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Arwen

I am a book junkie...I read and enjoy a variety of stories, so please don't "define me" by one book or review! :)

BOISE, ID, United States | Member Since 2009

320
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 84 reviews
  • 141 ratings
  • 551 titles in library
  • 60 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
241

  • Beautiful Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1666)
    Performance
    (1408)
    Story
    (1420)

    Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks.

    FanB14 says: "One Was Enough"
    "Love This Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ..and I'm confident you will, also, particularly if you do read in this genre. This second installment of the Beautiful Creatures saga contains some interesting twists and turns. It is true that at some points, the story take it's time to develop but I think that is part of the story..keeping "true to it's nature", if you will. The same can be said for the tension between the characters, and some dialogue that you find yourself wishing would or would not be exchanged between them. If you become invested enough that you get "mad" a character for what she (or he) is not doing or saying, (as I did) then the author(s) have done their job! It would not be the same story if things were "easier", or things were said differently. I find Kevin T. Collins' narrative performance pretty much impeccable. He really makes Ethan real. He does this so well that the character of Ethan himself really becomes the driving force of the story, and not just because it is, in fact, relayed in first person from his perspective. His genuineness and personality really come through. You feel like you are in his head and experiencing these events from the inside out. Also, I liked the song and the sound effects and did not find them to be too much. Highly recommend!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Bound: Mastered, 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lorelei James
    • Narrated By Rachel Vivette, Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (494)
    Story
    (494)

    Former small-town girl Amery Hardwick is living her dream as a graphic designer in Denver, Colorado. She's focused on building her business, which leaves little time for dating - not that she needs a romantic entanglement to fulfill her. When her friend signs up for a self-defense class as part of her recovery after an attack, Amery joins her for support. That's where she meets him. Ronin Black, owner of the dojo, is so drawn to Amery that he takes over her training - in public and in private. The enigmatic Ronin pushes Amery's boundaries from the start, and with each new tryst, Amery becomes addicted to the pleasure and to him.

    Candateshia Pafford says: "I need some ice and ropes!"
    "Just Not Well-done - Could Not Finish!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm sorry to have to say that there is nothing that I found good or well-done about this book. I read many, many books. And I listen to many more. I am open minded and read a wide variety of books, authors with different styles. Some may be written a little better than others, but I enjoy most every book. It takes a lot for me to abandon one, it has to be pretty bad. Well, this one qualifies. This is only the second, or at most the third, audiobook I have "quit" on in five-plus years and 500 hundred audiobooks total in my library. All of the following were annoying and poorly-done: The writing, the characters, the "love" scenes, (which are unappealing, un-sexy, and awkward with cheesy dialogue and terminology), the dialogue (mainly sniping and bickering between the characters), and the pace of the story, flow of events from one scene to another. Go ahead and give this one a miss, you will not be missing anything good. I will be returning it for a refund.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On the Island

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tracey Garvis Graves
    • Narrated By Heidi Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (416)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (388)

    When 30-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts. T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter.

    Kim says: "Loved this book!"
    "Enjoyable Diversion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Actual rating 3.75 - 3.8 (for the book overall, not including narration). I enjoyed this book and place my vote firmly in the camp of fans of this story. The best part about the story is the characters. Ms. Graves writes a story that draws you in, and characters you care about. The characters TJ and Anna are compelling enough to overcome a little bit of weakness in the writing, which could benefit from a little more polish and depth. However, I think the author did a good job with the overall pace and arc of the story. It played out in what seemed like a "realistic" manner if this type of thing were to happen to someone (two people) in real life. The passage of time and the points at which the author goes ahead and jumps ahead in the story were well done, in my opinion. After all, if anyone was in this situation most likely many, many days would play out exactly the same and, when made into a story, there is no need for the reader to literally "witness" each one.

    I do not have a problem with the age difference. TJ is old enough to make his choices when they begin a relationship. Quite frankly I think it is rediculous for people to be offended by an age difference in a love story, and talk as if all couples should be no more than three-to-five years apart in age. Also, Anna was never his teacher. She was just hired to tutor him, and that never happened as planned. I think TJ and Anna are respectful and respectable as people and I did not think the story was distasteful at all.

    Finally, I must mention that this book was not served well by the narration. The narrator spoke a little too fast, and is not skilled in doing male voices. She did not distinguish well enough between the characters, performing TJ and Anna in pretty much the same tone throughout most of the book. Though I did listen to the entire book, and it was not "bad" enough to keep me from doing so. I would recommend this for fans of a-typical romance or love stories. If you are more particular about excellent narration than I am in some cases, you may want to read this one instead.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brilliance

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1399)
    Performance
    (1240)
    Story
    (1242)

    In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in.

