Cover Image: River, Sing Out

River, Sing Out

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was a lovely read that passed the time beautifully. I enjoyed the description and the prose a lot, comparable to other favorites in my opinion, like Where the Crawdad Sings or The People We Keep. I think fans of that genre or that feel will really enjoy Wade's latest.
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This was one of my few DNFs of the year, and I feel that it partially wasn't the fault of the author (I had a number of medical crises going on at the time). There wasn't much that left me wanting to return, but I didn't have any major complaints as far as I got. I may give it another shot at some point down the line but simply can't right now.
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This is a very hard review to write, as I really wanted to love this book.  It had everything that I loved in it, it's gritty character driven fiction, about two teenagers, Jonah and River, both in need of escape in different ways and who get help from each other. It's about story about addiction, self reflection, discovery to name a few. I wanted to love it and had I read the book, I might have, but listening to it, I didn't connect at all.  The narrator, just didn't do it for me.  I tried listening to this one several times and finally just had to dnf at 62%.  I think this is the case of my either being the wrong reader or my having access to the wrong version of this book.

I urge readers to look at other reviews as I am only one reader.
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I loved the writing of this book even though it was more graphic than the average read. I also had the the Audiobook, Male authors usually aren't my favorite to listen too. BUT, He was amazing at reading the book. Fantastic book, Beautifully written and I hope to read more from this author. I will definitely round out my top favorite reads of 2021!
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This was my first time reading an audiobook on netgalley and the experience was quite okay. The voice of the narrator was not as clear since I'm an Indian and it was very thick with accent. However, I liked the story overall. It was good, interesting, and thoughtful.
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I did not finish this book at 40% I just couldn't get into it. Didn't love the narrator. The writing seemed good but was very hard to concentrate on what was being read / told.  Not every book is for everyone. Maybe this would have been better reading an actual copy vs the audiobook.
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โ€œ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต.โ€

๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ญ!

Descriptive, atmospheric, emotional, violent, thought-provoking and beautiful. Listening to this audio was a complete and rich experience. A coming-of-age story about survival, first love and friendship that you need to read.

Thank you NetGalley  James Wade, Writer and Blackstone Publishing for this ALC.

๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ: ๐˜”๐˜บ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ, ๐˜š๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ, ๐˜™๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ, ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ด, ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ.
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โ€œSo what are we then, Bonnie and Clyde?โ€ The boy frowned. โ€œBonnie and Clyde ended up dead,โ€ he said. โ€œYeah, well, everybody ends up dead.โ€

An innocent 13-year-old boy and a mysterious teenage girl hit the road to find a lost satchel carrying $25K of stolen meth. Criminals are after them, violence ensues, and many philosophical conversations are had. 

This is a story about hope and fear, choice and consequence, and God. Incredibly descriptive and with characters that get under your skin in all the best and worst ways, James Wade is now a one-click author for me. Check him out.

Audiobook narration by Roger Clark was excellent with a deep, strong drawl perfect for this rural Texas setting. 

*Thank you to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for complimentary access to the audiobook edition for review purposes. My first listening experience with NetGalley Shelf was a success!
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Thank you Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for the gifted book!

Two things about this book drew me in. This GORGEOUS cover and the fact that it's set in East Texas. As an East Texas girl, I could not resist. However, I should have paid more attention because this book is set in Deep East Texas not the Northeast Texas that I call home. Now, it will transport you to those forested river bottoms. It has a very strong sense of place. Also this book is described in one blurb as Southern noir, which is not my personal cup of tea. And describing this book and the structure is very hard to do, but here is the good and bad of it from my perspective. The good: the prose is gorgeous. Set apart from the rough content (which I will get to momentarily) this book is incredibly beautifully written. Some sentences I would hear and just repeat to myself because they were really that special. Now the bad: the content. This book is ROUGH. Yes, it revolves around the meth trade and poverty and abuse that affect the setting, but it does not pull any punches describing the tortures people can inflict on one another. I was not infrequently grimacing while listening. And the book is pretty slow and meandering to get from major plot point to major plot point. 

Overall I think the book is well written and my friends who love lyrical prose and a slower character driven novel will probably enjoy this one. But it just was not for me. 

Content Warning: Drug use, Abuse, Murder, Violence (this book has some very dark content, contact me if you want more information)
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๐Ÿ’ญ แดส แด›สœแดแดœษขสœแด›๊œฑ:
This was my second audiobook and it got better! I liked this one. The beginning was still a bit confusing for me to follow sometimes but the story was good and the narrator did really well. It's a story about Jonah, a 13 year old kid, and the drug-addict River trying to run from the bad and escaping to the ocean. It builds up the suspense slowly but definitely wanted to keep listening towards the end. There was a little bit too much violence and not really enough to the story for me. 

