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Jessica

Reader, writer, teacher, consultant. I read mostly Young Adult and Genre Fiction, especially with a mix of literary style and commercial pacing.

Houston, TX, United States

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • Beautiful Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins, Khristine Hvam
    Overall
    (1003)
    Performance
    (911)
    Story
    (934)

    Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

    Coftse says: "Christine"
    "Least favorite of the series but satisfying end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Beautiful Redemption rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This series is one of my favorite audiobook series- listening really brings the world to life. However, I felt a bit let down after the tension of Beautiful Chaos because the beginning of BR moved slowly and was very reflective. BR is divided into three parts- they definitely picked up as they went along. I always enjoy the writing in this series, but BR didn't quite have the pacing the others had.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Beautiful Redemption?

    In the kitchen when Ethan tries to get Amma's attention and the crossword puzzle at the table with Lena and Macon.


    Have you listened to any of Kevin T. Collins and Khristine Hvam ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I felt the others in the series were better, but I love Kevin T. Collins as the narrator. His narrating wasn't as powerful to me in this one though. I think it's because it was so much more focused on Ethan as opposed to the characters around him. Adding Khristine Hvam really gave Lena a solid voice. I love Khristine's work in YA audiobooks. She really does a fantastic job at connecting with the characters, and Lena was no exception.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Out of the darkness and into the light


    Any additional comments?

    Even though it isn't my favorite of the series, I felt it was a good send-off. I'm going to miss Gatlin and these characters so much. Luckily the movie is coming soon!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Diviners

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Libba Bray
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (184)

    Something dark and evil has awakened.... Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City - and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It's 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries her uncle will discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far.

    Amazon Customer says: "A delightful surprise."
    "Great read for young adults or adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Diviners rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to. The narration is so well-executed, the writing is superb, and the production is fantastic.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Diviners?

    Walking under the train tracks, UGH.


    Which character – as performed by January LaVoy – was your favorite?

    I loved Theta.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely. I was lost in the roaring twenties and the eerie supernatural world on the streets of Manhattan. I'd get chills listening to it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3006)
    Performance
    (2211)
    Story
    (2234)

    Victorian romance mixes seamlessly with elegant prose and biting wit—and werewolves—in Gail Carriger’s delightful debut novel. Soulless introduces Alexia Tarabotti, a parasol-wielding Londoner getting dangerously close to spinster status. But there are more important things than finding a husband. For Alexia was born without a soul, giving her the ability to render any vampire or werewolf completely powerless.

    Pamela I Greene says: "Amelia Peabody has competition"
    "So witty and so much fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Soulless the most enjoyable?

    The narrator captured the comedic timing of the text so perfectly. The delivery of the lines and the distinctive voices had me lost in the world. I wanted to sit in my car and just listen.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I can't choose between Lord Maccon and Alexia. They are both individually fantastic characters, and together their banter is incredibly fun and engaging. Both are so straightforward and used to doing what they want and not needing anything or anyone. Watching their attraction develop despite their best efforts is so much fun.


    Have you listened to any of Emily Gray’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first listen, but I'll be seeking her out!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud constantly. The writing is so clever and funny, and Emily Gray really delivers the lines well.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Save a Life

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Sara Zarr
    • Narrated By Ariadne Meyers, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    Jill MacSweeny just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends - everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she's somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.

    Jessica says: "Fantastic offering from an incredible voice"
    "Fantastic offering from an incredible voice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about How to Save a Life?

    The emotional pacing and turning points. Sara Zarr is so good at capturing the emotional tension and push/pull in characters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dylan- his genuineness and how he cared for Jill


    What does Ariadne Meyers and Cassandra Morris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They capture Mandy and Jill and really bring these two different, damaged girls to live. I could feel the pain in their voices as well as the hope.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I can't even pick one- the entire book moved me in a way I never expected. I had no desire to read a book that dealt with teen pregnancy, but I love Sara's writing and I'd heard such great things about the book. It's SO much more than teen pregnancy. The book isn't about that really. The book is about emotional damage and healing and what it means to be family and how it's okay to grieve and hurt and how to heal. It's beautiful and brilliant.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ship Breaker

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Joshua Swanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (804)
    Performance
    (588)
    Story
    (593)

    In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota - and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life.

    Rusty says: "Very good"
    "Unique and well-written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ship Breaker to be better than the print version?

    The audio version was a little confusing sometimes. I wasn't sure what the people were saying. It took a while to get into the story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ship Breaker?

    Deciding whether to kill the girl or not.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It definitely would have helped to listen all in one sitting because if I spent a couple days away, it took me a bit to get back into the rhythm of the language and the slang. It was definitely interesting enough to listen to in one sitting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2333)
    Performance
    (2101)
    Story
    (2091)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "Can EVERY book be this book?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended it to many people already. It is charming and funny and so clever. I love all the little pop culture references and the pacing of the book. It's engaging and never boring and is so different and unique that you can't help but love it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    That's really difficult... of course I love Clay and Penumbra and Kat, but I have to say that I really loved Neel too. He's my favorite... probably.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene in the reading room when Clay is all alone.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The amphitheater scene at Google. Heart. Broken.


