sometimes in between it was a little slow going.
Chris and Theo were totally cute together and it was nice to listen to their relationship develop.

I didn't know Michael Mola before, but he did a really good job narrating "When everything is blue". I liked his pace of narration, it was well chosen and his choice of the different voices of the protagonists was absulutely well done. It fit perfectly with the respective personalities and I always knew who was speaking. Michael Mola portrayed the emotion believably and it was a pleasure to listen to him.
I requested a free copy of the audiobook and this is my honest opinion that I am volunteering

1 person found this helpful

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When Everything is Blue

YA’s aren’t usually my go to listen/reads but I really liked this one. There was a great connection between the main characters that brought out good emotion. I enjoyed the story and the narration was pretty good. Overall a good listen.

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A teen romance…

Chris and Theo, neighbors and best friends. Totally different personalities. Theo started noticing Chris in a romantic way. They are young guys in high school and afraid of what others might think. Theo was outed in one of the most humiliating way but he is a strong boy. Now Chris, stands by his friend and that was awesome. So while Theo discovers a different world being out, Chris has a surprise for him. Its a sweet story.

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Growing up, Friendship and More

This is a wonderful story about growing up, figuring out who you are, learning who you can trust (and that some awful people will betray that trust). Theo and Chris have been friends forever and Chris has always had Theo's back. Theo's father has unfortunately left Theo unsure of whether or not he can trust Chris with feelings he's sure Chris can't reciprocate. As he will learn, however, Chris has some things to learn about himself as well. Michael Mola is a new audio performer for me but one I will now look out for. This performance had warmth, vulnerability, heartbreak and love exactly as the story called for.

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Enjoyable Young Adult Book

I don’t read a lot of young adult fiction. My teenage years are not a time I want to remember. New adult? Sure. High School? Oh hell no. That being said, I’m always willing to try a new-to-me author and this audio fit the bill.

The book is enjoyable. It’s a coming-of-age romance about a young man who sees himself as less than, and a young man who seems cocky and sure about himself. Very opposite – in more ways that one. Chris is rich, well-loved by his divorced parents, has a car, and is popular. Theo’s mother works hard but they are barely scraping by. His father’s indifference to him is disgusting, but nothing new. Why do some divorced men often walk away from previous children in favor of the shiny and new? (Note, I said some – there are plenty of great divorced dads who adore their kids…) Theo is working hard to save for a car. A car his father could easily afford to buy him – if he even noticed his son.

Chris has always been there for Theo. Theo has developed feelings for Chris, but he keeps them well-hidden. He doesn’t want to ruin what they have. When Theo starts spending time with another boy, it’s clear Chris isn’t pleased. When that boy betrays Theo’s trust, Chris is livid. I felt so bad for Theo. Teenagers can be so cruel.

But Theo has a talent for skateboarding that Chris has nurtured. That isn’t all Chris has nurtured. When the time is right, all the pieces fall into place. That’s not to say things come easy – because as much as we might wish to live on a secluded island, we have sisters, parents, and other teenagers to deal with. So, not always smooth sailing. But this is a romance and Theo gets a happy ending. Does teenage love endure? I sure hope so.

I’ll mention Michael Mola. He did a good job narrating the story and I enjoyed his voice. I’ll definitely listen to another book narrated by him or another book written by Ms. Lascarco.

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Awesome

This was such a great audiobook.
I loved the story from beginning to end.
This is definitely a must listen.

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Sweet, poignant, sometimes sad coming of age story

This story started a little slow for me, and I thought I might not like it, but it developed slowly and realistically until I was hooked, eagerly following Theo's journey toward adulthood. The reader/listener experiences the highs and lows, joys and disappointments, trials and challenges of being a teenager...with the added pressure of being gay. There are some humorous scenes, but also some very serious societal issues like homophobia, mental health, homelessness, and parental abandonment. Theo learns about friendship, love, betrayal, and that actions have consequences that could last into the future. And he's not the only one. I actually felt a bit sorry for Dave. He had issues, too, and he made bad decisions, and it cost him a friendship. I really enjoyed seeing Theo's growth and development in the way he treated his uncle and the way he dealt with his dad. Their final encounter was like a punch to the gut, but I'm glad Theo stood up for himself, especially with the continual threats of being cut off from the trust fund. And I am glad Chris was there to support him. The slow burn romance was sweet, but was only part of the story.

