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Sarah

austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2008

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 147 ratings
  • 445 titles in library
  • 61 purchased in 2014
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  • The Final Warning: Maximum Ride

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By James Patterson
    • Narrated By Jill Apple
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (66)

    Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride and the other members of "Flock" - Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel - are just like ordinary kids - only they have wings and can fly. It seems like a dream come true - except that they're still being hunted by new threats at every turn.

    Cheryl says: "Disapointing."
    "Utterly Disappointing"
    Overall

    This book doesn't even seem like it was written by James Patterson at all. It's so haphazard. Storylines are left hanging, details are left out, it lacks action and imagination. My family and I were completely disappointed. I was surprised at how the kids even noticed that it was "boring" considering how much we have enjoyed the series and looked forward to the next book. I liked the fact that it had some educational issues with global warming etc... but it was done so utterly poorly that it was almost embarrassing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    Overall
    (3272)
    Performance
    (2810)
    Story
    (2832)

    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!"
    "Do You Really Know Your Parents?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Wow, how well do you know your parents? Interesting question, right? You may know them through and through, but what about their lives before you?

    As her mother lays dying, a daughter searches for answers about her mom’s life in London during the war. She knew there must be secrets after, as a young girl, she witnessed a profound act of violence by her mom, unexplained and not spoken of thereafter. As she unlocks the mysteries one by one, she realizes that maybe they don’t know the sweet and gentle mother as well as they think they do. It’s an interesting journey!

    I was amazed by the revelations and enjoyed the historical “London during the blitz” parts of the story. I will say that the latter parts of the book were the more exciting parts for me. I didn’t see this coming! Pick this one up, and let me know what you think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Twelve Years a Slave

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Solomon Northup
    • Narrated By Louis Gossett, Jr.
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1138)
    Performance
    (1018)
    Story
    (1018)

    In this riveting landmark autobiography, which reads like a novel, Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr., masterfully transports us to 1840s New York; Washington, D.C.; and Louisiana to experience the kidnapping and 12 years of bondage of Solomon Northup, a free man of color. Twelve Years a Slave, published in 1853, was an immediate bombshell in the national debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War.

    Fran H. Willingham says: "I've waited for this a long time"
    "Essential, but Difficult"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Another book gone Hollywood. At this point, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I guarantee, the book says so much more. This powerful autobiographical look at slavery from the inside out, and considered to be the best insight into that life, by many, was a difficult read/listen. The most obvious reason for my difficulty was the subject matter and the frank depiction of real people, real places and real occurrences. Horrific. Brutal. Inhumane. Unthinkable. My list could go on and on. Like the Holocaust, I just can’t wrap my head around slavery. And, knowing it still exists on this planet sickens me. First published in 1853, this book, written by the Solomon Northup, was obviously written in the language of its time. The sentences were quite formal, making the listening a bit more challenging. However, the story will grab you by the throat and squeeze. Difficult, but well worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gregor the Overlander: Underland Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (834)
    Performance
    (559)
    Story
    (571)

    When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, and cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it, until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance.

    Joey says: "Second best book series in print"
    "It's A Kid's Book, And I Liked It!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Happily surprised by this one. What does that say about me? Not sure because according to Amazon, the age level for this series is 8-12. That actually makes me pretty happy because that means there’s some decent fiction out there for young readers. No better way to get them hooked on reading than by giving them decent books! My son liked it, and since it was in my Audible library from him, I thought I’d give it a listen.

    Of course, some parts of my adult brain noted when the writing was a bit simple, but quite honestly, it was an imaginative journey down the vent shaft in the laundry room to the underworld. Gregor gets the surprise of his life, and protects his baby sister quite gallantly. Good boy… and well, sometimes you just have to save the world, underworld or not! This would be a good one for the whole family to listen to together! Road trip!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ruby Red: Ruby Red Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Kerstin Gier, Anthea Bell (translator)
    • Narrated By Marisa Calin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (389)
    Story
    (387)

    Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who, in the middle of class, takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon, the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential.

    betsy says: "Where's the rest?"
    "Just, "Meh""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Ruby Red?

    Over simple


    What was most disappointing about Kerstin Gier and Anthea Bell (translator) ’s story?

