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I am an adult who loves a good YA read---but really I just love an engrossing story. If it pulls me in and I can't stop reading-I'm happy!

Cincinnati, OH, United States | Member Since 2012

  • 14 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 323 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2015

  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Amazon Customer says: "Word Thief"
    "Word Thief"

    I don’t know if I can compose something that accurately conveys my thoughts about this novel. I don't think there are accurate words.

    Ultimately I thought this book was an emotional experience. I was moved at different points to tears---and yet I was comforted. And I saw life and more importantly death a little bit differently when the book was done.

    Allan Corduner’s performance was nothing short of impressive---and I can not imagine experiencing this book without his voice. I think he elevated an already superb story…

    This is nothing short of brilliant!

    108 of 111 people found this review helpful
  • Requiem: Delirium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This exciting finale to Lauren Olive's New York Times best-selling Delirium trilogy is a riveting blend of nonstop action and forbidden romance in a dystopian United States. Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion that was underway in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven.

    Katheryne says: "Where there is love there is freedom..."
    "End of an Era"

    Let me start first by saying that I have been nothing but pleased by Sarah Drew's performance. At the end of the book she added some personal comments---she clearly loved working on this series and it showed.

    I want to be clear---I highly recommend the series, if you haven't given it a listen.

    What I did not like about this book---and it's really just a matter of taste was the back and forth between the two girl's point of view. I really didn't want to (and can I just be candid--1 or two times didn't) listen to Hannah's portion of the story. I'm not sure if that would have been different if I had read this rather than listened to it... because I found myself not caring what happened with Hannah. Perhaps it's because I felt so betrayed by Hannah.

    I want to say more---but I don't want to spoil---so in an attempt to be vague I felt bad for one character who I felt really got the raw end of things...

    But--all is forgiven because Lauren Oliver had a really successful finish I felt. I will be looking to read her other books.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Seraphina

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Rachel Hartman
    • Narrated By Mandy Williams, Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high. Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered.

    Amazon Customer says: "Completely Inspiring Fantasy"
    "Completely Inspiring Fantasy"

    My initial reaction to this novel (a week or so after I finished listening to it) is to reflect on my connection with Seraphina. A girl with an amazing talent who actively seeks to hide her talent in order to not draw attention to herself because of a difference that could get her killed. I am surprised that in a world so fantastical it requires a great deal of careful sculpting and building that my first thoughts are of this character. Seraphina's struggle helps ground the world. Seraphina, at the beginning of the novel, has defined and viewed herself based off of an identity that she didn't choose but was born with. She is caught between two races with each not even wanting to acknowledge her existence. She has grown up with shame and without a true connection with anyone just because she is alive. In our world people often treated differently based on factors they were born with --- I'm sure I don't need to tell you--- the reality of these situations just really hit me on an emotional level.

    The world building: the religion, languages, differences between cultures--are very well done. I thought it was beautifully written and well thought out.

    I don't want to comment too much on the romance--but it is a slow build and felt natural. I--I read another review that said she could not remember was Lucian looked like...and neither can I. Their relationship is built on similarities and understanding--and not without it's issues---really refreshing.

    And intrigue--can this fragile balance between the dragons and the humans be sustained? Who is plotting the downfall of the peace and why? Can Seraphina help the Prince with his investigations without giving up her secret?

    If you like fantasy---I can't imagine a reason why you wouldn't enjoy this read.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Gilt

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Katherine Longshore
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty is now caught between two men - the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend.

    Amazon Customer says: "Gilt-y (almost) Pleasure"
    "Gilt-y (almost) Pleasure"

    Look at that cover... it intrigued me, I must say. Knowing nothing about this book but the cover I purchased it... Like chosing your present for Christmas based on the packaging I guess...but I digress.

    Gilt, tells the story of the fifth wife of King Henry VIII, Cat, from the point of view of her friend, Kitty Tylney. The two girls were raised together from the age of six in the household of the Duchess of Norfolk. Cat is beautiful, popular and selfish, and lords over the rest of the girls at the school. Kitty is not that pretty and less outgoing... but considers being taken under Cat's wing/being Cat's best friend an honor. She is very greatful to her and considers her family----and ultimately would do anything for her.

    While definitly part romance---at it's core this book is a coming-of-age story. It is about Kitty realizing who she is and wants to be. And how choices have consequences.

    This is told with modern language---which didn't bother me in the least---but is definitly of note.

    My annoyance with this book comes with how Cat piles onto Kitty... and Kitty just takes it. I understand that there is nothing that Kitty can do about it---since Cat is her superior in birth/rank... but, the modern language..... I can't put my finger on it. But it's annoying. Because I want Kitty so badly to defend herself.

    I would read another in this series. In particular I want the author to expand on what happens to Kitty at the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Enchanted

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Alethea Kontis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It isn’t easy being Sunday’s child, not when you’re the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night, Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him....

