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Karen

United States | Member Since 2011

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • The Outcasts: Brotherband Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Flanagan
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (210)

    They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others - they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger's Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength. Not these boys. Yet that doesn't mean they don't have skills. And courage - which they will need every ounce of to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race. The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field - especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing.

    Jonathan says: "A great tale"
    "very well done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I never read the Ranger's Apprentice series, but watched it circulate heavily in my library. I chose to start with Brotherband Chronicles as I was browsing new releases in Audible for my commute (I hook my Kindle up) and decided it was time to see what the craze was about. I have to say the storytelling was great and I look forward to downloading the next one.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Delirium

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    Overall
    (1792)
    Performance
    (1520)
    Story
    (1517)

    "Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

    Joyce E McBride says: "Wonderful"
    "Did the Narrator Kill it?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When it comes to teen vampire/werewolf/angel romances, I just can't seem to stand reading them because they all feel the same. Dystopian, on the other hand, is something that I have enjoyed but I don't know if I am at my breaking point with them or if Delirium was just not as good as The Hunger Games and the Divergent trilogies. With that said, I really did like Delirium. The concept is certainly interesting where love is the cause of disease and strife and, when eliminated from society, has the possibility of making things easier. The development is that while the elimination of love is supposed to bring happiness and security, it brings none of that and creates a robotic group of uncaring people. Our main character is interesting because she psychologically clings to her societal teachings; when they are challenged, she really oscillates between beliefs. So, I give it a four for its concept (really liked it) and only a 3 for delivery (liked it) because the author rambled pretty regularly and it drove me a little crazy at times (plus I listened to the audio and the narrator's voice was a overly dramatic and grating) Which brings me to wonder (as I do often) if I had read the print format versus listening to the audio, would I have rated it higher? It seems unfair because I don't know. Will I read the next book? Yes, but I am not in a rush.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wingshooters

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Nina Revoyr
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    The author of a Book Sense 76 pick and Los Angeles Times Best Book, Nina Revoyr is a writer of rare voice and distinct talent. Wingshooters is the tale of an isolated, all-white community torn apart by prejudice after the arrival of a half-Japanese girl and a young black couple.

    Greg says: "Disturbing to know we did that"
    "Depth of a Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the 1970’s in the north, our country often represented a Caucasian demographic. As time progressed, African Americans migrated into the north, mainly to cities but eventually to suburbs and rural areas. The story of Wingshooters is narrated by Michelle, an eight year old child and chronicles the events that occurred after a black couple moves into a rural Wisconsin town. Mrs. Garrett, the wife takes a job in a local medical clinic as a nurse while Mr. Garrett begins as a substitute teacher at the local elementary. Their presence is anything but welcome by a majority of the people in town and events and situations escalate to tragic proportions. Michelle, as narrator offers incredible insight through both observation and reflection. Michelle’s perspective is especially unique since she is half Japanese and suffered a great deal of racism prior to the arrival of the Garrett’s.

    Author, Nina Revoyr, provides a great deal for discussion in this important novel. Many of the adults never call the Garrett’s by name, dehumanizing them and even refer to Mr. Garrett as “the buck” symbolizing one to be hunted. There is a great deal in this novel ripe for analysis which makes it a top recommendation. Libraries: Buy multiple copies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End of the Wasp Season: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Denise Mina
    • Narrated By Jane McFarlan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (168)

    When a notorious millionaire banker hangs himself, his death attracts no sympathy. But the legacy of a lifetime of selfishness is widespread, and the carnage most acute among those he ought to be protecting: his family. Meanwhile, in a wealthy suburb of Glasgow, a young woman is found savagely murdered. The community is stunned by what appears to be a vicious, random attack.

    Kathy says: "misled by a review but I still liked it"
    "Narrator is stellar"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I stumbled upon this novel while browsing new releases on my audiobook source (audible). I double checked the ratings against Amazon and was good to go!

    I'm glad I chose this novel! It was full of suspense and hard to predict and had great stories for each character.

    This is the story that begins with the murder of a young woman. We hear/read the murder take place along with being given enough detail about the murdered woman to wish that she somehow survived (you find out in a chapter or so that she did not). The story switches to the boys who killed her and provides their story, more of the life of Thomas, who simultaneously deals with the murder and his father's suicide. The story next switches to the (pregnant with twins) woman investigating the murder and her force of police officers in Scotland that she works alongside with. As Alex investigates the story, we meet a final character, Kay and her children who looks as if they will be unjustly tried for the murder.

