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Rachel

ratings
59
REVIEWS
20
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
11

  • You Must Go and Win: Essays

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Alina Simone
    • Narrated By Alina Simone
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (84)

    In the wickedly bittersweet and hilarious You Must Go and Win, the Ukrainian-born musician Alina Simone traces her bizarre journey through the indie rock world, from disastrous Craigslist auditions with sketchy producers to catching fleas in a Williamsburg sublet. But Simone offers more than down-and-out tales of her time as a struggling musician: she has a rapier wit, slashing and burning her way through the absurdities of life, while offering surprising and poignant insights.

    Kristiina says: "Wonderful life journey"
    "Would recommend to many of my friends"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hilarious! For anyone who has ever had dealings in foreign countries, with art students, with music snobs, and/or with hipsters, etc., this book gets it. It really just nails it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (4023)
    Performance
    (3288)
    Story
    (3312)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Glenda Jeffers says: "Riveting but brutal"
    "Really, really good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've never been able to listen to an entire novel by Gillian Flynn all the way through without taking a break in the middle for a week or two. In the case of this novel it was several breaks over the course of several months. The characters are so messed up that it's too painful to listen to the whole story without a reprieve. But I've never regretted downloading a Flynn novel and I have rarely found books so satisfying or surprising as hers are. Listen to the end. The process might be painful, but it is worth it!

    This book is like a fictional version of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood." Multiple murders on a rural Kansas farm that seem to have no comprehensible motive. At first, you might hate the main character who sets out to solve the murders, but she is a complex and fraught human being and in the end, you will want to cheer for her. Her flaws only make her more believable.

    Flynn's descriptions of rural middle America are spot on. The setting is just as thoroughly developed as the characters.

    Just a word of warning: there are clues early on in the story that are relevant to solving the overall mystery. Because I had to take some breathers in the middle of listening to this novel (I just couldn't handle listening to it all the way through) I forgot some of the clues Flynn had embedded early on in the narrative that would have helped me solve the mystery. If you are interested in figuring out the ending before the end, I'd suggest listening through the book in its entirety without breaks. Or at least, I'd suggest a good/attentive memory...



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Fallout: Zombie Fallout, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3003)
    Performance
    (2806)
    Story
    (2816)

    This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends: a band of ordinary people trying to get by in extraordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike, a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book one of the Zombie Fallout Trilogy follows our lead character at his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road, always skirting the edge of insanity.

    Mike Naka says: "bucket full of zombie juice"
    "really not for me at all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can see why people think this book is so funny, and it did make me laugh at times, but I was irritated more often than I was amused. The book is written from the perspective of a 43 year old father and so a lot of the story is told through the random leaps and associations his mind makes and through his internal dialogues. True to his character, all the jokes (which are essentially constant) were bathroom humor, vaguely homophobic, or about fat people. Sometimes it was funny. Mostly it was annoying.

    Equally annoying was the fact that all the female characters in the book were irrational/hysterical caricatures and pretty much useless. The teenage characters also felt more like stereotypes than real people.

    Also, this is a nit-picky detail, but how can the main character only be 43 years old??? Say that the oldest daughter is 20 years old (we never actually get her age i don't think, but her little brother is 19, so at the very least she has to be 20), that means the main character had to be 22 when he got together with his wife. But before he even met his wife he'd been to college, had a 5 year relationship with some other girl, moved to Colorado with her, had a messy break-up, moved back to the east coast, then joined the Marines, and then met his wife. How could he do all that before he was 22? I think I'm predisposed to be a little judgmental of this book, but that was something that really stuck out as kind of sloppy about the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Short Stay in Hell

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Steven L. Peck
    • Narrated By Sergei Burbank
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (154)

    An ordinary family man, geologist, and Mormon, Soren Johansson has always believed he'll be reunited with his loved ones after death in an eternal hereafter. Then, he dies. Soren wakes to find himself cast by a God he has never heard of into a Hell whose dimensions he can barely grasp: a vast library he can only escape from by finding the book that contains the story of his life. In this haunting existential novella, author, philosopher, and ecologist Steven L. Peck explores a subversive vision of eternity.

    Janice says: "I'll be thinking about this one for a while."
    "Great story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It doesn't take long to listen to the story (less than 3 hours) but the author packs a lot into it.

    The premise is essentially: a nice guy, irregardless of how he lived on earth, ends up in hell, which actually does not seem so bad at the beginning. The demon in the first scene is more like an affable business manager than genuinely scary; people get idealized bodies once they're admitted to hell; and they can order whatever food they want from the food kiosks. Even though the task set to each person is tedious (find a single book in a mind-shatteringly huge library) there are optimistic/encouraging rules that give everybody in hell hope that they will eventually get out. Over time, the story slowly dismantles, piece by piece, this initial impression by undermining anything that might lead the main character to believe that hell is actually not that bad, while at the same time progressively building up, piece by piece, his growing realization of how horrific and tragic his circumstances actually are. It's a really impressive about-face. A great story, funny and tragic and hopeful and horrific all at once.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10970)
    Performance
    (9954)
    Story
    (9975)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "not very demanding, but still enjoyed it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fun, pretty straightforward urban/sci-fi/fantasy (I'm not sure how to classify it exactly) story. It's kind of steam-punky (there's a back story with Nikola Tesla in it) but set in modern LA. It was easy to listen to and kept me distracted for a few days at the gym. I didn't stay up late to finish it or feel any pressing urge to know what was going to happen next, but sometimes that's the kind of book I like to read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharp Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3211)
    Performance
    (2512)
    Story
    (2530)

    Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

    Kelley says: "I agree with Stephen King"
    "Uniquely engrossing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this book because I'd read Gone Girl and really enjoyed it. I was not disappointed at all. Flynn has this incredible talent for writing short, incisive character sketches that can be both cynical and fascinating, but still somehow feel really true to life. Her characters are unique and nothing about the plot is obvious, especially the ending. I wish all mysteries were this good!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16983)
    Performance
    (15109)
    Story
    (15152)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Crazy good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book did an amazing job telling the same story from the perspectives of two very different, very messed up characters. So good!

