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cristina

Somerville, MA, United States | Member Since 2009

995
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 163 reviews
  • 184 ratings
  • 1041 titles in library
  • 71 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
69
FOLLOWERS
237

  • The Millionaires

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Brad Meltzer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (589)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (225)

    Charlie and Oliver Caruso are brothers who work at Greene & Greene, a private bank so exclusive you need two million dollars just to be a client. But when the door of success slams in their faces, they're faced with an offer they can't refuse: three million dollars in an abandoned account. No one knows it exists, and even better, it doesn't belong to anyone.

    Glenn says: "EASILY as good as Grisham"
    "I loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit that I could not stop listening to this book. I found the plot unexpectedly entertaining, with many original twists and turns. The characters were very likeable, even if you sometimes wanted to smack them for their naivete.Who cares what they did to begin with? You were rooting for them till the end.

    Scott Brick did a great job reading it, like only he can do when he doesn't overdo himself.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 600 Hours of Edward

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Craig Lancaster
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (929)
    Performance
    (853)
    Story
    (854)

    A 39-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.). But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone....

    Lulu says: "A Very Good Book with a Very Difficult Hero"
    "A sheer delight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was such an unexpected treat. Touching. Funny. Real. And ultimately uplifting.

    The narration is also perfect. In fact, I went in search of more books read by this author and found, to my extreme surprise, that there was a sequel. Of course I downloaded it, knowing that it could never match "600 Hours," but I was simply glad not to have to let go of Edward just yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wonder Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (83)

    A wildly successful first novel made Grady Tripp a young star, and seven years later he still hasn't grown up. He's now a writing professor in Pittsburgh, plummeting through middle age, stuck with an unfinishable manuscript, an estranged wife, a pregnant girlfriend, and a talented but deeply disturbed student named James Leer.

    LouBird says: "Really 3 1/2 stars"
    "Such a fun ride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this book over a weekend, which is roughly the timeframe of the story...so I felt that I had spent those days with the characters. Laugh-out-loud funny and tragic at the same time, with the most preposterous things happening but told in a way that makes them make total sense. "OF COURSE, he takes the dead dog along!" Highly enjoyable. Very human. Very well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Children of the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By George Ralph
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    In a desolate orphanage in what remains of post-Communist Romania, a desperately ill infant is given the wrong blood transfusion - and flourishes when he's supposed to die. The discovery of his unique immune system may hold the key to the long-awaited cure for cancer and AIDS - and a link to a clan of vampires.

    Kelly Howard says: "needs a different reader"
    "How could this have been so BORING?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Vampires, kidnapped babies, scientific mysteries, international intrigue, romance, Dan Simmons....How could it have turned into such a tedious listen???? I am convinced that Mr. Simmons needed a way to make his trip to Hungary tax-deductible. He clearly did not give the plot of this novel much thought. As the reviewers have said, the narrator was not great (and some of the characters did end up sounding ridiculous), but the author was much more to blame for this audible failure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2366)
    Performance
    (2154)
    Story
    (2154)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "DIsappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First time with this author. I was lured by the exceptional reviews and the promise of a Twilight Zone/paranormal mystery series. Who knows what the story behind the Pines really is...I could not finish it! I kept waiting for the characters to become real, for the plot to go beyond the main character getting away from his captors and being captured again getting away from his captors and being captured again getting......The writing is 'almost' good, but I finally realized that I had listened to HALF the book and was still waiting for it to start. Gave up. No, I cannot recommend it (unless you have endless patience).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Peter Pan Must Die

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Verdon
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (18)

    The daunting task that confronts Gurney, once the NYPD's top homicide cop: determining the guilt or innocence of a woman already convicted of shooting her charismatic politician husband - who was felled by a rifle bullet to the brain while delivering the eulogy at his own mother's funeral. Peeling back the layers, Gurney quickly finds himself waging a dangerous battle of wits with a thoroughly corrupt investigator, a disturbingly cordial mob boss, a gorgeous young temptress, and a bizarre assassin whose child-like appearance has earned him the nickname Peter Pan.

