Withering Hope by Layla Hagen is one of my favorite books I have ever read. This book is absolutely as gorgeous as it's cover, and it is one of those books that will stay with more forever. I really can't accurately put into words what it is about this book that touched me as much as it did, but Tristan and Aimee are the kind of characters that grab a hold of you and never let go. So when I found out that this book was being made into an audiobook as well, I knew that I had to listen to it. This book was such an experience while reading, that I couldn't wait to hear how the narrators would bring it even more to life with their voices. I absolutely was not disappointed.
Aimee is on her way to Brazil where she will be married to the man she has known and been best friends with since childhood. She has planned for everything, except for her fiance's private plane to crash in the Amazon rainforest on the way there stranding her with only the pilot Tristan. As Aimee and Tristan begin to find ways to survive in their new surroundings, thy both begin to realize that the longer time goes on with no rescue that they will need more than just hope. They begin to formulate a plan to make their way to civilization once some of the water clears that is trapping them, but as more obstacles and danger occur, the harder it gets for them. Not only must they face the dangers in front of them, but they must also confront their pasts and their growing feelings for one another. Despite the guilt they feel over their feelings, the soon realize that they are unable to hide anything from one another including the love they share. But can they survive the rainforest long enough to have a chance at something together?
While I was excited to hear this story, I have to admit I was a little worried about how they would translate into an audiobook. Narrators can really make or break a story, and with these being some of my favorites I was terrified that they might not be done right. I will admit my curiosity is part of what got me to jump on the chance for this audiobook though with Christy Romano being one of the narrators! I have loved her since I first watched her as Ren Stevens, so I knew she had a great voice and wanted to see how she would take on the role of Aimee. She brought her to life so well, and I felt so much emotion here with her performance. She was the perfect choice for this book, and I really felt like I grew to know Aimee's character even better than I ever had before. I thought that Michael David Axtell did the same with Tristan. His voice was smooth and easy to understand, and he brought so much depth to Tristan. I didn't think that I could love this story more than I already did, but this audiobook proved me wrong.
Overall, I highly recommend this story in any of it's forms. It isn't often that I love the audiobook as much as reading the actual story myself. The narration really does change the way a story feels, and I have a tough time with those audiobooks that the narration just doesn't click for me. But I really feel as though with Withering Hope that it was exactly as it should have been done. The narration brought these characters and story to life in an entirely new way, and I felt even more invested in this beautiful book than I ever had before. Christy Romano, Michael David Axtell, and Coleen Marlo made this book more than just a story, and I would love to listen to more books from each of them. If you haven't read or listened to this amazing book yet, it is definitely one worth giving a shot. It is truly unlike any story I have ever read before, and I think that this is one of those books that will stick with anyone who reads it.
**Audiobook Provided by IndieSage PR**