Overland Park, KS, United States
Overall, I felt that the perplexity and the fantastic chrarters are definitely the best part of 'The Story Teller. I was very hard to put down. I got lost in the points of view of the Holocaust, and then I found the point of view from a guard at Auschwitz. Picoult devles into th social history of the Holocaust, and tells the story from an officer who was there, and a woman who was there to take him abuses. She adds a certain 'human' element to each character, and displays their weaknesses, flaws, and strong points.
There are so many wonderful moments in The Story Teller, however the most memorable moment was when the grandmother is speaking, and tells of her best friend being murdered in front of her eyes even though she's not done anything wrong. The entire story was really very memorable and well done. It will stick with me forever.
I really loved the German accents, and the way the few lines in German sounded. I loved the different voices for each character.
I was especially moved when Sage, the granddaughter of the Holocaust survivor, learned of everything that had happened to her grandmother. The comparing of 'What if that would happen now?' is simply terrifying. Also, I cried a one point where a lady had to suffocate her baby to keep it quiet. (Won't say who)
I think this is the most intimate book Picoult has ever written and I could not put it down. It was a fantastic read.
I have never read Carla Buckley before. This audiobook kept me engaged. I listened to it at work and while going to sleep, and also in the car.
Eve would and has done anything for her son. He was diagnosed with a very rare condition called XP which makes him completely intolerant to sunlight. He will die of cancer if he's exposed. Eve has tailored her life around his, being there for him in the day, setting up the perfect environment, living in darkness, etc. This constant care for her youngest son creates a strain on Eve's daughter Melissa and Eve's husband.
One awful day during a torrential rain storm, Even hits her neighbour's daughter with her car and accidentally kills her. The only thing she can think of is covering up the crime so that she can be there for her son, who needed her to survive daily.
The book continues to weigh Eve's conscience and while the police become hot on her trail, she does everything she can to make her look completely innocent and not suspected. Things start to spiral out of control though...
I loved the narrator and the book was great- with the exception of the ending which I found rather lame and it didn't really tie up the issues presented by the book. I would definitely recommend this though-
4 solid stars.
I have never ever read anything by Kelley Armstrong. I was thrilled to find out that she had written a book called 'Omens,' I really enjoyed it, and I will buy the next in the series as soon as I can get my hands on it.
Kelley's heroine is 24 year old Olivia, who is a very high society girl and engaged to an equally high society rich, dashing young entrepreneur. Olivia, however, was not born into the wealthy lifestyle she lives. She was adopted. When it comes to the public eye that Olivia's real parents were notorious serial killers who brutally murdered several couples- cult style, Olivia is forced to remove herself from her home and friends. Her mother can't handle the stain on the family and Olivia herself is hurt, confused and bewildered. She is also without money.
Olivia decides to take the time after the shocking revelation to go back to her roots and find out more about her serial killer parents. In doing so, she meets several people who help her find what she's looking for. And I have to say, what she finds is shocking. The little town she is from is full of secrets, and Olivia learns that she has some characteristics unlike those of any other people.
Olivia starts to understand that she was meant to come back to the town in which she was born. She belongs there for several reasons. And she goes on a quest to find out what really happened when her parents were taken from her by police at a young age. It's beginning to look like her parents have been in jail for years, with absolutely no evidence pointing to them.
Omens is a very exciting and high paced story. I loved it, and I listened to it in just two days. I found myself listening in the car and on breaks from work. I can't wait to find out what happens next.
4 stars across the board.
Hillary Jordan takes us to a time where abortion is again, illegal. This is the very near distant future. This could be our future. Instead of filling up prisons with people, people are made to be outcasts and second class citizens by dyeing their skin.
Hannah wakes up to find that her skin is now red. She looks horrific and she is embarrassed and confused. She was impregnated by a very popular preacher, but the tragic part is he was married. She is deeply in love with the preacher and does not want to give his name. Because she refused to name him, she received the punishment. She was under questions because Hannah decided to get an abortion which are, in Jordan's futuristic book, entirely illegal. She is forced to serve a brief prison sentence and go into a half-way home for women of different colours. The colours are indicative of their crime. Red people killed- and murder includes the murder of an unborn child. Yellow people have stolen something. The list goes on.
