I just love this series. It has everything I love: mystery, ghosties, sassy slueths and romance! I sure would love to join Abbie and Candace's PI team. They're a hoot! Harrison really spiced things up. For some reason I kept picturing him as Eric from True Blood. Meow! Now that Abbie is Austin bound, I HAVE to dive into the next book!
As for the narrator, she did a pretty good job. I like that she doesn't talk at rapid fire like some of the others. This book is easy to listen to when your driving, working out, or doing some other tedious multi-tasking chore. Good stuff!
Have you ever read a book that frustrated you to the core, but yet morbid fascination kept you glued to the pages? “Into the Wild” is one of those books. It’s been a few days since I finished it, but my mind keeps drifting off to that haunting last chapter when Christopher McCandless starved to death in a rusty, abandoned bus deep in the wilds of Alaska.
I just can’t wrap my brain around the risks he took, and the self-centered decisions he made. It’s human nature to not like what you can’t understand. So maybe that’s why I had a hard time giving Christopher (aka “Alexander Super-Tramp”) the benefit of the doubt.
I complained to my husband about my frustration with the guy. Apparently, he believes men have an innate desire to explore nature and discover uncharted territory. He also pointed out that Christopher was just a kid, and that all 20-somethings do stupid things. I get that…kind of. Sure, we all do stupid things when our temporal lobes aren’t fully developed, but what Christopher did was so extreme, and so bizarre. It can’t just be chocked up to the ol’ “kids will be kids” theory.
The thing is, I can’t get pass Christopher’s one big character flaw. For someone who so vehemently preaches the gospel for human rights and social justice, he didn’t do a damned thing for anyone except himself. Sure he visited some homeless camps, fed them a few sandwiches and dropped a few bucks in their tin cups. But really, he wasn’t concerned about helping people out in the long-term. In fact, he actually did more harm than good by hitchhiking in and out of people’s lives so quickly. He had a way of staying in a town long enough to start building relationships with new friends only to vanish into the night, leaving them confused and heartbroken.
I felt so bad for Ron, an old widower who wanted to be Christopher’s grandfather. Not only did Christopher leave Ron in the lurch, he also had the gall to send him a really offensive letter. In his sanctimonious ramblings, he belittled Ron’s conventional lifestyle, imploring him to sell all his belongings and hit the road. In essence, he told the old man that his life was crap, and that it wasn’t worth living unless he embraced an extreme, transient lifestyle. Huh. This is coming from a guy who preached the gospel of individuality and autonomy.
I’m not a big fan of people who abandon the ones they love for the pursuit of self-discovery and all that other existential bullshit. That’s why I really didn’t like the book “Wild” and refuse to read “Eat, Pray, Love.” His parents did have their flaws, his dad especially, but they were the Waltons compared to my own pitiful family. He crucified them for every injustice, large or small, including trying to buy him a new car (oh boo hoo). Coming from a girl who had to ride the bus well into her twenties, he doesn’t get my sympathies.
One thing that the author so astutely pointed out, is that Christopher was somewhat of a hypocrite. He worshipped a bunch of authors and philosophers who were drunks and sexual deviants. In his travels he even befriended a man who habitually beat up his girlfriend. But yet he could never grant clemency to his own father for cheating on his wife decades ago.
I know I’m being hard on the guy, but that’s partly because I’m so frustrated that he had to die. He was clearly a brilliant kid who could master a skill in just about any field. He was a natural entrepreneur, a computer software engineer, a writer, a political scientist. He even had plans to become a lawyer, a profession that would have allowed him to correct all of those social injustices that he so passionately decried. It’s a shame he chose to live the transient life with no intention of connecting with people and making an impact on the world. I’m all for getting in touch with nature and exploring far and distant lands, but humans are social animals. We need to share our experiences with others, a lesson that Christopher learned the hard way. In my humble opinion, if the world was full of “Alexander Super-Tramps” it wouldn’t be a better place.
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Believe it or not, this is my very first zombie book. I love all things creepy and crawly, but yet I haven’t really ventured into the chick lit zombie genre, maybe because there’s nothing more grotesque than a zombie getting it on. Wouldn’t body parts fall off? And then there’s the stench—gross! True, this book ranks high on the ick-factor, but yet it cuts deeper than some of the titles you’d see in Oprah’s book club.
What makes this book special is the walking dead girl’s journey of self-discovery. She may look fierce on the cover, but she’s really a big-hearted, insecure girl who got dealt a shitty hand of parents. Nobody believes she’ll amount to anything more than trailer-park trash, including herself. It took being turned into a zombie for her life to change for the better. After a car crash, she heals not only from her wounds, but also from her drug addiction. A mysterious benefactor hooks her up with a job at the local morgue, where she falls into a new circle of friends who are surprisingly non-toxic. For the first time ever, people actually give a shit, and they believe she can amount to so much more than a lowly driver for the county morgue.
Her world has turned upside down for the better, except for one nagging problem: her insatiable craving for brains. Everything falls apart—literally—if she can’t sink her teeth into that delectable gray matter. Good thing she has a most advantageous new job where brains are plentiful…that is until a serial killer starts decapitating the townies. Why is the killer taunting her with headless bodies? Who turned her into a walking dead girl the night of the car crash? Was it her mysterious benefactor? You’ll have to read the book to find out! I enjoyed the murder mystery aspect of this story, but mostly I was more transfixed by Angel’s journey of self-discovery. Throughout the book I cheered her on as she discovered her strengths and stood up to her bullies. I’m excited to see how she evolves in the next two books in the series!
