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Monica

Member Since 2005

55
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 162 ratings
  • 473 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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  • The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35261)
    Performance
    (26309)
    Story
    (26686)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
    "3 books needed"
    Overall

    Be prepared to buy all 3 books. Read them sequentially.

    I found the premise good, the story interesting -- a PG version of something like "Battle Royale" (Japanese film). Interesting characters who are developed, if you read the trilogy. Content is certainly aimed at a young audience, but still good enough for adults.

    The interview with the author at the end of book 3 is interesting for the literary-minded folks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unidentified Redhead

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alice Clayton
    • Narrated By Keili Lefkovitz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (244)

    When Grace Sheridan returns to Los Angeles to become a working actress, it's a second shot at a life-long dream. With some help from her best-friend agent, will that dream become a reality - or at 33, has Grace missed her chance at the big time? And when an unexpected sizzling romance with Jack Hamilton, the entertainment industry's newest "it" boy, threatens to shine an uncomfortable spotlight on her life, how will that affect her career... and his?

    Jordy says: "Fun, Flirty, Sexy, Smutty Book!"
    "Aimed at those who love the bedroom scenes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Aimed at those who love the bedroom scenes and who don't want or need more plot development or character development. I like a good story and overall this book felt to me like an extended Penthouse Forum so I was disappointed. The author is clearly talented, just not what I like (that is, a compelling, complex story over bedroom scenes).

    Others have commented on the narrator who did not change her voice to play the parts of the characters and I agree. When an author repeatedly comments on how someone talks (i.e., with an adorable British accent) and it's not in the narration, it's a bummer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • METAtropolis

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, and others
    • Narrated By Michael Hogan, Scott Brick, Kandyse McClure, and others
    Overall
    (2051)
    Performance
    (1805)
    Story
    (1845)

    Armed camps of eco-survivalists battle purveyors of technology in this exclusive, original production featuring five sci-fi masters and five all-star narrators.

    Anthony says: "Painful"
    "Strong in the middle"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed stories 2, 3, and 4. I was not as interested in the first and last story. To me, the first and last stories were too abstract and I never got drawn in, The first story had too many references that I didn't know or care about. The middle 3 were interesting short stories, good character development, and enjoyable listens. It's worth it to get to the second story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Descendants

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Kaui Hart Hemmings
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (810)
    Performance
    (699)
    Story
    (703)

    Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive - one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control - 10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex is a recovering drug addict.

    Michael says: "Not Sappy instead honestly elicits tears & laughs"
    "Narrator didn't do homework; New story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting story and one that I have never heard before. But I had two complaints:
    1) Unfortunately, the narrator did not do his homework. His pronunciation of words commonly used in Hawai'i was poor. He should have done his homework and asked people who say Hawaiian words and local words how to pronounce them. Really, there's no excuse -- I can't believe he mispronounced poke (POH-keh) to name one of many mistakes.
    2) My personal preference would have been for the story to reflect Hawai'i more. This is my bias and not a fault of the book/author. I wanted more Hawai'i and culture of Hawaiians and the local people who live in Hawai'i. There wasn't enough for me.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Illumination

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Kevin Brockmeier
    • Narrated By Graham Rowat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    Author Kevin Brockmeier counts the O. Henry Prize among the many accolades his speculative fiction has earned. In The Illumination he offers “an inspiring take on suffering and the often fleeting nature of connection” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). When physical pain suddenly manifests itself as shining light, the wounded nature of humanity is revealed.

    Monica says: "unsatisfying"
    "unsatisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was unsatisfied when I reached the end. Maybe if I had known in advance that the book is a series of loosely connected stories I would be less critical now. The book moved to a new character too quickly for me. My 2 stars is because I didn't like the narrative structure. Someone who likes short stories, linked together by an object, might really enjoy this book.