An underground group of people who save those who have been unjustly accused of these crimes and left to live as outcasts eventually saves Hannah, but she must cut all times with the people she's cared about for her entire life.
Throughout her journey, Hannah makes some serious self discoveries which she probably would not have if this hadn't happened. She realizes that the situation she was in was not a good one for her psyche. She sees things from a different perspective. She is shunned by her family and even her sister's husband, who makes it a habit to kill the coloured criminals. She finds that her lifestyle when 'normal' wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and she discovers herself and revels in how strong she is. Her skin and her circumstances empower her.
The book can be compared to the Scarlet Letter because the heroine's colour eventually defines her as a stronger person, just as the scarlet letter also eventually defined Esther not as an outcast, but as a badge of honour. Also comparable to The Scarlet Letter, the baby by the clergyman is another similarity. I thought the book was done well and I found it very interesting. I had a hard time putting it down, as it made me think of so many current political problems and hot topics that are going on in the world right now.
The narration was extremely well done. I enjoyed listening to the reader at the speed of 1.5 throughout the book. I loved the fade in music for each chapter.
It's an easy read, sort of like a Young Adult book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good, thought provoking read. 4 Stars
***This review is mine and is also published on www.audible.com
Sky was not a typical teenage girl. She and her friend snuck boys in their rooms after their mothers would be asleep and they spend time at one another's homes like they were sisters. This in itself is nothing odd when dealing with teen 'BFF' relationships. However, Sky has some pretty strict guidelines she has to follow. She was adopted by her mother who remains single, and never had a serious boyfriend since she adopted Sky at age 4. While her friends go to high school and have computers, televisions, cell phones and internet, Sky's mother doesn't allow any of these modern technologies for her daughter. Not only is Sky homeschooled, but she hasn't been exposed to the media or things like Facebook and Twitter.
When Sky bothers her mother to the point where she wants to spend her senior year in a high school, they decide she may do so. Right away Sky meets Holder, and immediately has a strong attraction to him. This is so odd because Sky spend a lot of time making out with random boys but really never felt attracted to any of them. It was just time to waste and Sky maintained her virginity while basically blowing off boys who wanted relationships with her. When she met Holder, her world was turned upside down.
The problem with Holder is he's weird. He seemed sort of stalker-ish at first and at times, creepy as well. However, the attraction could not be denied and as Sky's relationship with Holder continued to progress. We find out that there is a reason for Holder's strange behaviour as past secrets begin to reveal themselves. Sky's entire identity is shaken to the core as she quickly goes through a journey of self discovery which reveals a horrific part of the life she had been purposely forgetting.
The suspense while Sky met Holder and the very graphic sex scenes made the book very interesting, and until half way through I was hooked. After we find out about Sky's past, the book starts to drag and it becomes very obvious what the conclusion will be. There is far too much time spent on Sky and Holder 'making out' and far too much description of their kisses. The book began to ramble in the last two hours of listening time and I found myself hurrying the reader to a '3' so that I could finish it quicker.
This book is more like a teen book or young adult novel. It's a very simple story with a plot that has some good primary twists and turns, but then the writing as well as the performance becomes boring.
3 stars across the board- good for those who might enjoy young adult with a little spice
I am normally not one for romances or love stories, however I kept getting 'Me Before You, A Novel' recommended to me. It seemed as though every time I turned around another friend was telling my how touching the novel is and how it should be on my 'must read' list. I took advantage of the holiday sale and bought the book at audible, as well as the kindle book. I am the type that likes to listen and read along.
The author, Jojo Moyes, introduces us to Louisa, who lives in a small town in England which has one main tourist area which is an old castle. Louisa has been in an fairly stagnant relationship with her long time boyfriend Patrick. He has recently become obsessed with working out and they really have nothing in common anymore. She figures she'll marry him, and have his babies all the while living in the same five mile radius in which she grew up.