This is my first Scumble River mystery and I’m pretty sure it’ll be my last. It wasn’t horrible per say, just very lackluster. If you ask me to recall anything about this book a month from now, forget about it. The story is so forgettable, probably because the characters were either unlikeable or just plain boring. It seemed as though the murder mystery took a backseat to all the mind-numbing wedding planning. If the author focused more on the Christmas setting and less on the inane wedding details, it would’ve been more tolerable. As for improving the murder mystery plot, that would require an entire overhaul. I figured it out the second the murderer was introduced. From that point on it was just a painful slog through wedding-planning follies and disjointed red herrings. On the bright side, the narrator was fantastic. I'll be sure to listen to more books narrated by Christine Leto in the future.
Don’t do it. That’s my advice if you’re a sucker for Christmas-themed books filled with horses , romance and mystery. I made the grave mistake of listening to this turkey on audio, and it was AWFUL. The narrator was just fine up until she switched into her little kid voice. She sounded like that creepy psychic woman from Poltergeist. I’m telling you, it was ridiculously bad. And then there’s the plot…or lack there of. It’s set in Texas, but it might as well have been anywhere USA. When you set a book in Texas, you need to have a good grasp on the culture, the small town neuroticisms, the twang. Perhaps it would have done her some good to pick up a title by Larry McMurty. Aside from ignoring all things Texan, she didn’t bother puzzling together a murder mystery. She threw out a couple of clues here and there, but it’s pretty easy to identify the killer early on. The romance (or as my fellow bloggers call it “insta-love”) was way too saccharine sweet. As for the leading lady, she fell flat as a pancake right from the get-go. All in all, this story is a total waste of time. I’ve seen more substance in a Lifetime movie starring Tori Spelling.
I'm giving this two stars because of the high-quality writing. When it comes to dramatic prose, Susan Hill can't be beat. But yet, the story was drowning in the pages upon pages of setting details. When James Mommouth walks into a room, we get flooded with every painstaking detail - from the wallpaper patterns to the specks of dust on the bookshelf. Typically with audiobooks, I tend to appreciate these long, meandering riffs because I don't miss out on anything important when my mind wanders. But geez - this lady takes mood and setting to a whole new level of overindulgence. After the first couple chapters I was already tired of this stuffy man's inner monologue as he crept around dark rooms. I really didn't care for this dude, especially when he likened himself to a "scared silly woman" in one of his many eventless eerie interludes. Needless to say, this is my first and last Susan Hill book. For gothic horror, I'll turn to Barbara Michaels or Wendy Webb.
First and foremost, I'm very appreciative of the free download! So thanks, Audible for the Halloween treat. This is my favorite Halloween story that I listen to year after year. Unfortunately this was the worst narration yet. It was too hard to decipher what was going on due to the garbled British author. He should really work as an auctioneer given his talent for super-sonic talking. No more British authors for me, thanks.
Why I liked it: As always, Carolyn Haines delivers a puzzling mystery filled with complex characters, four-legged sidekicks, ghostly shenanigans and intriguing subplots. The mystery in this installment is twofold: Who killed the treasure hunter? And what in tarnations is wrong with Graf? With a big storm a’brewin and a slew of dark secrets about to bubble up from under the surface, our sassy Southern sleuth is in for a wild ride!
What really shines in this book is the foreshadowing, which is a key ingredient in a quality whodunit. As Sarah Booth navigates the rocky waters of her relationship with Graf, I couldn’t think of a more perfect setting than a beach town under the threat of a monster hurricane. At the risk of revealing any spoilers, I’ll leave it at that. But I will say that you’ll have a very strong opinion about him after she weathers the storm.
What irked me: Normally I love Jitty’s antics, but in this book she seemed to be tormenting Sarah Booth with her cryptic warnings. She’s known for popping up at random moments in outlandish outfits only to offer a few pieces of advice and puzzling riddles . This time, she’s appearing as iconic celebrities in mourning, hinting that death and despair is just around the corner. So while Graf is inexplicably withdrawing from Sarah Booth, Jitty is constantly torturing her with bad omens. Of course, they finally stopped dangling their carrots at the end of the book. But it just didn’t seem right for them to keep her in the dark for so long. There were many points in the story when I wanted to shake Graf and Jitty and scream, “Out with it already, you fools!”
The narrator: Kate Forbes is the perfect narrator for the Sarah Booth Delaney mysteries. She does a fantastic job performing each of the characters’ voices in a believable way, which can be rather tricky when you’re dealing with a broad range of personalities. Her pensive, somber tone was the perfect match for Sarah Booth and Jittie, who were both in the midst of exposing some serious life—and afterlife—revelations.
This review is kind of unfair because I didn't get past the first two chapters. The reason for this is because the narrator mucked it up with her muffled, thick English accent. I was in a constant state of confusion because I couldn't make out a lot of the words that all seemed to jumble together in a muffled mess. Bummer. I want my credit back. :(
I really wanted to like this book, but it was so dry and boring. The characters were all so stuffy and there were way too many of them to keep up with in this tiny little murder mystery. I couldn't get past the second hour of this novella.
Mesmerizing. Heart wrenching. Poetic. These are just a few words that tumble forth when I think of this book. There's a lot of really good women's fiction writers out there, but Joshilyn Jackson is in a league of her own. This is going to sound really dramatic, but it's almost magical how she describe thoughts, feelings and subtle gestures in a seamless lyrical flow. She's the kind of writer who immerses herself completely into her characters, bringing them to life in a very unique way. She did a stellar job creating a narrative for each of the three generations of women. I don't know how she managed to get inside the head of a stroke victim, describing the struggle to find words and memories. This book is nothing short of spectacular. The last chapter is sheer poetry. Well done, Miss Jackson!
As for the narrator, give this girl an award! Her genuine Southern accent, her variety of voices, her dramatic inflections - everything about her performance is spot on!
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