    The concept was interesting, but the execution ...


    Any additional comments?

    I’ll admit that the first thing that popped into my head when I read the title was a very delicious (my all time favorite) vodka called, Deep Eddy Ruby Red. She’s a cruel mistress, this ruby. Alas, though, it might have had a bearing on me deciding to start this trilogy.While I was gathering my thoughts on this one, I began to wonder if it was a “young adult” type book because the whole thing was a bit unsophisticated and the characters clearly innocent. Mind you, if the story’s good enough you don’t always care, but upon further investigation, I realized that I nailed it. Interesting concept about a family who has the time travel gene, but frankly, it’s just not that great. The end is a big cliff hanging screamer, “you’ll find out in the next book!” This one made me shrug and say, “Meh” I’m not sure I care enough to read the next one, “Emerald Green.” Though, well, I love the color green. Maybe picking books based on Vodka and colors isn’t the best choice?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Elie Wiesel
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2294)
    Performance
    (1054)
    Story
    (1071)

    Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Gold Medal, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel offers an unforgettable account of Hitler's horrific reign of terror in Night. This definitive edition features a new translation from the original French by Wiesel's wife and frequent translator, Marion Wiesel.

    Jacobus says: "A quality production of a gripping tradegy"
    "Read This Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Night to be better than the print version?

    No idea


    Any additional comments?

    This book is personal. and not just because it is autobiographical. I am not Jewish, but I sometimes say that I'm half Jewish. My best friend growing up (like since birth) was Jewish. One of her grandparents, or maybe a great grandparent had their Holocaust tattoo and didn't really talk about it. Maybe because we were so young? We were pretty much inseparable then. My best friend died two years ago of ALS, leaving a son and grieving family. I take stones to her grave in the Jewish tradition. What a beautiful thing to do.

    So, this story, this history, ripped into my heart. Told in first person from a 16-year-old boy's perspective, Elie Wisel tells the story of being a Jew from the beginning of the Holocaust to the end. I decided to read it because my son had read it last year for school, and it was already in my audio library. He said it was good, but brutal. He was so right. All I can say is, read it. You need to know. I plan to read the next two books in the trilogy as well. I need to know.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5239)
    Performance
    (4829)
    Story
    (4834)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Just Meh... Yawn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What didn’t you like about Neil Gaiman’s performance?

    This performance had no energy. Neil, unfortunately to me, was very monotone. He read it lazily with no voices, no inflections and no enthusiasm.


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

    I was very disappointed in this book after reading the rave reviews. I'm still wondering how I missed its magic.


    Any additional comments?

    I might have enjoyed the book a bit more had I read the print version. I feel like I read with much more energy and imagination. Yawn.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11706)
    Performance
    (9096)
    Story
    (9157)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "Not a Sci-Fi Fan... well, at least I wasn't..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Way of Kings?

    As a reader, but not a Sci-Fi reader, I picked this book primarily because of the high ratings and because my husband might like it... and it was something he and I could listen to together on a long car trip. I'd give it a shot. Well,


    Any additional comments?

    Even if sci-fi is not your thing, give it a try. I loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27647)
    Performance
    (14236)
    Story
    (14290)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Couldn't Tear Myself Away"
    Overall

    This book is beautifully written. Out of all my audio books, I loved the narration on this one the best. The characters each had their own voices and the accents were wonderful. The book takes you through all emotions and makes you look hard at what our country was like, and where we are now, and how far we need to go. Loved it, and highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By James Patterson
    • Narrated By Evan Rachel Wood
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (192)

    James Patterson's explosive debut in the young adult market is guaranteed to create legions of new fans for this beloved, multimillion-selling author.

    Daniel Freed says: "Very Entertaining"
    "Whole Family Enjoyed the Book"
    Overall

    On a road trip, the whole family enjoyed this book. It's a departure for James Patterson, whose adult books I've read and enjoyed... but of course, I woudn't let my kids read those. This was an engaging story that my boys 9 and 12 and my husband and I could all listen to and enjoy. Granted, I might not have given as high a rating on my own, but the kids wanted to give it 4 stars. I would have given it a 3 or so, but I love that they loved it and want to get more books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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