    Any additional comments?

    Give this book a chance even if it sounds like it's not your thing. It's so smart and fun and different, it will charm you and win you over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moon Called: Mercy Thompson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Patricia Briggs
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4020)
    Performance
    (2581)
    Story
    (2587)

    Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

    Susan says: "I love this series.."
    "Hooked on another series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Moon Called again? Why?

    Would definitely listen again. The world the author sets up is intriguing and I'm looking forward to reading more in the series, so I'll definitely go back to listen at least once more to get a handle on all the characters that will play in over the course of the series.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Moon Called?

    When Mercy went back "home".


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The two werewolves in Mercy's living room.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were a lot of laugh out loud moments. I really like Mercy's voice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fiery Heart: Bloodlines, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Richelle Mead
    • Narrated By Emily Shaffer, Alden Ford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (494)
    Performance
    (452)
    Story
    (451)

    Sydney Sage is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. In the Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her...But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once.

    Amanda says: "Why mess with a good thing?"
    "Richelle Mead does it again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Fiery Heart again? Why?

    Definitely. Richelle Mead is a fantastic storyteller. I get so caught up with these characters, and she really brings the tension.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Seeing the romance between Sydney and Adrian finally coming together!!


    What does Emily Shaffer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She's a fantastic narrator and really embodies Sydney's voice, especially. It was a bit disconcerting after hearing her version of Adrian for so long for her to change it to match the male narrator, but I got used to it fairly quickly.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Adrian's last chapter at the end of the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bloodlines

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Richelle Mead
    • Narrated By Emily Shaffer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (850)
    Performance
    (751)
    Story
    (745)

    When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning. Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times best-selling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting....

    Felicity Fairchild says: "VA fans will be thrilled!"
    "Great spinoff series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Bloodlines in three words, what would they be?

    alchemy, vampires, and trouble


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like how Sydney is forced to live with the Moroi and Dhampirs and leave her comfort zone. Seeing these "monsters" as friends challenges everything she knows. I loved the tension she faced between her Alchemist beliefs and duties and her projects for Mrs. Terwilliger as well.


    Which character – as performed by Emily Shaffer – was your favorite?

    Adrian. Always Adrian.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There is a lot of humor and some very tense moments. Mostly it's just a fun ride.


    Any additional comments?

    The Bloodlines series is quite different from The Vampire Academy series, but if you enjoyed VA, you'll enjoy getting to know some familiar characters better. As much as I love Rose, Dimitri, and Lissa, I enjoy the group dynamic of the Bloodlines series. This quasi-family of Moroi, Dhampir, and Alchemist (with some humans along for the ride) is really entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Indigo Spell: A Bloodlines Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Richelle Mead
    • Narrated By Emily Shaffer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (586)
    Performance
    (529)
    Story
    (535)

    Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch - a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run.

    Brooke says: "Adrian ADRIAN A D R I A N"
    "Another great installment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This is such a fun series, and things really get interesting for Sydney in this book. She's really deepened as a character. And don't get me started on Adrian because I could read about him all day. I loved the chance to learn more about Mrs. Terwilliger and to have an introduction to Marcus.


    Which character – as performed by Emily Shaffer – was your favorite?

    Adrian. I love how Emily Shaffer does all the characters in both the Bloodlines and Vampire Academy series, but Adrian has always been and will always be my favorite. Emily's performance gives his voice life, and she captures his snarky charm perfectly.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The scene in the garden toward the end. Can't say more without spoiling it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Days of Blood & Starlight

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Laini Taylor
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    Overall
    (956)
    Performance
    (872)
    Story
    (880)

    In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

    Katheryne says: "No Sophomore Slump here...Just wow!"
    "As good or better than the first book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Days of Blood & Starlight again? Why?

    I will definitely listen to it again! The story is so compelling, and the writing is gorgeous. Laini Taylor has become one of my favorite authors. This book is a little harder to read because the focus has shifted to the points of view of many characters and in multiple locations, but it's handled really well. I also feel like Laini did a fantastic job of showing just enough brutality to be realistic in a war-torn setting without being gratuitous or over the top. Her world-building is fantastic- I really felt a sense of every location and could close my eyes and picture each scene, especially in the "sandcastle".


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Days of Blood & Starlight?

    It would be a MAJOR spoiler to say, so I'll just say the whole interaction with Karou, Akiva, and Thiago.


    What does Khristine Hvam bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I haven't listened to the first book yet (read the hardcover) but for DoBaS I started with the audio and I'm so glad I did. Khristine really brought out the nuances and subtext for me, as well as the humor of Zuzana and Mick.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Again, don't want to spoil, but the scene where Ziri has to make a decision that Karou doesn't want him to make. My heart felt ripped in two at that point.


    Any additional comments?

    Read Daughter of Smoke and Bone and you'll fall in love with Akiva and Karou. Read Days of Blood and Starlight, and you'll fall in love with everyone who matters to them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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