You no longer follow Joyalina

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Joyalina

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Joyalina

California | Member Since 2008

ratings
271
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
28

  • Ill-Equipped for a Life of Sex

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jennifer Lehr
    • Narrated By Emily Zeller
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    We quickly became the typical I-must-talk-to-you-every-night-and-drive-over-to-your-house-at-10-p.m.-because-I-absolutely-cannot-go-to-sleep-if-I'm-not-in-the-same-bed-as-you couple falling in love...But just as quickly our honeymoon period came to an end. At first it wasn't clear. And then it was very clear. And then it was so fucking clear that John and I found ourselves driving to Beverly Hills for couples therapy.

    Joyalina says: "Not for Everyone -- But I Loved It"
    "Not for Everyone -- But I Loved It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first stumbled across this audiobook, it had yet to be reviewed by the Audible listener community. So I went to Amazon where Jennifer Lehr is personally EXCORIATED by reviewer after reviewer. Multiple reviews include the words “self-absorbed,” “spoiled,” and “narcissistic.” The writing is described as “stilted,” “puerile” and “immature.” One reviewer even mentioned the Lehrs’ child, noting that she “will have to read the painfully embarrassing and pointless details of her mom’s promiscuity, chilly inability to enjoy sex, shrewish control freak behavior, materialism and the utterly demeaning and heartless way her mother has publicly castrated her father.” OUCH.

    But, there were also a number of five star reviews that praised Ms. Lehr’s writing as “engaging,” “compelling,” “fun,” and “courageous.” Overall, the book was positively reviewed by critics and the subject matter was intriguing. So I took a chance. (Hey, I could always return the book if I hated it.)

    Nine hours later, having laughed (and sometimes cringed) my way through this book, I understand why some reviewers did not like it. You either “get” Ms. Lehr and her sense of humor, or you don’t. Personally, I got it. What some may perceive as “self-absorbed,” I thought was self-deprecating. What some may perceive as “narcissistic,” I thought was wryly reflective. What some may perceive as “promiscuity,” I thought was an honest exploration of a woman’s developing sexuality. Mostly, however, I think I got this book because I didn't take it too seriously.

    I also realize that my enjoyment of this book may be, in large part, due to Emily Zeller’s flawless narration. She not only captured the tone of Ms. Lehr’s writing perfectly, she managed to make Ms. Lehr’s character likeable and real. It’s equally notable that the stylistic issues some reviewers had with the printed copy of this book (poorly chosen font, over-hyphenation, and gratuitous photographs) did not apply to this audiobook. Whatever the reason, if you don’t take yourself (or others) too seriously, if you have ever experienced the anti-climax of a first kiss, if you have ever wondered why you always date guys who are all wrong for you, if you have ever realized that “frog” in your life is really a prince, or if you have ever loved someone enough to struggle though the hard times, I think you will enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Macrieve: Immortals After Dark, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    Overall
    (836)
    Performance
    (792)
    Story
    (792)

    Uilleam MacRieve, a centuries-old Lykae warrior, was captured, caged, and experimented on by a shadowy human order, along with other immortals. During a prison break that devolved into one of the bloodiest massacres in recent history, he escapes. But the aftermath of his unspeakable torture preys on his damaged mind, while the wolf inside him roars for vengeance and carnage. In the days leading up to the full moon, can MacRieve rein in his beast, even when he encounters his mate - a vexingly impossible female unlike anything he'd ever dreamed for himself?

    Angela says: "AUTOMATIC DOWNLOAD!"
    "Typical Kresley Cole (in all the right ways!)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another reviewer mentioned that this book was formulaic, and to an extent I find myself agreeing with that sentiment: the tortured hero and the spunky heroine have some “issues” to work through before their HEA. That said, isn’t that what makes this series so thoroughly enjoyable? As a fan of the IIAD series, I was happy to see the elements I have always loved—the humor, the romance, the passion, the ever-expanding world of the Lore (and, of course, Nix!)—are all present and accounted for. As for the story itself, the Macrieve we meet in the first third of the book is hotter than hot, and the tender yet sizzling heat between him and Chloe is absolute PERFECTION! To bring necessary tension to the story, however, Cole adds a twist that puts Macrieve and Chloe at odds. Because I already felt that Macrieve and Chloe were so perfect for one another, I found myself getting impatient with this part of the story line. That did not, of course, prevent me from devouring this book in one very over-stimulated weekend! Bottom line: if you are an IIAD fan, this book, like all the others, does not disappoint!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2127)
    Performance
    (1875)
    Story
    (1862)