    Amazon Customer says: "Charming... Enchanting"
    "Charming... Enchanting"

    I bought this because the cover drew me in---but I wasn't immediately hooked into the story. About 25% of the way through---I was engaged. This is an offbeat fairytale. The formula is there---Prince turned frog falls in love with a girl---convinces her to kiss him which turns him back into a Prince. This is why I was bored... but once the kiss came---I was hooked because Alethena Kontis kept me off balance as a reader. As soon as I recognized the fairtale---she switched things up...

    Give this one a chance if you are a fan of a quirky family... I really enjoyed it and was sad to hear it end.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Fated

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Alyson Noël
    • Narrated By Brittany Pressley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are - the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker - one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.

    Amazon Customer says: "Fated--I like it"
    "Fated--I like it"

    I keep changing my stars because I can't decide... 3.5/4

    Full disclosure---I have not read the Immortals series by Alyson Noel at this point. Other reviews I've read about this book seem to bash Fated as being subpar... but having not read the Immortals I'm... in like with this book.

    Daire, an internet schooled daughter of a hollywood makeup artist, has a life most girls dream of. She travels the world, spending her days around movie sets and hanging out with hot, young stars. When she starts experience visions of crows and heads on spikes screaming at her---and periods when time stands still while on a date with an rising star her world comes crashing in around her. Fearful of her mental health her mother rushes her back to the US to get her medical attention. The Doctors can not figure out how to help her and suggest committing her. Jennika (Daire's mom) receives a call from an estranged grandmother---who thinks she can help. Daire is sent to live with her in New mexico...

    I love and am intrigued by the ties this book draws to Native American culture...I adore the twins Dace and Cade for very different reasons. Dace--because of the untapped potential---I thought that the build in their relationship went from simmer to boil a little too quickly. Cade--because who doesn't like a villian who likes to play mind tricks. I don't want to say anymore.

    I am also intrigued by the secondary characters---especially Lita. (A blind seer)

    While I think that I can see a definite building block here, and I enjoyed the listen--- I wouldn't buy a copy to pass along to people. I don't regret using the credit---there's something that's keeps me from being pumped about it. Whether I end up loving this book I guess completely rests on what is done in future books... and I'm not sure what that says about this book on it's own.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Robin LaFevers
    • Narrated By Erin Moon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Escaping an arranged marriage, 17-year-old Ismae finds sanctuary in the St. Mortain convent, where the sisters worship the gods of old. There, Ismae learns that the God of Death has special plans for her—a destiny that will one day compel her to betray the man she loves.

    Amazon Customer says: "I Heart Death's Handmaiden!"
    "I Heart Death's Handmaiden!"

    I’m going to leave this review short in order to not spoil.

    This book has it all... A 14 year-old girl forced to marry by an abusive father is saved and sent to join assassin nuns who train her in poison, combat, history and “the womanly arts” to serve her father Mortmain the god of death--- while an illegitimate, fiercely loyal brother fights to save his country and his sister who would be ruler of Britain. It’s historical. It’s fantasy. It’s romance. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read.

    Ismae and Duval slow boil relationship---and the mystery behind who is betraying them at every turn made the book almost impossible not to listen to. I, like the book nerd I am, did my grocery shopping last night with my headphones on in an attempt to finish the book because I was so hooked.

    This is worth the credit I used for it…and, while I think it could have stood on it’s own quite well, I am so glad that there are more to come!!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Revived

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Cat Patrick
    • Narrated By Tara Sands

    It started with a bus crash. Daisy was a little girl when it happened, and she barely remembers the accident or being brought back to life. At that moment, though, she became one of the first subjects in a covert government program that tests a drug called Revive. Now fifteen, Daisy has died and been Revived five times. Each death means a new name, a new city, and a new identity. The only constant in Daisy’s life is change. Then she meets Matt and Audrey, charismatic siblings who quickly become her first real friends....

    Amazon Customer says: "Why are you making me beg for more???"
    "Why are you making me beg for more???"

    I bought this book because I needed something new—and thought the cover was intriguing. Who/What is she looking at?

    Daisy (our narrator) is a girl who has died 5 times and been revived using a serum. She is in protective custody of a “fake parents” who are a part of a large organization that is measuring the effects on the control group for 30 years. Every time she dies---she moves and assumes a new name. At the beginning of the book Daisy is a lone wolf flippant about these deaths---and as the book progresses we get to watch Daisy bloom into an great friend who more than understands death.

    I really don’t want to spoil---so, let me just say that I very much enjoyed the characters, the plot-----loved it SO much. But, almost equally so, I am disappointed by the end. It feels rushed. And, while I almost loathe to say this (since there are so many trilogies out there) this one I felt like could justify one, easily. The depth of her characters could be explored A LOT more. Also, I have questions that linger and haunt. I have theories that I will never know if I am correct about. AND, perhaps most importantly, what is going to happen with/to Daisy and Matt in the long haul?

    As an author isn’t that a great problem to have though? I WANT MORE!!! PLEASE?!?

    Tara Sands did well. I didn't really notice her---and I mean that in the best way possible. She facilitated the book in a way that didn't distract. I am finding more and more that is important to me.

