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Natalie

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 44 ratings
  • 230 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015
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  • Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & the Beast

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Robin McKinley
    • Narrated By Charlotte Parry
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (204)

    New York Times best-selling author Robin McKinley has won numerous awards for her writing, including the prestigious Newbery Medal. Though her two sisters are beautiful, Beauty, despite her name, is thin and awkward - but she's also courageous. So when her father makes a terrible promise to a Beast living in an enchanted castle, Beauty knows she must volunteer to be the Beast's prisoner.

    Cybele Bell says: "she's really quite a perfect reader"
    "Beautiful Re-telling from a superb author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonderful novel-version of the story of Beauty and the Beast. What makes the story fascinating is the details and idiosyncrasies--the ways in which McKinley's story differs from the traditional fairy tale. Beauty, first of all, considers herself distinctly un-beautiful throughout the story, especially in comparison with her two sisters. The Beast's library contains books which do not yet exist and Beauty fights with her invisible enchanted maids over what to wear. The writing is subtle, the story is funny and meaningful. A great read (definitely for adults, too!) and a great listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Eyre [Brilliance Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Charlotte Bronte
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1404)
    Performance
    (1068)
    Story
    (1086)

    After a sad and neglected childhood as an orphan, Jane Eyre was hired by Edward Rochester as governess for his ward. Jane was pleased with the quiet country life at Thornfield, with the beautiful old manor house and gardens, with the book-filled library, and with her own comfortable room. But there were stories of a strange tenant, a woman who laughed like a maniac, and who stayed in rooms on the third floor.

    bebe says: "a book that can be heard/read again and again"
    "Great reading of a classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this narration of Jane Eyre--all the voices are done well, and the tone is perfect. The only problem is the absolutely terrible French! Someone should have at least tried to coach the narrator a bit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Poison Study

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Maria V. Snyder
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2405)
    Performance
    (1136)
    Story
    (1141)

    About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster.

    A says: "Fantasy, with a touch of romance."
    "Addictive story, aggregiously flawed writing..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was struck from the very first with the rather see-through plotting and cliched writing of this book....but I got caught up in the plot and couldn't stop listening till I finished! The story is addictive, but I still can't get over the cringe-worthy writing, predictability of the story, and the rather half-hearted world-building. YA fantasy can be wonderful, complex, and thought-provoking--this book is an example of the kind of YA that makes people look down on the genre. While there are serious issues (trigger warning) that I think the author handles pretty well, I would take them more seriously if presented within a well-written, well-developed novel. The narrator did a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sunshine

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Robin McKinley
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    Overall
    (510)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (273)

    There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while. Unfortunately, she wasn't alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don't, when they're vampires.

    Amazon Customer says: "An absolutely riveting, addictive tale"
    "Unique and fascinating story, so/so narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sunshine is an old favorite; the kind of book you can read over and over again. I wanted to have it on audio, but the narration turned me off even in the sample. I downloaded it anyway, and am still disappointed in the narration. Admittedly, this is a pretty difficult book to have to narrate! But her voice distracted me from the story, making Sunshine sound kind of whiny and a bit dumb (as other reviewers have mentioned). The vampires' voices just made me laugh--which is not what she was going for, I think. I think Sunshine is really best read in print, not listened to. There's too much you can miss if your mind wanders! I do wish other McKinley audiobooks would appear on Audible!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Graceling

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Kristin Cashore
    • Narrated By David Baker, Chelsea Mixon, Zachary Exton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (828)
    Performance
    (561)
    Story
    (563)

    Set in a world where some people are born with a Grace - a unique, sometimes uncanny, gift - this is the story of Katsa, whose Grace, demonstrated at an uncomfortably early age, is for killing. This makes her a perfect tool for her uncle, King Randa But Katsa chafes at the way she is being used - and even more at the injustices she sees around her.Then she meets Prince Po, who has a Grace to match hers...

    Kari says: "Outstanding first novel!"
    "Excellent story, flawed and awkward narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this story, and thought I would love to hear it as well as read it. The Full Cast narration put me off, though. Not only was the music distracting and unnecessary, but sometimes the actors misinterpreted the dialogue! They'd say something in a way that made it clear they didn't understand the way the author intended her sentence. This didn't happen too often, but I really think one female narrator, who really understood the characters, would have been a much better fit. Also, I was annoyed at how the actress who played Katsa screamed a lot of her dialogue when it wasn't really called for. The audio version of Fire, Graceling's prequel/sequel, was very well done and I'd recommend that instead. For this one, read the book on your own!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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