    The overall idea is terrific and interesting. I wanted the author to push it more and I wanted fewer stories within the story.
    Narration was good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Angela's Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt
    Overall
    (2575)
    Performance
    (1358)
    Story
    (1363)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: There’s no gentle way to put this – Frank McCourt’s performance of Angela’s Ashes is just better than the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Frank McCourt shares his sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking story of growing up poor, Irish, and Catholic in the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes.

    Karen says: "A classic book *and* a classic audiobook"
    "Choppy, repetitive; author as good narrator"
    Overall

    I was very glad the author narrated the book. The book is told from the author's point of view and he narrated his point of view well. As for the content, I agree with the reviewer who found the characters undeveloped. As I listened, I thought I was listening to someone remembering a bunch of unconnected events from age 3 to 17 (in chronological order). Moments of the book were interesting and very sad or sadly comic. But overall, I was disappointed and felt hammered over the head with the same things happening over and over (dad drunk again, mom doing nothing again, kids on the street again, Catholic confession again). Perhaps from a literary perspective, the repetition could be seen as reinforcing the tone and goal of the book. From a historical perspective, maybe it can be seen as a useful slice of life of very poor children (because of drunkenness & unwillingness to get a job) in that time period. But for me, I'm not into it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Deepak Chopra
    • Narrated By Deepak Chopra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    Best-selling author and spiritual guide Deepak Chopra invites you to become the kind of leader most needed today: a leader with vision who can make that vision real. Chopra has been teaching leadership to CEOs and other top executives for eight years, and the path outlined in The Soul of Leadership applies to any business, but the same principles are relevant in every community and area of life, from family and home to school, place of worship, and neighborhood.

    Monica says: "who's the audience?"
    "who's the audience?"
    Overall

    Overall, if you like the spiritual & Mr Chopra's other books, you will probably like this book in its vague spiritual way that I think is true of many self-help spiritual books. I like the overall message (do onto others....), but for a leadership book, I think there must be way better books out there. Seemed like in the end, the message was: be a good person, have a wonderful vision, and you will be a good leader.

    I was disappointed in this book. First, I thought many of the activities could work only if the person was ALREADY the leader. I'm not, so I can't take over a meeting and lead the folks on the recommended activities. Second, I thought it lacked specific information given our global world. So maybe the audience is leaders who work with those of the same culture. I work with people from many cultures and when Mr Chopra says to listen and observe, I'm not confident in my ability to listen and observe and accurately understand the person's emotions and needs. I would have liked more specifics on how to listen and observe given our global economy.

    Mr Chopra gives several long lists and other such things that I found difficult to "get" by just listening. Because I listen while doing other things, I wasn't able to pause, write down, so I could have a reference for later. My problem, not the book's. For me, this would have been better to buy in hard copy. But I can't recommend this book.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4298)
    Performance
    (3245)
    Story
    (3251)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Too simplistic"
    Overall

    For me, the story was too simplistic and boring. It was more "tell" than "show."

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4564)
    Performance
    (1855)
    Story
    (1856)

    To survive in a game with no rules at all, John Corey must invent a strategy that includes no luck at all. He and the Anti-Terrorist Task Force must stop "The Lion," an alleged Libyan terrorist with the instincts of a wild animal, the bloodlust of a carnivore, and the boldness and speed of a cat of prey.

    CoCo says: "Excellent and engaging"
    "Too Step 1, Step 2, for me"
    Overall

    For me, Lion's Game was too much of, "this is what I did first" and "then I did this next" and "she did that." I didn't like the play-by-play description. Got boring for me. I thought it dragged. But if you like that journalistic style, I think you'll like this a lot because the story itself is fine.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10961)
    Performance
    (8395)
    Story
    (8446)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "Long"
    Overall

    I will read the next book because I like the characters and thought the narrators were good. But, 3 stars because I thought this book was long. Very long. Seems like the story and character development could have moved much faster. I also thought the author tried too hard to create a world; it felt forced -- for example the quotes at the beginning of the chapters and the interludes and the appendix at the end.

    I liked Sanderson's Mistborn series better.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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