I've been striking out with YA lately (Delirium and Divergent I'm looking at you), but I am so glad that I picked this one up.
The first half of the book is much stronger than the second half. The set up here is phenomenal: great writing, an original setting, interesting characters, mysteries that are actually mysterious. I found that I didn't want to stop listening. For me, the book loses it's way a little when we get sidetracked into the romance in the second half. However, the world the author has created here is somewhere that I want to explore further and I am looking forward with great anticipation to the next book in this series.
While this book makes for a breezy listen, a lot of what is contained within will be old news to many readers. If you know what a straw man argument and an ad hominem attack are, have read too many descriptions of the marshmallow experiment and the Standford prison experiment and are just plain tired of Milgram this book is probably not for you. While there were certainly many sections that contained information that I was previously unaware of the amount of the content that I already knew ruined this for me.
This book comes from the author of a blog of the same name, and it shows. The chapters read like blog posts, tending to lack depth, and the flow between chapters is choppy at times. However, it's an easy read, and a good introductory look at some of work that has been done in psychology in the past century.
I really enjoyed the previous two instalments in this series and was eagerly awaiting the release of this one.
Fortunately, I wasn't disappointed. A joy to listen to - filled with a wonderful sense of humour and original characters. I particularly loved the expansion on Puri's mother in this book as she out manoeuvres her lovably egotistic son. The same narrator as performed the first two books returns and yet again puts in a great performance; truly adding to your enjoyment and immersion into Tarquin Hall's India.
I'm of two minds with Larklight. First and foremost I am bowled over by the world Reeve has created. I can't recall ever reading a book with a more fully realized and original world. It seems as if every page contains a new species, device or concept - it's almost overwhelming. At the same time, the bits and pieces pulled from Victorian England are - to my remembering - historically accurate. Absolutely worth reading for this alone.
On the other hand, the plot itself isn't as compelling and drags at the end. Furthermore, the characters aren't nearly as well rendered as their environment, making it difficult to be that emotionally invested in what happens to them. It's almost as if Reeve had to decide where to put his efforts and plunked all his eggs into the world-building basket. What he created was extraordinary, and I hope that future efforts spread his talent around a bit more evenly.
I was wary of this title, but as it was an "editor's pick" for the tournament of books, I decided to give it a try.
The plot here is derivative (seen the movie Equilibrium? This idea was better done there - which isn't setting the bar particularly high). The dystopian future described is so illogical that it is difficult to buy into as a reader. The central plot is a romance, which isn't really my genre, and it's sickly sweet here. The characters lacked depth.
Some of the best bits were the chapter epigraphs which set out children's rhymes or propaganda quotations. These gave the world a bit more history and context. But, epigraphs are hardly a reason to read a novel.
The narration was superb. But, by the middle of the book I was just waiting for it to end. I had no interest in the characters, had no doubt as to how the plot would pan out, and simply persevered because I'd sunk the credit into it. I probably should have rated my time more highly.
This is a really lovely book. It's a love story set against the background of the beginning of the cold war. However, it's more of an "Atonement" love story than a typical YA love story.
This seems much more mature to me than a lot of YA fiction. The writing is superb. Peet has a way with words that lingers in your head for days. However, readers may not be expecting such a slow moving novel. There's a lot of great detail here, but not a great deal of action. To me, it was a perfect capturing of a time and a place. A delight to listen to.
I think that this story lost some of it's punch for me as I knew so much about it before I started reading. Perhaps I would have preferred the short-story version, as I found that the story dragged in sections.
The narrator does an excellent job of trying to portray Charlie's various levels of intelligence with his voice, versus the use of spelling errors and the like in the text version.
I loved this book. The writing was beautiful, the characters and the setting were perfectly realized and the story was compelling. There is a romance aspect to the story - but it is more subtle than in many other YA titles and I didn't find it overbearing.
The dual narrators do excellent jobs. I loved the ending sentences of this book, partly because of the writing but also in large part due to the narration.
This is the first book by this author that I have tried, and I am now going to go back and go through her back catalogue. Highly recommended.
I enjoyed the Nurse Matilda books when I was a kid, but I was a little wary of the audio version, as Ardizzone's illustrations were a big part of the appeal. I was glad to find that the audio version was a big hit.
My daughter (4) has been listening to "chapter" books, but they have tended to be more like serial stories (e.g. Pippi Longstocking, Winnie the Pooh) where individual chapters are self-contained. Nurse Mathilda is a good middle ground between these and true chapter books. There is an overarching story wherein the children are gradually taught to improve their habits and Nurse Mathilda gradually transforms herself, but the chapters themselves are episodic. Each chapter is a mini-story within the arc of the overall story.
The story itself is funny and the narrator does a good job.
Moneyball is a fascinating look at how the manager of the Oakland A's used statistical methods to assemble the best baseball team he could given his limited budget.
Although I had heard excellent reviews of this book I avoided it for some time as I have no interest in baseball. I'm glad that I finally decided to give Moneyball a try. Despite my complete lack of baseball knowledge (I recognized the names of exactly three of the baseball players mentioned in the book - Babe Ruth, Bonds and Strawberry) I found the book both interesting and enlightening. Lewis does a great job of explaining what you need to know to see how players had been undervalued and why. On top of this, the stories he tells about the players and the managers are compelling and often humorous.
I loved listening to this book so much that I'm already thinking about listening to it again. Very highly recommended.
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