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Nina

SANTA FE, NM, United States | Member Since 2011

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 41 ratings
  • 144 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015
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  • The Secret Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    Overall
    (3626)
    Performance
    (3127)
    Story
    (3148)

    England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

    Maria says: "Kate Morton (and Caroline Lee) does it again!"
    "Make it to the end for the reward"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You will spend the first half of the book wondering why the main character just doesnt ask her mother the question that the second half is spent answering. If you can just chalk up her reluctance to British courtesy and primness and soldier through, you will be rewarded with a charming love story and a twist that wil explain everything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Everything I Never Told You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Celeste Ng
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1088)
    Performance
    (942)
    Story
    (944)

    Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet.… So begins the story in this exquisite debut novel about a Chinese American family living in a small town in 1970s Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos.

    colprubin says: "Character Novel"
    "Makes you want to scream, "JUST SAY HOW YOU FEEL!""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was so painful to listen to, but not because it was poorly written or badly narrated, or boring. (It is actually quite lovely.) But, it is painful to listen to because you are privy to the thoughts of family members who want to make all the right choices, but through sheer lack of communication with each other, they all end up destroying themselves, and consequently one another.

    Dad is trying to escape his past, mom is trying to relive hers and the results are so, so depressing. Add in the sexism and racism of the 60's and 70's and you just wish you could go into the Lee household and just tell the adults in the book to say how they feel, and that would be the most valuable gift they could give to their children. But you cannot, and you see how, depressingly, their complicated upbringings put them into a cycle of pushing their children to be what they could not, and even more heartbreaking, why the children act the way they do.

    Jack's sidestory is just as heartbreaking, and nothing made me so sad as the end when we see that there actually are people who are willing to reach out to the family for a touch of kindness (Officer Fiske, the liquor store clerk, Jack), but, just like the Lees, we were so caught up in family matters, that we don't see all this until it is too late.

    This is actually a very good book, it just was such a downer that I couldn't give it more stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tethered: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Amy MacKinnon
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    Clara Marsh is an undertaker who doesn't believe in God. She spends her solitary life among the dead, preparing their last baths and bidding them farewell with a bouquet from her own garden. Her carefully structured life shifts when she discovers a neglected little girl, Trecie, playing in the funeral parlor, desperate for a friend.

    Bob says: "Amazing!"
    "Hullo, Eeyore"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Why hullo Eeyore, I see you have come back to literary life as a female undertaker with a bunch of baggage...

    I cannot blame the narrator on this one, because I think she hits the nail on the head with her reading. However, the problem is, that the main character is so despondent, so lifeless, that it is not all that appealing to listen to. Even when Clara has a brief moment of -out-of-character strength, she is semi-conscious, literally.

    I think the people who compared this book to one of Gillian Flynn's must have thought so because Clara is not all that likable, much like many of Flynn's characters. However, to pull that off, you need to have a better storyline and, preferably, some other females who are at least making poor decisions and sticking with them instead of the doormat style life planning that Clara does here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Raising Stony Mayhall

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Daryl Gregory
    • Narrated By David Marantz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1088)
    Performance
    (964)
    Story
    (967)

    In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman's arms is a baby - stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda, and he begins to move.The family hides the child - whom they name Stony - rather than turn him over to authorities who would destroy him. Against all scientific reason, the undead boy begins to grow....

    Dave says: "The Undead Have Never Been So Fresh (or Funny)"
    "Funny, smart, and a real treat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book really surprised me. I am not really sure what compelled me to buy it, because I haven't jumped onto the zombie craze. But this book was more than just post-apocalyptic silliness. It is one of the few books that has had me actually laugh out loud and the descriptions of characters and scenes are so clear, that I can still picture the characters and settings vividly in my mind. The narrator is a real character too.

    Wait for Mr. Blunt's kitchen scene and you will find it hard to stay in your seat. Imagining a wooden James Bond bouncing around with a samurai sword is as awesome as it sounds.

    And as a side note, the main character is a male, but there are some truly awesome female characters, and in fact, many of the characters in the book who play critical roles are kick-ass women. So, if you are looking for a fun read with some really cool women, and a completely enjoyable storyline, go pick this one up. You won't regret it.

