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Charlotte, NC, United States | Listener Since 2007

  • 5 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 227 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By E. L. James
    • Narrated By Becca Battoe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

    Susan says: "Fifty Shades of Bad Writing"
    ""Oh My""
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The writing was very sub-par. I like a book that can evoke a play in my mind, where my imagination can run away with itself keeping up with the story line. In this case, it was just ok. You could make a very intoxicating drinking game out of the repetitive word use… “Oh My” take a shot, “Heady Mix” another shot, “Jeez” another. I must have read each of those words 100+ times throughout the book. There is a lot of gasping, blushing and flushing. I gasp as he touches me, he gasps as I wrap my legs around him, we gasp together, I blush and blush some more, while gasping…I mean really?!? Then suddenly you would get hit with some preposterous $5 word. I should not have to pull out my dictionary to read erotic fiction. In one sentence she used the word verbose and loquacious; it reminded me of the scene in Con Air.

    Duncan Malloy: Garrulous? What the f*** is garrulous?
    Vince Larkin: That would be loquacious, verbose, effusive. How about "chatty"?
    Duncan Malloy: [to Devers] What's with Dictionary Boy?
    Vince Larkin: "Thesaurus Boy", I think, is more appropriate.

    It’s almost like she knew or the editor knew how bad the writing was and tried to smarten it up!

    Though with all that said, I still over all enjoyed the “love story” side of the book. Of course totally contrived and expected, I still wanted them to be together, for Ana to bring out the good side of the totally hot bad boy. I found myself smiling with anticipation for the next set of shared emails, by far the bright light in this book.

    If you can look past the amateur writing and not get bogged down in the literary aspect of the book, simply reading for entertainment value only, then yes, I would recommend this book to you.

    Has Fifty Shades of Grey turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, it is my first book in the erotic genre; however it might be something I would try to read again, especially if given some recommendations. I would enjoy seeing what good writing and a strong story line could do to make the erotic portions that much better.

    Which character – as performed by Becca Battoe – was your favorite?

    Ok, I know a lot of reviewers hated Becca as the voice of Ana, however remember she is reading what the author put down on paper, so the “Holy Cow’s” and “Jeez’s” and “Oh My’s” sound young and immature coming from her because they are young and immaturely written. From what I can gather from the book though, Ana is that, young, innocent and immature. Someone coming into her own amidst a predator like Mr. Grey, with all the squeals and eye rolls one would expect from a just over 20 something. I would agree however that having two readers would be great, or for the female audience having a very fine male voice reading would help with setting up the “scenes”! “Winky Emoticon”

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was far too long for that. Maybe I am being too literal with this one.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By E. L. James
    • Narrated By Becca Battoe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist.

    "Narration is the bane in this story"

    I have written this review once, with the old narration, so now I write it again. Let me start by addressing narration. I had no problem with the first narration of this story; I thought Ana was read perfectly. She is a 21 year old innocent, who seems to have no life experience and is just at the beginning of learning who she is and coming into herself. For those that thought she sounded too young, I have to question the last time they listened to a 21 year old girl talk. However that is moot, the narration has been redone and badly. I dislike this new Ana very much, while she perhaps sounds older, the voice is almost tired, words seem over spoken to me, like the narrator had to hold her mouth oddly to get the voice to sound this way. The male characters are really bad, no really, and I did not think them that badly before. If you are one who can get past bad narration, then maybe you won’t be so bothered by it, however the writing of the actual story does not get much better.

    The overall idea of this novel is great, I like Christian. There is something lustful about a powerful, handsome, rich, intelligent and dangerous man that wants nothing more than to have you and protect you. Ana is young, bottom line, young and everything that comes with inexperience in life and love. So this story starts off with Christian wanting a submissive and then moves into Christian wanting Ana, however he can get her, even if that means giving up some control and opening himself up to the possibilities of love. This is an erotic book, so expect the sex to be there and a good bit of it. There are no great plot twists, there are no “holy cow” I didn’t see that coming moments. It’s obvious and you can pretty much see the ending a mile away. However it’s a simple, easy read that can help some of the more boring moments of your day slip away.

