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Wendi

Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!

Overland Park, KS, United States | Member Since 2012

232
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 47 reviews
  • 116 ratings
  • 683 titles in library
  • 52 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
23

  • The Storyteller

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3914)
    Performance
    (3422)
    Story
    (3437)

    Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?

    Suzn F says: "The Baker, The Nun, The Virgin and The Monster"
    "Best Novel from Picoult in Years"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Storyteller the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Storyteller?

    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.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I really loved the German accents, and the way the few lines in German sounded. I loved the different voices for each character.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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)


    Any additional comments?

    I think this is the most intimate book Picoult has ever written and I could not put it down. It was a fantastic read.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8612)
    Performance
    (7891)
    Story
    (7902)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Joyce says: "Love this style of King!!!"
    "Gritty Crime Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We have what seems to be a normal every day Joe. He works a normal job, he has normal (well, different, but still normal) friendships. It doesn't seem as though he'd have any reason to want to hurt a fly.

    But the thing is, he loves to drive his car into crowds of people and kill as many as he can- just for fun.

    Then, he likes to taunt the retired Detective who never could solve the crime, but certainly obsesses over it every day. And our killer knows just how to press the Detective's buttons- but our hero copy starts to learn, quickly, how to press those buttons right back.

    King has been showing off his ability to write suspenseful crime dramas with some 'King-esque' twists. They aren't his usual horrifying things that go bump in the night/ghosts/scary clowns/gunslingers. This is a very good crime drama/mystery with a fantastic set of characters and true suspense. I loved it, and I look forward to the second part.

    5 stars!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Sister's Grave

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Robert Dugoni
    • Narrated By Emily Sutton-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (437)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (373)

    Tracy Crosswhite has spent 20 years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House - a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder - is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

    Mary says: "If you're considering this book, just don't."
    "Good Thriller- Keeps Your Attention Til The End"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My Sister's Grave by Robert Dugoni is a fairly good crime/drama/thriller.

    There are some seriously odd circumstances surrounding the death of Tracy's sister. Tracy decided to dedicate her life to being a detective so that she can solve cases like those of her sister. What she starts to find out leads her on a, for lack of a better phrase, wild goose chase that takes her to a place that she would have never dreamed she'd be.

    There are many plot twists and turns in 'My Sister's Grave' and the book is very well put together. The ending will keep you guessing and I honestly looked forward to my nightly listen to see what would happen next. I will definitely listen to another Dugoni book.

    4 solid stars- remarkable effort and very well put together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Zoe Heller
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (257)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (96)

    Schoolteacher Barbara Covett has led a bitter, lonely life as a self-made careerist. Sheba Hart is an ethereal, inexperienced new pottery teacher. When Barbara hears of Sheba's problems in the classroom, a maternal pity arises in her that soon leads to friendship and confidence. But Barbara is unprepared for the secret she will learn: that Sheba has begun a passionate affair with an underage male student. Barbara's confusion, disapproval, and jealousy are helpless to prevent the coming disaster.

    Joan says: "Absolutely stunning"
    "Took My Breath Away"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Several people may already be familiar with this beautifully written book by Zoe Heller. The film 'Notes on a Scandal' was critically acclaimed and well received by audiences all over the world. The performances were impeccable, and the story of teacher and younger lover was somehow beautifully told- a subject which is difficult at best to even grasp.

    The novel the movie was based on does not disappoint us. Impeccably read- so much so that one may imagine the love, the bitterness, the jealousy and the anger if it' were happening in front of you- as if you were a fly on the wall so to speak. Heller has created a tale that should garnish hatred and dismay from the reader, instead, we draw empathy and almost love for the beautiful woman who fell into the trap of seduction by a boy, a student in fact. Her older friend and fellow educator had ulterior motives when she made sure Sheba's indiscretions were found for all the world to see. Quick to the rescue Barbara was, all the while secretly proud that she had set off what she wanted to accomplish, which was Sheba's reliance upon her. It was her way of expressing her romantic love for Sheba, who grows more confused with her actions and feelings as things progress.

    Heller manages to take into her hands the very imperfections of human kind, and make them beautiful in a different light. We are not inherently bad, but sometimes our feelings are overwhelming and we simply make poor choices along the way.

    This book is mesmerizing. The narration is as close to perfection as any I've heard. The story, although in so many ways inappropriate, is somehow beautiful and put together perfectly. This is definitely one of my favourite listens. 5 big stars all the way around, highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where All Light Tends to Go

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Joy
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (151)

    The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home to people of all kinds, but the world that Jacob McNeely lives in is crueler than most. His father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for this father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually.

    Marci says: "Perfection"
    "Where No Light Ever Shines"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jacob McNeely realizes his lot in life. He understands while he's growing up that he's Southern White Trash offspring. It's nothing for him to share a joint with his junkie mother. He's dropped out of high school, and he is targeted by police who are one the one hand, disgusted by him, and on the other, afraid to upset his father who happens to be a big meth distributor in his town and county.

    Jacob dreams of being able to leave small trash loserville with his high school sweetie Maggie.