๐Ÿค“ ส€แด‡แด€แด… ษช๊œฐ สแดแดœ สŸษชแด‹แด‡:
Short Chapters
Ozark & Bloodline

๐˜‘๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฉ ๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ, ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜™๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜บ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ดโ€™ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด, ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜จ-๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜•๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜™๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ. ๐˜‘๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฉ ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Œ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜›๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ข๐˜ด.

๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜‘๐˜ฐ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฏ ๐˜Š๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ด, ๐˜ข ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜จ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜จ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ, ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜™๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜‹๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ข ๐˜Š๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ.
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I spent most of this book waiting for it to end.

I was very close to not finishing due to the constant exhausting overly earnest descriptions of the dang river, always imbued with unbearable philosophical weight. It felt very forced and I struggled to connect with what should have been some beautiful lyrical prose at the start of each chapter.

After sitting on this review for a few days I think my main problem was the heavy-handed nature of these passages. American Dirt is a great example of a recent read that did this well - beautiful sentences dotted throughout the action that would make my breath catch, light as air and open enough for the reader to imbue them with their own meaning. The same passages in River, Sing Out felt heavy and overwrought and I frequently skimmed them waiting for the plot to progress.

The story separate to the swathes of description beginning every chapter, was gripping and well crafted. The plot follows Jonah, a young boy navigating a life of abject poverty alongside a cruel and often absent Father. When he meets the mysterious River he joins her in her desperate escape from her own demons.

River, Sing Out was gritty, harrowing in places, and very touching. It found humanity in unlikely places and made my heart ache. The characters were complex and well rounded and I felt connected to them.

I just really wish the lengthy prose had been heavily edited.
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I loved this book. I absolutely loved it. From the beginning to the end, it was a phenomenal book. It was heartbreaking and ... just wow. It was so incredibly well-written. I loved every second of it. 

The narrator was excellent, as well. He was perfectly suited to this book; he portrayed every character - from the 13-year-old boy to the pregnant, half-grown girl to the meth-addicted drug dealer, etc. - perfectly. There wasn't a single part of this book that I didn't love. 

It started perfectly; it ended perfectly; and every section in between was just as good. I cried during this book, and I was angry. It also had one of the best lines in a book that I've ever read:

(Paraphrasing here: I am a consequence. When you drink too much, sometimes you feel unwell. If you don't pay your electricity bill, your lights will be cut off. Those are consequences. .... .... I am the unwell feeling. I am the darkness. I am a consequence.)

That line gave me the shivers. 

Seriously. This was just a PHENOMENAL book.
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Eloquent, remarkable book filled with vivid descriptions and an appropriate ending. Well done, and highly recommended.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

I had ARC for both the book and the audiobook. I listened to 85% and read the last 15%. I think the story is better as a book vs. audio.

Parts of the book were very poetic but overall the book didnโ€™t grab my attention.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  The characters are well developed and the author gives each one such a unique voice which made the story so enjoyable to listen to as an audiobook.  We meet 13 year old Jonah and are whisked away right along with him as he embarks on a life-or-death adventure to save a stranger, River, who is running from her past while each of them keep dangerous secrets. 

This Goodreads summary nails it perfectly when it states:
"With a colorful cast of supporting characters and an unflinching violence juxtaposed against lyrical prose, River, Sing Out dives deep into the sinister world of the East Texas river bottoms, where oppressive poverty is pitted against the need to believe in something greater than the self."

This book gives off vibes similar to This Tender Land and We Begin at the End.  It's a story of adventure, self discovery, poverty, addiction, and so much more.  

Thank you Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for this gifted audiobook in exchange for my honest review.
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DNF-ed at 40%

Didn't like the narrator, way too dramatic. The whole time I felt like someone was yelling at me. It was very distracting, I couldn't focus on the story at all.

40% into the book, I just gave up. I almost never DNF, but this was just too much. Why should I bother when all it does is annoy me?

However, my review applies only to the audio version of this book. For all I know, the story might be well worth the read. It did seem really well written.

Also, just wanted to stress out that me not liking the narrator is just my own personal opinion. I can totally see people listening this book and thinking his voice was just very expressive. It just wasn't for me.

But, the little I did listen - do check the trigger warnings before reading this book. It gets very violent and dark. Otherwise, I might have tried to just physically read the rest of the book.

Thank you to the #NetGalley and to the author and publisher for providing me with an audiobook version of River, Sing Out by James Wade in exchange for an honest review.
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