    Benjamin says: "Predictable Thriller"
    "Excellent, Engaging Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would rate this book at least a 4.5 to 4.75. However, I'm trying to be a little more circumspect and conservative with straight 5.0 ratings because I feel that starts to blur the lines and dilute the definition of 5-star quality. Having said that, author Marcus Sakey hit the mark very close. This book is well-written, with an engaging turn-the-page-with-anticipation quality. The main characters drew me in and kept me interested. This story reminded me of a bit of Spy Games meets the Fugitive with just a dash of dystopia mixed it. That dystopia comes from some well-placed and well-defined alternative-future elements included in a setting that is mostly like the world as we know it...Except for the main plot point of "Brilliance" vs. "Norm". (The story is) there is discrimination against extremely gifted/brilliant/skilled personalities, of whom most are age 33 and younger (in the story born 1980 and after). I'll refrain from explaining more about the reason why so as not to divulge more about about the story. There is also double-play by a false-fronted government agency which is well-written and well-constructed by author. All this is delivered in first person by the main character Nick Cooper, a very compelling and likable man with secrets of his own. Even Cooper himself will discover that not all he has believed in is just as it seems... give this book a try, I'm confident you will be glad you did. Luke Daniels gives an excellent narrative performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slammed

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Colleen Hoover
    • Narrated By Heidi Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (381)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (349)

    Layken Cohen isn't your typical 18-year-old. After the recent death of her father, she is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's slowly losing hope. Enter Will Cooper: The 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for performing "Slams". Will and Layken immediately form an intense and emotional connection neither of them knew they needed until it was found.

    Allison says: "Awful Narration"
    "Slammin' My Review - Ode to Ipsilanti"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book I read - Listened to carefully with my very own ears...and my mind wide open
    A seed of love was planted...a hopeful seed.
    I wanted to love this book so much more
    You know how it goes,...girl meets story
    Their love is cursed by a couple of cross young people...
    cross and onery young people
    Yes, each with their burdens to bear --- no one could fault them for that!
    You know how it goes, girl meets boy, girl crushes on boy
    They sealed the fate of their unease, of their convoluted complication
    In a few moments of bonding, with one sweet evening
    of companionability, and words improvised
    Then girl finds boy in the usual unusual place..in front of her class
    Behind that teacher's desk.
    This girl annoyed me quite often, was it simply by acting her age?
    Perhaps the fault is mine, and not in our stars.
    Maybe, maybe not...on both counts.
    For the sake of all equality, sweet Will annoyed me also
    The push and the pull, Oh, the agony of the push and the pull!
    School me? School you! Make up your mind, sweet young teacher of mine.
    It took more than two loving, smart and vulnerable little boys
    and one ailing but courageous mother...to bring out the true nature
    of these two onery young people...All of their potential and full nature...All...
    Of who and what they could be
    I don't believe I saw it yet... and that makes me sad.
    Though maybe that chance still lies...within the rest of their story.

    Epilogue/ encore: Narration...presentation...
    this verbal recitation
    drove right down the middle of the road
    didn't rock my world
    This Girl Iike a Lake, not an ocean....
    seemed like a much younger girl.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie: Highland Pleasures, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jennifer Ashley
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    Overall
    (1510)
    Performance
    (1375)
    Story
    (1376)

    It was whispered all through London society that he was a murderer, that he'd spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted - especially with a lady. Any woman caught in his presence was immediately ruined. Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy.

    Lupdilup says: "FANTASTIC BOOK, NICELLY PERFORMED."
    "Engaging and Well-Done!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a well-written "period" romance with engaging and compelling characters. A plot with substance, a good arc and pace to the story. I was entertained and enjoyed my time with this story and the characters featured. I felt the narration was excellent! This may seem a brief summary, but really there's no higher endorsement I can give to this story by going into more detail (which I try to avoid giving away too much of the story in my reviews). One of my favorite listens this year. Highly recommend, don't miss this one!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Somebody to Love

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Kristan Higgins
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (229)

    After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon's Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns-a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father's wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she's not thrilled . . . even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox.

