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Kat

Sewell, NJ, United States | Member Since 2011

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Portia de Rossi
    • Narrated By Portia de Rossi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (210)

    In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn’t enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.

    Dawn says: "Beautifully Sad"
    "Fascinating."
    Overall

    You will really like this audiobook if you fit at least one of the following two criteria:
    1) you are fascinated by eating disorders
    2) you were a fan of Ally McBeal.


    I fit both criteria and I was glued to this audiobook and did not want it to end. I've always admired Portia de Rossi for being a beautiful, talented actress, but this book really opened up her dark secrets. It really makes me want to get ahold of old Ally McBeal episodes and re-evaluate her knowing what I know now.

    Ms de Rossi reads very well. Her writing is pretty good too, although she could learn more liberal use of pronouns, as repetitive sentence structure and names at the beginning of every sentence got a bit monotonous at times. Near the end she gets a bit preachy about the vegan lifestyle, but the first 9/10ths of the book are fascinating.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • FREE: Deadlocked 1

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By A. R. Wise
    • Narrated By Brian Sutherland
    Overall
    (872)
    Performance
    (802)
    Story
    (804)

    David was caught in the middle of the city when the zombie outbreak started. His wife and daughters were at home, stranded on the roof as zombies waited below. He would have to fight through hordes of undead, merciless other survivors, and a series of death defying stunts to get home. However, even if he makes it there, how can he be sure they're safe?

    gerry says: "Could not get past the naration"
    "Completely generic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Couldn't the author have made this a little more original? The beginning is the worst, where you get a description of the outbreak where it sounds like the author just transcribed what he was seeing on an episode of Walking Dead. Will not continue the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (10481)
    Performance
    (9519)
    Story
    (9536)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Slow, then good, then... off a horror story cliff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nate has moved into a very mysterious apartment building. His kitchen light shines like a black light, his neighbor's apartment is always 69 degrees no matter what, and every apartment has a completely different configuration for no apparent reason. (actually, now that I think of it, it is never explained even to the end of the book!)

    Nate meets a lot of nice and curious people and you see the book setting up to be one of those typical plots where a group of curious people go exploring where they shouldn't explore and get themselves into a mess of trouble. And Peter Clines, despite his immense creativity, falls right into that standard plotline. By the last third of the audiobook, I was practically climbing the walls as the protagonists did the typical dumb-character horror movie stuff - why are you going out there where nothing good can happen? Why are you talking rather than doing that really essential thing you need to be doing right now? ARRRGGHHH!!

    The book was very slow to get moving in introducing all the characters (as someone else here has already mentioned) and implodes after the secrets of "14" are discovered (as someone else has noted, so we are in agreement.) I think the author would have benefited us all by sitting back and thinking carefully before writing the last 1/3rd of the book, as it revealed some intriguing new information but was pretty disappointing in its execution.

    So, to sum up, I'd say this is definitely worth a "skim" if it is on sale on Audible. (It's great that Audible has improved its listening app to allow more speeds and skipping forward 30 secs. Very useful for this erratic book.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of the Hegemon

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2950)
    Performance
    (1552)
    Story
    (1558)

    Orson Scott Card tells a tale long awaited by millions of fans: the story of how Bean turned away from his first friend, Ender, and became the tactical genius who won the Earth for Ender's brother, Peter, who became the Hegemon.

    Michael says: "Great book, poor transfer"
    "Narrators have forgotten how to pronounce words!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was okay, although the long-winded descriptions of Indian/Pakistani politics were pretty boring. The big irritant in this book is that the same narrators who worked on previous Ender/Shadow books seem to have forgotten how to pronounce some crucial words, like the proper French pronunciation of "Achilles" (pronunciation changed from one narrator to the next, soooo irritating!). "Hegemon" seemed to cause some difficulties as well and you can tell the audio has been edited to fix some of these problems, which is in itself distracting.

    This storyline has almost turned into a James Bond style stereotypical good-guy versus bad-guy situation. I'll listen to Shadow Puppets but have been warned not to expect much and may give up pretty soon as this series is starting to fall apart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scarlet: The Lunar Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Marissa Meyer
    • Narrated By Rebecca Soler
    Overall
    (1085)
    Performance
    (1006)
    Story
    (1004)

    Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the best-selling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison - even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life.

    Jennifer says: "Not sure if fault lies in performance or story"
    "Scarlet is no Cinder..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Scarlet better?

    A more interesting character? Scarlet just seems like a stereotypical whiny teenage protagonist. Cinder was really really interesting in her background, lifestyle, etc. Nothing grabbed me in this one and I had trouble getting through it. Jumping back and forth between Scarlet and Cinder was irritating.


    What could Marissa Meyer have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Continued to be as creative and innovative as she had been in the first one.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    She was okay.


    What character would you cut from Scarlet?

    Scarlet.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (885)
    Performance
    (797)
    Story
    (809)

    Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. Cousin to imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, Ivan is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere, leaving Ivan to enjoy his life on Komarr, far from the Byzantine court politics of his home system. But when an old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman who may be on the hit list of a criminal syndicate, his chivalrous nature takes over. It seems danger and adventure have once more found Captain Vorpatril.

    Barbara M. Sullivan says: "We are finally allowed to see Ivan without Miles."
    "Ivan is no Miles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Sure, it's good to continue the series. But it didn't grab me the way a story inside Miles' head does. Miles is so brilliantly sardonic and Ivan just is... not. So i found this book bland in comparison to those that focused on Miles. Still a decent read, though.