    All in all---I find myself split. I loved the characters------but man, since this is a stand alone I really wanted to finish the book on a high with all my questions answered. And, I really didn't get that.

    Is it too late to reconsider a sequel?? I'd definitely read it.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Insurgent: Divergent, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One choice can transform you - or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves - and herself - while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

    Lore says: "Decent but not as interesting as Divergent"
    "Stellar... seriously... have you read this yet?"

    In full disclosure, I’ll start off by saying that I love Divergent. I love Tris. I love Four. In my review of Divergent I raised some things that didn’t sit right with me—but, having listened to Insurgent all of my questions/issues were addressed. And while, I can’t change my initial reaction to Divergent---Insurgent has made me love it more and in our trilogy-centric YA world I think that’s a major feat. That being said, I am still reeling a bit by the reveal at the end and if I struggle to find the words I hope you will forgive.

    The story picks up literally where we left Tris and gang---and follows them through several different areas. This really helped to flush out the world even more. I loved being able to see the inner workings of different factions. I do not want to give away anything but let’s just say (while I consider myself a truthful person) I do not want to EVER live in Candor.

    Tris is much more vulnerable now... deeply affected by losing her parents and wading through the guilt of Will. This story is painful and contains twists and turns that I did not anticipate… betrayal and assistance where I didn’t expect it. And that end… I'm going to start listen to them both again and again... I know it.

    Tris and Four… uh! Thank you Veronica Roth… for creating this relationship. Thank you for NOT (can you believe it) giving us a triangle. Thank you for your amazing and realistic dialogue. I… I really am at a loss for words to describe how satisfied I am. And anxious too.

    I am in awe of Emma Galvin’s talent. The emotions she brings only enhance the super intense moments. I think her performance was amazingly spot-on.

    This is a killer sequel. I am satisfied in a way that I haven’t been in awhile. I am SUPER stoked for the next one. I am also dreading the next one because that will mean the end…

    72 of 86 people found this review helpful
  • Carrier of the Mark

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Leigh Fallon
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Their love was meant to be. When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs. But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago - and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

    Amazon Customer says: "Carrier of the Mark--Above the Mark?"
    "Carrier of the Mark--Above the Mark?"

    I bought this audio book because it was part of the ½ price sale, and I enjoy YA. I went into this book with no expectations and really next to no idea what the book was about:

    First and most impressive was Nicola Barbera… just stellar performance: Amazing Irish Accents in female and male voices and even an English accent! Her performance complemented the book so well. Stellar job!

    I particularly liked the powers and details of the origins of the powers. In some ways I wish I had been physically reading rather than listening because there are some things about the origins of the powers and what they mean to the couple that I would have liked to read again.

    My reading enjoyment suffered from what I think is an unavoidable Twilight comparison. (Girl with Dad moves to new place, Girl meets strange aloof devastatingly handsome boy, girl’s life is saved by boy in an unconventional way, boy is warned by family to stay away from girl etc) Actually, now that I think about it…if you were to take Twilight and marry it with Tamora Peirce’s Circle of Magic this is probably what you would end up with.

    Would I listen to a sequel? (This is what I ask myself to determine how much I liked it.) Well, it would have to have Nicola Barbera... and ½ off.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Selection: The Selection Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Kiera Cass
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate

    For 35 girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth... to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels... to live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want.

    Amazon Customer says: "You might want to wait... if you hate cliffhangers"
    "You might want to wait... if you hate cliffhangers"

    I clicked on an ad—that said Hunger Games + Cinderella + The Bachelor = The Selection and totally impulse bought this audio book. I admit it, I was taken by the ad and the cover. Beautiful.

    I don’t want to give away too much, but I found the main character to be charming and endearing in a “no, no… please don’t do that… oh you really did it now” kind of way. I really liked her family… in particular her youngest brother. I also felt like her relationship with her Mom really rang true for me. There were moments that made me cringe thinking about the trouble America got herself into through her impetuous responses. I am completely rooting for her—and have already picked which guy I think would be better for her. But based on how she reacted through out the book, and what my gut thought she should do—she will probably choose the other one. (So yes, triangle)

    Beyond all of the romance stuff (which is front and center of the book)—is what I imagine for the author a slow build. I loved how the knowledge of this society is laid into the story.

    1)I thought—especially in the very beginning that the narrator sounded almost mechanical---wooden. Maybe this was on purpose?? By the end, I didn’t notice it anymore… in fact I did love the way she did the Prince’s voice---for that she deserves credit. If you are listening--let me to encourage you to push on.

    2)The ending… I have rewound and listened to the last 20 minutes… oh man, seriously painful---and I would say abrupt ending. All I can do is hope it’s not a long time for the next one. But then maybe that’s a good thing…

    Over all I really enjoyed it... but if you are more a fan of Hunger Games than Cinderella or the Bachelor then I’m not sure this is the book for you. Romance is definitely the name of this game.

    62 of 67 people found this review helpful

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