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Wendi

Houston, TX | Member Since 2012

1559
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 151 reviews
  • 218 ratings
  • 822 titles in library
  • 63 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
113

  • The Couple Next Door: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Shari Lapena
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10605)
    Performance
    (9604)
    Story
    (9567)

    Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all - a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

    RueRue says: "Plot twist overload"
    "Not What I Was Expecting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    'The Couple Next Door' can be most likened to the movie 'Fargo.' If anyone has read this book, and watched 'Fargo' they will know immediately what I am referencing. The only difference is that Fargo was more straightforward, which 'The Couple Next Door' is filled with plot turns and twists that make the book a little far fetched.

    The story has been told a hundred times before. We have a rich older couple with a beloved daughter. Daddy doesn't like the man she chooses to marry. The husband despises Daddy and his pompous arrogance. Both father and son despise each other but try and get along for daughter and wife, respectively. But ugly, horrible things happen behind the scenes that are unspeakable, and family secrets begin to eat away at all people involved.

    When Cora, baby girl and granddaughter gets kidnapped, the whole family must come together and do all they can to get her back. Lapena takes her readers on a wild ride to find the kidnapper and see what's become of baby Cora.

    he Couple Next Door kept my attention. The characters.. ALL of them.. are fairly despicable but I think this is the author's plan. Not liking the characters allows the reader to accept the unusual plot turns as inevitably, the author's message is that no matter what the circumstance, people are personally flawed, self-serving, and always looking out primarily for themselves.

    Worth the credit? Yes. Have I listened to better? Absolutely.

    -Wendi

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Child Next Door: An unputdownable psychological thriller with a brilliant twist

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Shalini Boland
    • Narrated By Katie Villa
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (171)

    Kirstie Rawlings is jolted awake by a child crying. Racing upstairs to check on her newborn, she is plunged into every parents’ worst nightmare. She hears an unknown voice in the baby monitor saying, "Let’s take the child - and go." Is someone trying to steal her little girl?

    Julie says: "Yes, it was "unputdownable.""
    "One of the Best Endings- Ever.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Child Next Door deals with a woman who stays home with her baby, and overhears someone else on her baby monitor talking about 'taking' a baby.' Her monitor has picked up someone talking who may have another monitor. Since her baby is the only one in the entire neighbourhood, the woman thinks that someone is planning on taking her baby. The confusion and paranoia begins as the woman calls the police and tells her husband that she is convinced her baby will be taken.

    All is not peaceful and serene in her little quiet neighbourhood in the suburbs outside of London. It's surprising what you can find out about people. The neighbourhood in question can be likened to Wisteria Lane (Desperate Housewives).

    The ending of this book actually shocked me. It was a total surprise; so much so that I had to laugh in delight with the brilliance of it! The story is fairly good, but anything lacking in the story was made up for with the ending.

    4 solid stars

    Wendi

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Liar

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Clare Boyd
    • Narrated By Jane McDowell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (161)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (148)

    When a child’s scream pierces the night, Mira does what any good neighbor would do: She calls the police. She wants to make sure that Rosie, the little girl next door, is safe. Opening her front door to the police the next morning, Gemma's picture-perfect family is forced under scrutiny of social services. As her flawless life begins to crumble around her, Gemma must fight to defend the family she loves and protect her daughter from the terrible secret she's been keeping. When Rosie disappears without a trace, Gemma thinks she only has herself to blame....

    Courtney says: "Wonderful Narration! Very interesting story. "
    "A Very Odd Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Little Liar is an odd book. I am not really sure what the point was, but it did keep me listening. We have a family who lives outside of London with their young daughter Rosie, and their son. Jemma (Mom) is pregnant again and Pete is seemingly basking in his job, married life, and children's love.

    But, Jemma's neighbour has a past. She had her baby taken away when she was just 15 years old. She is jealous of Jemma, and reports her to social services for child abuse. Although, Rosie isn't an 'angel' child because she lies about being abused as well. She has terrible temper tantrums and she behaves badly.

