Andrew Clements has done it again. We listened to this on car rides and I probably enjoyed it as much as the kids.
Rebecca Soler's performance of this audiobook is fantastic. She portrays many characters of different accents, genders and personality very well. She portrays the actions and emotions of the story perfectly. She didn't put a foot wrong anywhere. No false pauses or emphases on the wrong word in a sentence. Good emotional intensity when called for without being shrill or overacting. Best of all, she was able to communicate the deep warmth and humanity of this story of a cyborg by her tone. One of the best narrators I've heard in recent memory. You won't want to stop listening to it and will get frustrated when your kids make you turn it off when they aren't with you in the car. You'll try but won't be able to listen to your "adult book" because this vivid story won't step aside to make room for a lesser one.
The retelling of the Cinderella story is so cleverly done that I had to sometimes strain to see the similarities between this and the original. This book isn't a conventional fairy tale love story. It may develop into one as the series progresses but so far only friendship and regard with some mild flirtation is there. In fact every time either Cinder or Kai is faced with a choice between what they want in their heart or the greater good, any feelings they may secretly hope for are pushed to the side in favour of duty and honor. This theme of self sacrifice is refreshing.
There is a stern stepmother and some sisters but cinder is no timid wanna be princess in need of saving from her circumstances. If any saving is needed it will most likely be done by her. While she is most definitely a teenager in sensibility which was so realistically portrayed that I felt exasperated with her at times. Cinder is a fantastic, strong, and new (to me) YA heroine. I ready see.
There is also great world building here. Marissa Meyer has created a believable alternate world which while obviously futuristic in technology, laws and customs is at the same time recognizable in the motivations and hopes of its inhabitants. They want a peaceful, healthy safe place to raise their families in and to be happy.
Great story telling and plotting. We did figure out some of the coming plot twists due to little seeds planted early on but they were pretty subtle and made the experience of this audio book more enjoyable rather than less.
Highly recommended for both girls and boys.
If you know a reader looking for a new series to get immersed in get them to try this. I quite enjoyed the Divergent series (up to mid way through book three that is.) I think this is better.
This is a fantastic, entertaining, make you laugh and cry, make time fly by fast, very credit worthy audiobook. Rebecca Lowman gives a brilliant performance. She makes the characters and the story come alive in such a way that after a while you stop noticing the narrator. The story just happens inside your head. I like the world of Fangirl very much. It's a small world, but a place I enjoyed spending time in and populated by characters I cared about very much. I especially enjoyed Levi, he's not a conventionally handsome or perfect guy who never puts a foot wrong, but there was just something about him that made me root for him and made me smile inside and out, even when he screwed up. We should all have a Levi in our lives at some point.
If you have never read a Sophie Kinsella book, don't start here. This is a pretty standard offering from SK, but not close to her best work. It has the usual amusing preposterous plotting but lacks the charm of her previous work and is much more R Rated than usual (language and sexy stuff). I suppose the premise of one sister trying to consummate her marriage and have a romantic wedding night, while the other sister tries to stop that from happening should have clued me in to that. There were a couple of laugh out loud moments but not enough to make this a recommendable read. The narration was excellent though. No complaints there.
Enjoyable, quick read/listen. Lots of laugh out loud moments. An unexpectedly compelling plot. I loved lauren Graham in Gilmore Girls so this is one of the few times where being read by the author was a huge positive for me.
Another reliably entertaining audiobook from Harlan Coben. A stand alone mystery this time. I finished it quickly because I listened to it everywhere, including grocery shopping, driving, and gardening. The narrator, Scott Brick, was also pretty good, if a little overwrought at times but he enhanced my interest.
The Storyteller is not as polarizing as some of Jodi Picoults previous books. i think we can all agree that nazi war criminals are a pretty black and white subject. Even though this book is one of the most depressing books ive read/listened to in a long time, (holocaust stories never get easier to hear). It does explore the theme of forgiveness in an interesting and thoughtful way. This might be the Jodi Picoult book I have enjoyed the most.
