In the Audible Editor's review and the Publisher's review, Katy Kontent is portrayed as a scheming, wise-cracking social climbing legal secretary in the 1930s. I must have read a different book. Yes she is looking for a better life and she is socializing in the upper echelons of New York society but that seems to be more by circumstance than design. Maybe the editors were judging her by the company she keeps but in doing so, they missed the boat.
Kontent is a legal secretary from a Russian immigrant background who has a far more insightful, thoughtful view of life than the empty socialites in her crowd. In that context she is a far more interesting character than portrayed.
This is one of the best books on tape I've purchased. It was beautifully written and narrated and I found it surprising that one reviewer dismissed it as "overwrought" - I disagree completely with that assessment. The imagery is beautiful and while some of the dialogue between her socialite friends is a bit superficial and silly, it was probably very accurate for that time in history and was a perfect frame for Kontent's own quiet and thoughtful demeanor.
Absolutely one of the best books I've "read" in years.
I bought this because I have a long commute with my teenagers and thought they would enjoy it. They did. I did not. My teenagers enjoyed it so much that I've bought the other two books in the series. We just finished the second and I don't think I can force myself to listen to the third, so it's going on the iPad for them to listen to on their own.
The book's premise is silly. It's based in a walled off Chicago where society is set up into 5 factions. All the people in each faction are supposed to have one dimensional lives. They all live in a world lacking any sort of happiness. The food is bad, they live in institutional settings, even the relationships are marked by anger and very little love. Getting a tattoo is really cool. Having passionate arguments with your boyfriend so you can kiss and make up is really cool. Being tortured and living through it is really cool. Sigh…
Apparently the reason for this societal division will be more thoroughly explained in the last book but I've now lost interest. Of course the 5 factions hate each other and the war that eventually erupts makes you hope they'll all kill each other off. The protagonist Tris is alternately cooing in love over her boyfriend and being physically assaulted in her quest to be the hero, save everyone, save herself and get back to groping her boyfriend. She is constantly having her head smacked against a concrete wall, her shoulder wrenched, her arm half torn off, shot, stabbed - you name it. You end up thinking that you wish someone would just kill her with an axe and get it over with already.
Throughout the book, I found myself being unable to control the "You are an IDIOT" or "Oh how RIDICULOUS!" remarks that just came flying out of my mouth - to the great irritation of my daughter. If your kids would like it, buy it and let them listen to it. Don't torture yourself with it.
We are going to listen to audio versions of some of the lit they've read this year at school as a refresher for up coming exams. They need it and I'll enjoy it. On our beach trip I'm going to look for something we can both enjoy. Something light.
Oh good Lord no. I think I might have been able to tolerate this book if it hadn't been for the narration. All of the dialogue - I mean all of it - is spoken with either anger, sarcasm or truculence. You feel like you're listening to several hours of an angry whiney child berate her friends. Even my children thought the narrator was terrible. I really might have actually liked Tris if it hadn't been for the narrator. UGH!
Well, it has two follow up books but it shouldn't have. They should have killed everyone off in the first book.
Meh. There is better teen lit out there. Fault in our Stars, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, etc.
No. It was marginally entertaining, had moments of humor but being a southerner, I was irritated by the exaggerated southern accents. The story starts out with a little girl who has a mentally ill mother. She ends up going to live with her great aunt in Savannah and from that point on, it's saccharine.
Probably not. She has a heavy hand with metaphors and her idea of what it means to be a southerner is silly.
She did a pretty good job. She worked hard to give everyone a different accent so you could tell all these southern belles apart, but for a couple of the characters, she got them all wrong. For example, the headmistress of the private school had a distinctly redneck accent.
Maybe a Hallmark movie. Or straight to video.
It's a pretty good story but all the sweetness and light almost put me into insulin overload.
That it was a combination of Harriet the Spy and Harry Potter with a dash of Sense & Sensibility. I can't say it was more than the sum of its parts, though. As an adult, I was disappointed. I probably would have enjoyed it as a 12 - 14 year old.
The parallels with Harry Potter - wayward child going off to odd school with odd characters - was a little too much.
Very enthusiastic. The french accents were annoying. Would probably keep kids/teens interested however.
Harriet the Spy meets Harry Potter.
It's a cute book. I guess I didn't read the description well, because it's really more suited for kids and teens. It doesn't match up to Harry Potter or Harriet the Spy but it was a fun listen. For adults I'd rate it a 2. For kids, higher.
Listening to one of the Isabel Dalhousie books is a great way to step away from stress when life becomes too rushed. Yes the book contains a large number of passages where Isabel contemplates "right vs. wrong", but I believe that is part of what makes this series of books enjoyable. Most of the time life does not give us time to think about these issues ourselves and these passages are uplifting, not judgmental. The only person Isabel "judges" on these issues is herself. It is refreshing to hear discussions of right vs. wrong from an author that is presented in a light context without preaching.
This is probably one of my favorites so far, but I have listened to only a few.
Loved her accent and expression. Her voice makes me want to visit Scotland again.
The story is entertaining. I listened to it on a long day of driving and when I arrived home, there were only a few chapters left. I walked into the house, put on my earphones and threatened the children with death if they didn't let me finish it.
The character development was on the light side. I liked the protagonist but I didn't really form any kind of strong feelings one way or another. Findley and Figg were buffoons but entertaining. Kind of. There were a lot of good laughs.
It's a fun story and will keep you entertained on a long drive but it's not that deep. If you're looking for a thought provoking novel on tort reform you won't get it here. But the next time you see a television ad for lawyers on television or on the side of a bus, you will laugh and remember this book.
The narrator was pretty good but he didn't significantly change his voice for each character so if you like that kind of narration you won't find it here. But honestly, sometimes that's preferable to the screechy histrionics of some narrators.
Thayer Wentworth O'Neill (sp?) has less gumption than any character in literature. She does very little but cry. In one of her crying jags, as an adult, she's shrieking and screaming "I want my momma!" even though her mother is (of course) pure evil.
She is supremely irritating. The plot (if that's what it is) is silly.
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