    Rosie drives Jemma to the point of screaming (and I can't say I blamed her). Every time this little brat would act like a spoiled little witch I wanted to scream at her. My rage built up inside me, too. Jemma felt guilty about getting angry, and her nosey neighbour fills Rosie's head with more ammunition to get Jemma in trouble, and she's already in jeopardy of going to prison for abuse!

    The neighbour is suffering from PTSD due to a bad relationship with her mother, and being raped by her mother's boyfriend as a teen- and then having the consequential baby taken from her and put up for adoption. Rosie the 10 year old needs some anger therapy, as does Jemma.

    This book is depressing and it has no specific climax. It's one heart ache after another and it screams 'THESE PEOPLE NEED THERAPY' to the reader. It doesn't really fall under a psychological thriller. It's just a story about people who are a complete mess.

    It's worth the listen if you can get it on sale. I hated Rosie (that's so awful of me!), but some of the other characters are very likable, and the bond between families (good or bad) is portrayed beautifully by the author.

    -Wendi

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ladies' Room

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Carolyn Brown
    • Narrated By Donna Postel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4449)
    Performance
    (4034)
    Story
    (4037)

    Secrets told in the church ladies' room are supposed to stay in the ladies' room. But that doesn't mean that what Trudy overhears there during her great-aunt Gertrude's funeral won't change the rest of her life. Trudy has a daughter in the middle of a major rebellion; a two-timing husband who has been cheating for their entire married life; and a mother with Alzheimer's residing in the local nursing home.

    Tunes says: "Soul Food!"
    "Easy, Simple and Sweet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have never read anything by Carolyn Brown before. If I can find a special price, I may read something else, but to be honest I didn't know she wrote Christian fiction. Well, it's sort of Christian fiction. There is a lot of mention of God, the bible, the devil and church- but it's not always in a really religious way. There is however, a definite lack of sex and no cussing, which are normally my prerequisites for enjoying a book. (Sad but true! ha!)

    Anyway, this novel is about a lady, Trudy, who's weird Aunt Gert dies. She goes to the bathroom at the funeral and overhears her two cousins gossip about how she is so stupid and her husband has been cheating on her for years. It turns out weird Aunt Gert was smart enough to know that the 'stupid' cousin, Trudy, was the kindest one, and has left her a home and a ton of money- and a gorgeous, sweet neighbour. She moves into Aunt Gert's home and starts living a life without the fog of her jerk ex husband and her ungrateful daughter. She also takes advantage of her special relationship with Aunt Gert's neighbour, and she comes out of her shell and realizes that she doesn't have to be everyone's door mat.

    This is a very enjoyable listen, easy to understand, and pleasant. It was a nice change from the gritty psychological thrillers I choose!

    -Wendi

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Trade: Livia Lone, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Barry Eisler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (478)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (439)

    For sex-crimes detective Livia Lone, a position with a government anti-trafficking task force is a chance to return to Thailand to ferret out Rithisak Sorm, the kingpin behind her own childhood ordeal. But after a planned takedown in a nightclub goes violently awry, Livia discovers that she's not the only one hunting Sorm. Former marine sniper Dox has a score to settle, too, and working together is the only way to take Sorm out.

    shelley says: "Dox and Livia - does it get any better than this?"
    "Livia Lone's Legacy Continues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Barry Eisler narrates his second novel himself (as he did the first). His narration is impeccable, and the story is a marvelous continuation of the first book in the series.

    Livia Lone is grown and working as a detective. Her history is extremely complex as she was sold into the child trafficking industry by her parents, and taken from Thailand to live with a powerful American politician who abused her. After years of mastering martial arts, and the need for revenge on the men who killed her sister, Livia becomes a product of her past. She is a very unique vigilante and stops at nothing to bring justice to her sister and her stolen childhood.

    Livia is now a very well respected detective with the Seattle Police Department and she has an opportunity to go back to Thailand to track down a powerful child trafficking ring of criminals, including some of the men who used and abused and discarded she and her sister when they were children. This is a fast paced book which introduces us to a couple of new characters on the 'good' side who are extremely likable. With all of Livia's faults and sins, the reader stands behind her and feels that she needs to do 'whatever' to get even, to cope, and to vindicate her past experiences.

