A decent story, but the narration is a distraction. Ms. Sands is not without talent, but her style doesn't fit this type of story. She speaks in a throaty almost-whisper that trails off at the end of each sentence, sometimes to the point that I had a hard time understanding the last word. Her accent sounds genuine and she doesn't overdramatize (an annoying habit of some narrators), but the low, gravelly softness of her voice made it sound like she was going for some sort of languid, ultra-sexy sound even when there was nothing languid or sexy about what was happening in the book. The end result is that the book had a heavier feel that I was looking for and that the reviews I read by people who had read the print version indicated. Granted, there are some heavy themes in the book, but even Oscar's antics seemed almost depressing when described by this narrator. It did get slightly better as the book progressed, but overall I found the voice so distracting that I sometimes lost track of the story.
Otherwise, it was a good story, and the descriptions of vintage clothing, witchcraft, and San Francisco were excellent. I would like to continue the series, but I might switch to the print version.
In addition to odd pronunciations of some words, the narrator does a terrible job with voices, makes characters sound like poorly-done caricatures. Her rendition of the protagonist makes her sound like a pretentious biddy twice the age the story indicates. Much of the humor is lost in the narrator's poor delivery. I feel like the book would have been far more entertaining if I had picked up the print version.
Story made for a decent light and fluffy read but the narration was terrible. Pauses too long, pace too slow, didn't flow naturally the way a person would talk. Also too nasal, even for a good southern accent. I put it on 2X just to get through the book more quickly and found that the faster pace actually made the narration better. The narration made it difficult to gauge the quality of the story, but it had some scenes that I think would have been funny had they been read correctly, and it held my interest enough to make me want to check out the next one -- in print.
Good, mildly complex mystery story with good characters. I am from Georgia and felt like I have met most of the characters in the book. The narration lacks a little to be desired, however. The narrator has a pleasant voice, and a few of her characters were almost dead-on, almost exactly how I would expect the voice and accent of that person to sound. Mostly, though, she spoke too slowly and enunciated too precisely to sound like any normal person anywhere, southern or otherwise. I don't know if this was the fault of the narrator or the director, but it was very annoying. Not annoying enough to prevent me from enjoying the listen, but I would've enjoyed it a lot more if the narration had been better.
Characters were good with a likable protagonist. Pace was not fast but not plodding, and it was predictable but not in a way that detracts from the story. It is not difficult to guess how the story is going to end, but the journey to that end is very satisfying.
The overall feel of the book. Sort of dreamy and pleasant. Makes you want to settle in a pretty little seaside town and work in the cafe. The story was decent enough to keep me interested, but the setting was the star of the show.
Yes, to the ones who like a dreamy romantic read.
Almost anyone. The narrator had a nice voice and would be great for children's stories, but the way she handled what was supposed to be normal adult dialog was sorely lacking. I constantly found myself thinking, "who the *$%& talks like that??" The voice of the main character sounded downright child-like at times, enough to be a little creepy during some of the "love" scenes. While the audio book was great for passing the time while driving or doing housework, the narration left me wishing I had read the print version.
It held my attention and had an interesting storyline, but the lead character was annoyingly stupid. The book would have been hours shorter if she had figured out the answers to all the various dramas and dilemmas at even half the speed of a person with normal intelligence. The ghost was also monumentally irritating, but at least her grating personality was an intentional part of the story. One can only hope the stupidity of the main character was an unintentional flaw. I gave it three stars because I was able to stay interested in the story and generally considered it not to be a complete waste of my time in that it did provide slightly more entertainment than frustration, but I completely understand the reviewers who weren't even able to finish it.
Survivor meets Gladiator - not bad. It's a novel of teens for teens but the teen angst is kept to a tolerable minimum. The series would be extraordinary if written for adults, but some concessions are required to make it age-appropriate for the target audience. Despite the horrific world in which the story is set, the author still manages to romanticize some aspects of it, and the lead character sometimes displays a level of stupidity that can't quite be explained away by her youth and inexperience as we are supposed to believe. The same story written for older readers could probably be made a little more realistic in these areas, but even in its current form it is thought provoking and impossible to put down.
Decent enough story, kept me interested. Narrator was very good, with the exception of having the worst southern accent ever. Fortunately, this was only a small part of the dialogue.
Amazing. This is the first time I have felt that I would have missed something if I had read the book instead of listening to the audiobook. The book was great, but the narration was beyond outstanding. I am from the south and can attest to the authenticity of their accents. If this book is ever made into a movie (and I suspect it probably will be), the actresses would do well to listen to these narrators in preparation for their roles.
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