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Laurette

Red Deer, AB, Canada | Member Since 2011

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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  • The Selection: The Selection Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Kiera Cass
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1145)
    Performance
    (1047)
    Story
    (1056)

    For 35 girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth... to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels... to live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want.

    Shannon says: "You might want to wait... if you hate cliffhangers"
    "Very fun teen romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Like other teen romance novels, The Selection is clean. No sex. I appreciate that. But there is a lot of yummy romance. I enjoyed getting to know the main character - America and found her to be believable and very likable.

    Like other dystopian stories, I liked the examination of societal values. In this story there is a caste system which makes it very hard for some, who are born into lower castes, to make something of thier lives. With those who are born into upper castes, life is pretty easy as far as meeting basic needs, and there is a lack of understanding or recognition of the difficulty for the lower castes. It makes a person reflect on our actual North American society today. Although we may not have castes, I wonder if the old "American dream" - the opportunity to better yourself - is getting harder to obtain that in past decades? Do the successful people understand what its like to struggle - are they compassionate to others?

    This book also speaks to the idea of freedom and agency. I always love that theme - as it makes me appreciate my own opportunities to choose.

    The book is a little bit predictable, but I don't mind that when there are great characters. Although it ends on the edge of a cliff! Dang it! I can't believe I have to wait for the next book to come out - I want to know what America will choose!


    What three words best describe Amy Rubinate’s performance?

    I didn't love the narration. It wasn't terrible, but just wasn't awesome like other books. I can't put my finger on why.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4523)
    Performance
    (4118)
    Story
    (4111)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Set earlier than "The Help". Just as powerful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished listening to this great book, faster than I listen to most. It pulled me in and captivated me with its wonderful descriptive and fluid language, and the depth of the characters. Now that it is finished, and I learned from the epilogue that some of the main characters were real people, I find it even more compelling. I wish I could meet these people! I want to travel to see where they lived and I'm interested in learning more about them.

    We start the story with Sarah Grimke, a white child of a slave owner and, Handful / Hettie, a slave who lives in the same house. Grimke's story is mostly true, while Handful's is mostly fictional, based on the author's research about slavery in this time period. We follow these two women, and others, through more than three decades of their lives and see how their choices weave them together.

    With a story of the Southern US during these years, one of the themes, of course, is freedom and captivity. Although this is predictable, the author does so in a very compelling way. Sarah Grimke is both free and not free, depending on what angle you examine her from. At one point in the book, Handful talks about how she (Handful), is not free physically, but is free in her mind - while Sarah is free in her body but is trapped in her mind. Interesting thought... along with many others that keep running through my mind now that I am done listening to the book. The longing for freedom and the fight for it, and what some people are willing to do to enslave others... Although this particular tale of freedom is set in a specific time period, this theme is one that is as relevant today as it was 200 years ago.

    If you liked "The Help" you'll like this book. The portrayal of the struggle of people impacted by the fight against racism runs strongly in both books. "The Invention of Wings" comes earlier in history than The Help. The Help has more 'fictional' characters, but the compelling nature of the courage it takes to fight for freedom is heavily present in both books.

    I really enjoyed this book, and hope you do too!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Allegiant: Divergent Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin, Aaron Stanford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6415)
    Performance
    (5897)
    Story
    (5953)

    What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times best-selling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of listeners in Divergent and Insurgent.

    Teddy says: "I hate it when this happens"
    "Full of deep messages and worth the listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked this book and didn't plan on writing a review until I saw all the negative reviews that were out there. I thought I might offer another opinion to consider.

    Other reviewers say they didn't like the choice the author made for ending the story. I get that. I didn't like it either, but not because it was poorly written. I didn't like it because I was so attached to the characters I didn't like the outcome for them.That's an important distinction, I believe. Being so attached to the characters that I disliked the ending means the author did her job - she got me to care!

    One reviewer wrote that she had wanted the story to leave her feeling uplifted and Allegiant did not do that. I get how someone could feel that way - certainly I wished the ending was different too. But - if you read deeply the messages of this book, they are really profound. And with that profoundness comes a hope that individual readers can take away from the book if they want to.

    Here are a few messages I picked up on (but before you read them... there are a few statements that could be considered spoilers):

    - how we each change and impact those around us
    - how we are each more than our genetics - we are our choices
    - regarding the pain that comes from loss - although we all wish we didn't have this, and wish to forget and put away the pain, it is important to have our memories of the past because they make us who we are.
    - Sacrifice is a gift when it is motivated by love.
    - And here's a quote I liked a lot: "There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. But sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through the pain and work of every day; the slow walk toward a better life."

