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~Beloved~

Auburn, CA | Member Since 2009

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 85 ratings
  • 275 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
7

  • Garden Spells

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Sarah Addison Allen
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (991)
    Performance
    (539)
    Story
    (544)

    The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers.

    Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

    Together again in the house they grew up in, the Waverley sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy - if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom - or with each other.

    Joihelene says: "I so want to give it 5 stars...!!!!"
    "Perfectly Charming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Other reviews spin this book negatively claiming that the storyline mimics Practical Magic. Well, the reviews are right - the storyline is very similar to Practical Magic, but that was perfecly fine by me. I enjoyed Practical Magic. This story is indeed very similar, but not identical. I was in the mood for a "feel good" quick story and this satisfied that craving. The characters are all very likeable and endearing. The story was predictable, but again, I didnt mind. I finished it with a smile on my face. I have no complaints. It was perfectly charming.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Enchanted: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Rene Denfeld
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs with the devastating violence of prison life.

    Melinda says: "Ink Blot Test"
    "Dark and Depressing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is well written, but very dark, themed. At the conclusion, I just felt depressed. The book ends as it should and maybe that's why it's so sad. Some of us, myself specifically, look to fiction to be the happy ending that doesn't always happen in reality. This book will not give you that. As someone who worked in corrections for a short bit, I found the plot line to be quite accurate. I gave 3 stars for writing/accuracy of story line, 4 stars for a good narrator, and 2 stars overall because, despite the good writing and narration, I just didn't enjoy this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5827)
    Performance
    (5231)
    Story
    (5221)

    Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries.

    Hallie says: "Even better than A Discovery of Witches"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was really excited for this second installment of the "School of Night" series. I loved Discovery of Witches. This book was a bit of a let down for me. I started listening to it a while ago, but it didn't grab me in the same manner as the first book, so it sat on my ipod until I forced myself to get along with it. It wasn't a bad book, it just didnt live up to my expectations this time.

    I found myself frustrated with Diana's character, but more so, a little off put with the overly flowery writing style in this installment. It felt like the book was drawn out much longer than necessary just in wording. Example - I lost count as to how many times Matthew was referred to by Diana as "my husband" or "the vampire" when a simple "he" or "Matthew" would have sufficed because it was obvious to whom she was referring. As in, "My husband drank his fill from the blood of the stag." It felt overly wordy, flowery, too poetic. I just wanted Harkness to get on with the actual story.

    I finished the book and it was left as a cliffhanger, but the story was slow and tiresome. Hopefully book #3 delivers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Camille DeAngelis
    • Narrated By Kelley Hazen
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Evelyn Harbinger sees nothing wrong with a one-night stand. At 149 years old, Eve may look like she bakes oatmeal cookies in the afternoon and dozes in her rocking chair in the evening, but once the gray hair and wrinkles are traded for jet-black tresses and porcelain skin, she can still turn heads as the beautiful girl she once was. Can't fault a girl for having a little fun, can you?

    Gala says: "Kept me interested and intrigued"
    "60 minutes and I'm finished"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read/listen to books in clustered theme groups based on my moods. Lately, I've been into fantasy/witchcraft - adult themed witch stories, not YA. I thought this book because the plot line sounded intriguing.

    If I'm not quite connecting with a book or narrator, I give it a few chapters and about an hour of my time. After 60 minutes, I was finished. There was essentially NO plot for me to grasp on to. I kept hitting the back button thinking I'd zoned out and missed some key sentences that would hook me in... but alas, they could not be found.

    Originally, I purchased this book based on some good reviews off goodreads, but I'm returning it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Mary Simses
    • Narrated By Erin Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is quickly complicated when she almost drowns in the chilly bay and is saved by a local carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. As she learns about her grandmother and herself, it becomes clear that a 24-hour visit to Beacon may never be enough.

    Karen Watkins says: "Enjoyable from beginning to end!"
    "Not irresistible, but not off-putting."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had no intentions of writing a review, but apparently neither has anyone else. So, just to throw something out there for this book, here's what I thought.

