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Vanessa

Edmonton, AB, Canada | Member Since 2006

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 73 ratings
  • 483 titles in library
  • 36 purchased in 2014
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  • St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Karen Russell
    • Narrated By Ariel Sitrick, Zach McLarty, Patrick Mackie, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (43)

    In the collection's title story, a pack of girls raised by wolves are painstakingly reeducated by nuns. In "Haunting Olivia", two young boys make midnight trips to a boat graveyard in search of their dead sister, who set sail in the exoskeleton of a giant crab. In "Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers", a boy whose dreams foretell implacable tragedies is sent to a summer camp for troubled sleepers (Cabin 1, Narcoleptics; Cabin 2, Sleep Apneics; Cabin 3, Somnambulists . . . ).

    DB says: "Horrid performance"
    "Awkward..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Highly recommended, I want to listen as I had read a review of Swamplandia. The stories were interesting but they end so abruptly that I struggled to get closure with the story.

    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
    (2695)
    Performance
    (2426)
    Story
    (2413)

    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 !"
    "Books and Google, the unholy duo"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Imagine a bookstore clerk who only ever retrieves books from the "way back" list and a girl who is a Google prodigy. Add in a little mystery of books and a secret society and you get a glimpse into the strangest world imaginable...Mr. Penumbra's. old knowledge meets new knowledge in this funny, intriguing and down-right odd story. Narrator is great and worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rotters

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Daniel Kraus
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (28)

    Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of 19th-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a 16-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school. Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known....

    Beth M. Provencher says: "Meh"
    "Dig in, it's a bumpy ride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book was disturbing when our main character gets sent to
    Live with a dad he's never met.. And the conditions are terrible. But it gets worse...dad I'd a gravedigger , whose exploits are described in detail. But then it gets even worse, he decides to learn the trade. And shockingly...it gets worse. But I couldn't stop listening and it was well written. Who could I recommend it to? No young adult. But it does make YOU want to read it, doesn't it?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Vanity, Vengeance and a Weekend In Vegas: A Sophie Katz Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Kyra Davis
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (582)
    Performance
    (502)
    Story
    (500)

    Sophie Katz, bestselling mystery writer and amateur sleuth, has just discovered that Anatoly, her sexy Russian P.I boyfriend of six years is actually married to the daughter of a Russian mafia boss. Devastated by his betrayal, Sophie banishes him from their beautiful San Francisco Victorian home. Desperate to distract their friend and pull her out of her depression, Dena and Marcus spirit Sophie away to Vegas for a "fun filled weekend" at a Sex Toy Trade Show. But bigger trouble awaits in Vegas. Anatoly is there; his beautiful Russian wife is there; and so is a dead body stuffed into a closet

    G. House Sr. says: "Better and Better"
    "Not laugh out loud funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this because is was an ACX editors pick for "laugh out loud funny" I have ready Kyra Davis' books before and some are funny but this was was absolutely not funy. Sophie finds Anatoli is married and she runs from the Russian mob...in a not funny kind of way. Not sure if the editors just got mixed up. Although the books is a nice light snack, I never laughed out loud...not even once.

    0 of 2 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
    (226)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (207)

    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 til the end..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As with many Libba Bray books,the ending got away from her. That being said, the beginning is always good enough that I am willingly, knowingly, prepared for a confused finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6219)
    Performance
    (5385)
    Story
    (5379)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Not as good as I hoped"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was on a number of "must listen" booklists so I finally downloaded it. Although the story was good, I did not find it "great". It was a book I could have read at the beach on a holiday, I was able to pick it up and put it down without much effort. I "must read" for me is a book, like Gone Girl where I end up listening to it start to finish. Beautiful Ruins.. an OK story, worth one credit but not a must listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Kenneth Oppel
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (132)

    Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures... until the day their adventures turn all too real. They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only peaks Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not be satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library....

    Debra says: "Chilling and oddly poignant"
    "Bring on Frankenstein"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great story of the Frankenstein boys and how they became the men of the future. No surprise...there is a sequel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Explosive Eighteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1985)
    Performance
    (1737)
    Story
    (1724)

    Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127, Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. And a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.

    HappyMom says: "to quote Lula 'I really expected a better story'"
    "Pretty standard Janet Evanovich"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was a pretty standard Stephanie Plum novel, not the funniest, not the worst. Still love Lorelei King as narrator - she captures the madness that is Stephanie Plum. This is a book about the girls in the series so if you are looking for Ranger or Joe, they only make bit appearances.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Freak Observer

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Blythe Woolston
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (3)

    For eight years, Loa Sollilja's world ran like one of those mechanical models of the solar system, with her baby sister, Asta, as the sun. Asta suffered from a genetic disorder that left her a permanent infant, and caring for her was Loa's life. Everything spun neatly and regularly as the whole family orbited around Asta. But now Asta's dead, and 16-year-old Loa's clockwork galaxy has collapsed.

    Vanessa says: "Narrator killed it"
    "Narrator killed it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great example of a narrator taking a book and making it unlistenable. Although I did find the story a bit weak, it had a lot of smaller stories that never really went anywhere.
    The narrator took the dramatic pause and used it every sentence! It was completely distracting. I made it half-way then bailed and finished with a hard copy of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beauty Queens

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Libba Bray
    • Narrated By Libba Bray
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (268)

    The 50 contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner. What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

    Vanessa says: "No one left unscathed"
    "No one left unscathed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Libba takes a shot at everyone in this book. You can't take it seriously even though there are some serious messages hidden in the humour. This is NOT an 11-13 year old (which is the category it's in). Save it for your older teens. Near the end Bray starts to lose focus and like Going Bovine, needed an editor to say "reel it in" but overall the book was a keeper.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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