    For me, the book was worth the listen for the depth of thinking and reflecting I experienced while listening.

    I would recommend it to others.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Katherine Howe
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1021)
    Performance
    (378)
    Story
    (383)

    Connie's mother asks her to sell an abandoned house once owned by her grandmother in Salem, Mass. Relunctantly, Connie moves to the small town and inhabits the crumbling, ancient house, trying to restore it to a semblance of order. Curious things start to happen when Connie finds the name "Deliverance Dane" on a yellowed scrap of paper and begins to have visions of a long ago woman condemned for practicing "physick," or herbal healing, on her neighbors in 1690s Salem.

    Darinda says: "Love it!"
    "discovery of witches + national treasure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book a lot. It was recommended to me by Audible based on a previous listen: "A Discovery of Witches". I liked "discovery" better, but still really enjoyed this listen.

    The book has a similar, creepy feeling. Not scary at all, just a feeling that something could be lurking around the next corner.

    I would also compare this book to two others - well one book and a movie. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane could be compared to National Treasure (not sure if its a book) - in some ways. It is similar in that it involves a search for something historical and there are a series of clues to unravel. I really enjoyed the look into history this book offered - albeit it highly fictional. I still felt I learned something about the Salem Witch trials and 'cunning' people of that day.

    I think my favorite part was the going back and forth to different women in time, and thus my comparison to a third story: Joy Luck Club. In Joy Luck Club I enjoyed the understanding that steadily grew through the story as we learned more about each woman. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane has that same feel to it - although it does not go as indepth about each woman. What we readers get is glances or flashes back in history that give insight into the current day. The connection to the past gains more momentum and meaning as the book moves on, which is why I think some reviewers say they thought the beginning of the book moved slowly.

    When deciding to read this book I read some reviews. One person commented that the current day character was dull in comparison to the people of the past. I can understand that comment, but I wanted to offer a different opinion. I felt the current day character becomes more interesting as she becomes more connected with her past. I like that!

    Anyway - good solid book. If you liked "Discovery of Witches", "National Treasure" and "Joy Luck Club" - this is a good book for you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Switched: The Trylle Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Amanda Hocking
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (654)
    Performance
    (597)
    Story
    (598)

    When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until 11 years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy's not sure she wants to be a part of it.

    Felicity says: "Light and Fun!"
    "Mixed reaction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished this trilogy and enjoyed it enough, obviously, to listen to all three books.

    There was a lot I enjoyed, but one major thing that would keep me from recommending it to my friends. The book contains some swearing and mild sexuality. I realize this does not bother some readers, but it is just not my preference in a book. I tend to lean towards teen and YA fiction for this reason. If that's you, be warned that the series pushes this fence.

    Having said that, there is much I enjoyed about the series. I really liked the characters, the alternative universe created by the author, and the romance. While the story line is clearly fictional, the feelings of the characters feel real and believable - especially the struggle the main character has in coming to who she loves. Also, as the story unfolds, you begin to see events that have already occurred with a different perspective. I really enjoyed that.

    In summary - mixed reaction to the book. I really enjoyed it - except the swearing and sexuality.

    1 of 1 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"
    "Never could imagined such an interesting world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a very creative dystopian series. I like adventure mixed with romance, as long as the romance is clean. This book provided both of those elements in abundance. I also like a book that makes me think about deeper values. This book also offered that: a fictional look at what would happen to us, if we eliminated some of the more painful parts of the human experience. The imagined world is very creative and I enjoyed seeing it in my mind!A note of caution... I found myself having a difficult time getting into the book. It seemed a little slow at first. Also, it took me quite a while to get used to the narrator's voice. Usually narrators don't bug me much, but this one did for a long time at the beginning. She reads well and has really good inflection to differentiate characters, but the actual tenor/tone of the voice irritated me. However, as the story went along I got used it and at that point, the voice became invisible as I imagined the characters and world the author had created.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Under the Never Sky?

    A few. First, when the main characters realize what you've know all along that they are attracted to each other and care about each other. This happens gradually and deliciously over several chapters of the book. Second, when one of the characters saves the good guys from the cannibals with his extraordinary ability due to a genetic predisposition. Writing this almost makes it sound like spiderman or something similar. Its not superhero save the world kinda stuff, though, jjust so you aren't mislead!


