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Joanna

Juneau, AK, United States | Member Since 2007

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 443 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Catherine Friend
    • Narrated By Catherine Friend
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    Catherine Friend was happy being an author and writing instructor. She always wore clean clothes. She never had anything disagreeable stuck to the bottom of her shoes. That all changed the day she agreed to help her partner Melissa fulfill Melissa’s lifelong ambition to farm in Minnesota. Catherine and Melissa embark on a rural odyssey filled with sheep, goats, chicken, llamas, and a host of other natural disasters. As it turns out, farming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    John S. says: "A strong interest in animals helps here a lot!"
    "Disappointingly Whiny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could Catherine Friend have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Less complaining would have been helpful.


    Any additional comments?

    The fairly constant complaining about the author's lot in farm life detracted from what would otherwise have been a fairly interesting sequence of events.

    0 of 0 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
    (16844)
    Performance
    (14979)
    Story
    (15024)

    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!"
    "Interesting twists, but a little contrived"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review contains spoilers. This book was a three star listen for me - not because it's average, but because it contains hints of brilliance surrounded by boring, and also seems to include some pretty bald-faced plot devices. The first half of this book was quite slow at times, and hard to get through. It seems to lay the groundwork for the major plot twist early on, then spent a lot of time trying to distract the reader before the twist. Amy's character is particularly unlikeable, ultimately, of course, but was also really inconsistent in a few places. For example, Amy is incredibly controlling and wary. She can see intended harm in the most innocent actions of friends and takes immediate steps to protect herself and punish the "offender." But she's somehow also lax enough to be robbed by strangers she has willingly spent significant time with, taken essentially no measures to protect herself from, and, most out of character, made no effort to control or manipulate. The robbery just feels like a clumsy plot device to make the reader feel a tiny bit better - something bad finally happens to evil Amy - and to move Amy toward going home.

    All in all, a decent story I enjoyed very much at times, but not one I'd bother with again - it's too much of a downer, and not quite clever enough to make up for that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spider's Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jennifer Estep
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2686)
    Performance
    (2057)
    Story
    (2065)

    They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South -- when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

    Tony says: "Very Disappointed"
    "One dimensional"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jennifer Estep and/or Lauren Fortgang?

    Not likely


    What could Jennifer Estep have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The author creates caricatures, not characters


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Nothing impressive in the narration


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm guessing the author has quite a few friends who write reviews for her, as I can't imagine any other way a book as bad as this could get such a high rating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Cajun Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Mindy Starns Clark
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (86)

    What secrets can be found by the light of the Cajun moon? New Orleans may be the "Big Easy", but nothing about it was ever easy for international business etiquette expert Chloe Ledet. She moved away years ago, leaving her parents and their famous French Quarter restaurant behind. But when she hears that her father has been shot, she races home to be by his side and to handle his affairs, only to learn a longhidden secret that changes everything she knew to be true about herself and her family.

    Deborah says: "Good clean mystery"
    "Pathetic"
    Overall

    The author has single-handedly created the stupidest, most credulous heroine ever, while insulting the reader/listener's intelligence throughout. Chloe is unbelievably dim, freely telling just about everyone she meets (including, of course, the killer) what all the clues to the treasure are, and exactly what they mean. This is despite the fact that her father's last message was that the treasure issue is what got him shot, and that they shouldn't trust anyone.

    She's also extremely whiny, with serious mommy and daddy issues - "poor me, poor me my parents didn't pay enough attention to me" is a recurring theme we re-visit about every 10 minutes or so. Don't waste your time or money.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Rainwater

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (231)

    The year is 1934. With the country in the stranglehold of drought and economic depression, Ella Barron runs her Texas boardinghouse with an efficiency that ensures her life will be kept in balance. Between chores of cooking and cleaning for her residents, she cares for her 10-year-old son, Solly, a sweet but challenging child whose misunderstood behavior finds Ella on the receiving end of pity, derision, and suspicion.

