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DianneSprings

My eternal best friend is my husband. I act my shoes size, not my age. I have a love for cartoons of all Disney/Pixar/DreamWorks/CN types. I faithfully serve in the Kid's Ministry at church. Hopelessly addicted to audio books with happy endings.

Atlanta, Ga | Member Since 2012

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 233 titles in library
  • 51 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
1

  • The Iron King: The Iron Fey, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Julie Kagawa
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    Overall
    (1435)
    Performance
    (1091)
    Story
    (1107)

    Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth--that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war.

    Arwen says: "I found this mediocre"
    "Potentally Epic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No spoilers in this review :) An extra 200 colorfully written pages would have made this book epic. Warning: The Iron King has cussing in it.

    Most notable positive aspect of the book - The narrator pronouncing Fairy and Pixy as if it were not a child's nursery book.

    Entertaining:
    It is a Mythical Magic meets normal girl. At times it was extremely entertaining to watch as the author switched us from genre to genre. Fairy land, then Earth, then Supernatural, then back to Fairy Land and all the time having the main heroine and heroes being consistent in their responses, making them lovable and real characters. The author is true to the history of the legends. She doesn't change things like "Satyrs" (who are very sexual beings, and many times aggressive).

    Downsides:
    There are a LOT of characters in the beginning so it is difficult to remember everything (including all the character's names), but as you go along you realize who is important and who is not important. The narrator is not ENTIRELY consistent with the voice responses. When Ash shouts "Watch out!" sometimes it sounds like someone else is saying it because the voice inflections are out of Ash's calculating character.

    The BIGGEST downside is the author or editor's fault…The descriptions of actions are hastily written and shallow. It leaves the relationships and scenery a bit...malnourished.

    Example:
    The book reads, "I picked up Ethan, and started to walk towards the door to the hall. Then he reached up to hold my hand while we traversed down the hall together…" Wait..what? I pictured her picking up Ethan in a cradle position in her arms, just to find out they are walking hand in hand together? Unclear at best…wouldn't her hands be busy holding him? . This makes it extremely difficult to picture the action and fight scenes because this kind of writing continues through the entire book. Made much of the book hold some distant realism (with fantasy novels the descriptions are the plate the meat of the story sits on) My 30 second rewind button got some mileage. What could have been written:
    "I bent over to help Ethan get up, cradling him for just a moment before setting him on his feet. We turned towards the hallway door stepping through the echoing space. As we walked in step together side by side, he reached up to clasp my hand in an attempt at normalcy, however the emotion of fear was still etched in his small features.":
    See what I mean? An extra 200 colorfully written pages would have made this book epic.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • That Touch of Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Lucy March
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (252)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (229)

    To make ends meet, Stacy decides to develop her special…powers. Everyone can use a touch of magic now and then, right? Soon she’s got clients lining up to receive her signature potions - until a few of them go awry.

    Felicia The Geeky Blogger says: "Great 2nd Half"
    "True Love and a Tough Woman - Magical!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read the first book (good book btw), and the second was similar, but with a happier/sweeter ending. I enjoyed seeing all my fav characters from book 1, and felt this one held a bit more emotional drama and less action drama (but there was plenty of both). Hilarious! Lucy March (among the Molly Harper footprints) did a great job slipping in hilarious descriptors and inner dialogue that only added a great dimension to the action and emotion. Plus...it was fun!
    I was happily confused and disturbed by a new main player "The Widow" (her mom). You HAVE to love Leo (even though he is every perfect everlasting unconditional love dream that girls - not women - sing about). In this book it was a bit more difficult to follow the parameters involving the potion creation problems. There are surely "rules of limitations" I am supposed to understand/remember, but just didn't quite hold them through the entire book (Example: Using a Funnel Beaker vs a Einstein Beaker).

    I heart Amanda Ronconi!! She is by far the best narrator I have ever listened to. I love many narrators (Nick Podehl, Kate Redding, Barbra Rosenblat, Eva Wilhelm, Rebecca Soler, Jim Dale, Therese Plummer, Angela Dawe, Rosalyn Landor, and Laural Merlington) but Amanda holds a special place that inspires me to read short stories out loud to my husband and son. Keep inspiring us Amanda!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pros and Cons: A Short Story

    • UNABRIDGED (54 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (286)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (258)

    FBI special agent Kate O’Hare has made it her mission to nail international con artist Nicolas Fox. When she discovers his plot to plunder a venture capitalist’s 20th-story Chicago penthouse of all its cash and treasures while the self-proclaimed "King of Hostile Takeovers" is getting married, Kate is 85 percent - okay maybe 92 percent - sure that she’s finally going to bag Nick Fox. Problem is, first Kate has to convince her boss, building security, and maybe even herself, that wedding planner Merrill Stubing is actually Nicolas Fox. Second, she has to figure out how to corner and capture him without disrupting the event of the year.

