Title: Finding Zach (Finding Zach #1)
Author: Rowan Speedwell and Paul Morey (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Release Date: January 25th 2012
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
For five years, Zach Tyler, son of one of the world’s richest software moguls, was held hostage, tortured, and abused. When he is rescued at last from the Venezuelan jungle, he is physically and psychologically shattered, but he slowly begins to rebuild the life he should have had before an innocent kiss sent him into hell.
His childhood best friend David has lived those years with overwhelming guilt and grief. Every relationship David has tried has fallen apart because of his feelings for a boy he thought dead. When Zach is rescued, David is overjoyed – and then crushed when Zach shuts him out. Two years later, David returns home, and he and Zach must come to terms with the rift between them, what they feel for each other, and what their future could hold. But Zach has secrets, and one of them might well destroy their fragile love.
When I first read this story I will admit I couldn’t say I was entertained exactly by this book. More like horrified and fascinated by turns. I’ll admit I spent the first part of the book with my hand over my mouth in shock most of the time.
There may have been a tear. Or two. It’s not like I should have invested in Kleenex for the amount of crying I did, but there were a few tears. Regardless of the tears, I was totally rooting for Zach, who was so much stronger than he thought he was, and hoping so hard that the love he felt for David would be found again after his horrific ordeal and reciprocated.
Zach’s parent’s pain and guilt at having sent Zach away for the summer to begin with because he had kissed David, which led to Zach being kidnapped? Broke my heart.
I did have a couple of issues. David’s constant name calling (calling Zach “Dweeb”, etc.) really started to piss me off. Even though it’s all affectionate, it just resonated a little too immature and big-brother-getting-trying-to-a-rise for me to enjoy it.
Then there was the weird shift from starting to tell reporter Brian his story to graduating from MIT.
And, most of all, it made me sad that David needed to send Zach away to MIT for four years.
Now, I don’t know if it was that I was reading the story for a second time and therefore picked up on all the subtle nuances I missed the first time, or if my horror and empathy was better equipped to deal with the storyline, OR if Paul Morey is just that damn good…but I enjoyed the audio far, far more than I did simply reading it. This story is so richly layered, and I believe wholeheartedly that Paul Morey’s narration brought that to light.
However, the same two things that bothered me while reading the book continued to bother me this during the narration.
The use of name calling (“dweeb”, etc.) all the time as almost endearments, and the ending. Though I’ll admit the ending makes me sad because Zach and David had just really begun to be together again and I felt sending Zach away, though probably necessary, broke my little romantic heart.
But the narration…oh, the narration. So well done. Paul Morey really steps up his game with this story, bringing all the hurt, rage, comfort and love to life.