Truth or Dare

Julie Coulter Bellon
Narrator: Tristan Wright

CONTEMPORARY:  Kami and Jonah were best friends in high school.  Now he’s a wounded veteran who has lost a foot; he struggles with feeling awkward as he figures out his new reality with his dog Magnus nearby.  This story opens on a stormy night, and his quiet evening is interrupted by a dog noise.  Kami is a high school coach who has been helping her little sister raise her son; Kami’s dog, Lola, escapes to Jonah’s.  Kami and Jonah lost touch over the years, but when their dogs bring them together, they reignite their friendship.  Because of their past, they have created a solid foundation to build the rest of the story.  

Kami brings a fresh perspective to Jonah’s new reality.  Jonah struggles with his pride, not wanting to appear weak, while Kami has to accept the choices she’s made and the way her life is unfolding, which is different from how she had dreamed it.  The conflicts are both internal and external, and are clearly defined for both protagonists.  The author and narrator create a believable setting, and the story evolves rapidly.  The tension ramps up a bit at times, especially during a particularly emotional scene at the track, then slows down at other times, leading to slightly uneven pacing.

Tristan Wright does a solid job narrating this story by bringing each character’s emotions to life.  He crafts the story carefully and somewhat slowly, but with emphasis and intensity when needed.  Because this is a shorter story, the listener might expect a shallow rendering of the tale; however, this is not the case.  There is surprising depth and characterization revealed within this story.  The loss of a limb and Jonah’s new reality combined with Kami’s choice to help her sister, bring heart, hope and gravitas to this audiobook.  

Carey Sullivan