    Cindy Wain says: "A MUST read (or listen!)"
    "Really, really bad"
    Overall

    Will the real Sandra Brown please start writing again, because whoever wrote this complete piece of trash has no talent. It violates the most basic "show don't tell" rules with totally inane statements like "she knew he was asking a rhetorical question and so didn't answer". The hero and herione are both completely unrealistic people with no flaws whatsoever. They're also the most well-educated and forward-thinking people the Depression era ever saw as regards mental illness and race. The end is about a nanosecond long, but conveniently resolves everything - almost as if the author herself couldn't even be bothered with it anymore. The narrator does what he can with this, but it's beyond redemption. Don't waste your money or your credit.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16254)
    Performance
    (10544)
    Story
    (10425)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Narrator Doesn't "Get" Claire"
    Overall

    As someone who actually read the four-star book years ago and is now listening to the audiobook, I was disappointed by the narrator's portrayal of Claire. She is very off-pace, and scenes that are hilarious in the book are ho hum, thrown off by the narrator emphasizing the wrong parts. She does do a very good Scots accent, but really detracts from my enjoyment of the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3266)
    Performance
    (2559)
    Story
    (2563)

    An orphan's life is harsh---and often short---in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains---a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans---a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards.

    Luke A. Reynolds says: "Stupendous, but be warned."
    "Complex, Hilarious, Emotional Ride"
    Overall

    Absolutely loved this story - Gentlemen Bastards Forever! You will grow to truly care about these characters. Be warned, there is much swearing and a good deal of violence. Given the storyline, though, this lends the realism so often lacking in novels of this genre. Michael Page as narrator is incredibly good, capturing the very diverse cast of characters with the individual personality they deserve.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Host: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5172)
    Performance
    (2775)
    Story
    (2815)

    Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. But Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.

    Keith says: "Great story in a genre only touched upon before"
    "Interesting idea, terrible delivery"
    Overall

    While Kate Reading does a very good job narrating this book, the story could have been told in 1/3 of the time or less. What could have been an interesting story line is essentially ruined by Stephanie Meyer's repeated, laborious descriptions of the SAME EXACT THING OVER AND OVER. Yes, we get it, Wanda has a thing for Jared as does Melanie and this is both a conflict and commonality/sympathy point between Wanda and Melanie. There's also the Wanda/Ian dynamic, not to mention Wanda's self-sacrificing nature. Do we really have to revisit these same ideas literally 100s of times? Each? I liked Twilight (really only the first book), and I love long stories, but this one is like beating a dead horse with a wet noodle. Which in my opinion is exactly what should happen to Ms. Meyer's Editor.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Mountain Between Us: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Charles Martin
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (104)

    When their last outgoing flight is cancelled, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection. And when the pilot says the single-engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley, knowing that she needs to get home just as urgently. And then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack, and the plane crashes into one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.

    Suzanne says: "10 stars for The Mountain Between Us"
    "Elasticman Plot"
    Overall

    While there were some tender and touching moments in this book, and the narrator was good, in general the characters and plot were very unbelievable - really? ++Plot spoiler++ An orthopedic surgeon who climbs mountains in his spare time is also stupid enough to get on a small plane in the middle of a storm with a pilot who has a bad heart. And as we find out near the end, all this rush was so he could get back to his dead wife...who he hasn't minded being apart from during his work/mountain climbing trip. Please. Also, if the author was hoping to convince anyone that abortion when facing imminent maternal death from placental abruption is immoral, he has failed miserably.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bloody Jack

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By L.A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1237)
    Performance
    (741)
    Story
    (735)

    Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of 18th-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas. There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret.

    Terry says: "Sometimes it clicks"
    "Amazing vocals, brilliant book"
    Overall

    The Dickensian story of Jacky Faber in Bloody Jack is heartwrenching and joyous all at once, a truly enthralling tale. Katherine Kellgren's narration is beyond "wonderous good" - frankly she is the best narrator I've ever hoped to listen to.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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