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Donna A

DJA

Massachusetts | Member Since 2007

101
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 77 reviews
  • 174 ratings
  • 418 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
8

  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18232)
    Performance
    (8398)
    Story
    (8435)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "WOW - Lisbeth is Super Woman"
    Overall

    Loved this series - this was by far the best of the 3. I can not imagine how Lisbeth survived everything and help set everyone up. The only thing missing was a list of who is who from all 3 books

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Apple Orchard

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Susan Wiggs
    • Narrated By Christina Traister
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (197)

    Tess Delaney makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners. People like Annelise Winther, who refuses to sell her long-gone mother’s beloved necklace - despite Tess’s advice. To Annelise, the jewel’s value is in its memories. But Tess’s own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter. So Tess is shocked when she discovers the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. And that she has been named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a 100-acre apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town called Archangel. The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half-sister she’s never heard of.

    Donna A says: "Charming"
    "Charming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs is the 1st book of the Bella Vista Chronicles. This is a story of 2 sisters, unknown to each other that are brought together when Magnus, their grandfather and patriarch of Bella Vista falls and lands in a coma.

    Tess Delaney, works in the big city for the Sheffield Auction House where she finds lost family treasures and reunites them with their owners. Tess grew up with her grandmother in Ireland knowing nothing about her father and with a mother that was always traveling. But Tess’s life is about to change when Dominic Rossi arrives at the Sheffield Auction House with news that the grandfather she has never known is in a coma and she is named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, an apple orchard in a town called Archangel. Her half sister Isabel Johansen will inherit the other half of Bella Vista. But Bella Vista is in financial trouble and about to be foreclosed on.

    Ms Wiggs weaves a lovely story of 2 sisters, of new love, of a mother and daughter reuniting and family secrets. As Tess begins to discover a simpler way of life she begins to uncover the mysterious life of her grandfather and his escape from Nazi occupied Denmark and the treasured artifact that could save Bella Vista from foreclosure.
    Although the story was predicable I thoroughly enjoyed it, I really did not find any of the character annoying and looking forward to book 2 of the Bella Vista Chronicles - The Beekeeper's Ball.

    The audio book was narrated by Christina Traister and on the whole, I enjoyed her narration I found at times I had a hard time distinguishing between Tess and Isabel

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Splendour Falls

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Susanna Kearsley
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (221)

    Emily Braden has stopped believing in fairy tales and happy endings. When her fascinating but unreliable cousin Harry invites her on a holiday to explore the legendary town of Chinon, and promptly disappears - well, that's Harry for you. As Emily makes the acquaintance of Chinon and its people, she begins to uncover dark secrets beneath the charm.

    NancyJQ says: "Another triumph for my favorite author!"
    "adventure, mystery an a touch of the supernatural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you have picked up The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley expecting it to be one of her charming time travel romances novels you are in for a surprise. The story revolves around 28 year old Emily Braden who is convinced by her errant cousin Harry to go on holiday to the French town of Chinon, France where a young and beautiful Queen Isabella once rumored to have hidden a great treasure. Ahh but there is another story of a lost treasure and another beautiful Isabella – hidden in a medieval chateau or in the maze of ancient tunnels underneath the streets of Chinon – and Harry has gone missing Emily begins to fear that Harry might be more than just delayed. As Emily tries to find her cousin, she becomes more aware of some strange tension, old hostilities, new friend and loves among her fellow guest.

    I found it took a bit to get into the story but once the web of secrets started to disentangle I found the story compelling and unpredictable. The Splendour Falls I felt one of Ms. Kearsley’s best – The Winter Sea being my favorite.

    This was an audio book that was narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. While I felt she did a decent job narrating the book I felt her voice was too old for the main character – it was too gruffy. She did more justice to male voices, with spot on French accents and word pronunciation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Witch: The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1632)
    Performance
    (1484)
    Story
    (1480)

    With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations - and where her destiny awaits.

    Ann says: "Over the top"
    "Feels like a rewrite of the Three Sisters Island"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am quite disappointed in Dark Witch book 1 of The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy. I am not sure if it is because the story is very similar to Three Sisters Island trilogy, it felt like Ms Roberts is just rewriting this series or because I found the narrator a little irritating – she made the main character Iona at times a little flaky. I highly doubt I will read the next 2 books in the series.

    woudl only give it 2 1/2 stars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Salt Air

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Barbara Delinsky
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (64)

    Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole's family's island house, but they have since grown apart. When Nicole returns to the island house in order to write a book about island food, she invites her old friend. Outgoing and passionate, Charlotte has a gift for talking to people and making friends, and Nicole would like her help interviewing locals for her book. But what both women don't know is that they are each holding a secret that may change their relationship forever.