    This is an excellent second novel in a fantastic, gritty, terrifying series.

    -Wendi

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Every Note Played

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lisa Genova
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris, Dagmara Dominczyk, Lisa Genova - afterword
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (123)

    From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful and heartbreaking exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.

    An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

    Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.

    He knows his left arm will go next.

    Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn’t moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.

    When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard’s muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it’s too late.

    Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.

    Wendi says: "Not Nearly As Good As Her Others"
    "Not Nearly As Good As Her Others"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What I feared might happen has definitely happened. Lisa Genova is showing more of her 'neuroscientist' personality in her books, which should be a balance of rich, complex characters as well as neuroscience.

    I loved 'Still Alice.' I adored 'Left Neglected.' The O'Brien's are a family I won't soon forget. However, 'Every Note Played' falls flat. (Pardon the pun).

    Usually we see the 'beginning' of the rare disease Genova writes about. Her characters have symptoms and then get diagnosed. In 'Every Note Played' we are immediately notified that the main character, Richard, has ALS. We are then told his story and the story of his ex wife.

    The description of ALS is so personal and effective. The way Genova describes the ongoing ruin of Richard's body makes the reader (listener) cringe. The picture is clear, and Richard's pain and suffering are so real. Obviously, as always, Genova has done meticulous and immaculate research on the progression of the disease. (All of her books are focused on some kind of disease or disorder).

    The problem is, the characters are completely unlikable. I wanted to stop listening several times because, quite frankly, I hate all three major characters- especially the one with ALS. Genova has disassociated the fiction with the facts, and the book comes off only as an in depth description of what happens during the frightening and terrifying stages of ALS.

    I was hoping for more, but I respect Genova's writing and research abilities. Bring back characters like Alice and the O'Brien family Lisa!

    -Wendi

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Taylor Jenkins Reid
    • Narrated By Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan, Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1524)
    Performance
    (1415)
    Story
    (1414)

    Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated.

    Georgina says: "Captured once again"
    "Magnificent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this audio book after it had been sitting in my wish list forever. It went on sale and I snagged it. I remember I had originally put it on my wish list because I had read some very favourable reviews about the book, and I am really glad I bought it and listened to it.

    This book reminded me of 'The Thirteenth Tale' by Diane Setterfield (sort of). An aging Hollywood legend is interviewed for an article, which turns into a tell-all book about her 'real life.' Evelyn Hugo is an academy award winning actress and a powerful Hollywood icon and she decides it's time to tell her life story. As it turns out, her life story which is pretty much opposite as it was portrayed in the media for years and years.

    Evelyn's tale of her years in Hollywood is full of surprises, twists and turns, and although it's fiction it mixes in what's surely serious struggles of many actors and actresses in the 50s and 60s. The narration is perfect, and I hung on every word of Evelyn's story with admiration and respect.

    I loved this book. It's an epic tale of relationships, true love, friendships, and the beauty and flaws of life. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys an excellent story.

    -Wendi

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Silent Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Kerry Fisher
    • Narrated By Emma Spurgin-Hussey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1371)
    Performance
    (1238)
    Story
    (1233)

    Lara's life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can't tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage. Maggie is married to Massimo's brother Nico. She knows all of Nico's darkest secrets - or so she thinks. The one day she discovers a letter in the attic....

    Kindle Customer says: "Definitely not a mystery or page turner"
    "Good Story, Brilliant Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    'The Silent Wife' is a solid story about two women who've married into a close knit Italian family. Maggie is new to the family, as she's recently married Nico, a widower with a fourteen year old daughter. Laura has been married to Nico's brother for years. At first it seems as though Maggie is simply not welcomed into the family by her sister-in-law and overbearing mother-in-law, Anna.

    The story sort of drags in the middle and I was tempted to quit listening but it started to move quickly at the halfway point and I really enjoyed the second half of the book. It turns out of course, that Maggie's paranoia about not being liked had deeper roots, and as the story unfolds, so does the family's dirty little secrets.