    The book wasn't bad, but it wasn't necessarily good either. It was a middle of the road listen for me. I didn't feel the urge to listen, so it took some time for me to finish it. I wasn't overly connected with the characters, but I didnt dislike them either. I listened here and there during my commute and finally finished it so that I could free it up off my ipod.

    The narrator wasn't my favorite; I wouldn't seek her out for future reads, but I wouldn't turn down a book she read either.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pavilion of Women

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Pearl S. Buck
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (79)

    On her 40th birthday, Madame Wu carries out a decision she has been planning for a long time: she tells her husband that after 24 years their physical life together is now over and she wishes him to take a second wife. The House of Wu, one of the oldest and most revered in China, is thrown into an uproar by her decision, but Madame Wu will not be dissuaded and arranges for a young country girl to come take her place in bed.

    Lorna says: "Flawlessly beautiful!"
    "Meh..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a fan of Pearl S. Buck and very much enjoyed the Good Earth, but this book just didn't do it for me. The premise was intriguing to me, but the story is so flat and the reading so monotone, that I find myself just tuning it out and having to re-listen to whole chapters. I never finished it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13301)
    Performance
    (5725)
    Story
    (5799)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Blah..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just couldn't get into this book. I know it's widely loved, but it bores me. I need to be engaged within the first few chapters and this one just didn't do it for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    Overall
    (2927)
    Performance
    (2660)
    Story
    (2670)

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Bonny says: "Will & Louisa - each has what the other one needs"
    "Grab a Kleenex."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh my gawd... HUGE alligator tears, splotchy face, body shuddering, and gasping bawling breaths.

    This book addresses a very deep issue and presents compelling arguments for both possible outcomes. No matter your opinion, you understand Will's perspective and his decision. You also understand the unparalleled heartache this decision creates for Louisa and the Traynor family.

    It's a love story - an amazing, deep, transcending all barriers love story.

    And. It's beautiful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Someone Else's Love Story: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Narrated By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (210)

    Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem - or what we hope they will be.

    ~Beloved~ says: "perfectly delightful"
    "perfectly delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Joshilyn Jackson quickly became one of my favorite authors after I listened to "A Grown Up Kind of Pretty." She is equally one of my favorite narrators, which is unusual since most authors are hideous narrators. Since finishing all of her novels, I have been impatiently waiting on this release and was so happy to have it on my ipod. I finished it in just a few days. Joshilyn writes in a way that engages me quickly with characters that I feel as though I know personally. I immediately and vehemently did not like Bethany and loved Walcott. The story is highly enjoyable and even had a twist in the end - which I loved. Now, like a toddler who hasn't had her nap, I'm impatiently waiting on my next Joshilyn Jackson book.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16491)
    Performance
    (14660)
    Story
    (14701)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Wow. Just wow."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I mean, wow. It isn't often that a story can take me so many different directions, sway my opinion this way and that, and then leave me feeling the way I do after this one. I want to give as few details as possible, because the story is ALL about details. Your mind will be blown

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sweetness of Forgetting

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Kristin Harmel
    • Narrated By Kim McKean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    At 36, Hope McKenna-Smith is no stranger to bad news. She lost her mother to cancer, her husband left her for a 22-year-old, and her bank account is nearly depleted. Now, Hope’s beloved French-born grandmother Mamie, who wowed the Cape with her fabulous pastries for more than 50 years, is drifting away into a haze of Alzheimer’s. But in a rare moment of clarity, Mamie realizes that unless she tells Hope about the past, the secrets she has held on to for so many years will soon be lost forever. Arming her with a scrawled list of names, she sends Hope to France.

    Lori says: "the WORST narration I have ever heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    "Highly enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although not my all-time favorite narrator, Ms. McKean does a fine job bringing this story to life. I love a story that draws me in by the end of the first few chapters and this book did just that. The story was so rich and full, my emotions were extremely engaged, I cried several times throughout the course of the book. I definitely recommend this audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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