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "A necessarily slow start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This beautifully written novel starts off slowly – but please don’t let that dissuade you from purchasing it. With its slow start, the listener, like the protagonist, Cora, gets to experience the tantalizing feeling that something more is out there, just out of reach. And when Cora finally reaches that place, geographically and emotionally, the listener also gets to experience her happiness, her self-awakening, her life’s poignant journey. As a fair warning to others who listen to audiobooks while commuting to and from work: this book will make you cry. So grab a tissue, be patient, and I hope you LOVE this story as much as I did.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    Overall
    (2259)
    Performance
    (2023)
    Story
    (2022)

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "Silly, Smart and Sweet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've already read the Publisher's Summary, you should have a pretty good idea what this book is about. The plot is highly character driven, and while the main characters felt a little caricature-ized at times, overall I found them to be realistically flawed and wonderfully likeable. The story itself is touching, funny, absurd, and clever. Without giving anything away, trust me when I say that the billboard incident alone makes this an enjoyable listen.

    Like some of the other reviewers, I initially struggled to like this narrator, who seemed to add an exclamation mark to the end of each sentence. Ultimately, though, I think her earnest, over-the-top exuberance captured the spirit of this book perfectly. Highly recommend. [Insert enthusiastic exclamation mark here.]

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fixer Upper

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Mary Kay Andrews
    • Narrated By Isabel Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (391)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (213)

    After a political scandal, fledgling lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left almost broke, unemployed, and homeless. She reluctantly accepts to refurbish Birdsong, the old family place in Guthrie, Georgia. But, oh, is Dempsey in for a surprise. "Bird Droppings" would more aptly describe the moldering Pepto Bismol - pink dump. There's also a murderously grumpy old lady who has claimed squatter's rights and isn't moving out. Ever.

    Karen M. McGrady says: "Enjoyable Listening"
    "COMFORTABLY UNCOMPLICATED CHICK LIT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are times in my life when I cannot give a story my full attention and/or I do not have the energy to emotionally invest myself in its characters; but I still want to be entertained and I don't want to settle for mediocre writing. If you know what I am talking about and are looking for a book to fit that bill, this is a good choice.

    In one form or another, we've met all of these characters before. We know the querulous old woman really has a heart of gold. We know the handsome male protagonist will always be there when the heroine needs him. And we know the heroine will, eventually, find happiness in a town full of off-beat but charming locals. We know all of this and that's what makes this book so great. You know what to expect when you pick it up and you're not disappointed when you put it down. With its clear prose and enjoyable narration, if you're looking to escape into the familiar, I think you will welcome this addition to your listening library.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In Bed with a Highlander

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Maya Banks
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1308)
    Performance
    (1195)
    Story
    (1207)

    Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his-until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan's clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

    marlene says: "Steamy as only a Maya Banks can be!!!"
    "PREDICTABLE PLOT, TEPID LOVE SCENES"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I buy romances novels like this one, I don’t expect Pulitzer Prize winning prose or complex storylines, and will usually give an author a lot of latitude if the plot follows a tried-but-true story arc and the main characters fit the hunky-alpha-male/innocent-but-courageous-female stereotypes we see in so many of these books.

    Even knowing that about this genre, I was disappointed by this book. Maya Banks didn’t simply use those conventional romantic elements -- she forces them on us. The main character, Marin, is kidnapped from her convent (yep, a convent) by the story’s villain, Duncan Cameron, who is not just a pompous blowhard or self-centered schemer; to ensure the reader understands just how bad this novel’s bad guy really is, he is also physically abusive, a traitor to the throne, and cowardly in battle. Then, after escaping Duncan’s brutish clutches, Marin meets the hero, Ewan, whose first wife died (but don’t worry, he hardly remembers her), whose favorite phrase is “You will obey me,” and whose sexual mastery is, naturally, unrivaled.

