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Alison's

Alison's Book Marks

Asbury, NJ, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
5
REVIEWS
5
FOLLOWING
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HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • Paranormalcy

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kiersten White
    • Narrated By Emily Eiden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (335)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (188)

    Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours. But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. So much for normal.

    Kirstin says: "Why Did I Wait So Long?"
    "Fun book!"
    Overall

    A paranormal YA that doesn't take itself too seriously!

    I listened to the audio version of Paranormalcy, and I was really worried that the teenager-y voice was going to grind on my nerves, but it didn't. Not at all! In fact, since I'm not a teen of the 2k generation, I would not have had the right sarcastic tone that the reader, Emily Eiden, brought to Evie.

    Kiersten White brought the perfect balance of sarcastic wit and fun first love with dangerous monsters, death and destruction. Especially at the very beginning of the book, Evie reminded me of an updated Buffy - coming from me, that's a huge compliment!

    This was a lighter read for those of us who usually gravitate toward the heavier, dark prophecy type paranormal series. It was a nice break.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tom Franklin
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1290)
    Performance
    (709)
    Story
    (716)

    Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were unlikely boyhood friends. Larry was the child of lower middle-class white parents, Silas the son of a poor, single, black mother - their worlds as different as night and day. Yet a special bond developed between them in Chabot, Mississippi. But within a few years, tragedy struck. In high school, a girl who lived up the road from Larry had gone to the drive-in movie with him and nobody had seen her again.

    Ann says: "Excellent story, terrific narrator."
    "Slow start, but rewards in the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood friends, who drifted apart in high school. Larry went on a date with a girl to a drive-in movie, but the girl did not return home and was never heard from again. Larry was never arrested, as there was no proof. Silas moved away shortly after and the two did not speak again until years later. The years between were hard and solitary for Larry, "Scary Larry" the locals called him. He was once again under suspicion when another girl went missing. Silas, constable of their small hometown, and was called in to investigate when Larry Ott was discovered with a severe gunshot wound that left him in a coma. What happened to Larry, and the real story of what happened to the girl recently missing, as well as the one missing from all those years ago slowly unravels in this riveting narrative.

    A little slow to start, Tom Franklin's narrative voice gradually pulls the reader into the story, which gets the heart pounding about 3/4 of the way in. Some categorize Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter as a thriller, but it's more of a subtle roar than a loud scream.

    Even though Larry Ott spends almost the entire book in a coma, his story comes to the reader through Silas's detective work and his own memories of the past, peeling apart their story one layer at a time.

    A note on the audiobook. I read this book with my book club, and a few readers did not catch on at first as to which characters in the novel were black and which were white. Since racial tension is palpable in Mississippi, even in present day, I'm afraid they may have missed a significant source of drama. I had the benefit of Kevin Kenerly's superb narration, whose accent and diction left no doubt in the listeners' minds. He gave each character his/her own voice, tone, accent, and it really allowed me to immerse myself in the story. This may sound strange, but Kevin Kenerly was able to make a character's stature grow larger just by the deep tone of voice he gave him. When I heard his Silas/32 voice, I immediately imagined CC Sebathia (NY Yankee pitcher) who stands at 6'7", and has a serious but kind face. There is one scene in the book that sent chills up my spine, highlighting the perfect marriage between author and narrator. All in all, a terrific audio!

    A smart, memorable novel that slowly draws readers in and delivers a satisfying end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Mindy Kaling
    • Narrated By Mindy Kaling, Michael Schur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2621)
    Performance
    (2423)
    Story
    (2438)

    Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

    Tabitha says: "Love it!"
    "Fun Audio!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Prior to the publication of Mindy Kaling's book, I did not know her as anything other than Kelly Kapoor on The Office, one of the funniest shows on TV. Even still, I didn't realize the large role she has played in the show's success. She is the "quadruple threat" in Television: actress, writer, director and producer. The new show, The Mindy Project, is her new baby.

    IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? is Mindy's story so far. She talks about her relatively normal upbringing, her childhood as a chubby kid, the adolescent who was obsessed with all things comedy, the student at Dartmouth, and the wide-eyed talented anti-ingenue.

    She has a self-depricating humor similar to that of Tina Fey, but edgier and all her own. I'm sure being compared to Tina Fey and Amy Pohler is very cool, but she has her own brand of hilariousness, which comes out shining in her book.

