Title: The Weight of It All
Author: N.R. Walker
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Run Time: 7 hours and 44 minutes
At a Glance: In spite of a few niggles, The Weight of It All is one of the most motivational books I’ve ever read.
Reviewed By: Ky
Blurb: After being dumped by his long-term boyfriend for being overweight, Henry Beckett decides to make some drastic changes. In a vain attempt at getting his boyfriend back, Henry does the most absurdly frightening thing he can think of.
He joins a gym.
Reed Henske is a personal trainer who isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to date again. He’s sick of guys who are only interested in the perfect body image, never seeing him for who he really is.
As Reed tortures Henry with things like diet and exercise, Henry enamors Reed with recipes and laughter. As the friendship lines start to blur, Henry is convinced there’s no way Thor-like Reed could ever be interested in a guy like him.
Reed just has to convince Henry that life isn’t about reaching your ideal bodyweight. It’s about finding your perfect counterweight.
Review: The Weight of It All is one of the most motivational books I’ve ever read! If you want to start working out but you keep postponing it, pick up this story and by the middle of it, you will find yourself running along with the MCs.
There’s no preaching about how good exercising can be or what an amazing body it helps you develop, and that’s the best part. The positive effects it has on everyday life are simply part of the story, subtly there but not in a lecture kind of way. The MC who starts working out feels the difference, but it happens bit by bit. It’s in the little things that go unnoticed, until he does notice them, and then the world slows down and he has an epiphany. It’s in the realisation that after a month of regular training his clothes start to fit him better, and he breaths more easily when he climbs a flight of stairs. It’s in the healthy skin color and higher energy levels. This story makes you want to move and find out all those things for yourself.
Henry is recently, like really recently, single, overweight and slightly depressed about those two things. He decides to join a gym to lose some weight so he can get his boyfriend back, but that doesn’t last long—the desire to reconnect with his ex that is—because the gym really stuck with him! His personal trainer is Reed (you can guess about the body he has), who seems really friendly and spends a lot of time with Henry even away from the gym. Reed helps him build up his physical condition and is encouraging him every step of the way. He instructs Henry to start eating healthy meals, have a balanced diet and drop the cheesecakes he so loves.
Slowly, a friendship starts to develop as they spend more and more time together, and eventually feelings get into the mix too. Henry is realising that his relationship with his ex should have been over years ago, and that he likes Reed more than just as a PT. The physical differences between them aren’t a problem for Reed, but they are a confusion for Henry, who has low self-esteem and can’t imagine ever being attractive to someone with Reed’s body.
And here start the niggles I had with this book. While Reed is amazing, caring, supportive and a genuinely nice character, Henry frustrated me from time to time. It was funny how he had no brain-to-mouth filter and how he always managed to say the most awkward things when talking to people, but I had a problem with the way he saw Reed. I’ll give him that he liked Reed’s personality and enjoyed spending time with him, but the focus was on Reed’s body and looks so much that I think that, if the roles were reversed, Henry wouldn’t even notice Reed. Another thing is the number of times Henry jokingly complained that exercising would kill him. It was okay the first few times, but by the tenth time it had gotten old, and by the twentieth I was really over it.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Joel Leslie. He did a very good job, he was articulate and I could understand everything he said, but something about the way he altered his voice for the different characters bothered me. I know it’s difficult to change your voice and still keep talking for long periods of time, so I tried to not let it affect my opinion of the narration too much, but his voice for every female character sounded like it was an old person talking. Henry’s best friend couldn’t have been more than middle thirties, and she sounded like she was in her eighties. Also, I don’t know what it was, but there was a little exhale at the end whenever Reed was talking. I guess the narrator was trying to make his voice lower and the exhale was a product of his effort, but I didn’t like it. However, he managed to make the character voices distinctive and that’s always good when you listen to a story. His normal voice, which I assume he used for Henry, was very nice and I’m glad that the book had only one POV, so Henry’s voice is the one he used the most. This narrator may not be my favorite, but he did a great job and I’ll be sure to pick up more books by him in the future.
You can buy The Weight of It All here:
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