    Things start to spiral out of control when his father begins to make some even worse decisions which involve Jacob. Will Jacob get revenge, will he fall in his father's footsteps, or will his dream of getting out of town with Maggie come true?

    This story is solid. It kept me wanting to listen on mainly because of the narrator's performance. He sounds like Matt Mcconaughey, with a deep sexy Southern Drawl. David Joy really makes Jacob come to life. His character is rich, complex and pure. The reader/listener will like him immediately, but become frustrated with his poor environment and his family ties.

    Where Are The Light Tends To Go moves a little slow for a short book. I did enjoy the book and the narration, but it was missing something- which was character development beyond the our main character (which was very deep).

    Overall I would give it 4 stars. Depressing book, but beautifully read and great main character.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wreckage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Emily Bleeker
    • Narrated By Kristin Watson Heintz, Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (177)

    Lillian Linden is a liar. On the surface, she looks like a brave survivor of a plane crash. But she's been lying to her family, her friends, and the whole world since rescue helicopters scooped her and her fellow survivor, Dave Hall, off a deserted island in the South Pacific. Missing for almost two years, the castaways are thrust into the spotlight after their rescue, becoming media darlings overnight. But they can't tell the real story--so they lie.

    T. L. Walker says: "It wasn't a badly written book, but..."
    "Good Effort in Fiction, But Very Predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    'Wreckage' is a good attempt at a novel by Emily Bleeker. The story is about David and Lillian and Kent- who are stranded on an island after a plane wreck. There are inevitable deaths from the plane crash and then the shock of it all. There are burials and then the 'Cast Away' cliches- fish spearing, weight loss, muscle gain, tooth aches. The three survivors get along well until Kent starts to be a major jerk and decides he wants to rape Lily. The dynamic of the surviving trio changes rapidly, and when David and Lily are rescued, they have to stick to a story that they must tell again and again. The first thing in the book is Lily telling the reader that she is a liar- so this sets the tone nicely.

    The narrators do well- the book goes back and forth between a woman and man narrator, and it also skips to the time on the island and present day. It seems as though 'Gone Girl' has taken the lead on this formula and it's the going thing in new fiction- I personally like it and find it more exciting.

    'Wreckage' fails simply because the story is altogether too basic. It's predictable and cliche, and it's all been done before. I could have guessed what each character was going to say or do. I found myself not liking the characters much- they had no depth and no real personalities.

    Overall, the book is an easy read and I would classify it as a chick-lit beach read. I didn't hate it, but it wasn't fantastic either.

    3 stars all around

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • One True Thing

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (121)

    A young woman sits in jail, accused of the mercy killing of her dying mother. She didn't do it, but she thinks she knows who did. In the last months of her life, Ellen Gulden's mother revealed startling secrets that challenged everything Ellen believed about her family. Now, in jail, Ellen believes those secrets will tell her who had the courage to end her mother's suffering.

    Christina Z. says: "Danger!"
    "Quindlen is a True Story Telling Artist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've never read a Quindlen book that didn't sneak up on me with a resounding shock wave- I know they are coming, yet I read them anyway. It's like watching a movie that you know isn't going to end well more than one time- and hoping to see the same movie, yet wanting the ending to change..just once.. Like why did Jack have to die in Titanic- why couldn't Rose have moved over to let him on the floating piece of wood?

    Anyway, One True Thing is a beautiful novel about human compassion, and important subjects that seem taboo to discuss at dinner parties. When our loved ones get cancer and hospice comes to help in their dying days, more often than not a morphine overdose speeds along their death, decreases their horrible pain, and enables them to peacefully fall asleep.. forever.

    Our main character in One True Thing puts her life on hold and takes care of her dying mother. During the horrific process, she learns so much about her mother and father, and family- she is overwhelmed by the close feelings she develops and she is devastated when her mother passes from this world to the next. She is more surprised however, when she is arrested and put in jail for killing her mother- with a morphine overdose. She did not commit this crime- but she thinks she knows who did- and yet she finds the 'crime' an act of bravery as she recalls how her mother begged her to help her die, to help her ease her pain.

    This novel is beautiful and literature at it's very best. I would keep a box of kleenex nearby to go on this journey, which will most definitely hit far too close to home for many readers.

    4 stars across the board, I love Quindlen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3066)
    Performance
    (2702)
    Story
    (2708)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Jan says: "Sorry John... wanted to like it... love you anyway"
    "Good Potential- Ends up Not So Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Grisham's books. Heck, I even really liked 'A Painted House' for it's beautiful simplicity. When I started reading about Samantha, a laid off New York law intern, I thought I was in for a treat. Her father is a disbarred lawyer who had a spectacular reputation at suing Airlines for gross negligence. Her mother is a lobbyist, very involved in politics. Samantha is lost after 100 work weeks. She's a spoiled rich kid who decides to go to Appalachia and work as an intern for a free legal advice office.