Louisa lives with her mom, dad, grandfather, sister and nephew in a tiny home barely built for all of them and her parents rely on her wages at the 'Buttered Bun' to help make ends meet. When Louisa is told that the owner of the 'Buttered Bun' is closing down his restaurant, she is forced to find another job. Surprisingly, she does find a job as a caretaker for the wealthiest family in town.
Louisa is in charge of looking after Will, who was once a very successful business man and a daredevil. He traveled the world and lived life by the seat of his pants. He was miserable in his state of having to be taken care of around the clock, with little control of his movement and bodily function. When Louisa finds out that the job is a contract position for six months, her suspicions arise and she figures out that Will has given his parents six months to try and convince him to continue to live, but after the six months is over, he will go to a clinic in Switzerland where there are legal procedures for people who wish to die.
Louisa and Will develop a very guarded and intimate relationship, and soon Louisa finds that her sole purpose in life is trying to convince Will that he is indeed a person that is loved and needed in this world, despite his body's failure. Does she convince him to live forever? You'll have to have a listen to find out.
Me Before You is definitely a page turner. The characters are all very earthy and I loved them all. The narration was performed by several different voices (people) and they all added their own point of view on the situation. I enjoyed this as I delved further into the characters and what their thoughts were. My heart ached for Will's mother, who of course under no circumstances wanted her son to die. This is a very emotional book and it deserves to be listened to with full attention. There is so much humanity and ultimate love and sacrifice. It provides hope to the reader that people still do care about others, and it also presents things to people who have no physical ailments. Those of us not suffering with debilitating diseases take advantage of our health, which is something we may want to think twice about.
I am rating this novel 5 stars across the board. This is not a typical romance, but instead a gritty, character building novel with a rich story line and a lot of heart.
I loved Grisham's 'A Time To Kill' focusing on the murder of two dirtbags who raped Carl Lee Haley's daughter and left her for dead. Carl Lee gets his revenge by killing the rapists in cold blood in the court, and then his lawyer Jake Brigance goes to bat for him. I loved everything about the story and I even really liked the movie adapted for the book.
'Sycamore Row' leaves us at the time after Carl Lee was voted innocent by a jury, and we find out what Jake and family are up to. His scuzzy divorce attorney buddy and his mentor are still around; one being the same money grubbing smart mouth and one is eccentric and often drunk, respectively. Jake and wife are still raising their daughter Hannah is small town Mississippi, where racial tensions aren't much improved.
Jake finds himself the lawyer for the estate of one of the wealthiest men in Ford Country, Seth Hubbard was a man who kept to himself and didn't appreciate his greedy family. He was dying of cancer, and he made a hand written will in place of the document he had already drawn. The hand written will was entrusted to Jake and the main difference between the new will was that it cut his family completely out of the picture. Instead, Seth leaves almost all of his money to his black maid. The question of course, is why on earth would he do such a thing? There is a courtroom battle ahead with all kinds of action and twists and turns, and we gradually discover more about Seth's past and how it ties in with the present.
The story flows nicely and I really enjoyed hearing from some of my favourite old characters again. I did not think the story was as interesting as 'A Time To Kill,' however I hope Grisham writes another book with the same characters because I really enjoy their chemistry. The book was hard to put down and I probably listened to it on and off for for straight days until it was over. The narration is SUPERB- what an incredible job! I just felt that the story was sub par when comparing to the first of the 'Jake Brigance' series.
Overall, I would highly recommend this audible book. Good story, great presentation, and a nice visit with the past.
I have had 'Redeeming Love' sitting on my bookshelf for ages. Years, in fact. I had heard from so many friends about how wonderfully beautiful the book was, how I must read it, how my life would change after reading it. I tried several times to delve into the large book's pages but never really got very far. I thought that listening to it might be a good idea.
The story is set in the middle 1800s, and Sara is a happy young child living with her mother. Once in awhile, her biological father would visit but it was very apparent that he was jealous of Sara. He had a wife and children of his own, and he wanted Sara's mother to pay attention to just him and not her child. He cast her out of her 'kept woman' status and ended up dying in an old shack, leaving Sara to child molesters and criminals.
