Let me start by saying that I really like Penny Marshall. She seems genuine. She calls them like she sees them.
My major disappointment with the book was, oddly enough, Penny's narration. She seemed to stumble over the words sometimes, and I felt like she was reading (and not that well). About halfway through the book, I stopped being distracted by the narration. Whether this is because I got used to it, or whether Penny became more engaged in the performance, I don't know.
My narration complaint aside, I'm glad Penny was given her "five more minutes" and that she chose to share her story.
This is only my third Andy Carpenter, but it is my favorite. Love the ending. My only regret is that after being so pleased by the ending, I'm not sure if I want to read earlier books in the series, where Andy is without the "enhancements" from this book 12. I'd say if you like this series, read them in order!
I thought Linda Lavin's narration brought Addie to life. I feel like Addie could have been a real girl. I loved her spunk. I also appreciate how over time she has gained understanding of her past and how she continues to look forward to her future.
My interest was piqued from practically the very beginning. The author has the ability to make me really care about the characters. And I think the narrator did a very good job--subtle but discernible accents, great job with both male and female roles.
During the first half or so of this book, I kept thinking I would probably enjoy the rest of the series. After the conclusion, though, not quite so much. I like mysteries where after the conclusion, you can think, "I should/could have figured that out." This one instead provided information near the conclusion without which you could not solve the mystery.
Loved the characters, liked the narration. The resolution of the mystery was a little sketchy for me, but overall an enjoyable listen. The overall three stars is deceiving. If possible to give partial stars, for me this would be overall 3.6.
I found the book informative in that it gave me an even greater appreciation for the patriotism of Mr. Kyle and our other servicemen and women and for the toll their service exacts on not only themselves but their families as well. That being said, I have to say that even though I found the book informative, I did not find it particularly entertaining. I don't know how accurately the narrator portrayed Mr. Kyle, but his accent and voice seemed affected, like he was trying too hard to sound homegrown country, and this was a bit of a distraction for me.
Please don't misunderstand; I admire Mr. Kyle tremendously. I just didn't become engrossed in the book and found myself finishing it just for the sake of completion.
This is written from the perspective of an 18-year-old male, and when I first started listening I was thinking perhaps I wasn't going to enjoy it because it was too geared to young adults. I was wrong.
I have to say, though, that with most books I enjoy the entire journey. With this book, I particularly appreciated the conclusion. I loved that all the information and clues were given to us throughout the book. There were no missing pieces of the puzzle that had we had we could have figured everything out earlier. Everything was there; we just needed to put it together.
I thought the narrator was spectacular. He handled all the characters very well, sounded realistic and believable as a young male, young female, Epic, whatever.
All in all, a totally satisfying listen!
I really liked this book until the end, which for me was inconclusive. I felt too many of the lives in which I was so engrossed throughout the book were left in limbo. I still liked the book a lot, just felt a little let down by the conclusion. It seems a book should not have to end with the words "The End."
I also felt sometimes the switching back and forth in time was confusing. Other than that, I enjoyed the book very much. I read mainly for entertainment, but when I can learn something at the same time, it's a big bonus, which this was. The narrator was wonderful, switching between characters smoothly. Her male voices were entirely believable. Her performance made me think I enjoyed this audio version better than I would the printed version. The characters were so vividly portrayed that I had to be emotionally involved.
All in all, a very engrossing and informative listen.
This started out like a fanciful tale, the kind I've come to expect from Mr. Gaiman. He shook things up a bit, though, and this seemed a little darker than the books I've read before. Not sure I like it.
I still found his narration very good, well-suited to the characters. I still enjoyed the characters -- the unnamed little protagonist, his friend Lettie and the rest of the Hemstocks. I wish his parents had been given more backbone and common sense. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book and am willing to try others by the same author.
I enjoyed and would recommend this book. William Landay makes it easy to see how one could end up in a situation similar to Jacob's parents, and he makes you wonder what you would do in their shoes. Landay makes each character and his/her actions understandable. And the narrator is very good at capturing the inflections of each character.
One plot twist is perhaps a little contrived (thus the three stars for the story), but I still found the characters believable and the book interesting and enjoyable.
The unfolding mystery held my interest throughout. I thought the narrator did a very good job.
One thing I found a little disturbing was that characters/events were mentioned but not satisfactorily explained or resolved by the end of the book. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading about and liked the character of Inspector Lucas Rocco -- not enough to immediately get the next book in the series, but if it goes on sale will certainly consider it.
This book switches many times from when one of the characters, Nell, is a little girl to a mature woman to an elderly woman, and because of the frequent switches requires somewhat closer listening than is sometimes my preference.
That said, I was completely absorbed in the mystery of Nell's past. I like that we are given all the clues and just need to put them together. The secondary story line of Cassandra putting her life back together is a little predictable but pleasant.
Can't give this book a 4, but would give it a solid 3.5.
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