Excellent narration by a multi voiced cast. Not a weak link among them.
No, but she was excellent. I have rarely heard better.
I picked this one knowing nothing about it except that it was written by Kate Atkinson. That showed good judgement on my part because Life After Life was one of the best and most memorable books I will ever read.Ursula, born in England 1910, lives a privileged but ordinary life. Except for the fact that along the way she dies many times and in many different ways. She somehow gets a do over each time "darkness falls" and usually makes it a little farther with each new try. Some episodes prove particularly challenging to move beyond but that's not to say every perilous situation ends in death. The reader is never quite sure which way a new life will end. When I say new life I don't mean reincarnation. She is always Ursula, always reborn to the same family in time and place. This is no scyfi or paranormal groundhog day type story. It's a beautifully written, thoughtful literary exploration of choices and chance. A celebration of life where Ursula's lifeline is portrayed as a palimpsest rather than a linear sequential occurrence.At first Ursula has no inkling that she lives life after life. Then slowly, feelings of unease or déjà vu began creeping up on her. That, for me was when the book became an unputdownable masterpiece. It takes a very skilled writer to write an essentially similar scene several times but make each telling fresh and somehow suspenseful, but that's what Kate Atkinson does. I loved this book and can't recommend it highly enough. Drop whatever you are reading at the moment and read this now. No matter what you are in the middle of, this is better.
More sci- fyesque than I was expecting, but also more disturbing, dark and violent too. I wouldn't class it as a children's book at all even if the main character is a 13 yr old boy going through a coming of age experience. This book reminded me somewhat of the AMC show, The Walking Dead, not for the content, there are no zombies in this story, but for the pervading sense of constant peril the characters are in. The feeling that they can't relax even for a minute, anything bad could happen at anytime, and the unlikeliness of ever getting out of their situation alive
The narrator is excellent.
2 stars. Way too angsty but with no real heart.
Not only was the angst factor high. It was misplaced angst. IMO it should have been directed at the fact that in a very short time shades were coming to suck her back down to the underworld and suck her dry. Not at whether, jack the cute quarterback still liked her. As thstory progressed the connection with jack took on more relevance to her fate, but still...
I like retellings of myths and the Orpheus/Eurydice is one of my favorites. Also the cover of this book is beautiful and appealed to me. However, It was a struggle to get through it. I began with the audiobook which I didn't enjoy. The flat lifeless tone of the reader was off putting even though it matched the flat, lifeless tone of the main character. I also found it difficult to drve while constantly rolling my eyes. So I switched to the print version to finish. Part of the problem may be that it suffers by being part one of a trilogy, perhaps if the author had been able to tell a complete story instead of just dragging out part one to the required 350ish pages it would have worked better. Remember, it's a retelling, which means its already been told. So most folks know the general direction the story will take. The ending was exactly as suspected and was just a set up for book two, which I won't be reading.
A grudging 3 stars for me because it was so heavily and obviously influenced by The Hobbit, The Narnia series, Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter etc that it became distracting and annoying to me. My 13 year old son felt the same as me but my daughter (8) couldn't get enough of it. She would give it 5 stars so it worked well as a read aloud to an 8yr old who hasn't read any of the above mentioned books except for Narnia.
I know it is almost sacrilege to say anything negative about Jim Dale but I'm going for it anyway. As a Harry Potter narrator he is brilliant, but he reads this book in EXACTLY the same way as HP. The Emerald Atlas is set not in England, but America. Baltimore I believe, but I may be wrong. However every character in The Emerald Atlas bizarrely has a quirky English accent, and uses English colloquialisms like "a potty old lady" and such,
(okay that part isn't Jim Dale's fault but I'm blaming him anyway), and all of the annoying dwarfs have cartoony Scottish accents. Being Scottish myself I was further annoyed by this.
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