    By biggest complaint is all the repetition…words and expressions used over and over and over and … you get my drift. I don’t have the e-reader version of this, so I did a little research to give you an idea of the gross overuse of words. Here goes: eye rolls 41 times, Ana bites her lip 35 times, eyebrows raising 50 times, 80 references to Ana's subconscious, 58 references to Ana's "inner goddess," and 92 utterances of some form of "oh crap", 60+ gasps and 120+ times of blushing and or flushing and more exasperations of “Oh My” than I even care to go into. However, never fear, she does pull out her Thesaurus every couple pages and throws out a $5.00 word, you will no doubt have never heard before, thereby giving you the opportunity to Google the definition.

    The highlight of the story, outside of imagining my very own Christian, is the email exchanges. I very much enjoyed seeing the relationship between the two of them during the emails; it’s pretty much the only time they have any real conversation outside of sex. I also enjoyed seeing the softer caring side of Christian when it came out.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteen Reasons Why

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jay Asher
    • Narrated By Debra Wiseman, Joel Johnstone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush, who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice explains that there are 13 reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

    FanB14 says: "Good Book for Parents & Teens to Share"
    "Maybe I just didnt get it"

    Based on several reviews I read on this book, I am guessing I am one of the people who thought it was just ok, well maybe not even that. I wanted to love this book, this look at how bullying and peoples everyday decisions affected others, how off handed comments and actions can be taken to heart and the unforeseen and unexpected outcomes of those decisions on others. I wanted to understand Hannah and her choice, to understand how what some see as little things could be so very serious to her, enough to kill herself. But honestly, I just found, I didn’t like her. I thought she was being spiteful and vindictive in her tapes, they did not read/sound like a person saying Hey, this really hurt me and here is why. No, it was like you didn’t invite me to prom and you suck, now I killed myself and it was all your fault…ha! Ok, so I exaggerate, but honestly I felt worse for Clay and some of the others than Hannah herself.

    Now, I am not suggesting that some (all 2 of them) of the “13 people” that are addressed in the book are not deserving of such hate and disgust. I hate to think that these things really happen and I know they do because I was in high school once too, and honestly for people to be so cruel and sick at such a young age is not only sad but scary. But most of the 13, Clay included (Why was he even included, I still don’t get that. He was good and kind and I have to say part of my resentment and dislike towards Hannah is her choice to involve him.) did nothing more than what happens every day to everyone in life. You get embarrassed sometimes, you get annoyed, and people say things, but to kill yourself over it, it just felt so shallow of a reason. And maybe it was because to me, what some of those included said or did were so, not a big deal, for the most part I did not truly feel most of them did anything really bullying at all. I think that really is what really sums up my dislike for this book overall. There are people out there who are getting verbal abused with such cruel cutting words, I want to cry for them, who are being physically assaulted, we see it in the news and displayed on you-tube all the time, yet Hannah’s upset her kiss that she wanted was not like that in a love story? Also was it just me or did it seem that she started to act in ways that put herself in more danger of bad things happening…but then was mad and blamed others because if two months ago you had taken me to the movies I would not have gotten in the hot tub naked with him that night…really?!? So now all the kids (yes children) have to live with Hannah’s tape to them because God forbid, they did not treat her like the world revolved around her, she is just as guilty for her lack of caring and cruelty towards them with these tapes as she claims they were toward her.

    I will say I like the duel narration of the story and very much like Joel Johnstone’s voice, so much so I have looked into other books he has narrated, simply because he’s reading them. I thought the narrators were clear and crisp in their execution and did what they could emotionally with the story they were given. I liked the author’s decision to write the story in this way, even if I did not love what he was writing. The overall performance of the narrators was one redeeming quality.

