Layover by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer | Audiobook Review

Read by: Phoebe Strole (Flynn), Michael Crouch (Amos), Cassandra Morris (Poppy)
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: standalone
My rating:

Flynn: At first we were almost strangers. But ever since I moved to New York, Amos was the one person I could count on. And together we were there for Poppy. (I mean, what kind of parents leave their kid to be raised by a nanny?) I just didn’t expect to fall for him—and I never expected him to leave us.

Amos: I thought I was the only one who felt it. I told myself it was because we were spending so much time together—taking care of Poppy and all. But that night, I could tell she felt it, too. And I freaked out—you’re not supposed to fall for your stepsister. So I ran away to boarding school. I should have told her why I was leaving, but every time I tried, it felt like a lie.

The thing that intrigued me most about Layover is that it was compared to Tell Me Three Things, which is one of my all time favorite YA contemporaries of all time. I'll tell you right now: Layover is no Tell Me Three Things, but I liked it anyway and it has to do with the fact that I listened to it on audiobook.

Layover is told in alternating POVs between three characters: Flynn (a teenage girl), Amos (a teenage boy and Flynn's stepbrother--Amos's mother married Flynn's father), and Poppy (a 9-year-old girl and Amos's mother and Flynn's father's daughter). There's a different narrator for each character and I love the narrators that were cast. All three did a really good job becoming each of the characters they were playing, especially the Cassandra Morris who did the voice of Poppy.

My favorite character was Poppy and when I was listening to the audiobook it felt like I was listening to an actual 9-year-old girl--Ms. Morris's voice and inflections was perfect for Poppy's character. Poppy was truly precious. I really felt for her because she has mental health issues (some sort of anxiety disorder) and, because of this, she doesn't fit in with the kids at school and was a constant friction with her mom because she's all about perfection and keeping up appearances with her rich friends and colleagues. The only two people she feels truly herself with are her siblings, Flynn and Amos. They, in turn, love their sister Poppy and know she's the glue that keeps their family together. My favorite thing about this book was the genuine bond between Poppy, Amos, and Flynn. You truly feel the love Amos and Flynn feel for Poppy and how much they care about her--this was constant throughout the book and it gave me the warm and fuzzies how the two teens cared for their little sister. 

As for Flynn and Amos, they were okay. Unlike Poppy though, their characters didn't feel as special because there are a lot of Flynns and Amoses in YA. I also didn't like the whole "she's not like other girls"/"I'm not like other girls" bullshit that both Flynn and Amos were guilty of in their inner dialogue. As for the budding romance between them--well, it might be taboo for many readers, but it didn't really bother me. Maybe it's because I read a lot of romance and NA. However, it was pretty meh until the very end. I wish we got more of them together together. Amos spent most of the book brooding and sulking and Flynn spent of the time with another boy and trying to figure her mixed feelings about him. Actually, for me, the novel would've worked even without the romance between Flynn and Amos. There is drinking, drugs, and sex in this book so sensitive readers beware.

Even though I had issues with Layover, I thought it was a good weekend read/listen. Besides Poppy's character, I quite enjoyed the LA setting too. I've never been to LA, and kind of experiencing it through Poppy excited eyes makes me want to explore the city myself. I thought the writing overall was readable and the pacing was good, although I wish it was a bit longer because I would've liked more about Flynn and Amos in the end. The fact that I was listening to Layover on audiobook definitely heightened my enjoyment, with all three narrators doing an excellent job bring to life our three main characters.

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