BOISE, ID, United States | Member Since 2009
This touching, heartfelt story is well played-out and well written. It tugs at the heartstrings and does have emotional moments so for maximum appreciation it helps if that's what you are in the mood for. I liked the characters very much (Celeste, for one, is an amazing character..so intelligent and precocious). Though I also very much enjoyed Julia and Matt's characters. There is a lot more to this story than the description reveals...this is the story of one young woman unexpectedly beginning a relationship with a family of highly intelligent and loving people who are also in severe denial and emotional trauma after a terribly sad loss. .. and, of the love she finds with one member of this family. In complete full disclosure, yes some readers may find it a bit predictable (depending on how your mind works at picking up clues) I picked up on what was going on about two-thirds of the way through the book, though I did not guess exactly what happened. That "moment of discovery" doesn't always have to be at the very end of a story. Honestly, that did not cause me to enjoy it any less. Julia Whelan's performance really enhanced the story and brought the characters to life. She does a wonderful job. I definitely recommend this one!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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