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FanB14

Short, Simple, No Spoilers

ratings
132
REVIEWS
122
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
252
HELPFUL VOTES
4009

  • The Story of Beautiful Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Rachel Simon
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (202)

    It is 1968. Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Homan, an African American deaf man, are locked away in an institution: the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, and have been left to languish, forgotten. Deeply in love, they escape, and find refuge in the farmhouse of Martha, a retired schoolteacher and widow. But the couple is not alone - Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. When the authorities catch up to them that same night, Homan escapes into the darkness, and Lynnie is caught.

    FanB14 says: "Beautiful Attempt"
    "Beautiful Attempt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, it was worth the listen. Not one of the best, but a solid "B" effort.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Rachel Simon? Why or why not?

    Yes, I think she is a credible author. The subject matter and overall premise was interesting, just had gaps and hokey at times. The ending was tied up too neatly and seemed a little far-fetched.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Reading?

    I did not care from the narrator. I would have cast someone with a younger sounding voice without the northern accent.


    Do you think The Story of Beautiful Girl needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, couldn't support it.


    27 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Marissa Meyer
    • Narrated By Rebecca Soler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1950)
    Performance
    (1757)
    Story
    (1764)

    Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle.

    Staaj says: "Surpised by how much I enjoyed it"
    "Better than Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good book for teens. How could yet another retelling of Cinderella with robots be any good? Read this to keep up with my daughter and after much eye rolling and huffing (on my part) finally pressed play. Was surprised how quickly the time flew and after two sittings, was a little sad it was over. The storyline is actually different: set in future; prejudices about cyborgs, androids, and planet Lunar people; threat of WWV; and leutosis plague wiping out citizens. Cinder is tough, clever, and self-preserving while Prince Kai is noble, anxious, and unsure. Both step-sisters are not evil and explanation for how Cinder ended up with Adri, her stepmother, is quite different.

    Not on the same level as "Perks of Being a Wallflower" or "The Fault in Our Stars", but easy, entertaining read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Color Purple

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Alice Walker
    • Narrated By Alice Walker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1162)
    Performance
    (755)
    Story
    (753)

    Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 - when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate - and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister", a brutal man who terrorizes her.

    Amazon Customer says: "Absolutely Wonderful"
    "Alice Walker Narrates her Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back," Alice Walker. One of my favorite quotes of all time.

    If you haven't read this book or watched the movie, you must do so. Even if you've done both, you need to listen to it again with Alice Walker narrating. She's an emotive, intelligent, confident and as talented an orator as a writer.

    The tragic struggle of Miss Celie to survive, find love and inner strength is relatable to both genders and all races.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alyson Richman
    • Narrated By George Guidall, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1432)
    Performance
    (1275)
    Story
    (1280)

    In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of memory.

    Sara says: "Love, Strength & Survival"
    "Not Stellar, but Solid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Joseph and Lanka fall in love during Nazi occupation in WWII. Told from alternating points of view, the two take divergent paths and most of the book is spent on their quest to find each other, meaning, and simply survival be it from atrocities or boredom. The characters are fairly well developed as are the backstories. Entertaining, enjoyable, just not engrossing. There are so many other titles during this time period to be placed at the top of your lists, but this one is solidly in the middle. Great purchase if on sale.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Climbing the Stairs

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Padma Venkatraman
    • Narrated By Sumeet Bharati
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    During World War II and the last days of British occupation in India,15 year-old Vidya dreams of attending college. But when her forward-thinking father is beaten senseless by the British police, she is forced to live with her grandfather's large traditional family, where the women live apart from the men and are meant to be married off as soon as possible. Vidya's only refuge becomes her grandfather's upstairs library, which is forbidden to women.

    FanB14 says: "Interesting Take on WWII Defiance"
    "Interesting Take on WWII Defiance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are myriad takes on survivors of WWII and this one is slightly different as it focuses on a family in India. The heroic father stands against British oppression balanced with the horror of Hitler. This is how the story begins, yet it's the tale of his daughter who must go to live with unsympathetic, verbally cruel relatives. Her only solace is the library upstairs and the kindness of a friend. As she discovers a new world, her independence and confidence crescendo. Nice story, probably more of a YA book, but very easy to listen to as told through thoughtful, straight forward prose.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Edward's Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 27 mins)
    • By Patricia MacLachlan
    • Narrated By Milo Ventimiglia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Jake is part of a very special family: a rowdy bunch of siblings and an incredible mom and dad. They have a life filled with art, music, long summer nights on the Cape, and lots and lots of baseball. But no one is more special in Jake's mind than his younger brother, Edward. From the moment he was born it seemed Edward was destined for greatness - until the unimaginable happened and Edward died.

