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FanB14

Short, Simple, No Spoilers

ratings
140
REVIEWS
126
FOLLOWING
7
FOLLOWERS
340
HELPFUL VOTES
4866

  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3870)
    Performance
    (3517)
    Story
    (3546)

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....

    Darwin8u says: "Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured"
    "Revisit an Old Friend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fitzgerald's classic written in simple prose tells the story of the upper crust's frivolity from the point of view of an outsider looking in. You relive the pretense, wastefulness, desire to fit in and aching loneliness lurking within all.

    Gyllenhaal embodies Nick so well, you see him as the mild wallflower character instead of the handsome, charming actor. Well read.

    For $5 and 2.5 hours of time (on 2X speed) this is a great way to revisit a classic or prep for the movie.

    48 of 50 people found this review helpful
  • The Selection: The Selection Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Kiera Cass
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1915)
    Performance
    (1709)
    Story
    (1725)

    For 35 girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth... to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels... to live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want.

    Amazon Customer says: "You might want to wait... if you hate cliffhangers"
    "Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm writing this after listening to all three. Can't quite put my finger on why I purchased and "read" them all so quickly. This is not great lit, but at least the first one kept me happily occupied.

    Yes, the story is predictable, but it was fun. "The Selection" leaves the reader in the middle of the story, so if you enjoyed it, listen to book 2. I wouldn't recommend the third as the story was stretched too to round out the ol' trilogy format. I found myself speeding up the narration to finish (not always a good sign).

    Good fun in a world where "Hunger Games" meets "The Bachelor".

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue: Book 3 of the Raven Cycle

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Maggie Stiefvater
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (257)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (235)

    Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost. Friends can betray. Mothers can disappear. Visions can mislead. Certainties can unravel.

    FanB14 says: "Maggie is a Beautiful Writer"
    "Maggie is a Beautiful Writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is book 3 of 4 and feels like a book 2 of a trilogy. The writing (as always) is superb. We find out a little more about Blue and the boys as Adam faces off with his father, and Gansey and Blue go spelunking to further their quest and search for Moira. Ronin is in the background since we heard more of his story in Dream Thieves. The women of this novel were mere window dressing and I was left wanting more details and stories about Blue's past than what was offered.

    Not unhappy I spent my credit and eagerly await the final installment. I will read or listen to whatever this woman writes. She's one of the good guys in YA.

    Footnote:
    Why do I bother??? Will Patton is a fine narrator for adult fiction, but not suited for YA. At this point with 3 books in the cycle in his pocket, why would he be replaced? For the future reference...please know his voice is creepy for teen fiction. The women he voiced sounded like cartoon witches from the 70's and (again repeating myself) his NY accent from book 2 was unmistakable for Yogi Bear. Why, editors, producers, executives, why?

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mark Haddon
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    Overall
    (4585)
    Performance
    (2244)
    Story
    (2263)

    Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.

    Robert says: "Endearing. Pathos, humor, reality, and insight."
    "Quirky, Humorous Inquest from Young Boy's POV"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In a small English town, our young hero embarks on a quest to uncover who murdered Mrs. Wellington's dog with a garden fork. Christopher lives with his dad; believes his mum is deceased; has a pet rat; and possibly falls on the Autism spectrum disorder. Since the diagnosis is never mentioned, I assume he is a highly functioning boy with Asperger's.

    This book does not focus on nor preach about disabilities. It provides a framework to understand the first person narration moving through daily interactions with family, teachers, and the occasional policeman. He speaks in an uninterrupted stream of consciousness and the humor comes across in a straightforward manner. The chuckles are never at the expense of this boy's condition.

    Delightfully quirky story. The answer is not found in the killer's unveiling, but in the rich tapestry created through Christopher finding meaning in his orderly fashion of dealing with family crises seeking a positive resolution.

    If you enjoy this one, check out "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close".

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • I'll Give You the Sun

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jandy Nelson
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (460)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (391)

    Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways…until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor.

    FanB14 says: "As Bright as 1000 White Hot Suns"
    "As Bright as 1000 White Hot Suns"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jude and Noah, male and female twins are opposite, yet one, and sibling rivalry runs high. Both apply to a prestigious art high school, desperately seeking approval from their mother. Noah views every situation as a portrait and nervously fidgets, drawing what he sees. He paints, she sculpts and both believe Noah is the favorite and a lock for admission.

    Nelson is a fabulous writer, giving Noah a quirky sense of humor, narrating from the age of 13-14 and edgy angst to Jude, narrating from their current time; age 16. There are strong themes, including a tragic event, first love, rivalry, lies, and the desire to belong and be accepted. Both narrators did a fantastic job, sounding just as I'd picture their characters. Don't read other reviews giving away too many details, just enjoy this amazing and well-written coming of age story. If you liked "The Perks of Being a Wall Flower", you will love this. If you haven't read that one, read/listen to both.

    35 of 36 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
    (3261)
    Performance
    (2926)
    Story
    (2934)

    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.

    22 of 23 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
    (1470)
    Performance
    (1029)
    Story
    (1029)

    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.

    Lauren says: "Good Listen"
    "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.

    3 of 4 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
    (2068)
    Performance
    (1842)
    Story
    (1852)

    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.

    32 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • Climbing the Stairs

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Padma Venkatraman
    • Narrated By Sumeet Bharati
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    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.

    Amazon Customer says: "Moving and Memorable"
    "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 2 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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sold

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Patricia McCormick
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    Overall
    (669)
    Performance
    (586)
    Story
    (579)

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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