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cristina

Somerville, MA, United States | Member Since 2014

1185
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 176 reviews
  • 197 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
75
FOLLOWERS
260

  • Headhunters

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (315)

    Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that’s been lost since World War II - and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft.

    Matt says: "Dragon Tattoo(esque)....but......"
    "Terrific"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was phenomenal. All kinds of plots and twists that were unexpected but, somehow, plausible. The reader was great -- making the main character as unlikeable and icy cold as I am sure Jo Nesbo meant him to be. I have listened to all the available Jo Nesbo books now and can't wait for the next one.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Moving Day

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jonathan Stone
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (384)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (343)

    Forty years’ accumulation of art, antiques, and family photographs are more than just objects for Stanley Peke - they are proof of a life fully lived. A life he could have easily lost long ago. When a con man steals his houseful of possessions in a sophisticated moving-day scam, Peke wanders helplessly through his empty New England home, inevitably reminded of another helpless time: decades in Peke’s past, a cold and threadbare Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz eked out a desperate existence in the war-torn Polish countryside, subsisting on scraps, dodging Nazi soldiers.

    Joe Crescenzi says: "What a fantastic story... a real treat!"
    "Loved this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At first, it seems like a pretty simple (but enjoyable) tale of bad vs good: the old man gets robbed and refuses to take it lying down. But then the novel becomes much more, culminating in a terrific finale. I enjoyed every minute and don't want to spoil it for you. Download it. You won't regret it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tutor

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Peter Abrahams
    • Narrated By James Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    When Scott and Linda Gardner hire Julian Sawyer to tutor their troubled teenage son Brandon, Julian seems like the answer to a prayer. He's bright, courteous, refined, and connects with Brandon in a way neither of his parents can. They embrace Julian almost as a member of the family. But the tutor has his own dark agenda. For Julian, the Gardners are like specimens in jars, creatures to be studied - and manipulated.

    Galadriel says: "A unique battle of wits - excellent!"
    "Pleasantly surprised"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit that I did not expect this to be so enjoyable. A great mix of humor and suspense. The 11-year-old heroine is funny and smart. The plot is great. You don't even realize that you are on the edge of your seat because you're smiling most of the way. Towards the end, I could not put it down. In fact, I stayed awake in bed listening to the last twenty minutes at one in the morning. Can't wait to read something else by Peter Abrahams. And James Daniels did an excellent job as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunger of the Wolf: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Marche
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Hunters found his body naked in the snow. So begins this astonishing new work of literary fiction. The body in the snow is that of Ben Wylie, the heir to America's second-wealthiest business dynasty, and it is found in a remote patch of Northern Canada. Far away, in post-rash New York, Jamie Cabot, the son of the Wylie family's housekeepers, must figure out how and why Ben died.

    cristina says: "Disappointing"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The publisher's summary says "The Hunger of the Wolf is a novel about what it means to be a man in the world of money. It is a story about fathers and sons, about secrets that are kept within families, and about the cost of the tension between the public face and the private soul." Except that THAT is what The Hunger of the Wolf wants to BE...but isn't. It starts out brilliantly--Mr. Marche is a phenomenal writer--but then it fizzles. The commentary about what it means to be "a man in the world of money" isn't insightful or revealing enough--there are moments of cleverness, but simply moments. The relationship between fathers and sons (yes, it's meant to be a key part of the novel) is not paid off because none of the relationships depicted here have any real depth (the novel covers three or four generations and it's only 8 hours long...that should tell you something). And the costs of maintaining a public face while hiding the truth about yourself is too obvious a theme, revealed without any subtlety. The brothers are werewolves (I am not giving that much away; you find out as soon as the caretaker's son stumbles upon all kinds of documents spelling out the family's history--hard to believe that a family so obsessed with privacy would leave all these documents laying around for the taking, but whatever). But the werewolf theme is just there, barely affecting anyone, really (in fact, if you like werewolf novels, this one will disappoint you; if you don't like werewolf novels, that won't be the reason you dislike this one). It is almost a side note, even though it's meant to be 'the key' to the family's tragic history (yes it's supposed to be a metaphor for the 'wildness inside' except that, again, it is not a deep or surprising metaphor. Simply there.) I think this novel needed to be longer--although I am loathe to say this since I really couldn't wait for it to be over. Cannot recommend, which is a tragedy itself considering the promise of the first 20 minutes or so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbecoming: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Scherm
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    On the grubby outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she's from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. Regularly, furtively, she checks the hometown paper on the Internet. Home is Garland, Tennessee, and there, two young men have just been paroled. One, she married; the other, she's in love with. Both were jailed for a crime that Grace herself planned in exacting detail.

