So I had originally rated this book 3 stars but in light of my daughters obsession with listening to this book over and over and over and over and over and over....(ad nauseum) I felt I needed to bump up the rating to 4 stars. I am not exaggerating when I say that she has been listening to this book every night as she goes to sleep for over a month. She just keeps listening to it again and again. From my viewpoint, I felt that this book was good but not in the same league as Ms. Cleary's "Romana Quimby series". These, I believe, are Ms Cleary's first attempts at writing, at least they are her first published attempts. They were written back in like the early 1950's, and were written in "modern Portland, OR". What this means is that they are set in early 1950's Portland OR, and as such represent the sensibilities and thought patterns of that time. The result is that the stories are a bit dated, and for today's adult audience a little silly. My daughter on the other hand loves this, she keeps asking me to explain some of the (now defunct and dead) aspects of that society...what she calls "the olden times"...for example I found myself explaining what a phone booth was.....
The writing and storytelling in this series is not as polished or as sharp as Ms Cleary's later works but it is still good. Mr. Harris' performance on the other hand is actually quite entertaining and was one of my favorite parts of listening to this book. I don't think many adults will love this book, it is simply too dated. But that being said, I certainly did not mind listening to it in the car with my daughter (at least the first time) and my daughter LOVES it, so in the end I give it my recommendation.
OK...this is one of those books that adults are going to have to sit through. As an adult, this book is too simplistic and clearly geared to young children to really be enjoyable. That being said, it is not a torture to listen to it. My daughter on the other hand LOVED it, she talked about it all the time, and she even teased/reassured her younger sister that she was not so quite as "naughty" as the namesake of the book. Indeed, this is the first book that she "rated" herself...she literally told me how many stars I should rate this book when she saw me on the website.
One of the nice things about this book is that the chapters are nicely divided by "story", each chapter is a stand-alone little story about "my naughty little sister" and what she and her friends were up to. I think my daughter liked the book so much because these stories were simple, realistic, and (I suspect) possibly true. She is able to relate to the stories very well, and I think it made her feel better to realize that little sisters are the same the world over. I do recommend this book, and my daughter highly recommends it.
I have historically loved the Kitty Norville series, but this one left me a little wanting. First off let me say that Marguerite Gavin is spectacular as usual, and the production of this audio book is of very high quality. The writing itself is crisp, funny, and well done...the story on the other hand is basically a set-up for (hopefully) the next novel. The plot in this book just seemed very low-key, no really overall dramatic plotline, when something does happen it is quickly resolved..then something else might happen but these subsequent events did not really seem connected to the prior event. Rather there seems to be several hidden sub plots/action streams happening that we don't really get to see yet. I equate this book with a "book 1" of a trilogy, where some minor things happen but the real plot is to be revealed and resolved in subsequent novels.
That being said, I think that Ms. Vaugh is leading up to a humdinger of a showdown and anybody who misses this book will be lost in later books. So it is a must-read for Kitty Norville fans, but it will probably leave you a little disappointed that nothing really happens.
This was another book that I purchased for my 6-year old daughter. I am afraid that she never really got into it, and after about 1 hour she asked me to stop playing it. I don't thins that this book is really meant for younger children. I don't mean to say that it is inappropriate for younger children. I just think that the beginning starts a little slow for them and it is hard for them to become engaged with the story. Also, the main theme of the book for the first hour is a 12-year old girl coping with the emotional aftermath of her parents separation and recent divorce. Topics that are just a little heady for a 6-year old who has not yet contemplated, nor probably wants to, such a situation. The performance of the narrator is adequate, and the writing is actually not bad, the story was just not for my daughter. But I could see how older children, especially those who are coping with their own parents divorce, might actually really like this book.
In the fourth installment of the series, Gin's war on Mab starts to really heat up, with the life of a small child in the balance. Her love life starts to heat up, and she is forced to deal with her feeling for her sister. In other words, in this novel all the minor themes and plots of the novel take front stage. Ms. Estep devotes this novel to all the sub plots and intrigues she started in the first 3 novel, and I have to say I REALLY likes how she develops them here. I really enjoyed this novel. Ms. Estep tells a compelling story with realistic characters (well realistic considering the universe they habituate) and a strong plot line. Admittedly this novel’s target audience is probably 30 something females who enjoy a good sex romp with in their novels, but the few (maybe 2) sex scenes in the novel while explicit are fairly short and can easily be fast forwarded past quickly for those (like me) who would rather do without the scene. Don’t let the genre mislead you, Ms. Estep is a skilled writer and this is an excellent novel. The growth of Gin Blanco as she strives to “live in the daylight” is smartly handled. Ms. Estep’s devices to handle these smaller plot lines to deepen her character are very realistic, well mostly realistic...her hang up over Donovan Cain is rather ludicrous, I simply cannot swallow that DC was so damaging to her.