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

    I thought the whole family treasure hunt under the city was kind of silly. But liked the odd way that Ivan fell in love.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Ivan gets married.


    Do you think Captain Vorpatril's Alliance needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    NO - please LMB, go back to Miles!!


    Any additional comments?

    I wish she would write books more quickly. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Insurgent: Divergent, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    Overall
    (9701)
    Performance
    (8798)
    Story
    (8867)

    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.

    George says: "Struggled to finish"
    "Not as good as Divergent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Some actual action please! No, moving from place to place and then griping with each other some more is not action! This second book in the series is filler material and served just two purposes: 1) to resolve the war among the factions and 2) reveal the Big Secret about what this whole fenced-in Chicago area is all about (which happens, literally, on the last page.)
    I would have liked less whining from the main characters.


    If you’ve listened to books by Veronica Roth before, how does this one compare?

    Not as good.


    Any additional comments?

    Waiting for Book 3 and hoping it's better than Book 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Hawk: Saga of the Skolian Empire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Catherine Asaro
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (57)

    When Kelric, a scion of the imperial family of Skolia, crash-lands his fighter on the off-limits planet of Coba, he figures it will be only a short time before he makes his way home. But he fails to account for the powerful matriarchy of Coba, the mistresses of the great estates who do not want the Empire to know about their recent cultural advances. First they take him prisoner. Then, one by one, the most powerful women on the planet fall in love with him!

    Stuart says: "Reader in a bit of a hurry"
    "Kelric sleeps his way across a planet!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    On 1.5 speed, yes. Sometimes while doing other things, but occasionally engrossing.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Catherine Asaro? Why or why not?

    I'm reading her entire Skolian Empire series if it is all on audio.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None in particular.


    Was The Last Hawk worth the listening time?

    Sure, Catherine Asaro's plots are pretty entertaining. And Anna Fields, as always, makes the book worth listening too as she is good at different voices (most of the time).


    Any additional comments?

    As I mention in my review of Ascendant Sun, the sequel to this book, Kelric is a sex addict. He needs therapy. Yes, he's an empath, but his siblings are too and they don't jump into bed with everything that moves. Okay, admittedly, in this book, he's kinda forced too, but that just says something about the author. And in the sequel, Ascendant Sun, he does't have to sleep with everyone but somehow just ends up doing it anyway!
    The culture on the planet where Kelric is stranded is strongly matriarchal, female chauvinistic, and revolves around the playing a complex dice game that is used for political purposes. By the end of the book, it is even being used to somehow discern the atomic structure of the elements and develop weapons and split atoms - all this in the space of a few years on a planet that had practically no advanced technology at the beginning! I could not suspend my disbelief about the power associated with this dice game, emphasized so heavily in the book.
    But overall, the book is entertaining and a necessary read to understand Ascendant Sun and the books that follow, where Kelric becomes a more important part of the restructuring of the Skolian Empire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ascendant Sun: A Novel of the Skolian Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Catherine Asaro
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (51)

    Kelric returns to Skolian space, only to find the Empire in control of the Allied forces of Earth, thanks to the upheaval of the Radiance War. With little more than the clothes on his back and with his family imprisoned by the Allieds, Kelric is forced to take work on a merchant vessel. But when that vessel enters Euban space, Kelric finds his worst nightmare realized.

    Don says: "Another Good Asaro Book"
    "Kelric sleeps his way across the universe!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    at 1.5 speed on my iPod, yes. Although sometimes I only half listened as it moved slowly in parts. Or he jumps in bed again.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Catherine Asaro? Why or why not?

    I've read a bunch of her Skolian Empire series. They are entertaining, but Catherine Asaro is no Lois McMaster Bujold, which is a constant disappointment. (Seriously, if you like sci fi and haven't read LMB, you MUST!)


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No spoilers, but there's a real tear jerker scene near the end of the book that made the rest of the book worthwhile. I actually did shed a few tears, and don't do that often! It says something about Anna Fields' performance as well.


    Any additional comments?

    Kelric seems to be a sex addict compared to his siblings and relatives followed in the other books of the Skolian Empire series. In both The Last Hawk and this book, Kelric sleeps with most of the women he comes into contact with. It gets a bit tiresome after a while. Is she writing a romance/sex novel or sci fi? Kelric seems like a bit of a dullard compared to his dynamic sister Sauscany. But ah well, still entertaining and worth the read. Somewhat necessary for understanding the context of books further along in the series.

    I found it awfully convenient that when Kelric is sold into slavery as a Providor, that his situation doesn't turn out too badly for reasons I won't spoil here. But... awfully convenient. A lot of awfully convenient things happen in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (16947)
    Performance
    (12855)
    Story
    (12792)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "Very disappointed"
    Overall

    I downloaded this book based on the glowing reviews from so many other listeners. So many people LOL-ing when listening to this book, how could I go wrong? I bought this as as person who thought Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression was pure genius, but never found 30 Rock anything more than mildly amusing - so not a die-hard Tina Fey fan, but I respect her. And so I would suggest, based on my lackluster reaction - unless you are a die-hard Tina Fey fan - skip this book. Her life hasn't really been terribly interesting, and she make each little event in her life into a little joke, so it's one one-liner after another. These one-liners are her typical style of wry, sarcastic humor that is only mildly amusing (at best) unless your brainwaves are on exactly the same wavelength as hers. No LOL-ing here.

    I found my mind wandering many times while trying to get through this book, it's just not that interesting. She does read nicely, though, I will say that. But overall, I feel I wasted my Audible subscription this month.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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