    And even there, the story fizzles. The sex scenes, while numerous, never manage to build up any real heat. I was not expecting the lengthy detail or vivid descriptions you would find in an erotic novel, but given all of the reviews describing this book as “hot” and “steamy,” I was expecting some serious sizzle between the main characters, similar to the heat in Lisa Kleypas’s Wallflower series (which is also available on Audible) or Kresley Cole’s MacCarrick Brothers trilogy (which is not yet available on Audible but is EXACTLY what this trilogy should have been).

    Finally, I have to agree with another reviewer who mentioned that it was difficult to tell which character was speaking because all of their voices sounded the same. While I found this was especially true with Marin and Ewan’s voices, overall I thought the narration was fine. I wouldn’t buy another Maya Banks book, but I might listen to another audiobook narrated by Ms. Potter.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Company of Swans

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Eva Ibbotson
    • Narrated By Patricia Conolly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    Nineteen-year-old Harriet Morton leads a dreary existence. Her ballet class is her only joy. When Father won't let her travel on a ballet tour to South America, Harriet creates a clever ruse that covers her escape and triggers an experience far beyond her dreams.

    James says: "A Treat"
    "COMFORT FOOD"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Do you ever have those days when you just need a hug? When you want to slip into something comfortable, curl into a blanket, and let your mind wander to happy, uncomplicated places? If so, you will love this little gem of a book with its sweet story, intelligent writing, and charmingly earnest heroine. Although the plot is uncomplicated and the ending is fairy-tale perfect, this book should not be dismissed as “mindless fluff.” Although there were a few instances of over-the-top saccharinity, as a whole Ms. Ibbotson’s prose is measured and thoughtful, resulting in a story that is utterly delightful in its deliberate simplicity.

    The first Eva Ibbotson novel that I bought (“The Secret Countess”) was narrated by Davina Porter, who I absolutely love. So when I saw that Patricia Connolly, who I was previously unfamiliar with, was the narrator for this book, I was a little disappointed. I shouldn't have been. Although Ms. Connolly isn’t quite as good as Davina Porter, she brings a gentle lyricism to this story that is very similar to Ms. Porter’s. Plus, listening to her narrate is like listening to my mom tell me a story (if my mom had a British accent!) Sweet and comforting, I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone whose ever had "one of those days." I'd also recommend "The Secret Countess," which I liked even better, although it's fair to say that both books are like chocolate for the soul.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5051)
    Performance
    (3056)
    Story
    (3081)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "IGNORE THE SERMON, ENJOY THE STORY"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first foray into post-apocalyptic literature, and I must say: I really liked it! It’s not a perfect novel, and I can understand how some reviewers loved this book while others completely panned it. For me, though, having no experience with this genre, and therefore having no expectations one way or another, I thought the good outweighed the bad, and I can honestly say I enjoyed this audiobook immensely.

    I’ll start with the bad: the foreword by Newt Gingrich sets a decidedly preachy tone that is echoed (OK, sometimes shouted) throughout the book: Thou hast sinned by worshiping the false god of technology and thy punishment is nigh! Likewise, William R. Forstchen is not an especially subtle author. A few strokes with Norman Rockwell’s paintbrush and you have the novel’s setting. Populate the town with good ol’ boys with guns and spunky gals with traditional values and you have your main cast of characters. Add a dash of political propaganda and you have the moral of the story. And yet…

    …the GOOD: ultimately, this is a story about LIFE -- hope, courage, and perseverance; family, friends, and community; love, loyalty, and loss. At times the story is touching, at times it is funny, at times it is scary. And for those reasons alone, I was a very happy listener. But I enjoyed it for another reason. It’s also a story that made me ask myself: ‘What would I do in this situation?’ And it made me think. No, I didn’t suddenly turn into a Doomsday Prepper, but I did take stock of my emergency supplies: Water? Nope. Flashlight and batteries? Nope. Toilet paper, canned food, matches? Um, no... EMP attack notwithstanding, would it be smart to have these things on hand? I suppose that’s up to you; but for my part, I am now the proud owner of a solar powered flashlight. (Hey, it’s a start! :))

    While I disagree with Mr. Gingrich that William R. Forstchen is the next George Orwell or HG Wells, I do have him to thank for expanding my literary interests. Because of this book, I added Pat Frank’s “Alas Babylon” and Stephen King’s “The Stand” to my Library, and think my listening experience has been enriched because of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Broken

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Megan Hart
    • Narrated By Wanda Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (998)
    Performance
    (390)
    Story
    (396)

    "My name is different every month: Brandy, Honey, Amy. Sometimes Joe doesn't even bother to ask, but he never fails to arouse me with his body, his mouth, his touch, no matter what I'm called or where he picks me up. The sex is always amazing....My real name is Sadie, and once a month, over lunch, Joe tells me about his latest conquest. But what Joe doesn't know is that, in my mind, I'm the star of every one-night stand he has revealed to me, or that I'm practically obsessed with our imaginary sex life."