    This novel is well written, and the narration is impeccable. I would give it 4 sold stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys good fiction.

    -Wendi

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Say Nothing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Brad Parks
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (377)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (345)

    Judge Scott Sampson doesn't brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she'll get the kids from school instead. It's not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn't have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent's most chilling nightmare begins.

    Ida says: "OMG! I Did Not Think That I Would Survive This!"
    "Just Okay- Very Implausible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A federal judge is trying a huge case. Someone has kidnapped his six year old twins and threatened that if he doesn't give the correct ruling, the children will die. He cannot say a word to anyone or there will be dire consequences.

    He starts to suspect everyone of the kidnapping, even his own wife. He lives in terror and a world of lies because he knows he has to do anything and all he can to save the lives of his children.

    This book is worth the listen, but it's confusing and convoluted. The author steers us in several paths to try and place the blame on several different people. The case the judge is trying is very intricate and detail oriented and it's hard to decipher the characters and circumstances.

    The ending is absolutely horrible. The narration is lifeless and 'matter of fact.' But, it did keep my interest and I will give it 3 stars all around.

    -Wendi

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Roanoke Girls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Amy Engel
    • Narrated By Brittany Pressley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (576)
    Performance
    (548)
    Story
    (547)

    After her mother's suicide, 15-year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother's mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran...fast and far away. Eleven years later Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run, too? Or something worse?

    Yikes says: "Loved this book!"
    "I Had To Collect My Thoughts to Write This Review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Roanoke Girls is a very odd book. Roanoke is a house or ranch in small town Kansas. There have been several Roanoke girls born through the marriage of the patriarch and his wife, but oddly enough they all ran away when they could. All of them were dead before age thirty.

    Two of the daughters' offspring are forced to go live with their grandparents on the grand estate. Not knowing much about their background or their history, they soon learn that Roanoke isn't exactly the big, beautiful estate it seems. There are secrets in the walls, in the beds, and in their very DNA.

    We learn about the secrets and the ways that family can show love, both harshly and inappropriately. We learn how, even though you might be surrounded by family, you can still be extremely lonely, confused and in the state of constant despair. We learn how the sickness of the father carries on to the daughters and the sons.

    This book is depressing. It's told nonchalantly, like nothing should surprise the reader. It has that odd 'tug' that makes you want to hear more and listen, but it also repulses the listener and makes he or she hope the story will take a different turn.

    I recommend it for a melancholy listen. It's written well and it's a great story.

    Wendi

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Therapy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Sebastian Fitzek
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (202)

    Twelve-year-old Josy has an inexplicable illness. She vanishes without a trace from her doctor's office during treatment. Four years later Josy's father, psychiatrist Viktor Larenz, has withdrawn himself to an isolated North Sea island in order to deal with the tragedy. Then he's paid a surprise visit by a beautiful stranger. Anna Glass is a novelist who suffers from an unusual form of schizophrenia: All the characters she creates for her books become real to her.

    DCG says: "Didnt like the graphic sadism..."
    "Mind.. Blown.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We start out at a psychiatric hospital. One psychiatrist is treating another one, who is never getting out of the asylum because of a murder he's committed. However, we don't know who he's murdered or why. The lead psychologist coaxes his patient to tell him the 'story'- and so we delve into the world of a lonely man grieving over his daughter who was abducted.

    Four years after the abduction, 'Victor' shares the story of what's happened and what his thoughts are after his horrible ordeal. Victor lives on a small island off the east coast of the US, but his home is Germany. While he's at his home in the Western World, a young girl knocks on his door and tells him that she's been referred to him by a colleague. This young girl is a schizophrenic, and she has horrible hallucinations. She begs Victor to treat her and he finally caves, because she seems to know something about his daughter.

    As the story progresses the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Things are so confusing and so whirlwind unbelievable- we feel so sorry for Victor and we wonder 'Who is this girl really?' The story is fast paced and you have to listen to each word in it's beautiful prose to keep up with the twists and turns.

    I am so grateful I read this book, it was a wonderful, titillating, mind boggling experience and I'll never forget it.

    Totally awesome.

    Wendi

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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