    Melinda says: "Staying a step ahead of her lies"
    "Ridiculous and boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The most interesting thing about this book is the publisher's summary. The book itself is incredibly tedious. At the start of the novel, the totally unlikeable heroine is indeed panicked (as the publisher has told you) when she realizes that her boyfriend and friends are about to be released from prison. You realize that she did something bad and left them behind to pay the consequences. OK, so far the story shows promise. Except then...it doesn't go anywhere. You see endless flashbacks to the girl's childhood which are kind of predictable. She has it tough (although not that tough, really--there's a five minute bit where the author tells you how the girls parents were not married when she was born so she drifted from this home to that home to that home until her parents got back together again and moved to the town where the story takes place...that feels like it was added after the fact because the author realized that the girl's current home life was not bad enough to account for the girl's feeling of self pity!). She meets the town's loved child. She meets his friends. They drift aimlessly (the kids' stupid behavior is hard to believe....well, it is actually IMPOSSIBLE to believe, as is the entire novel). Then bad thing happens and guys go to prison while girl goes to Europe and ends up repairing antiques (the descriptions of some of these antiques are annoyingly long...and lack any kind of beauty; sounding almost like excerpts from wikipedia). Then the kids get out of prison...and more preposterous plot 'meanderings' ensue(not surprising enough to be called 'twists'), some are actually groan-worthy...Anyway, read at your own peril. Or if you need something to help you fall asleep.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8888)
    Performance
    (7449)
    Story
    (7455)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Don't count on getting anything else done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit I could not stop listening. Rushing by real life just to get back to this. Great writing (yes, there are some actions that stretch credibility, but it didn't really affect my enjoyment). Rachel is one of the best unreliable narrators I have encountered. She is giving you the wrong account of what happened but only because that's the account that she believes at the time...and because she can't quite remember. The 'truth' is that everything here is not as it seems: the way the characters remember the past is unreliable, the way the characters perceive the present is unreliable, and--most importantly--the way the characters see each other is not to be trusted.

    The three narrators (Rachel is one of three female first persons telling the story) are excellent readers. Their voices pitch perfect.

    I can't wait for this author's next book. What will she think of next?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Pursuit: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (255)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (116)

    Thirteen bodies are found in a Louisville restaurant. When the police can find no suspect or motive, the family of one of the victims seeks the services of the enigmatic and solitary specialist Roy Prescott, known for his ability to find people who don't want to be found.

    Maxine says: "Great book"
    "Couldn't get into this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It starts out great. You expect to see two cunning, ruthless masterminds pitched against each other. Except it goes nowhere. One step forward (the current plot line from the murderer's point of view), two steps back (a story from his past that is supposedly going to help us understand him). One step forward (the current plot line from the hunter's perspective), two steps back (a story from his past that is supposedly going to help us understand him). One step forward again, two steps back again; one step forward again, two steps back again...It would have been fine if the current plot line got farther faster...or if the backflashes actually felt meaningful, but after the first one all of them start sounding the same...and the whole thing becomes extremely tedious. I tried, but could not finish this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Troop

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Nick Cutter
    • Narrated By Corey Brill
    Overall
    (570)
    Performance
    (532)
    Story
    (533)

    Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip - a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfre. The boys are a tight-knit crew. There’s Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well-liked and easygoing; then there’s Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there - which makes Scoutmaster Tim’s job a little easier.

    Charles says: "Engrossing"
    "Stephen King does Lord of The Flies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was expecting a long set-up where we get to know the characters, so was surprised when the troop comes in contact with the stranger almost immediately. I thought, "now what? how will he keep this going?" But Mr. Cutter keeps your interest because the character development happens AS the different personalities deal with what is happening to them. Excellent writing. Great narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Warm Bodies: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Isaac Marion
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1098)
    Performance
    (1021)
    Story
    (1018)

    R is a young man with an existential crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. His ability to connect with the outside world is limited to a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend, Julie.

    Charles says: "Surprising"
    "Surprisingly enjoyable after having seen the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the movie (very cute, heartwarming), so I did not expect to enjoy the book (the surprise element being gone). I was wrong. Even though the two are nearly identical, the novel was still a fun listen. The narrator is excellent. The story is still endearing the second time around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil All the Time

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Donald Ray Pollock
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (169)

    Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s. There’s Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrifi­cial blood he pours on his “prayer log.”

    Kathy says: "WOW What a FIND!"
    "Horrible things told beautifully"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The other reviews already mention the bizarre cast of characters. The darkest of the dark. We follow them along their twisted and on-and-off converging paths. Horrified, mesmerized...and, one has to admit, very much entertained at the hands of an expert storyteller and an excellent narrator. Bravo!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • You

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Caroline Kepnes
    • Narrated By Santino Fontana
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (255)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (230)

    Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: she's gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and sexy beyond his wildest dreams. Joe needs to have her, and he'll stop at nothing to do so. As he begins to insinuate himself into her life - her friendships, her email, her phone - she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom-made for her. So when her boyfriend, Benji, mysteriously disappears, Beck and Joe fall into a tumultuous affair. But there's more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade.

    cristina says: "Loved it"
    "Loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The "stalker" theme seems to be all around us lately and is, quite frankly, not my favorite. Would probably not have even considered this had it not been for a post on Facebook by a friend whose tastes on books I usually share (the fact that this is how I came upon this book is actually ironic). So glad I followed her advice! And so glad I listened to "You" rather than read it on paper. Mr. Fontana is PERFECT as the first person narrator--the stalker who becomes increasingly obsessed with his prey. And Ms. Kepnes keeps your interest throughout, with the lies and deceptions becoming more and more involved, preposterous...and believable. It will make you want to reset all your social media privacy settings. It will make you cringe. And it will make you laugh! Yes, there's a lot of humor here. (Considering the theme, it is actually a pretty light--if riveting--read). Well done! I can't wait for her next one.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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