    Ted says: "Kill Pan! But Read "Think Of A # first'!"
    "Not up to the previous John Verdon's"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you have never read a John Verdon novel, you're in for a treat...BUT not with this one. Read one of his earlier novels instead (the first two are my favorite). Here, the character slips from likable to ludicrously irresponsible--for no apparent reason...and what''s even worse--since, after all, this is fiction--without the character's usual charm. (You'll wonder why Madeline doesn't hit him over the head with a shovel already.) The mystery itself is not great either. And the protagonist's usual sleuthing skills seem to falter. In fact, you'll probably figure out what happened way before he does. In former Verdon novels, the puzzles are impossible runic cubes that he magically assembles (making you see the reality from a totally different angle than you were expecting). Here it's more of a "hangman's knot." It was still 'entertaining' and perhaps I would not have felt so disappointed if I were not such a fan of this author. Hope the next one is better. I will definitely give him another chance. (The reader is the same reader as in the third in the series. He's good -- a million times better than Scott Brick, who read the second novel and was a horrible choice -- but not as good as the reader of the first novel, who was superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1834)
    Performance
    (1691)
    Story
    (1683)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Marci says: "Great story. Genius writing"
    "Yet another excellent depiction of human nature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had just finished reading "The Last Anniversary" and at first thought "Big Little Lies" gave away too much, too early...Duped, of course, by Ms. Moriarty. There are twists and turns and surprises all the way along. At the bottom, of course, are the author's incredible character depictions. Her knowledge of the best and worst human nature has to offer. These people are REAL. You have met them (or perhaps you ARE them). And she will make you laugh and cry at the smallness (and largeness) of day-to-day life. Towards the end, you are glued to the story--told expertly, by the way, from many points of view in a way that is particularly suited for an audiobook in the hands (voice?) of Caroline Lee.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Dear Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Elizabeth Little
    • Narrated By Bonnie Dennison
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (75)

    Former "It Girl" Janie Jenkins is acerbic, whip smart, and fresh out of prison. Ten years ago, at the height of her glamour and fame, she was incarcerated for the murder of her mother, a philanthropist best known for her string of rich husbands. Now, released on a technicality, Janie chops off her trademark hair, determined to chase down the one lead she has about her mother's killer. The only problem? Janie doesn't know if she's the one she's looking for.

    cristina says: "Too many witticisms, too little substance"
    "Too many witticisms, too little substance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was looking forward to this novel because of the great reviews it seemed to be getting everywhere. Someone (I think in People magazine) compared it to "Gone Girl" (clearly, someone who had not read Gone Girl).

    There is very, very little here except one witty, cutting remark after another from the protagonist. And it gets old very, very quickly--particularly because there is absolutely nothing to back it up: no character development (the main character herself is totally unbelievable and it only gets worse with the slew of secondary people...most never progress past the stereotype); no verisimilitude (The plot is based on this girl's quest for her mother's killer. She's released from prison after serving 10 years for the murder...and immediately follows the most implausible of leads EVER -- and I mean EVER -- and, of course, because this book is awful, the lead pans off); no resolution (you keep waiting for some twist to happen...but, no...it's just one runaway train of a plot); no talent (sorry, Ms. Little).

    Perhaps if I had not been expecting so much (or if I was a 16-year-old looking for a very light 'mystery' to read on the beach), I would have given it three stars. As it was, I had to force myself to finish it.

    The narrator compounds the issue. I found her voice grating and her never-changing inflection (perhaps unavoidable because she had nothing to work on) makes the lines seem even triter than they are.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Anniversary

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Heather Wilds
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (167)

    Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family, where it seems everyone has a secret. Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger. And dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it's about time she started making her own decisions.

    Travis says: "Such a disappointment after "Big Little Lies""
    "Excellent Moriarty"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wondered about this book because it was written in 2005 and not turned into an audiobook until 2014 (timed with the release of the author's new novel). Thought perhaps audiobooks had ignored it because it was not a very good example of the author's work...and almost ignored it myself. So glad I did not! Like in every Moriarty novel, the story is populated with everyday people who have to deal with highly unusual circumstances (two sisters find an abandoned baby and raise it as their own; an old lady leaves her island house to her grandson's ex-girlfriend...). Moriarty uses her unbelievable knowledge of human nature to make all the characters come to life with wit and compassion--and you feel like you know each and every one. The ending of all her novels are always a little sad simply because you have to say good-bye to the 'people' in them.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Executive Privilege

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Phillip Margolin
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (656)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (288)

    When private detective Dana Cutler is hired by an attorney with powerful political connections, the assignment seems simple enough: follow a pretty college student named Charlotte Walsh and report on where she goes and whom she sees. But then the unexpected happens.

    Lu says: "Entertaining"
    "Entertaining enough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator does not do the story any favors. His voice is too monotonous, his pauses too long.

    The story itself is not great. A tad too unbelievable. A tad too predictable. A tad too "convenient" in terms of events happening right when they had to.

    AND YET, I give it four stars. It kept me entertained to the end. Sometimes, that's exactly what you want.

    This is my first Margolin book and I might give another a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1385)
    Performance
    (1246)
    Story
    (1245)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Annie M. says: "Time well spent"
    "Deeply human"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I started listening to this story, I realized it was the wrong novel for me at this particular time. I needed something lighter. I kept telling myself I'd stop listening and go back to it at another time...but the writing kept me hooked. Something was going on here that went beyond the two children whose day-to-day lives Doerr was describing.

    I am so glad I kept listening. The story builds and builds. The two children's lives connect in magical ways...and towards the last third of the novel, you find yourself holding your breath.

    I don't want to give anything away. Does it have a happy ending? Does it have a sad ending? You'll have to listen for yourselves. I highly recommend the experience. It couldn't be more real, or human.

    Can't wait for Mr. Doerr's next novel.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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