    JEAN says: "mmmmm the voice of the narrator"
    "While Waiting for Book 3"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this while waiting for book 3. It is a VERY short story, and just gives you a little taste of what Kate used to deal with regarding Nick back in the day. If I hadn't read the other 2 in the Fox & O'Hare series I wouldn't have enjoyed this as much. I don't usually like narrators like Scott Brick, but I find myself enjoying his dry deep vocal tones narration of this book. Unrealistic outlaw gone good story. I love to hate Nick's targets, and Nick's ability to cover all bases during a con. Well done! *applause*.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Better Homes and Hauntings

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1382)
    Performance
    (1300)
    Story
    (1303)

    When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate - he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in 19th-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”

    Amazon Customer says: "Disappointing"
    "Love Happy Endings & Intelligent Wordplay!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi duo's. They are stuffed with whit, humor, and drama of the touchy feely kind.
    Rich language!! Example "He was on his lunch break chewing his way through a large veggie sub. He offered to share it with her, but she found the amount of Wasabi he used a violation of the term condiment" Pure Verbal Enjoyment!!
    The story follows 4 people who are haunted by 3 different spirits. They don't know what is going on until an eccentric relative (Dottie) shows up. The story behind the three ghosts is interesting on its own, but the story of our two heroines and heroes touch on all the stereotypes I grew up being friends with (shy sweet nerd, genius gamer, hot confidant guy friend, sexy sweet blonde, eccentric loving freak.) and am still friends with today. I really liked remaking/renovating this ancient house with them. It was impossible to guess where the ghost story was going, which made the obvious hero/heroine pair offs more fun. I thought it would be about one person, and written in the first person narrative, but it jumped from friend to friend and we got to see everyone's perspective.
    Extremely fun book, I highly recommend!!

    0 of 0 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
    (830)
    Performance
    (736)
    Story
    (739)

    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"
    "Office Bff's + Guy overcoming a rough relationship"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No spoilers here:
    Cussing a-plenty in this book
    I liked the three main characters instantly, and hatred Sam the ex immediately. I am sure we have all known a Sam or two in our lives.
    The story truly picks up around chapter 25, and there are about 80ish chapters, so the majority of the book was entertaining. Loving the characters instantly means that the first 25 chapters are just info gathering.
    Justin uses the F word for everything...it was disgusting, but our male protagonist was better than all that.
    He spends his time getting paid to do what he thinks it's morally questionable. He is the Tech at a newspaper business, and is alone on the night shift most days/nights. As this is the case, he has a lot of time to grow and become a better person, but he isn't motivated until he reads Jen and Beth's emails. Then it becomes a love story. I would date this guy in a heartbeat....Dungeons and Dragons and all!
    Jen and Beth are great too! Their friendship story is priceless. I felt like i was reading their emails too. They truly care for each other. They are funny and talk about the same stuff that i would with my bff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unveiled: Tamar: Lineage of Grace, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Francine Rivers
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (50)

    Unveiled is the story of Tamar, one of the women in the lineage of Jesus. Francine brings the story to life in her trademark style, showing the grace of God in the life of Tamar and her father-in-law, Judah.

    Unveiled is the first in the Lineage of Grace series of five novellas covering the stories of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.

    Bookish says: "A Teaching for Responsible Living"
    "Biblical & Inspiring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you have read the bible then you already know how this story goes. This didn't spoil this book for me at all!! It was wonderful to see how God can use even the most infantile or feeble believers. The bible is read before and finishes with more passages, but in the middle there is the beautifully emotional story of Tamar (pronounced "Tae-mer" in this novel). I don't think she ever had a loving relationship until her children were born. You got to know all the characters in Juda's household and saw how he felt. I was appropriately duisgusted by his son's and rooted for Juda and Tamar's faith to uphold at every chapter. It is a short read, and one I recommend. Be forewarned, it is an emotional story, not a light read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skipping Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (182)

    Best selling author John Grisham (A Time to Kill, The Brethren) returns with a new tale for modern times, offering a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become a part of our holiday tradition.

    Lisa says: "Simple Pleasures!"
    "Also a movie."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Anyone ever seen Christmas with the Kranks (Tim Allen & Jaime Lee Curtis)? Verbatim.

    If you have not seen the movie, then I would recommend this short read. The narrator is perfect for Mr Krank. The author did a fantastic job expressing the tribulations and joys and expectations surrounding the holidays. Very funny, but has a point to make. Better comedy than "Home Alone", but less meaning than "It's a Wonderful Life".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Size 12 and Ready to Rock: A Heather Wells Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Meg Cabot
    • Narrated By Sandy Rustin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (83)

    Summer break . . . and the livin' ain't easy! Just because the students at New York College have flown the coop doesn't mean assistant residence hall director Heather Wells can relax. Fischer Hall is busier than ever, filled with squealing thirteen- and fourteen-year-old girls attending the first ever Tania Trace Teen Rock Camp, hosted by pop sensation Tania Trace herself - who just happens to be newly married to Heather's ex-boyfriend, heartthrob Jordan Cartwright. But the real headache begins when the producer of a reality TV show starring Tania winds up dead . . .

