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cristina

Somerville, MA, United States | Member Since 2009

1084
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 168 reviews
  • 189 ratings
  • 1065 titles in library
  • 87 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
72
FOLLOWERS
249

  • Hush Money

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Chuck Greaves
    • Narrated By Dan Butler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (54)

    A newly minted member of Henley & Hargrove, Pasadena's oldest and snobbiest law firm, Jack MacTaggart is assigned to handle an insurance claim on behalf of socialite Sydney Everett. Hush Puppy, Sydney's champion show horse, has died unexpectedly, and attending veterinarian George Wells confides to Jack that the great horse's death was anything but natural. Jack's investigation leads him into the high-stakes world of professional show jumping and down a path to romance, intrigue, and an old blackmail scheme that further implicates his client.

    Faja4x says: "I tried and failed..."
    "Just like the early Dick Francis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Should perhaps have been 3 1/2 stars. Fun read. Fun, likeable characters. Excellent reader -- delivering the wise remarks with just the right tone. A little light on the mystery itself (too intricate an explanation -- that's why I didn't give it four stars), but I am still looking forward to the next one by this author. Wonder if he will set them all in the horse world or this was just a one-off.

    2 of 4 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
    (179)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (158)

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Caroline Kepnes
    • Narrated By Santino Fontana
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    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.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Bird's-Eye View

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By J. F. Freedman
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The novels of New York Times best-selling author J.F. Freedman combine gritty realism with gripping suspense. Bird’s-Eye View is a vivid thriller that will keep listeners enthralled from start to finish. Ex-collegiate professor turned loner, Fritz Tullis dropped out of academia for all the right reasons. He now spends his time thinking, drinking, fishing and photographing birds from a sweltering, screen-windowed shack at the edge of a swamp in southern Maryland.

    Charles Atkinson says: "A Riveting Tale Read Masterfully"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book started out great, with what seemed like an original premise...then it derailed. Read only if you don't mind that police officers and government officials are portrayed as absolute imbeciles (there is no other explanation for how the main character is allowed to continue on his merry way, investigating a situation on his own with disastrous consequences for all). The main character is an imbecile too--so many of his actions are simply preposterous (two of the female characters mention his "boyish" nature...and he does indeed behave like a fifteen-year-old several times...perhaps his actions might have seemed more believable if he was indeed a teenager). The dialogue between him and the women of his life is painfully stilted and hard to listen to. The female characters are mostly stereotypes (the author uses the word "vulnerable" as a compliment when describing two of the female characters, need I say more?) Towards the end I was tempted to stop listening several times.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Killer Next Door

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alex Marwood
    • Narrated By Imogen Church
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    Everyone who lives at 23 Beulah Grove has a secret. If they didn't, they wouldn't be renting rooms in a dodgy old building for cash - no credit check, no lease. It's the kind of place you end up when you you've run out of other options.The six residents mostly keep to themselves, but one unbearably hot summer night, a terrible accident pushes them into an uneasy alliance. What they don't know is that one of them is a killer. He's already chosen his next victim, and he'll do anything to protect his secret.

    cristina says: "Excellent"
    "Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alex Marwood might just be my new favorite author. I liked "Wicked Girls." "The Killer Next Door" is even better. A brilliant portrayal of urban life--with all its forgotten, discarded lives--coupled with a serial murderer that, as the title states, lives next door to the novel's 'inhabitants.' Brilliantly plotted. Brilliant character development. Brilliant narrator. I was riveted...and so incredibly disappointed when it came to an end. Highly recommend.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1679)
    Performance
    (1512)
    Story
    (1518)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "Write By Numbers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    SO incredibly disappointing. At first I was OK with listening to the ridiculously trivialized view of history, but then it got simply BORING. To be honest, I have a mere 45 minutes left to listen to and I had to go off and read a 'real' book. ZERO character development: The thing that made Follett's previous pseudo-historical pieces fun was that the characters seemed to come to life. NONE of that here. The characters are cartoon stereotypes who are obviously 'acting' with the benefit of historical hindsight. ZERO subtlety, Mr. Follett. Did you have interns write this or did you simply phone it it? (And ZERO plot: A fast-forward through the last century's main events with the characters--every single one of them--having inane discussions or thoughts about the other characters' butts or nipples or the possibility of sleeping with them...even as cataclysmic events are supposedly taking place.) #ACartoon

    12 of 13 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
    (1068)
    Performance
    (980)
    Story
    (981)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (137)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (121)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (102)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (42)

    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
    (2579)
    Performance
    (2336)
    Story
    (2340)

    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
    (22)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (22)

    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

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