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FanB14

Short, Simple, No Spoilers

ratings
116
REVIEWS
111
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
164
HELPFUL VOTES
3028

  • The Secret Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2503)
    Performance
    (2136)
    Story
    (2146)

    England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

    Maria says: "Kate Morton (and Caroline Lee) does it again!"
    "Character-Driven Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alternating between 2011 and 1940, a dying mother, visited by her children, hints at a past regret to her daughter, Laurel. Present day Laurel visits libraries, families and spends her day digging into the past to determine what changed her mother all those years ago. Dorothy's past unfolds with love interest, Jimmy and you walk beside her experiencing the decisions she made for better or worse.

    At first, I thought this book would be predictible. I adored, "The Secret Garden," liked "Distant Hours," but didn't care for "House at Riverton." Hesitant to pick up this fourth offering from Morten and happy I did. She introduces complex characters whose desires make them human; neither perfect nor wrong. There are many corners you turn in the story and just when I thought I'd figured out the ending, I was led down a divergent path. Enjoyed the journey and hope you will, too. Excellent choice for women who like a good character driven mystery.

    54 of 54 people found this review helpful
  • Insurgent: Divergent, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7137)
    Performance
    (6475)
    Story
    (6529)

    One choice can transform you - or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves - and herself - while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

    C. Mings says: "Oh, Tris....get over it!"
    "Lackluster Sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    On the run and searching for answers, Tris and Tobias explore other factions in this dull, formulaic sequel. The movie was well done, suspenseful, casting was spot-on perfect, and the director took the time to introduce and explore the characters' personalities. Against my better judgment, I downloaded book two to keep the story going. Since I didn't love book one, don't know why I thought book two would be better (although Emma Galvin is excellent).Don't spend your credit, wait the 11 months for the next film.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Laura McHugh
    • Narrated By Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Shannon McManus, Sofia Willingham
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (161)

    The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see.

    John S says: "Not too bad but you have to pay attention."
    "Weighty Hype Unfulfilled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lila came to Henbane under duplicitous circumstances, disappearing from a seemingly happy life. Present day daughter Lucy searches for clues to her friend's murder and mother's past. The characters in this backwoods, gritty story are well drawn out and McHugh's writing style is fluid and easy. The first 3/4 of the book kept my attention and enjoyed the narrator for Lila (Shanon McManus?). Lucy's story was mildly immature and didn't care for the narrator's voice. While waiting for the final big reveal, the book ended. Oops, hate it when that happens. Found this entertaining, but cannot hold a candle to "Winter's Bone".

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Holly Black
    • Narrated By Christine Lakin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (94)

    One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from best-selling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

    RaisinNut says: "'Coldest Girl' is on Fire!"
    "Cold Yes, Warm, No"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book begins strong with Tawna waking up post party in a barn finding out all her friends have been eviscerated by vampires. Her backstory sheds light on her current beliefs about vamps and the beginning of her journey is interesting, with promise. Unfortunately what follows is a banal walk through the usual teen book layout. Pity, this author probably could have done better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (216)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (195)

    A sophisticated, pause-resistant double love story spanning 40 years - an unforgettable Brief Encounter for our times. It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing - not the tragic car accident, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband. Years later, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives....

    Corinne says: "Wonderful book!"
    "What's so Great About Jennifer?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Predictable and formulaic sum it up. Moyes wrote the moving and powerful, "Girl You Left Behind" and penned the entertaining, yet doomed relationship in "Me Before You" and this offering is only one step above a romance novel. Main character, Jennifer never showed why the men in her life were obsessed with her, other than her blonde hair and perfect posture. Stayed with it out of respect for her other works, but the more I waited, the less I was rewarded with tired, regurgitated details and banal ending. The narrator had a lovely voice, but her performance couldn't save this fluff. I would still try a new book written by Jo Jo Moyes, but this one was disappointing.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Truman Capote
    • Narrated By Michael C. Hall
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (222)

    Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote's masterstroke about a young writer's charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the "American geisha" Holly Golightly. Holly - a World War II-era society girl in her late teens - survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist.