    Her chapter titles include: "I Am Not An Athlete," "The Exact Level of Fame I Want," and, my personal favorite, "Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities." For almost eight years, Mindy lived with her best girl friends, and their relationships had their own Code of Conduct, including the right and responsibility, "If our phone conversation gets disconnected there's no need to call back. I get it. You get it. We take forever getting off the phone anyway. This was a blessing." (This happens to me and my sister all the time, and it's understood, no call-back needed!) But my personal favorite Best Friend Right and Responsibility, "I will hate and re-like people for you. But you can't get mad at me if I can't keep track." (In my world, this is the equivalent of Friending and Un-Friending someone on Facebook for my best friends. Yes, I have done that, purely out of love. If I have un-friended you on Facebook, chances are high you have wronged my BFF in some way.)

    I'm already a huge fan of memoirs and bios narrated by their celebrity authors - Tina Fey, Rob Lowe, Carrie Fisher, you get the idea. So, when I saw Mindy Kaling's book, I knew it would have to be audio for me, but I didn't know when. The when became easy. I had just read a string of really good, heavy books, and I was reading a print YA. I was ready for an audio that would offer me something light and funny - Hello, Mindy!

    She's the perfect narrator. Her voice is funny and natural, and not at all annoying. Some actresses have a great voice for dialogue, but alone on an audiobook for 5 hours is not ideal. My only wish is now I want to hear her sing, and there is no singing on the audiobook. Mindy also has appearances on her audiobook by Michael Schur, a writer/producer/director on The Office, SNL, and Parks and Rec, as well as BJ Novak, another actor/writer/producer on The Office and The Mindy Project.

    I feel like I'm friends with Mindy now. It's a really good thing I'm not in danger of bumping into her on the street, because she would definitely think I was a stalker by my comfort level.

    I highly recommend this audiobook. It's quick, it's funny, and it will give you an appreciation for the comedy genius that is Mindy Kaling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pure

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Julianna Baggott
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam, Joshua Swanson, Kevin T. Collins, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (497)
    Performance
    (442)
    Story
    (440)

    Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost. There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss - maybe just because his family is broken. When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

    D says: "Pure Surprise"
    "Fantastic YA Dystopian"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So this is steampunk!

    PURE was exactly the right book at exactly the right time. I had just come off of a string of heavy, serious books, and I needed a little YA "pallet cleanser" and this was great!

    Don't get me wrong, "clean" is not a word I would use to describe PURE. In fact, this is one of the grittiest books I have read in this genre. Extremely visual, PURE transports readers to a dystopian world unlike anything I have ever read before. It's dark. It's raw. It's tough. And so is our girl, Pressia.

    Completely original, with twists and turns readers won't see coming, this is a must-read.

    A note on the audio production: It was very well done. I was a bit worried that having FOUR narrators was going to be more of a dramatic reproduction, like a radio play, rather than a novel. It was not. Each narrator took on a character's perspective, reading their chapters. The only time this got a little kooky was when Pressia was talking to Bradwell and then Partridge was talking to Bradwell, they each had their own "voice" for Bradwell. (does that make sense?) It did not take me long to get used to this, as there is not a huge cast of characters, so the writing kept the character straight for me instead of the narrators.

    I'm really looking forward to diving into the next book in the trilogy, FUSE.

    If you're a fan of dystopian YA like The Hunger Games, Ashfall, Legend, Blood Red Road, or Divergent, you must add PURE to your bookshelf.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rococo

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Adriana Trigiani
    • Narrated By Mario Cantone
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Bartolomeo di Crespi is the acclaimed interior decorator of Our Lady of Fatima, New Jersey. To date, Bartolomeo has hand-selected every chandelier, sconce, and ottoman in OLOF, so when the renovation of the local church is scheduled, he assumes there is only one man for the job.

    Aaron says: "A delightful story with a hilarious read"
    "Don't Miss Mario Cantone reading Rococo!"
    Overall

    Adriana Trigiani's words + Mario Cantone's voice = perfect together in this entertaining audio book!

    If you are like me and only really know of Mario Cantone from Sex and the City, you will be as pleasantly surprised as I to find out just how talented this man is! The VOICES! It was so easy to forget that there was only one person reading this book - there could have easily been 10 people in that studio!

    I feel like I spent a few days with my nose pressed up against the window of B's well decorated house in New Jersey. Adriana Trigiani has a way of opening up her heart and allowing her readers unrestricted access to her fictional families - the di Crespis are no exception.

    Bartolomeo de Crespi is an interior decorator, and Adriana Trigiani doesn't allow her readers to pass a wall, a chandelier, or a swatch of fabric without bringing it to life - from the beautiful textiles of the legendary fabric houses of New York City to the frescoes of Italy all the way to the tacky plastic sofa covers of south Jersey. More important than the decor, Adriana has a way of decorating her books with characters that are so alive and colorful, one can't help but feel like one of the family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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