    What does Bernadette Dunne Flagler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I didn't love her voice at first. However, as the book wore on I got used to it. She is very good at inflecting characters personalities.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
    (1632)
    Performance
    (974)
    Story
    (995)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    Nikki says: "This guy's mouth makes some serious noises..."
    "Captivating world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What other book might you compare The Giver to and why?

    Divergent, Hunger Games, or any other book based on a dystopian society. Just because they are about a dystopian society. Like other similar books, it forces you to think about your values. In The Giver one you think about how your own bad experiences (that you sometimes wish you could forget) actually help to shape you. The silver lining of those experiences is that you learn from them. It reinforced what I've always believed (even if I don't like it in the moment) that difficult experiences make me a better person, and they deepen my gratitude for the good things in life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tiger's Destiny: Tiger's Curse, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Colleen Houck
    • Narrated By Annika Boras
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (239)

    With three of the goddess Durga's quests behind them, only one prophecy now stands in the way of Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan breaking the tiger's curse. But the trio's greatest challenge awaits them: A life-endangering pursuit in search of Durga's final gift, the Rope of Fire, on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It's a race against time - and the evil sorcerer Lokesh - in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the best-selling Tiger's Curse series.

    Regina says: "Amazing!"
    "A satisfying conclusion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Tiger's Destiny the most enjoyable?

    I have heard there are to be five books in this series, but after listening to this book, I am thinking Tiger's Destiny is the final one. The conclusion just felt so satisfying which is awesome. Some books don't give you that. I have loved this series so it is great to have it end so well.

    I loved that Kelsey finals figures out who to be with - Ren or Kishan and stops driving them both nuts.

    As usual for this series, it is full of adventure and romance! And the beginning sure starts out with a bang! The story gripped right from the first few minutes.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tiger's Destiny?

    Meeting Durga in the past. Put a whole new twist on the entire series - I remembered back to particular scenes and saw them differently.


    What does Annika Boras bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Love all the accents and characterizations. I don't know how she remembers the exact intonation for each of those many characters, but she does it. I can tell who is talking just from the way she speaks for each one.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Saving Ceecee Honeycutt

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Beth Hoffman
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2562)
    Performance
    (1266)
    Story
    (1275)

    Laugh-out-loud funny and deeply touching, Beth Hoffman's sparkling debut is, as Kristin Hannah says, "packed full of Southern charm, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart." It is a novel that explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship and gives us the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others.

    Jeanne says: "A Wonderful Listen!"
    "Full of humor and warmth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Because of the warmth and humor. There were moments that were so funny I laughed out loud. They are funny in a quirky way - because the characters are so distinct and they get into all sorts of predicaments. I think my favorite of these quirky scenes was with one of the older female characters... I could just picture it... an older lady, walking down the side walk with a click-ity-clack of high heels, beehive hairdo, and a unlit cigarette hanging out of her mouth (only there to fulfill a long time habit), pushing an office chair headed toward a picnic in a parking stall with her childhood best friend.The description of this scene transported me right there and made me alugh! The quirkiness of the characters, not just in this scene but others too, was just delightful.

    I think what I loved equally as much was the relationships of all the women and how interconnected they were; regardless of age, social standing or race, it was the connections that made this book sparkle. The main description had it right - a good comparison to Steel Magnolias and The Help.


    What other book might you compare Saving Ceecee Honeycutt to and why?

    Steel Magnolias and The Help. This is a book that is set mostly in the south - Georgia. I've never been but it makes me want to go. Both Steel Magnolias and The Help are books that highlight the relationships between women.


    What does Jenna Lamia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The characters accents and voices. My imagination isn't that good. She brings life to their voices in a way that I wouldn't have heard in my own head.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Lots that made me laugh.
    The scene that moved me was the scene where Oletta doesn't want to share her potato salad and CeeCee figures out how much Oletta really needs her love and friendship.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pandemonium

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1142)
    Performance
    (1029)
    Story
    (1035)

    I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her.I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame. Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bests eller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

    Emily - Audible says: "Remarkably Mature for YA"
    "a great follow up to book 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Really enjoyed the continuation of the story from book 1. The book flips back and forth between past and present and I liked that. A good way of giving context to the events in the current time.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Pandemonium?

    The ending. I won't spoil it but there was a significant surprise. Can't wait for book three to see how that all unfolds.


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

    Yes. I didn't listen to it in all one sitting, but did listen to it fairly quickly.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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