The only other part that prevents this from being a 5-star review is the “re-capping”. Ms. Estep is CONSTANTLY reminding us what happened before, while I can appreciate this at the start of the novel, by the end of the novel and the umpteenth time she reviews the same events in the past, well that gets a little old. These two faults are the only thing that keeps me from giving 5 stars. I highly recommend this novel for a good ole escapist novel, not too deep, but fun to listen/read.
This first book hints at the promise of a great series. The feel of this book is entirely like that of a prologue, what I mean is that the entire books seems like it is setting up something for later. The story itself is actually a bit slow as the entire purpose seems to be to introduce and develop the main character, Paks (aka Paksenarrion). Yes there are some battles, but they are almost glossed over and at no time does it really seem that Paks is in any REAL danger, probably because at the start of the book we learn that the entire book is a memoir of some sort. So who is Paks? Well, Paks is/was(?) a person who achieved some sort of greatness, exactly what and how she achieved that greatness is apparently the content of this series. I don't want to give too much away, the mystery of whom and what Paks becomes is central to the enticement of the novel. I fear if I tell you my suspicions, it will diminish some of the pleasure you may feel reading the novel.
Overall this book kept my attention and I looking forward to book 2. To be honest it failed to REALLY grab me, and if the second book continues in this way I can see myself becoming bored. But, if it fulfills the promise foreshadowed in this book the series might be fantastic.
While on vacation and driving the length of California back up from San Diego I downloaded this book for my family to listen to as we drove the long slog of I5. What a great choice!!! My 5 year old daughter was engrossed by this story and did not speak a peep for 6 hours straight as we drove the last 400 miles from Northern Cali to Washington. My wife was also engrossed and for the first time on that vacation I was able to experience a bit of quiet, the whole family quietly listened to the antics of Ramona and enjoyed her little story.
About the story itself...I never read these books as a child so was unfamiliar with them when I started. Basically this series follows the growth of a precocious little girl, named Ramona, and all her little innocent escapades as she grows up. The first book starts with Ramona age 4 and each subsequent book she is a year older. (well.. at least so far, we have only gotten through 4 books) Nothing huge happens here, no monsters need defeating, no saving the world, just little Ramona trying to learn how to grow up and be a good person. Her trials are things like not being sure her kindergarten teacher likes her, or dealing with the fallout of a bad tantrum. They are small things, but they are told beautifully and I actually think my 5 (soon to be 6) year old daughter enjoyed them all the more because she could so well relate to the feelings (and trials) Ramona was having and experiencing. As adults, my wife and I found the stories endearing and funny as the exploits of Ramona are very familiar to anybody who has had (or has) young children. Ms. Channing’s performance is wonderful, and she really brings to life all the characters. I highly recommend this series for anybody with young children. One thing though, Ms. Cleary sometimes gives away (or almost) the secrets of things like Santa Claus/tooth fairy/etc... Early in this series Ramona loses a tooth and Ms. Cleary alludes to (but does not actually explicitly reveal) Daddy being the actual tooth fairy, that part takes about 2 min....you can easily see it coming and you may want to skip ahead if you want to make sure that you can preserve that little fiction.
My daughter LOVED this series and this book in particular. This is a great light listen, and extremely appropriate for children under 10, especially girls. I thought this book was extremely well written and the story was very enjoyable. My daughter would give it 5 stars across the board, I gave it 4 because I like to save the 5 stars for books that I (that is ME) can't put down. If I could I would probably give this book 4.5 stars...the only thing that keeps this from 5 stars is because it is very much so a children's book and thus was just a bit predictable for an adult. That said, the main characters of this book are strong, relatable female characters that I liked my daughter to listen to. I felt that they showed her how young girls could be strong and demonstrated how sisters should look out for each other. I highly recommend this novel for people with young girls and who want to listen to something together. I also recommend it to anybody with children (of any sort), or for adults who enjoy books with the light atmosphere of "young adult/children" stories like atmosphere of the early books of Harry Potter or the Septimus Heap books. Now that I have said that I should clarify that this book only compares to HP and SP in the style/tone of the story...the plot and everything else are NOTHING like HP and SP. I would describe the The Sisters Grimm as a "fairy tale/fantasy realism/mystery/detective children???s novel. NOT "swords and magic fantasy". But the at
I picked this title up because I vaguely remember the movie from a few years back and thought it would be a nice light listen that my 5 year old and I could enjoy together on the road. I was more than correct. Both my daughter and I could not wait to go for drives while listening to this book. The story was fun, light and thoroughly enjoyable, and Jenny Sterlin's performance was...(forgive me as I can't resist) ... sterling. She has distinct, consistent, and appropriate voices for each of the characters. My daughter and I were entranced, and highly entertained. I highly recommend this title for someone looking for a light, child-friendly listen...but if you are looking for an strictly adult level book, I should warn you that this is definitely a "children's story" at its heart.
My 5 year old daughter is almost obsessed with this series. In this tale, we discover who has Henry and Veronica, more is revealed about the scarlet hand, and oh...I won't spoil it for you. These tales are excellently written and wonderfully performed by Mr. Ganser. There are a great little listen for those longer trips with you kids in the car. I highly recommend them.
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