    0 of 0 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
    (1736)
    Performance
    (1201)
    Story
    (1199)

    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"
    "Who is this book meant for?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I guess I was too caught up in trying to figure out the target audience for this book. Theme feels childish, and geared towards junior high, but there are a few adult concepts in there- sexual assault, murder- that threw me for a loop. its a cute story, but not what I was looking for overall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Delirium

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2153)
    Performance
    (1832)
    Story
    (1837)

    "Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

    Starlet says: "Delicious Narration"
    "Main character is lame"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sorry, but this one wasn't for me. The main character is too bland, insecure and unquestioning. Eventually, she comes into her own, but is such an unlikely hero after all her years drinking the Kool Aid, that I wasn't buying her revolt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Change of Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Nicole Poole, Stafford Clark-Price, Jim Frangione, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1227)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (439)

    Known for tackling hot-button issues in her timely fiction, Jodi Picoult has sold millions of books. Change of Heart explores capital punishment and organized religion through the tale of death row inmate Shay Bourne. Bourne's last request is to donate his heart to his victim's ailing sister. The situation gets more complicated when Bourne begins performing miracles in full view of witnesses - including his Catholic spiritual advisor.

    Pat C says: "skip this one"
    "Not at all Picoult's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I usually love Picoult books for all their sappy plotlines and tragic but fascinating characters, but this one reads like someone else was writing. Yes, religious history is part of the story, but parts of it got so long and overly detailed that I felt like I was in a dull college lecture. And the central character makes such a huge mistake that you almost lose any sense of pity for him. Why not just SAY something?!?! It seemed like a bit of an anti-death penalty cliche when they pulled that rabbit out of the hat and I know I was supposed to feel sorry for him, but instead I just wanted to roll my eyes.

    Other than the child with heart disease, the fat, self-loathing lawyer who dresses like Beetlejuice and her hunky McDreamy, I could never quite envision what anyone looked like and that left me having a hard time connecting with anyone.

    I got this one on sale and I recommend you do the same. It is no My Sisters Keeper, and definitely not worth full price.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5884)
    Performance
    (5194)
    Story
    (5210)

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Kathi says: "Moving story of sharing and transformation."
    "Should be re-titled "Cliche Train""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    SLIGHT SPOILERS, but nothing a blind man couldn't see coming....

    If I sat down and listed the cliches and stereotypes that the author uses, I might be here all day, but if you like books with:

    -bitter teens in foster care who have been failed by the system
    -drunken Native Americans and Irishmen
    -foster parents who care only about the money they get for fostering
    -pervy, gross adoptive dads
    -kindly minorities
    -wicked step/adoptive mothers
    -predictable reunions
    -wealthy old white women with secrets
    -latina housekeepers

    Then this is the story for you! Honestly, it was terrible. Was everyone else reading another book? I have read other fiction that had the orphan trains as a central detail and found them interesting and entertaining. This book was neither. It feels like a rambling, painful story written by a 9th grader who thinks that all their ideas are SO original and that no other teen on earth feels like they do. The narration doesn't help the unlikable "present day" character sound anything more than whiny and ungrateful and angry at the world.

    I gagged my way through it, but do yourself a favor and skip this one.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (9876)
    Performance
    (7868)
    Story
    (7905)

    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"
    "Gloomy and moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wouldn't expect a book about WWII Germany to be uplifting, and somehow, I managed to avoid all the other reviews and the recent movie, so I didn't really know what to expect. I think I liked this book because it wasn't about just one set of events, or revolve around a single plot. It basically just takes you through years in the life of regular people during terrible times. And that is more real than anything else. It is not just a gray march though, it is lively and touching, even when times for the characters are dark.

    I was not sure how I would feel about a book narrated by a European man where the central character is a pre-teen girl, but he really nails it. And I completely forgot those reservations during the scene (you'll know it when you read it) at the end and I was walking my dogs with tears pouring down my face. The incredible narration made this book come to life for me, and I think that this may be one of those cases where the Audiobook version is much better than the written one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharp Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4586)
    Performance
    (3728)
    Story
    (3753)

    Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

    Kelley says: "I agree with Stephen King"
    "Not as addictive as her others"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Gillian Flynn's other books. And this one did have a lot of the same components, but I just wasn't as surprised, disgusted or horrified (in a good way), the way that I have been with some of her others. The final detail that is revealed at the end re: teeth almost makes up for the rest, but overall, this one just didn't compell me in the same way. Unlikable characters can only stay afloat with a really good storyline and this one was just a little thin. Still a good read, but not great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7885)
    Performance
    (7111)
    Story
    (7117)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Depressing and beautifully written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a lovely story - If you like feeling helpless, frustrated and terribly saddened by what was likely a relatively standard set of occurrences for slave women during the pre-Abolition era. Based very loosely on a couple of real historical figures, the real heroes are Hetty and Charlotte, the fictional characters who just want to be treated like human beings and experience a normal life, but skin color, geography and convention of the times make that tragically impossible. The deaths of a few characters (I don't want to give anything away, so pardon the lack of detail), will leave you teary eyed, if not outright crying. The writing is artistic and beautiful and the narration from the two separate perspectives make me so glad that I downloaded the audio version instead of the printed one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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