    Andrea says: "wow!"
    "Let's be honest..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Because I have yet to read a review that says it, I’m just going to put this out there: I read romance to feel good. I read erotica to get turned on. And when this audiobook ended, I didn’t feel good and I definitely wasn’t turned on.

    Although the story started out well-enough, the sex scenes became rather formulaic. M + F meet and decide to have sex. M touches F from the waist up. M and F touch one another from the waist down. M knows EXACTLY how to touch a woman (because, obviously, we’re all turned on by the same thing) and can bring them to multiple orgasms with his perfect, G-spot finding penis. (Can I use that word in a review? I guess we’ll find out…)

    Those scenes alternate chapters with the main character, Sadie’s, first-person narrative describing her life with Adam, her quadriplegic husband. Trust me: this doesn’t make for uplifting listening. And yet, that part of the story was so beautifully real, eventually I found myself fast forwarding through the repetitive sex scenes (except for the second to last one with M + F/F/F which was hot!) just so I could find out what happens with Sadie and Adam. And then, rather abruptly, the story rushes to a conclusion. Although the conclusion was inevitable, given the sensitivity with which Sadie and Adam’s relationship was previously treated, I was surprised at how forced the ending felt.

    Nonetheless, and mostly because there is a notable lack of well-written, well-narrated erotica on Audible, I can honestly say this book is better than average and I do not regret adding it to my Library. However, for those of you who are looking for the same things within this literary genre that I am, this audiobook doesn’t quite hit the mark.

    EROTIC STORY: 3.0 stars
    MAIN STORY: 3.5 stars

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1887)
    Performance
    (1708)
    Story
    (1709)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "UNEXPECTEDLY FUNNY AND CLEVER"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Actually, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to listen to it. I bought this audiobook through an Audible sale and didn’t really know what to expect (although one reviewer’s reference to Harry Dresden definitely piqued my interest). So for a few months it just sat in my library until the guilt at buying a book and not listening to it finally got to me and I decided to give it a chance. Five minutes later, I was hooked!

    When Myfanwy (pronounced like Tiffany with an “M”) Thomas wakes up without any memory of who she is or how she wound up in a London park surrounded by dead men wearing suits and latex gloves, she finds two letters in her jacket pocket that were written to her by the jacket’s previous owner -- who happens to be the former owner of Myfanwy’s own body! I say “former” because we learn, through a series of subsequent letters, that Myfanwy’s memories and personality have been erased, and the person who opens Myfanwy’s eyes in that park is not the same Myfanwy who closed them moments before. Oh yeah, it also turns out that the person responsible for Myfanwy’s memory loss is one of her co-workers. But not just any co-worker: the “bad guy” is another high-ranking, supernaturally gifted person (like Myfanwy herself) working for the Chequy, a super-secret organization dedicated to protecting Queen and Country against paranormal threats (like dragons and houses made of slime).

    Does this sound like the script to an extremely cheesy B-movie? Yes! But that’s because I am not as talented as Daniel O’Malley, who has managed to turn what should be a played-out-supernatural-who-dunnit into a fresh, imaginative, and FUN debut novel. For me, this book embodies the very best of escapism fiction: it’s clever, the characters are well-developed, the plot moves briskly without feeling rushed, and you can get lost in the story for hours without losing yourself to the story (which is a good thing when you have a job!)

    Finally, I know others reviewers have complained about the narrator. Personally, I thought she was excellent! I would, however, recommend listening to the preview. The narrator’s voice and cadence remain consistent throughout the book, so if you enjoy the preview, there’s a good chance you will enjoy this narrator. If not? Then I would highly recommend buying this book in print, because it really is that good!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.