    Donna A says: "Enjoyable Maine story"
    "Enjoyable Maine story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At one time Nicole and Charlotte we best of friend – inseparable – spending their summers on Nicole’s family summer home on Quinnipeague, a small island off the coast of Maine. But 10 years have passed, with secrets kept and different life paths that have caused these women to grow apart. Nicole’s dad has passed away and now the summer home on Quinnipeague is going to be sold. Nicole being a food blogger and Charlotte a successful travel writer will bring these 2 friends together once more to renew their friendship and write a cookbook bases on Quinnipeague recipes – but each has a secret that will change both their lives. Nicole’s secret would betray her husband, Julian’s wishes, for Charlotte it could destroy her renewed friendship with Nicole but prolong Julian’s life. It would release Charlotte from her guilt of the past and allow her to love again.

    Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky it a story of the strength of friendship, the ability to face misfortune, to love again and follow your heart when your life does not follow your life plan.

    I can’t say the story was unpredictable. I did find Nicole’s character at time be grating but total enjoyed Charlotte and Leo. This was my first Barbara Delinsky book - it was well written, I found the characters well developed - I will definitely read another Delinsky. This was an audiobook was narrated by Marguerite Gavin – she did an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joyland

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Michael Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3166)
    Performance
    (2927)
    Story
    (2928)

    Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

    Cozy Reader says: "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    "Total Enjoyment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Joyland by Stephen King is the story of 21 year old virgin Devin Jones who spends the summer and fall of 1973 working at the North Carolina amusement park. Jump on board for Dev’s journey – it is a coming of age tale; of lost love and love found, of new friends, of ghost stories, of murder and of the fate of a dying child that will change his life forever.

    The audio book was narrated by Michael Kelly. It took me some time to warm up to his style but by the end of the almost 8 hour narration I thought he did an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Hundred Summers

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Beatriz Williams
    • Narrated By Kathleen McInerney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (181)

    Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview. Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily's past: her former best friend and her former fiancee, now recently married - an event that set off a wildfire of gossip.

    L.W. says: "What a Memorable Summer Read"
    "Not Bad Not Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A Hundred Summers is Beatriz Williams’ second novel, the first being Overseas. A Hundred Summers is a story of friendships, betrayals, old families and guarded secrets. The audiobook was an easy listen and thought Kathleen McInerney did a fine job narrating.

    The story alternates between 1931/1932 and 1938. In 1931 we meet up with the main characters Lily Dane and Budgie Byrne where they are attending college football game to watch Budgie's boyfriend, Graham Pendleton play. Here Lily meets Nicholsen Greenwald at a game, and fall instantly in love with each other but with Nick being Jewish they become star cross lovers. Fast forward to 1938 to Seaview, RI where Lily has arrived at her family’s summer home with her Mother, Aunt and 6 year old sister, Kiki. And who shows up, her former best friend Budgie with former fiancé, now recently married Nicholsen Greenwald. Seeing that Lily is still single Budgie tries to match up her old boyfriend Graham Pendleton – who just happens to be a relief pitcher for the Yankees. But there is a storm brewing, the ties between Lily and Nick are too strong, the Budgie/Nick marriage is not all that it looks to be and Graham is not very trustful – threw in the Hurricane of 1938 for added.

    The characters are where I had my issues. I could not find one redeeming thing about Budgie and I think the author realized that as well as she throws you a little curve ball towards the end. I had no empathy for Lily, I could understand Lily being naïve in 1931 but to stay naive for 7 years was a bit too much. Her relationship with her little sister (or was it her sister), Kiki was a bit over the top.

    I really would have liked to have given this book 4 stars for I felt it was well written but I found the story very predictable and several of the main characters quite annoying – so 3 ½ stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I've Got Your Number: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Sophie Kinsella
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1241)
    Performance
    (1077)
    Story
    (1070)

    Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect! Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree.

    Erin says: "Pure fun"
    "Cute but overall 3 1/2 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella is the story about one unlucky wacky and at times exasperating Poppy Wyatt. Poppy is about to get married to the most perfect man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her life starts to falls apart – she loses the family heirloom engagement ring in a hotel fire drill and then her phone is stolen but someone has tossed their mobile away. In comes businessman Sam Roxton said owner of tossed mobile phone and he wants the company phone back. As the story evolves Poppy and Sam are constantly butting into each other through emails and text all while Poppy it trying to juggles wedding preparations and hiding her engagement hand to Magnus and his parent .. ahh by Poppy is in for even a bigger surprises.