    Libella says: "Great story and horrific narration."
    "Perfect Storm of Awful all-around!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing in the story is very weak, trite and silly. I listened to the whole book, and I'm really not sure why or how I did it. The reason must be I really liked James as a character and wanted to see if he got his happy ending. I am ambivalent about Parker....I didn't really dislike her but I didn't really like her either. The whole overdone sentimentality of what a great mom she is, the sad melancholy of her estrangement from her father (IMO) was sappy, unconvincing, and just not written well. For me, there were at least two elements of creepy factor in the writing...her whole relationship with Ethan (child's father) and his wife..oh, sure they're all buddy-buddy and best friends. To me it was weird and a bit "incestuous" rather than heartwarming. And, once Parker meets Vin, the conversations with her and about her sexual exploits were just gross. Horrible overuse and repetition of "ladyland" (ugh, really?), heck yeah, crickey, bugger and damn. The prevalence and overuse of these phrases was annoying and lacking in imagination. Yeah, as other reviewers have mentioned, the whole idea of the Holy Rollers characters was overdone and non-credible. I did like the other characters she met in Gideon's Cove.. (but going back to the gross-factor) the open conversations about other people's sexuality (I.E. Shantal and her "history" with James) was downright cringe-worthy. Speaking of cringe-worthy, the narration was awful. The "transition" passages between characters, and Parker herself, sound Okay, but just barely. Then when you get to any of the others characters, (mostly the male ones but some females, particularly Vin) the unaccomplished Maine and East Coast accents were awful...just deplorable! Another narrator could have done much better. I say this with no disrespect to Ms. Eyre, as I actually did like her doing the Archangel's Guild stories well enough. I did kind of like the ending, and though it was a bit cute even if somewhat rushed, considering the characters are "estranged". See, once again poor, poor writing. Sorry, I cannot really recommend this book, especially not as an audio listen.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Diana Rowland
    • Narrated By Allison McLemore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1152)
    Performance
    (1074)
    Story
    (1072)

    Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right—the zombie mafia. Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower—and maybe a brain smoothie as well—in order to get through it without falling apart.

    Lupdilup says: "A seameless continuation to a great series!"
    "More Zombie Trouble and Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great continuation of the story. Angel again encounters her share of trouble (most of which is not her fault) and she continues to grow as a character. I really appreciate the sassy humor and the good writing as Angel progressively builds more confidence and self-respect. She trying to solve the "who and how" behind some strange and scary (and mostly criminal) events. I really appreciate the way she matures and handles her relationships with her father and Marcus. Allison McLemore does a wonderful job with the narration and bringing the story to life. I definitely recommend and will be going on to the third installment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • After the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Linda Howard
    • Narrated By Natalie Ross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1056)
    Performance
    (581)
    Story
    (587)

    "Of all of my novels, After the Night remains one of my personal favorites – and Faith Devlin and Gray Rouillard are two of my favorite characters. Faith is strong, proud, and fearless, and Gray – well, he’s just downright sexy. Faith’s search for the truth about the devastating scandal surrounding her mother and Gray’s father blazes with intrigue. Add some sultry Southern hear, and you’ve got a real scorcher of a listen." (Linda Howard)

    Judy says: "Can I give 6 stars?"
    "Intense and Well-done!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this story and found it quite addicting during my listen. It was intense, hot, emotional, and well-written. The characters were very compelling. I liked Faith, and even Grey while yes, he was intense and had moments of being very over the top and mean. For me, the author did a good job of establishing the reason why. I still found it compelling and did not find it offensive or unacceptable when in the context of fiction. Faith cared for her younger brother who had Down's Syndrome, and I don't feel that this was written insensitively. The offenses against this young boy were by his neglectful parents, and by Gray by evicting him from his home along with the entire family. To me, the writing did not try to pretend or convince the reader that this was okay. I enjoyed the relationship that developed between Faith and Grey, the way the passion between them grew into much deeper feelings that they were conflicted about...they both wanted to "dive right into" and had a hard time reconciling the connection between them at the same time. Natalie Ross' narration was excellent and well-done.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dragon Bound: Elder Races Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2112)
    Performance
    (1858)
    Story
    (1872)

    Half human and half Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful---and passionate---of the Elder Races.

    V says: "Woo Freakin Hoo!"
    "Decent Paranormal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a pretty good paranormal story and decent start to a series. The characters were a bit unusual (not cookie-cutter, even for this genre) and the whole dragon thing was different. The writing is decent and I felt the story flowed pretty well. This story only flirted a little bit with cliche', but was by no means burdened with it. Any traces of cliche' are mainly found in Dragos' character, with the whole Alpha-male Paranormal supreme-being type of thing. All things considered, I liked the characters pretty well. I was entertained by the story, though some of the dialogue and the ways the characters related to each other did not keep me completely connected to them throughout the entire story. Some of the dialogue and interaction seemed a bit like people on a reality-tv show to me, and that's not really my favorite. Just my opinion. The narration was good. Overall a worthwhile listen, engaging enough that I would continue on with the series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Darkness Dawns: Immortal Guardians Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Dianne Duvall
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1647)
    Performance
    (1476)
    Story
    (1482)

    Once, Sarah Bingham's biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she's landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive. Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control...

    Amazon Customer says: "Not bad"
    "Well Done Paranormal Romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is a good example of well-done (supernatural) paranormal romance if you like to "escape" with this kind of thing. I enjoyed the characters, Roland and Sara, and the relationship that grew between them. The other characters were good and did help "flesh-out" the meat of the story. The drama and the action was engrossing and compelling. The writing is well done, I feel the story is well-paced and plotted.

    The narration was well done. I recommend this one!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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