Cut to about 10 years later and Sara, now known as 'Angel,' is a high priced prostitute in a brothel. She is angry and bitter at the world, but her beauty knows no bounds. She meets Michael, who is told by God that he is supposed to marry Sara and bring her home.
Michael does just this, and a tumultuous relationship begins as Michael tries to tear down the walls that Angel has bitterly built over the years of abuse and abandonment. Michael takes his instruction from God and the scriptures, and seemingly will not give up on his new wife. Sara has a very hard time accepting that she is worthy of love, and trusting any man.
The book 'Redeeming Love' is a wonderful story, if you like Christian Fiction. The problem I had with it, was the writing was too simplistic and the story was very repetitive. It was also so very predictable. I think younger readers might find the book more appealing, especially those younger readers who may enjoy Christian Fiction. The narration was very good, but the story itself was much too long. I am not the greatest fan of romance, so it may be that I am just jaded, however; although I am glad I finally listened to 'Redeeming Love,' I wouldn't want to read it again or ready anything else similar to the story.
We are first introduced to Lee when we see him pleading guilty to abusing and stalking a woman, in the courthouse. Haynes then skips back in time to when Lee and heroine Catherine meet.
Catherine and Lee have a wonderful new relationship. Although his 'work' has perplexing hours, and Catherine doesn't know why he won't tell her more about it, he otherwise seems like the perfect guy. He is dashing, handsome, and he truly cares about her. Catherine's friends are over-the-top jealous and they believe, as she does at first, that she's caught the perfect fish.
As Catherine and Lee's relationship progresses, Catherine begins to get a little edgy. Lee starts to be very controlling and then he gets to the point where he is stalking Catherine. He then begins to abuse her in many gruesome ways. Catherine cannot believe that she's let herself become 'one of those women' who allows for things like this to happen. Her friends shame her for breaking up with Lee, because he's a charmer and talks to them about his broken heart. As abusers often do, he projects Catherine as the horrible person and himself as the one who's just trying to do the best thing.
The book is a psychological thriller with a deep tension. It's sort of different because we already know that Lee is the bad guy, it's not a surprise. It's just a constant mind game with a very interesting climax and denouement. This book is not for the faint at heart, but I would recommend it as an excellent thriller to anyone who loves a great, suspenseful novel.
I've always loved Wally Lamb. Ever since 'She's Come Undone' and the story of Delores and her struggle with her family and weight, and then the amazing store 'I Know This Much is True,' I've been hooked on his writing/story telling style. While I sort of thought 'The Hour I First Believed' was a little discombobulated, I pre-ordered 'We Are Water' and looked very much forward to the day of it's release. I listened to the novel, told by several points of view, in a day and a half. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next, and I absolutely loved it and especially loved the narration by Lamb himself.
Voraciously, I ate up 'We Are Water,' and now I am disappointed that it's over and I have to wait years for Lamb to write another book! The story tells the tale of the Oh family. Patriarch Orien Oh and his wife Anna have raised three children, a set of twins and a younger daughter. After over twenty-five years of marriage Anna decides to leave Orien and marry Viveca, her female lover, and very rich art dealer who has made Anna a success. The book centres around the reactions of the Oh family to Anna making such a shocking decision.
As with any family, there are a lot of 'Oh' skeletons in their closet. Orien's father really never had anything to do with him. The twins are in a state of constant disarray, one wanting to be artificially inseminated at a young age, and the other turning to God and Jesus to reinforce his feelings about his mother's sexuality. The youngest is struggling to become an actress and Anna herself has had a tortured past. Anna tells her deepest secrets to the listener, like we are her best friend. We are horrified, empathetic, disgusted and at some points, pleasantly entertained.
All of the characters are due to get together for Anna's wedding however, of course, things go far from the way they are planned. The novel is dramatic, suspenseful, at times laugh-out-loud funny, and it ties together like the perfect bow on a gift. A gift from Wally Lamb.
5 starts, loved every minute of it. Can't wait for his next book.
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