Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Review: All the Difference by Kaira Rouda (audio)

Title: All the Difference   
Author: Kaira Rouda   
Narrator: Leslie Ellis  
Published: March 2012, Real You Publishing Group  
Length: 8 hours, 43 minutes  
Source: Personal copy via Audible  

From the acclaimed author of HERE, HOME, HOPE comes a novel of suspense and choices, with a nod to the best of Susan Isaacs's tales of suburban murder.

Once again, everything isn't what it seems in the wonderful suburb of Grandville. ALL THE DIFFERENCE is the story of three women whose lives become entangled by the choices they make and how, ultimately, one of them turns to murder to achieve her goals.

Roommates Laura and Angie couldn't be more different. Laura is a local celebrity, the television anchor who is motivated to move out of small-time media markets and on to the big time, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, Angie, a luckless waitress, spends her time waiting for Mr. Right to save her from temporary jobs and a life spent making bad choices.

On the other side of town, Ellen abandons her life as a successful fundraiser for that of an isolated housewife in the country estate she shares with her husband, whose affairs become increasingly hard to ignore. When the city’s gossip columnist, Maddie, and restaurant reviewer, Dixon, become involved in the mystery, the unlikely duo stir up more than they intended. But will anyone be able to stop the next murder?

With her signature compassion and wit, Kaira Rouda once again takes readers on an entertaining journey into the heart of women’s lives in suburbia - this time with adultry and murder in the mix.

My thoughts: This is the second book I've read/listened to by Kaira Rouda. I read her debut fiction novel, Here, Home, Hope a few years back and was excited when I came across this one when looking for a new audio book. Not knowing what to expect, I will say I didn't love it as much as her other book, but I did like it.

I had a hard time getting into this book. Part of the problem was that I didn't identity with the characters as easily as I usually do when reading/listening to a book. For some reason, I just didn't like these characters - they all bothered me. But, I stuck with it because I had to know how it all played out - I admit I got hooked on the premise and was curious enough to see how it would all come together at the end. And it did get better and I did end up liking some of the characters a little bit more as the book progressed. 

I will say, though, that I did do a fair bit of laughing - Kaira Rouda definitely does write with a sense of wit that is catchy and captivating. Even though this was not my favorite book, I am looking forward to reading more of Kaira's works. I like her writing style - she's an engaging writer and as is evident from the two books I've now read by her, she doesn't rely on the same old formula for her books. I'm very curious to see what direction her upcoming book, In the Mirror, takes.

Have you run into this problem, where you don't necessarily like the story but like the writing?

Audio Thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Leslie Ellis narrate a book and I found her to be an enjoyable narrator. She was able to give the characters their own unique voices and infuse just the right amount of emotion and tension when needed. I'll be curious to see what else she's narrated.

*** Devourer of Books hosts Sound Bytes  - a monthly link-up to share the audio books that everyone is listening to. Stop by and you just might find your next audio book!



  1. Hi Kristin!
    Thank you for reading/listening to ALL THE DIFFERENCE! I'm so happy you enjoy my writing…if not all the naughty characters of the story. I would love to have you read IN THE MIRROR. I believe you'll find the writing to be much same (of course!) but Jennifer, the protagonist, will be a woman you'll admire. At least, I hope so!
    Thank you again for your kind words!
    Have a wonderful day!

    1. Hi Kaira: I just signed up to be part of a tour for your new book and am looking forward to reading it!

  2. Great review Kristin. I like how you are positive yet own what you didn't like. Sometimes I really like the writing of a book too, yet not the plot, quite frankly, I prefer it this way to the other way around, where the writing is just "not so good". Hate those!

  3. It happens Kristin I recently did a DNF for an author I totally adore..I did not like or get the characters. I am glad you enjoyed aspects and were able to finish.


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