    While she's there she becomes involved in petitions and law suits against big coal companies who are literally destroying the Appalachian mountains just for their greed. There don't seem to be many laws protecting the simple folk in the lands, and people are dying from cancer at unheard of rates due to the mess 'Big Coal' leaves behind in the water and the environment.

    The story gets dull immediately after Samantha moves to Virginia. Some of it is interesting and fresh, but most of it comes off as an environmentalist's petition. It's preachy and it's not typical Grisham. I was expecting more.

    That being said, if someone else had written it aside from John, I probably would have given it another star- but I just simply expect more from him.

    I thought the narrator did a fine job- she was just the right voice for Samantha and the Southern characters. The book isn't a total waste- it's worth reading. It's just, sadly, underwhelming.

    3 stars across the board.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ten Tiny Breaths: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By K. A. Tucker
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Louise
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (625)
    Performance
    (560)
    Story
    (564)

    Four years ago Kacey Cleary's life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend, and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, holding her boyfriend's lifeless hand and listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, Kacey and her 15-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. Kacey's not worried. She can handle anything - anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.

    Jordy says: "One of my Favorite Books this year!"
    "An Average Smut Book... Nothing New"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought Ten Tiny Breaths because I was compelled with the story and because it had such great reviews. I was so totally disappointed.

    It all starts okay. A horrible accident which kills Kacey's whole family except for she and her younger sister spawns the first foster father who immediate tries to take advantage of Kacey's only living relative. Kacey packs up and moves her sister to Miami to start fresh- to forget, and to forge a life for them.

    While they are there they meet a nice neighbour who happens to be a stripper. Kacey takes a job at the strip bar which has a pretty 'good guy' owner. Kacey's little sister babysits for the stripper- and all seems well. Until of course, they start getting involved in tumultuous relationships and people who live a much more wild lifestyle than Kacey is used to. And of course, she meets a guy that she really wants to open up to- but just can't after all that's happened.

    The story is cliche, the characters are predictable, and it's hard to listen to without falling asleep or getting bored. Too much sex and detail made me feel like I was reading another '50 Shades.' And I don't think that honouring women who have made very poor choices in life makes for a good story line.

    I know this review won't be popular, but I just didn't like Ten Tiny Breaths. I think it's an over-hyped smut book and I didn't enjoy it at all.

    2 stars- the narrator is good.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • My Sunshine Away

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By M.O. Walsh
    • Narrated By Kirby Heybourne
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (125)

    My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when 15-year-old Lindy Simpson - free spirit, track star, and belle of the block - experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Remarkable Retrospective on Becoming a *True* Man"
    "Extremely Depressing With a Different Perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I pre-ordered 'My Sunshine Away' by M.O Walsh because of the description of the book, and the recommendations by some of my favourite authors. I think that Kirby Heybourne did a decent job narrating the novel, although his voice lulled me to sleep a few times.

    The story centers around a young boy who's coming of age, and he's in love with the girl next store. In fact, obsessed is probably a better word. The story draws you in, because the girl of the story tellers dreams gets raped- and our boy is a suspect. The book then narrates the story of the time the boy experience before the rape and after, with his crush Lindy.

    Other things that happen are extremely depressing. We have divorce, arguments, abused children and fatal car accidents- it's really not an uplifting story in the least.

    The prose are beautiful and the novel has a soul- the soul is tragic, however it is also touching, loving and remarkable. This audiobook tore me from wanting to be angry with the story to feeling so much empathy for the boy narrating the book. His raw honesty is refreshing and very touching.

    This wasn't my favourite listen and I was somewhat disappointed by the depression factor, but it's definitely worth the time.

    3 stars across the board

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Nightingale

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Kristin Hannah
    • Narrated By Polly Stone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1505)
    Performance
    (1302)
    Story
    (1297)

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

    Linda says: "HEARTBREAKINGLY POIGNANT AND INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL"
    "Like Nails on A Chalkboard! AWFUL!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off- I love Kristin Hannah. I have enjoyed her books thoroughly over the years. In fact, I have loved every single one I've read- with no exaggeration. The story of the Nightingale is probably no different- about two girls in Paris growing up during the war, and their struggles. Hannah has a knack for addictive characters and drawing empathy from her readers- which is why we all love her and her novels.

    That being said, I am going to have to return this book and buy the novel instead.

    This is the most annoying narrator I have ever listened to. I have probably listened to over 300 audible books or more- and I have listened to some pretty bad narrators- but this by far is the worst.

    She pronounces the letter S like a snake. Ssssssssssssssssssssssstop doing thisssssssssssssss to me! I always fall asleep lissssstening but I actually had to download another book. It was horrible! She also sounds ridiculous when she does a French accent- I literally wanted to cry I was so disappointed.

    I don't know who produced this, but Hannah will lose money on this audible book unless they change the author and fix it. It's absolutely dreadful and I am so disappointed. I had pre-ordered this book and was so looking forward to it!

    As I said, the story is probably very good but the narrator ruins it and makes it absolutely unbearable- like nails on a chalkboard.

    Urgh.

    64 of 82 people found this review helpful

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