    I can't remember ever reading a book before (admittedly, I haven't read a lot of mysteries) where the characters lie so blatantly to the reader. This made the story über-suspenseful. It was almost too suspenseful at points - I had to take a break for a while about 1/3 of the way through because I couldn't take the self-destructive tendencies of the main character anymore. It was painful watching him slowly hang himself (metaphorically speaking) with all his unnecessary lies, which were intended to cast him in a good light, but ended up backfiring on him.

    The ending comes out of nowhere. It's like the author asked herself what the least likely scenario was, picked the craziest one, and went with it. Brilliant!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Etiquette & Espionage: Finishing School, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    Overall
    (1184)
    Performance
    (1089)
    Story
    (1096)

    Fourteen-year old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea - and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy - Mrs. Temminnick is desperate her daughter become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

    But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right - but it's a different kind of finishing.

    Lynne Phelps says: "Fans of the Parasol Protectorate, Rejoice!"
    "Absurd in the best possible way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Etiquette and Espionage was a very quick, easy little book. Much like Carriger's other books, it's absurd in the best possible way (paranormal mystery/comedy/alternative history?). :-) The story is funny, very light, and kept me entertained for a few days at the gym. It doesn't demand much from the reader, but sometimes that's exactly what you need. I liked it, obviously, even though it won't become an all-time favorite.

    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
    (650)
    Performance
    (581)
    Story
    (587)

    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"
    "fun, easy read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a quick mystery/adventure, fun, and it made me laugh at loud at points. Definitely enjoyed it.

    That being said, I am a bit worried. Mead just keeps adding more and more conflicts and more and more characters without following through on some of the earlier conflicts and characters she introduced but never resolved in the first two books in this series. This is shaping up to be a big mess. It really felt like a digression away from the main problem in the series that Mead set up in the first book. Characters that had been central in the other books, only appear briefly in this one, and I'm worried that this series is just flying out in too many directions at once to be manageable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heir of Novron: Riyria Revelations, Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3678)
    Performance
    (3377)
    Story
    (3398)

    On the holiday of Wintertide, the New Empire plans to burn the Witch of Melengar and force the Empress into a marriage of their own design. But they didn’t account for Royce and Hadrian finally locating the Heir of Novron—or the pair’s desire to wreak havoc on the New Empire’s carefully crafted scheme.

    Ron says: "Spectacular fantasy series"
    "I knew it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this 32 hour-long book less than a week ago and finished it yesterday, which might say more about my feelings towards this series than anything else. My day job might have suffered for it, but I couldn't stop listening.

    The conclusion to the "big mystery" in the series wasn't a surprise, but by the time I started listening to the final book I had become so attached to the characters that it didn't really matter that the surprise was ruined. It was simply a pleasure to listen to well-written dialogue and to have a whole group of characters with well-developed, distinctive personalities interact in unexpected ways.

    I know I said this in my review of the second book, but it was refreshing to have a love story told in a way that wasn't always in your face or about sex or defined by immature angst-ridden decisions. The two characters complement each other in a very real, very sweet way. Though the love story is understated, it put a silly grin on my face.

    That being said, the book could have been shorter. I did feel myself getting impatient, thinking the author should just get on with it. I think the first novel in the series might have been edited more rigorously, which is why I enjoyed it the most, while the next two were each longer, even though they didn't need to be.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rise of Empire: Riyria Revelations, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3931)
    Performance
    (3587)
    Story
    (3609)

    Best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan’s mesmerizing Riyria Revelations series has found a welcome home with fans of magic, clashing swords, and daring heroes. This second volume finds Royce and Hadrian on a quest to enlist the southern Nationalists to aid the ever-weakening kingdom of Melengar. Royce suspects an ancient wizard is manipulating them all, but to find the truth he’ll have to decipher Hadrian’s past—a past Hadrian wants to keep secret.

    Ron says: "The second book delivers"
    "Gave up sleep to listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this the same day I finished the first book in the Riyria series and am still quite happy with the story. I've known the answer to the "big mystery" since about a quarter of the way through the first book (at least I think I do - still have to finish the series, obviously) but I still feel an incredible sense of suspense listening to these books. It's a fine balance for an author to strike between revealing enough hints about where the story is going, but still keeping his readers guessing what will happen moment to moment. It's so much fun to read something where the big story arc is clear, but all the little details are so unexpected.

    Also, this has to have one of the most understated but sweetest love stories I've read in a long time. It's perfect.

    I didn't give it 5 stars because the ending was not satisfying. It annoyed me a little that the book was so long and still nothing was resolved. But I suppose that's why there is a third book... which I've already started listening to.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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