    I loved this novel because it was unpredictable and I found myself caring for each character (even Thomas). The stories of each were SO interesting. This is a great mystery. The language is a little bit harsh, so if you are suggesting it to high school students, it should only go to more mature students. Not only will this story linger with me, but I will also miss the voice of the Scottish narrator! Great selection!!!!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Never Sky

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Veronica Rossi
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne Flagler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (561)
    Performance
    (494)
    Story
    (496)

    Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse. Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

    Katheryne says: "Beware of the Triology"
    "nice debut"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With levels of intensity paralleling The Hunger Games, this futuristic novel tells the story of two people with very different lives. Aria has been living in a protected society and is called a Dweller. Protection is necessary as extremely dangerous electrical storms constantly erupt. The Dwellers live a high tech life where they virtually visit realms to make their “reality” more satisfying and safe. The realms have been created to keep the Dwellers from going crazy after living in extreme closure. The Dwellers consider anyone who does not live in pods similar to theirs, savages. Perry is one of those “savages” whose group has become almost primitive in their living in order to survive. Both Perry and Aria become outcasts as a result of terrible events and they meet up and help each other survive and redeem themselves. They begin a journey which is full of events which keep the reader drawn in. This excellent book is the author’s debut and is the first in a trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tall Story

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Candy Gourlay
    • Narrated By Ramon De Ocampo, Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Andi is short. And she has lots of wishes. She wishes she could play on the school basketball team, she wishes for her own bedroom, but most of all she wishes that her long-lost half-brother, Bernardo, could come and live in London where he belongs. Then Andi's biggest wish comes true and she's minutes away from becoming someone's little sister. As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines, she hopes he'll turn out to be tall and just as crazy as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he's tall all right. Eight feet tall, in fact - plagued by condition called Gigantism....

    Karen says: "Great story and very funny"
    "Great story and very funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Told in alternating chapters, this story allows us to see the world through Andi and Bernado's eyes. Andi is the half sister of Bernardo who lives in London. Andi is "laugh out loud" funny and very insightful. Andi was given her dream of being point guard on her school's basketball team only to be told that day that her family was moving her to a new school. While Andi suffers hardships, she is resilient and sweet. Bernardo is on the other side of the world in the Philippines, being raised by his loving aunt and uncle. His mother has been trying to get papers to allow him to live in London for a long time. Bernardo's life in the Philippines is happy, although he has received a curse and become a giant (8 feet tall). It just so turns out that the people in his village feel that he carries the spirit of Bernardo Carpio (a legendary giant in the Philippine mythology), who brought their village luck and fortune. Drama ensues in the village when Bernardo's papers come through to allow them to live with his family in London. Bernardo leaves but events on both ends of the globe escalate and each person learns to know and love Bernardo exactly the way he is.

    Readers will enjoy elements of tall tales (which are SO forgotten these days it seems!) and they will also enjoy every character who are so purely good that this book is refreshing. I listened to the audio version and the narrators were stellar. I would advise that this book is selected here in the states for various booklists so that many more readers can enjoy the story. I work at a high school and have this on my shelves. At home, a 5th grade girl plays with my son and has asked if I can bring books home for her to read from my library. This is one that I would have no hesitation sharing with a 5th grader as well as an adult.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4718)
    Performance
    (2127)
    Story
    (2136)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Audiophile says: "An Epic Medical Novel"
    "Great Throughout entire read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I LOVED this story!!! I knew that I wanted to read it for a few years. The audio version was two credits since it is so long. I waited until summer to build up the credits since I wasn't commuting. I am so glad I chose this book!

    It is the story of twins that were conjoined and separated at birth. Their mother (a nun) died in childbirth and their father abandoned them. They were brought up by loving parents whose stories we grow to love just as much as the twins' story. Each character (and their story) was richly described and setting (Ethiopia) was beautiful and enlightening. Marion and Shiva's (the twins) adoptive and biological parents were each medical and the story describes the practice of medicine in Ethiopia during the 1960's - but it is not the medicine that drives the story - it is the humanity within the story. Marion escapes Ethiopia to come to the United States to practice as a surgeon and meets his father. The reader sees Marion's forgiving nature and the similarities between father and son in both their strengths and weaknesses. While the story tragically ends, their is an extremely unique twist which makes the end one which resolves strangely easily.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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