Before we begin, I’d like to acknowledge the fact that my last review and this one are literally the same two books that Mandy just read and reviewed. I swear we didn’t do this on purpose, but it’s happened and now we’re moving on with life 😅
Twenty-three year old Nolan Baker is an aspiring comedian and he’s been working hard to make his dream come true. But with his sister’s wedding approaching and it looking like he’s going to have to attend sans date, he decides it’s time to call it quits on comedy and ask his best friend (and roommate and long-time crush) Drew Techler to be his date to the wedding. Things start looking up though when he’s asked to fill in last minute for a famous comedian…during his sister’s wedding reception. He decides that he can just slip out during dinner and return before his speech, but he is very sorely mistaken. With everyone (his sister, his parents, and even Drew) disappointed in him, Nolan makes a wish on a set of crystals that he received in a wedding favor bag…and wakes up the next morning with everything he ever wanted - except the people he loves most in the world.
Because I can’t skip books in a series (even when the series is a series of standalone), I quickly binged the first two books NEVER BEEN KISSED and YOU’RE A MEAN ONE, MATTHEW PRINCE before I dove into this one. And while I am glad that I did it, it was definitely a personal choice and not a necessity. That being said, I can now confidently say that I will read every single thing that Timothy Janovsky writes from here until eternity.
Janovsky writes main characters that make me want to rip my hair out when we first meet them but weasel into my heart by the last page and Nolan is no exception. He starts off confident in his abilities (which we love), but he’s also fairly selfish, putting importance on the wrong things in life to the detriment of his relationships (romantic and otherwise). But as the story unfolds, Nolan goes on a beautiful journey and transforms into a different person. It is so subtle and so authentic that I don't think I really even noticed it until we're punched in the face with it by the end.
I am and forever will be a huge fangirl of 13 Going On 30 and so this story hit all the right notes for me. Speaking of which, the hotel in which Nolan’s sister’s wedding is held is called the Flamhaff Hotel (or at least that’s what it sounded like on the audiobook!) and I absolutely cannot believe that that is an accident. (Matty Flamhaff 5ever! IYKYK.)
Oh and speaking of adorable cinnamon roll love interests? Drew is absolutely swoon worthy. While I was definitely rooting for a friends-to-lovers finale for Nolan and Drew, I am unashamed to say that it was mostly so that Drew would get the HEA. (By the end, it was also for Nolan because his growth was magical, but Drew had my heart from the very start.)
The audiobook is narrated by Mark Sanderlin who also narrated the other two books in the series and once again knocks it out of the park. I’m not sure how to properly explain it, but Nolan felt different from the start of the book to the end and it wasn’t just in the words that were being read. Sanderlin seemed to be able to infuse the different versions of Nolan with a different voice, the beginning of the book sounding more whiny and selfish while the end sounding like someone who has figured out what is actually important in life. I don’t know if that’s just how I perceived it because of what happened throughout the book or if it was some actual vocal magic, but I loved it.
NEW ADULT by Timothy Janovsky is technically the third book in a series but can be read as a standalone. It hits shelves on August 15, 2023 and you can grab a copy for yourself here. While you’re at it, pick up the first two books in the series NEVER BEEN KISSED and YOU’RE A MEAN ONE, MATTHEW PRINCE - you won’t regret it!
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this audiobook from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."