The narrator was new to me, but he did a great job, giving different voices to each character and adding energy and flavor to the setting.

I received a free copy of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

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Some Good Comes From His Outing.

MM, YA, Contemporary, Romance. Lots of changes for 15/16 year olds, a lot of different things going on throughout the story but I felt like it was a bit mashed up and not as cohesive a story as it might have been. An interesting original story that I will listen to again soon to see if it grows on me more.

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A Personal Journey

When Everything is Blue is a beautiful and poignant story about a teenagers journey through one of the more complex and pivotal moments in his life. I adored this story — it was well written and strongly crafted. Theo, the main character, was a vivid personality who’s growth throughout the book felt real and raw. Chris, his best friend, was magnetic, and the relationship the two of them had with each other was rich and fulfilling. Throughout this story there was angst, humor, love, a bit of drama and a lot of skateboarding.

Michael Mola narrated the audiobook, and he did a fantastic job. His performance was top notch and perfect. I loved how he brought all the characters to life and I was impressed by his range and skill.

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  • Neta_BER
  • 16-09-18

Loved it- wonderful coming of age story

overall:
I rather enjoyed this book both for the quality narration and the interesting Coming Of Age story. It is both poignant and funny, and written in a lyrical descriptive way I love! This book is a great YA Coming Of Age that is sexy and achingly heart waring. If you like YA with lots of sexy times this just might be the book for you! This story is full of emotion and realness, it's a beautiful tale of self-discovery and knowing one's worth.

Story:
This is a classic Friends To Lovers with Theo and Chris sharing this incredible bond that goes beyond social status and ethnicity. I say this because throughout the book that issue comes up, both as racist slurs, jokes and material value VS love and caring. The best example is Theo's parents, a white dentist and a Hispanic immigrant. Theo's father keeps measuring his value in money, and despite the fact his mother is not financially sound you can clearly tell she is much more supportive and caring than his cold, selfish, alcoholic father. These important themes are incorporated well into the story and give it more depth. Another notable element is Theo's namesake, his great uncle, who has dementia. Captain Wooten is a wonderful side character that is a mirror image for Theo, showing him what happens when you let fear and familial expectations dictate your life choices. Theo is very much struggling with his identity and how he wants to live, and his visitations to his Uncle show him a side of his family he did not know about.

I love how this book shows a true teenage struggle, the exploration of sexuality and questionable decisions fueled by hormones and confusion. Theo is sucked into a relationship with a boy he probably shouldn't, despite being in love with his best friend Chris. I know many reads shy from books where an MC has a relationship with another character, and here it is described in detail. I personally do not like these kinds of things in stories but here it was fitting, it felt very human to me, and VERY teen like. Chris, his best friend and supporter is such a mature young man, I loved how he steered Theo through the turbulence of his coming out and his relationship with his father. He is the rock that Theo leans on, and he has a very optimistic attitude. The way they get together and explore their connection was wonderful, frantic and gentle at the same time. Also, their relationship is much more HFN then HEA, and that also is fitting these characters and where they are in their life, this is just the beginning of their story.

Narration:
Michael Mola did an amazing job narrating this book, I especially liked how he used breath and added a lot of effects in his narration. He truly preformed this book, and it added a whole new dimension to it. He had a distinct voice for every character, juggling many personalities with ease. The only thing I would change is the accent he did for Theo's voice. Theo is described as coming from a home were his mother spoke Spanish to him growing up. His twin sister is said to understand but not speak it and it implies that she is trying to "pass" as white American rather than Ethnic. However I do not understand why the narrator chose a Spanish accent for Theo, especially when he did not pull it off so well. It sounded weirdly French and awkward, and in no part of the story does it say he had an accent, nor does it make sense if his twin does not. It was such a shame as everything else from his tone to his pitch was so good and I really enjoyed and admired his skill in performing this book. It's not a deal breaker for me but was a constant let down and the reason I gave this book 4 Stars and not 5.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-04-19

Pretty cute surfer romance but...