    FanB14 says: "Michael C. Hall in Your Ear + Capote = Bliss"
    "Michael C. Hall in Your Ear + Capote = Bliss"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Holly was flighty, fake, fun, and completely redeeming. Superbly written story narrated by the enigmatic Michael C. Hall, at the low, low price of $4.95 made for a fantastic listen. Thank-you to Audible for courting the likes of Hall!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2383)
    Performance
    (2174)
    Story
    (2166)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "If it Weren't True, I Wouldn't Have Believed it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe it's unfair to rate this after just having finished, "Twelve Years a Slave". I found this book formulaic and forced. Alternating narrators told the side of Hettie, a young slave girl, clever and quick, and superbly performed. She deserves four stars, but split the difference with the narrator for Sara, privileged Charleston girl who sounds as if she is constantly suffering from the vapors.

    Hettie and the story of her intelligent, cunning, talented mother give the first part of the book life. The credit spent was worth it for her story. The last 2/3 mingle Hettie's trials and Sara's arrogant journey. I couldn't wait for her to stop talking so I could hear from Hettie. The girls' friendship never felt authentic or touching, yet forced and when they meet up again at the end, it feels too contrived. Finding out this was based on a true story surprised me, but did not change my overall opinion of the writing. Perhaps my expectations were too high. This was no "12 Years a Slave" nor was it "The Secret Life of Bees". Try the book, "Wench" for a grittier, heart-wrenching tale of friendship and camaraderie during the ugly times of slavery.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1425)
    Performance
    (1198)
    Story
    (1201)

    Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks.

    Teddy says: "Better than the first...."
    "One Was Enough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lena and Ethan, the star-crossed couple battling dark magic, and the prejudices of the townsfolk in Gatlin, SC in Beautiful Creatures was fresh and engaging. This one falls peril to the mistakes of most second novels, they tried to make it bigger and more complicated.

    The first 20 min continued with Lena and Ethan fighting their feelings and then an enormous chasm opens with new characters, supernatural beings, and other worlds followed through tunnels beneath the Caster Library, creating a jumbled mess. Peripheral characters receive too much time, revealing how uninteresting they truly are and takes attention away from the main focal point. The last 10 minutes finally brought the young lovers back together, but also set up a new problem for further books; those I will not read.



    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    Overall
    (1867)
    Performance
    (1664)
    Story
    (1675)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    FanB14 says: "Soap Opera Digest"
    "Soap Opera Digest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The flower on the book was an omen foreboding me to step away. Romance novel was my gut instinct, and left it at that, until magazine after magazine touted this as one of the year's best. I caved and spent my credit only to find I was correct.

    Cousins fight over a the same man; jilted lover hooks up with old high school beau; and spoiler alert...husband has a secret! This book isn't complete rubbish, but it's certainly not great lit either. Reminds me of another book given the same distinction, "Life after Life" and after the second time, I wanted to kill the narrator myself.

    If you're expecting clever twists, witty dialogue, precarious situations, this is not for you.

    34 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1876)
    Performance
    (1661)
    Story
    (1653)

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Susan says: "Fascinating Journey for Two"
    "Predictible, yet Pleasant Trip"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In 1929, an Irish girl whose parents died was shuttled on a train of orphans going to various mid-West stops in hopes of finding placement with a family. It wouldn't be a story if she didn't meet with hardships.

    Now an elderly woman, "Dorothy" works with a girl from the foster care system to sort through her belongings. She recalls childhood memories and the two share a bond.

    The book is a little predictable, you can guess what will happen, but the trip was worth it. Definitely recommend for an entertaining, fun read.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Charles Graeber
    • Narrated By Will Collyer
    Overall
    (247)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (218)

    After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.

    FanB14 says: "More Chilling than Murder?"
    "More Chilling than Murder?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read great reviews on this one, so settled in to hear details about purposeful selection and murder of patients. What I discovered much to my delight and horror was the opposite. Charles Graeber writes from the perspective of a floating, non-judgmental narrator taking you through the events. I (and probably most of us) wanted to believe there was a reason he killed so many people. Was it for mercy or prejudice or hatred or a childhood traumatic event. When the answer is no, the story becomes creepier.

    My advice is not to read too much detail from the summary and especially other reviews giving you play-by-play analysis. There is no gore, the shock factor is a slow build. Listen and let the story unfold walking you through the hospital, a place of trust with administrators, nurses, and the mystery of medicine. Was this the perfect storm for a serial killer? You decide.

    29 of 30 people found this review helpful

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