    FanB14 says: "Sweet Story; Read, don't Listen"
    "Sweet Story; Read, don't Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Endearing story of two brothers, one is special, almost luminescent with the eldest constantly in awe. Edward's goodness is passed to his sister Sabine and all of his gifts live on. Very short listen, so would recommend reading this one. Sweet read for young boys (maybe 7-12yrs) and of course girls would enjoy, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sold

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Patricia McCormick
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    Overall
    (499)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (433)

    Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

    AudioAddict says: "My name is Lakshmi. I am from Nepal. I am 13."
    "PG Version of Young Girl Slave Trade"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Selling young girls into servitude is a horrific and true nightmare. If there is such a thing, "Sold" is a PG-13 version you can listen to without too many graphic details, although of course the subject is disturbing. The fictional heroine embarks on what she believes to be a new job as a house maid. You can guess what happens next as the shock takes over and she's stepped into a fresh hell.

    Simply and plainly told, this story is a solid YA listen and if you're read any of Patricia McCormick's other books, you won't be disappointed with her easy style.

    Bought this on sale for $3.95 and well worth the price, but wouldn't want to pay full price of credit.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Everlost

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (113)

    Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to go, either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.

    Word Nerd says: "Interesting concept"
    "Good Choice for 9-12 Year Olds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good book for tweeners with interesting take on the afterlife. Ally and Nick must come to terms with their deaths as they traverse the unusual landscape, navigating strange people and learning the rules through trial and error.

    This is the first of a trilogy (isn't everything) and as an adult, I'm not interested in moving on, although I enjoyed this one. May be a better choice to read as the narrators were a tad irritating. I only picked this one because my daughter has to read it for school. Overall, a nice choice for kids.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fever

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Megan Abbott
    • Narrated By Caitlin Davies, Kirby Heyborne, Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (59)

    The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

    FanB14 says: "Potential Unmet"
    "Potential Unmet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Fever better?

    Subjective narrator following each possible cause for the outbreak taking you inside the minds of the girls. Needed more connection and details as opposed to repetition.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Fascinating idea, loosely based on actual events, girls become sick from unknown ailment. Author minimally explored possible causes: was it teenage hysteria, waterborne virus, STD? Repetition runs rampant and frustration increases knowing this book could be much better. The narrator is detached, floating above storylines, causing a feeling of disconnection to characters motives and emotions. Near the end when we're allowed into more interactions and explanations, it's too late.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The female narrator was pleasant, while Kirby Heyborne was an awful choice and Joe Barratt's fatherly voice was unbearable. With the semi-erotic undertones of the girls, the dad's voice seemed perverse and gave me the heebie jeebies.

    Audible...why is it so difficult to find and or cast appropriately sounding young male narrators? Is the pool that shallow or is a new casting director needed? May I submit my application?


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment at potential unmet.


    Any additional comments?

    Save your credit, check out at library and skim if you're interested in the storyline.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Attachments: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Laura Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (681)
    Performance
    (603)
    Story
    (605)

    Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder, coworkers at The Courier, know the newspaper monitors their office e-mail. But they still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers, and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill still can’t believe that it’s his job to monitor other people’s e-mail.

    Julie says: "Just what I'd hoped for"
    "Pass the Velveta"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jennifer to Beth, Beth to Jennifer format of emailing friends who never seem to meet face-to-face grates on the nerves. Both friends wonder if the grass is greener and mysterious boy hired to read company emails falls for Beth. Predictable and frankly a little silly. Enjoyed her other two books; seems to have her finger on the pulse of teenage angst. I paid $3.95 on sale for this one, so don't feel like I wasted a credit.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Say What You Will

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Cammie McGovern
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Amy and Matthew didn't know each other, really. They weren't friends. Matthew remembered her, sure, but he remembered a lot of people from elementary school that he wasn't friends with now. Matthew never planned to tell Amy what he thought of her cheerful facade, but after he does, Amy realizes she needs someone like him in her life. As they begin to spend more time with each other, Amy learns that Matthew has his own secrets and she decides to try to help him in the same way he's helped her.

    FanB14 says: "Excellent YA Start to Your Summer"
    "Excellent YA Start to Your Summer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Amy and Matthew find each other through odd circumstances. Matthew is one of a few paid peers who assist Amy with her daily needs in her last year of high school, as she has cerebral palsy. The goal is for her to excel socially as she currently does academically.

    While she's being challenged, Amy also encourages Matthew to face some of his issues and together they develop a deep friendship over the span of a year and a half. "Say What You Will" is not a woe-is-me sad melodrama where the cool kid falls for the wallflower. Both characters navigate their strengths and weaknesses with honest gut-wrenching interactions.

    This is a smart, lovely story with winding dialogue keeping you glued to your earphones/speakers to see how it ends. McGovern is being compared to John Green, but this book is more akin to "Wonder". Excellent read if you haven't yet.

    This is an easy, enjoyable listen, not just for teens and Rebecca Lowman is a fabulous narrator.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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