    It took me some time to get into this book – I found Poppy annoying at times especially with all the ‘footnote’ comments. Once we got past the whole ‘lost ring’ I warmed up to the book and had a few good chuckles. This audiobook was narrated by Jayne Entwistle and whom I enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Matthew Quick
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1882)
    Performance
    (1700)
    Story
    (1703)

    During his years in a neural-health facility, Pat Peoples has formulated a theory about silver linings. He believes that his life is a movie produced by God, that his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and that if he succeeds, his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki, and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.

    FanB14 says: "Eagles Victory"
    "Great 1st novel - Movie not so much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Silver Linings Playbook is Matthew Quick's stellar debut novel. The story is told by the main character Pat Peoples, as he releases from the ‘the bad place’ (neural health facility) in the care of his emotional Mother and remote Father. Pat believes in silver linings; that his life is a movie produced by God, he is extremely focus on recreating himself by becoming physically fit and emotionally supportive, and his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki, ending their “a part time”. Into his life comes Tiffany; a tragically over sexed clinically depressed widowed with a rather demanding condition, to act as a liaison between him and Nikki …needless to say, things don't go quite as she expects. The characters are complex, flawed and a little bit crazy.

    The Silver Linings Playbook will warm your heart, make you chuckle and may bring a tear to your eye.

    After reading the book I rented the movie and was sadly disappointed - I would give it 3 stars – I felt the movie was jumpy and hard to follow, way too much yelling in amongst the characters, the changed quite a lot of the story line. Too bad Hollywood ruined story. They left some of the best parts of the story out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lover Eternal, The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J.R. Ward
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2457)
    Performance
    (1672)
    Story
    (1693)

    Listeners looking for a fresh twist on vampire tales need look no further than the erotically charged Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Mary Luce is dissatisfied with her life and her job. But when she is unwittingly thrust into the vampire dominion, everything changes. Falling under the protection of the Brotherhood's strongest member, Rhage, she soon finds herself drawn to his animalistic urges.

    Bonnie says: "JR Ward Writer of Erotic Horror Fantasy"
    "REALLY??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Before I decided to review the Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2) audiobook I look up the review standings .. on Amazon there are a total of there are 550 reviews in which 393 give this book 5 stars. I was told the books got better well I am sorry the best I can do is ½ star - now there will be 10 people ranking this books with only 1 star.

    This is the 2nd installment of the BDB Series and my last, as with the 1st book I found that it too had a terrible plot, the writing was awful - I think a 13 year old wrote the book - REALLY "juicy curses"? It was riddled with lame and silly dialog; seriously what adult male says "You feelin' me, brother?" or "you gotta hook me". Or what guys comments about another guys outfit; "that brother looks good in his Armani suit" - REALLY??
    As for the audio part that too was awful.

    I do have a couple of positive comments - I purchased this book on sale and the best part of the audio version - the long dead space between the chapters.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince of Tides

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (2145)
    Performance
    (1310)
    Story
    (1313)

    Spanning 40 years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born.

    Ella says: "A "Prince" amongst novels"
    "Magically, emotional and at times very disturbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides is the story of the Wingo family - past and present as told through the eyes of Tom Wingo. Tom’s life is a mess – he had lost his teaching/coaching job, had a nervous breakdown and a marriage that on the rocks. He grew up along with his 2 siblings in a dysfunctional family – at times an abusive father, a mother that was somewhat more caring, but was unable to protect her children from her husband, a mother that viewed her social ambitions as being more important than anything else including her life. Once more life is about to change for Tom when his beautiful and very talent twin sister Savannah tries once again to commit suicide. At the request Susan Lowenstein, Savannah's psychiatrist, Tom travels to NY City to meet with Dr. Lowenstein to unravel the secrets of her terrible childhood and in doing so helps to save him. During these meetings we the reader travel back to the low country of Charleston, SC and become intimate with the trials and tribulation of the Wingo family; where the good doctor’s helps to break down Tom's protective shell to discover the horrors that took place during the Wingo's childhood. It is also during these time times we get a little more insight into Lowenstein’s personal life, of her reclusive husband and bratty son and how Tom is able to help her mend her self-esteem.

    Many years ago I read Pat Conroy’s Beach Music which became one of my all-time favorite books. His writing is . I am not so sure why I wait so very long to read another book of him.

    This was actual an audiobook read my Frank Miller and was highly recommended by a Goodreads – Thank you Tracey. It took me sometime to feel comfortable with Frank’s narrative style – but some 22+ hours later thoroughly enjoyed his narration especially how he portrayed Tom’s humor, sarcasm – right down to his rudeness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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