    I apologize in advance if my review offends, it’s not my intention. I just felt like this book took a very sensitive and serious topic and sent a horrible and confusing message to those teens who are struggling with true bullying and thoughts of suicide. I wanted to love it, to cry with it and to find some deeper understanding, but it fell short for me in almost all aspects.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Matched: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ally Condie
    • Narrated By Kate Simses
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

    Amazon Customer says: "A Kinder, Gentler Dyastopian Society"
    "Dystopia & Love in YA"

    In reviewing this book, I want to be sure to note, I am not a YA, however my secret is that I love them. As a 20 something adult I have to very distinct reading styles, one serious who loves rich deep plots and characters with twists, turns and surprises you never see coming, with beautiful imagery and writing. Then there is my lazy reading side and that side of me eats up YA novels. First they are simple, with easy to follow plots, expected and predictable plot themes and love stories and I am totally ok with that. So that being said, Matched falls into the ok/good enough to read the second category to my lazy reading side.

    The story is told through Cassia, a girl living in a dystopian world and eating up every minute of it, with her guy “friend” Xander. You learn some about “the society” she lives in, controlling to the point of pre delivered meals, clothing allotments, education, the arts and even marriage and medications to control mood. They seem capable of monitoring peoples every move and they make every decision for them, you have a world of robots doing everything they are told and seeming to be totally ok with it. When you first meet Cassia, this is all she knows and being matched is the biggest thing in her young life. Then though a series of events you meet “Ky”, the mysterious handsome boy that first make Cassia start to think about this world of total control and what else could be out there. This is where the story starts to lose some ground for me, Cassia seems to quickly change her mind about the wonderful society from only a few fleeting interactions with Ky whom according to society rules she can never have. I did not really feel like the romance had any real ground to grow on, so therefor I struggle to understand her motivation to be willing to so quickly go against everything she has ever grown up to know and the people she grew up loving.

    The love triangle is clearly trying to being set up in the first book; however because of the undeveloped romance/love aspect of the plot, I feel it needs more time to really start to get flushed out. I feel the characters need to grow a little more into themselves; we don’t really know that much about either boy in this “triangle” so it’s hard to feel any one way towards them. As well as the readers understanding of the society needs to be more in depth, so this does not come off so much like a cheesy love story. It felt like a lot of good ideas that were glued together and not always successfully. This read more like an outline for a book idea, than a fully thought out book, or a book that could have been done in one novel that has been given fluff to make it into a trilogy. So while it kept me semi-interested and was very easy to read, there are no surprises here, every action had a clear and easy to surmise outcome. One postive for the audio is that Kate Simses gives Cassia a clear voice and does the narration well.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Driving Mr. Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Miranda Puckett has failed at every job she’s ever had. Her mother just wants her to come home, join the family law firm, and settle down with Jason, the perfect lawyer boyfriend. But when Jason turns out to be a lying cheater, Miranda seizes on a job that gets her out of town: long-distance vampire transportation. Her first assignment is to drive vampire Collin Sutherland from Washington to sleepy Half Moon Hollow without incident—no small feat for a woman whom trouble seems to follow like a faithful hound dog!

    Ducky says: "Molly Harper can't write fast enough for me!!!!"
    Would you listen to Driving Mr. Dead again? Why?

    Yes, without a doubt, it was a fun and humorous little novella. I love Molly Harper, she allows me to read adult fiction that is lite, funny and enjoyable. Really, laugh out loud, drink through your nose funny. She says it like it is giving voice to all the inner monologues I myself would be saying/thinking had I been in said situation. Miranda is a great heroine, a walking magnet for disaster who has a go get em’ attitude and doesn’t back down. I found myself really drawn to her and her ability to infuriate and frustrate the very hot vamp she is dealing with.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Driving Mr. Dead?

    I started to enjoy the scenes between Miranda and Collin more and more as he loosens up a little. The whole hood of the car debacle and subsequent moments after had me laughing out loud as well as Collin’s and Miranda’s reactions to it!

    What about Amanda Ronconi’s performance did you like?

    I love Amanda Ronconi and have found a couple of other series (one YA) to listen too simply because she is the narrator. She brings the characters to life with a crisp clear and concise voice for each character she is speaking for. You never have to think back, wait who is talking, or was that him or her that said that? You know and it allows for a smooth and wonderful listen. I especially love her reading Molly Harper, it’s a match made in heaven much like Christopher Moore and Fisher Stevens (If you haven’t heard Fisher read Christopher you very much should!). She gives the snarky female leads in the books a fantastic voice.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    “You will laugh till you cry”

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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