Skip to content
February 18, 2014 / Leslie

Rapid Reviews: Perfect by Rachel Joyce, Second Son by Lee Child

rapidreviewslogo1A Few February Rapid Reviews

In keeping with my goal for 2014, I am writing more short, concise, timely reviews with a quick overview and what I enjoyed or didn’t enjoy about the book.

Using a Rapid Review format I plan to stay caught-up. For audiobooks I’ll continue to mention my thoughts on the audio production.

Perfect by Rachel Joyce

Perfect by Rachel Joyce

Publisher: Random House Audio | January 2014
Format: Audio Download | 11½ hours | Rating: 4½ stars
Audio Listening Level: Intermediate

In 1972, two seconds were added to time. It was in order to balance clock time with the movement of the earth. Byron Hemming knew this because James Lowe had told him and James was the cleverest boy at school. But how could time change? The steady movement of hands around a clock was as certain as their golden futures.

Then Byron’s mother, late for the school run, makes a devastating mistake. Byron’s perfect world is shattered. Were those two extra seconds to blame? Can what follows ever be set right?

The story alternates between two individuals, each narrated in the first person: Byron in 1972 and Jim in the present day. At first they seem completely unrelated and not going anywhere, but I urge you to give this book a chance. About a quarter of the way in the reader begins to think they understand the connection and the story starts to flow. I thought I had everything all figured out, but several twists in the story made for engaging reading and an emotional ending. I never lost my connection with these two wonderfully developed, many layered characters.

After having thoroughly enjoyed Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, I was worried this would not live up to my expection. In the end, it exceeded them.

Audio production: The audio was capably narrated by Paul Rhys who’s British accent lent an air of authenticity to the novel’s setting on an English moor.


Second Son by Lee Child

Second Son by Lee Child

Publisher: Random House Audio | Dec 2013 (Orig pub 2011)
Format: Audio Download | 1½ hours | Rating: 4 stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy

Okinawa, 1974. Even at thirteen, Jack Reacher knows how to outwit and overpower anyone who stands in his way. And as the new kid in town, that’s pretty much everyone. His family has come to the Pacific with his father, who’s preparing for a top-secret Marine Corps operation. After receiving a rude welcome from the local military brats, Reacher and his older brother, Joe, intend to teach them a lesson they won’t forget. But it’s soon clear that there’s more at stake than pride. When his family’s future appears to come crumbling down, it’s the youngest Reacher who rises to the occasion with all the decisive cunning and bravura that will one day be his deadly trademark.

This very short story gives the reader a glimpse of Reacher as a teenager. While we learn a little about his background, his parents and his brother, we also find that Reacher is already a clever guy able to outwit anyone who tries to harm him or his family. It was an entertaining look at young Reacher and one that fans of the series will enjoy. I wish it were a little bit longer!

Audio production: Narrated by Dick Hill. The audio production was fine and the story easy to follow. This would be a great choice for those not yet comfortable with the audio format but wanting to give it a try.

Source: Review copies provided by Random House Audio.
© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.



Leave a Comment
  1. sagustocox / Feb 18 2014 1:16 pm

    Love this idea and that icon is too cute!


    • Leslie / Feb 18 2014 1:49 pm

      I found the little parrot on one of those free graphic sites and was just waiting for someplace to use him.


  2. A Fresh Tomorrow / Feb 18 2014 1:38 pm

    Thanks for the review on Perfect. I loved Harold Fry and can’t wait to read her latest.


    • Leslie / Feb 18 2014 1:48 pm

      It’s a little different but equally well-written.


  3. BermudaOnion / Feb 18 2014 3:58 pm

    I’ve got Perfect in print and look forward to it. I’ve tried one Jack Reacher book and didn’t really get the appeal – I guess I should give the series another try.


  4. Suko / Feb 18 2014 4:00 pm

    I love the idea and button for Rapid Reviews! Both of these sound quite good.


  5. irene / Feb 18 2014 6:47 pm

    I think I read Harold Fry on your recommendation and loved it, so I am going to try Perfect as well. Thanks, love the review style.


  6. stacybuckeye / Feb 24 2014 7:33 am

    Wow, Perfect looks excellent.


Comment are welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: