‘Long Story Short’ by Serena Kaylor – Audiobook Review

A home schooled genius girl who has to go to theatre summer camp to prove she can socialize and interact with people her own age? I was hooked right away and had a ton of fun with this story!

Title: Long Story Short
Author: Serena Kaylor
Series: Standalone
Genres: Romance, Contemporary

Goodreads Summary

Incase you haven’t noticed my blog posts lately, I’ve been seeing quite a few Broadway shows this year (that’s an understatement LOL). It took me a while to get around to reading Long Story Short but I’m so glad it did as it gave me all the best kinds of feels!

Beatrice is a sixteen year old genius who has been home schooled her entire life and currently taking online college level courses. She has neurodiverse tendencies but nothing past that is stated on page, as the author has said she didn’t want to “label” Beatrice. (Side note, Serena Kaylor has tweeted she is autistic and that nobody’s experience is the same. She also mentioned that a lot of Beatrice’s tendencies and habits were mined from her own.)

She applied to Oxford University and when she gets accepted, she realizes she actually has to tell her parents….but they don’t think she’s ready to move to another country and live on her own. To prove she is able to be a normal girl, Beatrice agrees to go to a Shakespearean summer camp across the country and enroll in the acting course.

Bea thinks she can study and know what to expect from other teenagers, but nothing can prepare her for teenagers who are also theatre kids! They are unpredictable. Beatrice is awkward and out of place but trying to fit in, and I love her roommate Mia who immediately takes a liking to Bea and helps her navigate the summer. The play they’re putting on that summer is the classic Romeo & Juliet and Bea wants no part on stage, but her parents said that was a requirement for her, but genius that she is, she still navigates around being on stage.

The characters felt pretty predictable, yet I found myself enjoying that. This was a comforting read. This is your typical coming of age story but with a girl who is even more out of place than normal due to years of home schooling and little social interactions. She has a strict schedule of what to eat and what she wears daily, and camp throws everything upside down. I applaud her for trying new things, often with the encouragement of her new friends. Along the way Bea even finds a guy who challenges her and she might end up having a crush on, which is cute to see. Despite being socially awkward, Bea learns to navigate her way through camp and is often times witty at doing it – but also gets hurt too. This felt real!

You don’t need to know a ton of Shakespeare to enjoy this story. Since their main play they’re working on is Romeo & Juliet, which most people know the basics of, its easy enough to follow along. Other Shakespeare works are mentioned but you don’t need to know much about them to still enjoy this story. But if you do, its an extra bonus!

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I thought the narrator was pretty good! I enjoyed listening to this one. I thought the narrator did a bit of a thick southern accent for Mia, who is from Georgia, but it didn’t bother me enough to take me out of the story. Fun and a quick listen!

My Rating:

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I usually like to try and read books during the season they’re set in, but I had no problem imagining summer camp even reading this in November in the northeast! This was such a fun and sweet read. It took me by surprise how much I enjoyed this! If you’re a threatre fan, I would highly recommend this. And even if you’re not, if you like coming of age stories about especially awkward girls trying to navigate the world, give this one a whirl!

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