The story is cute, but the narrator does an awful fake Puerto Rican accent. It sounds more like a Minnesotan with a stuffy nose. If you want a Puerto Rican sounding narrator, then maybe actually hire a Latino person. The character was raised in America and Spanish is his second language so I doubt he'd even have an accent. His sister isn't given one. His mom's accent is even worse, it sounds like a racist Chinese caricature for some reason??? There's also a character who inexplicably talks like a cartoon gangster. Do yourself a favor and just read the book instead.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • cabc
  • 24-01-22

Coming of Age YA

Story: I really loved this book, and more than I expected. This coming-of-age story is a friends-to-lovers romance with a main character, Theo, realizing he’s gay after he finds himself attracted to his best friend Chris. This is far from a unique premise, but I genuinely liked the main characters, particularly Theo, and Theo’s journey. The plot is mostly focused on Theo navigating his s*xuality and what it means to share that part of himself with others. Theo is a great kid and honestly deals with some hard things better than I ever would at his age. His friendship with Chris is really sweet and, while Theo does get scared of hurting their friendship, he also recognizes that it has a solid foundation. The side characters will probably drive you nuts like they did to me, but they all help Theo grow in different ways. The ending is very much an HEA and ends on a hopeful and positive note.

This book is YA with the characters in high school, but note that there are several consensual s*x scenes on page (not fade to black) between teens (in the 15-17 age range). I know many people don’t want to read teens having s*x, but we were all teens once and s*x happens. The scenes are not inappropriate or excessively graphic. But skip this book if that’s not your thing! Or skim it, I guess.

Audiobook Narrator: Michael Mola is a new-to-me narrator and they took some time to grow on me, but ultimately I loved the narration. Michael actually sounds like a teenager and does a great job with the different accents. The narration pulled me right into the story and I didn’t want to pause!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Annika
  • 10-09-18

Sweet coming of age story

I've been hoping for months that this book was going to be made into audio. As time passed I realised that it was probably not going to happen. But just when I'd give up on waiting, I saw that it had been released, and my day was made.

Theo has been in love with his best friend Chris for the last year. They've been best friends ever since Chris saved him from bullies in sixth grade. The only problem is; Theo's never told Chris he was gay. Not knowing how Chris would react, he decides to keep quiet so that he wouldn't lose his best, or rather only, friend.

One day there's a new boy in town, and the pair quickly names him asshole Dave. But soon Theo realises there's more to Dave than meets the eye and that they might have some secrets in common. The new relationship causes rifts between Theo and Chris and they are all torn between wants and needs.

This story is told in first person and solely from Theo's POV. I do wish that we could have gotten Chris's POV as well. To get to know him more, know what was going on with him and how he was feeling throughout. And not only get him from Theo's eyes and mind.

Dave was an ass of epic proportions. I mean I did feel for him at times, when Theo was putting him down or ignoring him, telling him that he didn't mean anything and so on. That was far from kind or okay, but then again teenagers are far from tactful and often forget to think of other's feelings part from their own. So that fits with the characters, and is part of the learning curve we all go through while growing up. I just needed to point out that Theo was far from blameless or perfect. But that does not in any way shape or form excuse Dave's behaviour - because there isn't one, what he did was way out of line - even for teenagers.

When everything is Blue is all about coming of age, coming out. That intense first love, friendships morphing into something else, something more. About betrayals and complicated family situations. I found it all to be a very credible coming of age story. I believed in the plot, I believed in the characters. They were flawed, they were real. They were relatable.

Theo and Chris were so sweet together. They had a deep connection from the get go and I loved experiencing their growing relationship with them. The excitement, curiosity, the intenseness. They were adorable, funny and sweet, but most of all they completed each other. They were always there for another, for the good and the bad.

I loved Michael Mola's accent for Theo, it added another layer to the story and highlighted the differences between the characters a bit more. Not that he really needed it, for the difference in character's sake. He had very different voices for the characters so it was easy to know who was speaking, and it was easy to follow along. You never had to wonder about it, but just sit back, relax and enjoy the listen. Michael Mola has a beautiful voice and great pacing, so while this was my first time listening to him, it sure won't be my last. I'm going to keep a lookout for more of his work in the future.

When Everything is Blue was a cute coming of age story. Of two best friends in love finally realising they weren't alone in their feelings. And then discovering love and relationships together. I found the book and the characters very credible and believable and I enjoyed listening to their story.

Recommended to anyone looking for a sweet coming of age story.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles
  • 07-09-22

sweet predictable coming out story

although the story was completely predictable, it was charming and delightful. If you're looking for escape to your youth and first love, it's a great way to spend a few hours lost in memories of what happened or should have happened. the narrator added to the experience although the almost Latinx accent was sometimes odd. generally, the narration was an asset, however.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Donna Hirsch
  • 25-01-22

Chris and Theo

When Theo is in the 6th grade he is being bullied and Chris rescued him. Now at 15 Theo has been in love with Chris for about a year, but he's straight or is he..Great coming of age story, very enjoyable YA

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kp
  • 23-01-22

Enjoyed!

When Everything is Blue is a YA best friends to so much more story.
I really enjoyed the connection and dynamics between these two guys.
Both are totally invested in the friendship and their for each other. As feelings change and grow into an unexpected love things only become stronger between them.
Of course the road to love is never easily paved and these two have obstacles and more to overcome.
But together they create something wonderful.
Michael Mola does a terrific job of bringing this story to life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chelsea Moore
  • 22-01-22

Amazing!

I absolutely adored this book! I am a sucker for best friends to lovers and this one has all the feels!! Childhood love, pining, sexual awakening..this book has it all. It was a truly beautiful story about 2 best friends that fall madly in love. Theo and Chris had amazing chemistry and connected so deeply. It was truly beautiful to listen to their story unfold. The audiobook was amazingly done. Michael Mola did a truly amazing job bringing these characters to life. Such an amazing story!

I received a copy of this audiobook from Gay Romance Reviews, and this is my honest review.

POV: 1st person single POV (Theo)

Standalone or series: Stand-alone

Would I recommend it: 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ highly recommend!! 🤩

Would I read it again: Most definitely!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Manduh
  • 21-01-22

Good story but questionable accents...

AUDIO REVIEW

3.5 stars

I think the narrator is good. He did have emotion in his delivery and I would listen to him again. My only issue with him is some of the voices he chose for the characters. I guess he was trying to give Theo, an American born half Puerto Rican, a Spanish accent to show he was Latino. It was not a very good one and it was odd sounding 🤔 I have to be honest I was offended by the narrators choice. I could go on a whole rant about my issue with his faux accent but I won't. I'll just say I didn't appreciate it and leave it at that.

His voice for a$$hole Dave was also weird. Dave's supposed to be from Charlotte but sounded more like a 1940's mob boss instead of 16 year old teenager. The narrator just needs to make better decisions when choosing the voices of his characters.

STORY REVIEW

3.75 stars

Theo is in love with his best friend and fears losing him if he finds out. He has kept his feeling to himself and even begins a relationship in secret with a new kid at school. However, his feelings for his best friend, Chris, are too strong.

There is an incident where Theo is exposed and can no longer hide his truth. This changes things for him and Chris.

It was an enjoyable read. I do, however, dislike Dave with a passion so deep. What he did was beyond wrong. He deserved more than and a$$ kicking. I am happy about all the Theo and Chris love. Biffles forever!

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  • Alex
  • 20-01-22

Cute YA romance with heat

Enjoyable story, believable characters. Most of the familial relationships were supportive and healthy, but there is some parental rejection/homophobia included as well as forced outing via nonconsensual sex pictures, so if those things are an issue, this might not be the book for you. Overall it was a cute coming of age best friends to lovers romance. The narration wasn't my cup of tea, but as far as inflection and differentiating character voices it was good.