    Nicole Miles says: "Book is awesome....Narrator is not."
    "Not like the earlier books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was wonderfully far fetched (like all the Heather Wells books before it), but it wasn't as funny or lighthearted with witty language. They didn't harp too much about her love of food (I LOVE food) and her band of misfit students are still there.....but when we suddenly start to feel sorry for Tonya Trace it became a bit too dramatic and no longer the light hearted far fetched murder mystery I expected.
    I like Heather, and her misfit students, and Cooper, and am glad I read the book, but by the last 2 chapters I was ready for the drama to end...I wanted a bit more funny. I will not read this one again, but I am glad I read it once. Size 12, Size 14, and Big Boned were better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fairy Godmother: Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (487)
    Performance
    (439)
    Story
    (447)

    Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom's Cinderella - until an accident of fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! Determined not to remain with her stepfamily, Elena set out to get a new job - and ended up becoming the Fairy Godmother for the land. But "Breaking with Tradition" was no easy matter. True, she didn't have to sleep in the chimney, but she had to deal with arrogant, stuffed-shirt princes who kept trying to rise above their place in the tale.

    Captain Skurvy says: "An excellent start to a new series"
    "Really Entertaining and Detailed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not your typical fairy tale story - even though a source of power called "The Tradition" is always trying to make a fairy tale out of everyone's lives. That is where the Fairy Godmothers come into play. Their job is to guide the tradition and people so that their lives become more of a blessing than a tragic fairy tale. We are following the newest godmother, so in the background we can see how certain fairly tales started and why they turned out the way the godmothers want them to. The prince who became a donkey deserved it! He needed a good lesson, and while a "quest" to get a princess will teach a lesson, he was determined not to learn. He was "above all that nonsense". Godmother E is a powerful and WISE godmother, but no godmother is perfect, and all lonely ladies need a friend, or something more...Does our donkey disserve a second chance?
    Gabra Zackman isn't my favorite narrator, but I can absolutely see why they picked her. Not too sardonic, and not too serious. Not comical, but has some humor.
    I would recommend this book :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Once Upon a Marigold

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jean Ferris
    • Narrated By Carrington Macduffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (16)

    Happily-ever-after turned upside down, inside out, and completely over the top! Christian is gaga for Princess Marigold. He's just a commoner, though, and no match for royalty. Heck, he lives in a cave with a troll! And now he's discovered another reason to put his love-soggy heart on ice: Queen Olympia is scheming to take over the kingdom, and she'll bump off Marigold to do it! Can Chris foil her diabolical plans?

    DianneSprings says: "Less YA and more Kids"
    "Less YA and more Kids"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a good book to listen to as long as you expect a cutesy story with lovable characters. Parents and kids can listen together. It is extremely easy to pick out the good guys and bad guys, and sweet to watch Marigold and Christian become better friends and sweet on each other. They start as "pen pals" but become just the encouragement the other needs to overcome the difficult Mother situation (Marigold) and the difficult Life Direction situation (Christian) deals with. Some of the characters are funny, and have entertaining accents. The Troll in particular has catchy phrases that some kids might not get because they are all intermingled: Bump on a log becomes Bump on a Stump, est. Not a gripping adult novel, but I would get it again. Fair warning though the end is expectedly cheesy :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rider: Spirals of Destiny: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jim Bernheimer
    • Narrated By Christine Padovan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (201)

    A unicorn is not supposed to survive the death of its rider, but Majherri did. Now he is a pariah, mistrusted by the Greater Herd. To reclaim his lost honor and status, he will entrust the remnants of his life to a new human female while unraveling the mystery of his continued existence.

    Ruth says: "A Horse Lover's Book-- An Enchanting Fantasy"
    "Wait until Book 2 before starting this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No cussing or Romance. Just adventure.

    This book neatly twisted the (16 year old) Girl-Unicorn story into something much more adventurous and complicated. If you like the military and structure then you will find this very entertaining. Female empowering without being fimi-natzi. Majherri (Ma-ha-re) is a grumpy/depressed, intelligent and powerful stallion, and Kayleigh (Kay-le) is tougher than anyone gives her credit for. Both have been deeply hurt emotionally. They end up at school together for most of the book. Kayleigh's optimism is similar to my own. Everything is what you make it! I love it when the main character doesn't loose her love of life and faith in people just because some are mean….even if "some" is a large number. The book starts out really interesting, and ends in a flash of 3 chapters. The middle is a bit cumbersome, but the end is exciting. I just wish I had waited until book 2 comes out…it might never (this one was published in 2010). The end is a cliffhanger.


    Story was worth reading. Maybe not listened... I wanted to strangle the narrator. I generally read a review which is negative about a narrator and think "its ok if the narrator isn't fantastic or even great." Mediocre I can live with and enjoy the story anyways. I have NEVER in my whole 18 years of audio book history heard such a bad narrator. It was painful to hear her mispronounce things, and change voice inflections. She confused all character voices and attitudes except Kayleigh and Majherri . All the other voices were indistinguishable. At first I was sympathetic because of the numerous female characters, but then, they all sounded and behaved similarly enough that the story became convoluted…I lost track of who was talking often.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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