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Lily

I am a crotchety lady who loves mysteries and Tudor times.

United States | Member Since 2012

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 93 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12719)
    Performance
    (11651)
    Story
    (11716)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Prepare for tears"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Fault in Our Stars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Its the only one that's made me bawl like a baby. I usually don't cry at fiction and I saw the "twist" coming from far, far away but ultimately it was no defense against the devestating impact of this book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved the parents of the main character. They are never saccharine or overplayed but are one of the best and most loving portraits I've seen of shall we say "sick kid" parents.


    What does Kate Rudd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She brings an authentic youthful inflection and emotional poignancy to the dialogue an older narrator or a more bubblegum young narrator would not have been able to portray.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    From just about the midpoint on this book is a series of cathartic break downs. However I still, several weeks later, feel so grateful for the day to day blessing of health & the health of my loved ones. It definitely stretches your empathy and gratitude.


    Any additional comments?

    I figured I knew what I was getting into and that my own cynicism + the cutesy names would protect me from caring too much when I started this thing but its depth surprised- in no part because you experience the claustrophobic limitations of its protagonist almost physically alongside her. It's intense, is what I'm saying. It will ruin your day (full puffy face and sobbing) but in a way that will make you intensely grateful for what you have. Full on catharsis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: The Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Kate Summerscale
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (49)

    In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection. At the time, the detective was a relatively new invention; there were only eight detectives in all of England and rarely were they called out of London, but this crime was so shocking that Scotland Yard sent its best man to investigate, Inspector Jonathan Whicher.

    Mark says: "Like reading case notes"
    "Haunting & Exciting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher the most enjoyable?

    The content is amazing, the narrative unwinds quickly and yet with plenty of suspense. It's super gruesome yet also sensitive and never gratuitously graphic, and it's real-life hero is a gem. Also the performance is absolutely amazing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher?

    The ending is a stunning culmination of all the evidence in the book, and of course the actual crime I still think about sometimes (not necessarily in a good way)...seriously horrific.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He's a genius. His tone is fantastic.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    I love mystery stories (like Agatha Christie) and this was the origin of the genre of the English Country House mystery- fascinating to see how press disseminated evidence and got the entire country caught up in the puzzle of such a (even by modern standards) brutal crime and also to see how it influenced the writing that would come after for years and years.


    Any additional comments?

    I flinch at violence usually, as I've said though its not gratuitous and the overall information in the book is completely fascinating. If you love the "manor house" type mystery genre this is sort of an origins story and a real life version of something I thought was purely a literary device.

    1 of 1 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1472)
    Performance
    (1332)
    Story
    (1346)

    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"
    "Poison for Young Brains"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Selection?

    Aside from it being a complete and total Hunger Games rip off, and a complete and total "Bachelor" rip off, the book also manages to shoe horn in a heaping helping of misogyny. Good job, female author!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Kiera Cass again?

    On moral principle I will never give this writer any of my hard earned dollars/credits ever again.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Amy Rubinate’s performances?

    Everyone deserves a second chance. (Except author Kiera Cass)


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

    I think this writer thought she was writing a strong heroine and had some kind of message about female solidarity, which makes the story all that much more sickening. The detestable heroine is hung up on a dweeb but is so rude and self-centered she easily wins the heart of a prince. Then she decides she will be his confidant and tell him what girls to date and then gets super confused about how she feels.This effing book. It assumes all girls are vain, cowering, idiots, except the heroine who is only marginally less vain, marginally less cowering, and somehow even more idiotic.


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5264)
    Performance
    (3030)
    Story
    (3073)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    avid reader says: "Hours of enjoyable, fun listening"
    "Do you like old people dodging questions?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Forgotten Garden?

    It had all the Victorian tropes that normally I would love, yet seemed like a blurry xerox of these elements rather than a colorful tapestry of them. Oh also there is a Dickensian evil landlady called Mrs. Swindle so evil she made me laugh out loud. Hint: she is NOT supposed out make you laugh out loud.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something by a contemporary Victorian writer maybe? To remind me why I like this time period because dang I almost forgot.


    What does Caroline Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A gorgeous Australian accent, a fair Cornish accent, a hilarious American accent.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Forgotten Garden?

    I would take out maybe 500 of the 550 scenes of old people hemming and hawing when asked direct questions. And then I'd take out maybe 49 of the 50 incidences the person talking to them starts thinking about lunch or the carpet or the smell in the room. Oh and I'd probably remove at least 1200 of the 1400 times we are told how magical, silvery and magical Eliza Makepeace is. Oh and I'd tell the author to go ahead and use the phrase "Secret Garden" because she sidesteps it so much it goes into Thesaurus Town territory.


    Any additional comments?

    I feel like you should not write a fairy tale and then have every character in the book talk about how elemental and magical and compelling it is or you are begging the reader to disagree. Also this EASILY could have been a short story- figured out the story's "secret" about halfway through and then had to wait for characters to catch up out of like OCD completionism. Just sayin'.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Slater
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2100)
    Performance
    (1351)
    Story
    (1359)

    In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn.

    S. Marie says: "A unique perspective of history"
    "Simply one of the best books I've ever ead."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Wolf Hall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    #1, or tied wth Mantel's "Bring Up the Bodies"


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wolf Hall?

    Thomas Cromwell is given such a wry sense of humor, there were so many unexpected moments that made me smile in the midst of an incredible amount of character depth and historical context.


    What about Simon Slater’s performance did you like?

    His voice is gorgeous and he reads dialogue like an Oscar worthy actor. Seriously charming and engaging.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The way Mantel handles Cromwell's remembrance of his family- many of whom died from the sweating sickness- is among the most touching and sincere portraits of grief I've found in a book.


    Any additional comments?

    Even if you don't love Henry the VIII and tudor history, the prose in this book is simply phenomenal. The way the story unfolds with actual suspense and surprise, even when the conclusions are foregone and you know how it ends, are unique in all the historical fiction I've read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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