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Allison

Disney Princess

Delray Beach, Florida, United States

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 65 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rachel Dratch
    • Narrated By Rachel Dratch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1064)
    Performance
    (981)
    Story
    (981)

    Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered roles as "Lesbians. Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians." Her career at a low point, Dratch suddenly had time for yoga, dog- sitting, learning Spanish - and dating. After all, what did a forty-something single woman living in New York have to lose?

    Jeanine says: "Could not stop listening"
    "Sweet, kind of scattered, memoir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Girl Walks into a Bar...?

    I enjoy funny women and their memoirs, but this isn't the strongest I've ever read. I preferred Jane Lynch's Happy Accidents and even Tina Fey's Bossypants. There is something pleasantly "free-form" and "stream of consciousness" about Dratch's writing, but it makes for an overall mixed bag of a book. The audiobook, narrated by Dratch, is funny and she speaks to the listener as though they were a friend -- breaking into different voices and really intensifying her own punchlines. This is what I loved best about Girl Walks Into a Bar..., having the actress literally bring her words to life in your ears.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    To make the story more enjoyable, I would have focused more on her UCB/improv training days, her SNL experiences, and even her auditioning stories -- arguably, the most entertaining and interesting parts of the book, though Dratch repeats, "This isn't a showbiz memoir." The bulk, then, is about mommyhood and babies and "Oh, can't new moms be full of themselves?" which felt tired and not as humorous or engaging. I also can't help feeling the "30+ New York City gal dating horror stories" have also been told better, on countless Sex and the City episodes and columns in Glamour magazine. So, while maybe Dratch didn't set out to write a showbiz memoir, maybe she could have written a "comedian's life" memoir in the style of Steve Martin's Born Standing Up.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I found her UCB/Improv stories to be the most engaging -- how her brain worked on stage improvising, how the team dynamic worked in the improv world, the joy of making other comedians laugh, etc.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Starring Rachel Dratch as Rachel Dratch -- And Not a Crude Caricature of a Butch Lesbian! -- a role she often laments she plays.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth a listen, especially if you're into funny women.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16551)
    Performance
    (14712)
    Story
    (14756)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Couldn't stop listening! Ending is underwhelming."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Gone Girl in three words, what would they be?

    Addictive, twisted, SMART.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gone Girl?

    There are, honestly, SO MANY. It's a great disservice to reveal one here, because you want to experience this story spoiler-free, if at all possible.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably the reveal of the anniversary gift at the end of the annual treasure hunt that Amy organizes for Nick the day she goes missing -- read it, you'll know why!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    DEFINITELY. Just when you think you have a handle on this story... Maybe you have finally decided which narrator (Nick or Amy) you're "rooting for," Flynn flips your entire perspective. You think you've solved the crime, Flynn leads you off the path into the tangled forest of "truth." And she does this throughout the entire book.


    Any additional comments?

    I think many readers have expressed disappointment in the ending (myself included), because it doesn't feel like "justice is served." Also, the roller coaster ride leading up to the ending is SO GREAT, that the ending is really underwhelming when compared to the fantastic reveals and twists throughout the story. Adjust your expectations accordingly! Still, it is definitely worth a listen -- I couldn't stop. I devoured this book over 2 days, with the narration speed set on "2x". I can't remember the last time a suspense novel or mystery had me guessing for so long.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29403)
    Performance
    (22569)
    Story
    (22727)

    Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

    FanB14 says: "Dissent Rules"
    "Interesting middle act - how will the trilogy end?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Catching Fire in three words, what would they be?

    The Battle Continues...


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Johanna Mason is a fantastic addition to Collins's already memorable and richly developed cast of characters. She's a brutal, lawless version of Katniss, without the self-doubt and guilt of taking action. Johanna also gets some of the best one-liners: she has no "filter," she speaks the uncensored truth.


    Have you listened to any of Carolyn McCormick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Other than The Hunger Games, I hadn't listened to any of McCormick's other performances. I think she is an excellent narrator, with a clear voice and an "understated" performance that never turns the story into a melodrama. She serves the story well; she made me cry with her performance in the first book!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Well, with the enormous success of the first film adaptation of The Hunger Games, it's inevitable a sequel will follow. The tagline could be, "A Return to the Arena ... A Return to Arms." Something dramatic that references both the 75th Annual Quarter Quell as well as the political turmoil in Panem.


    Any additional comments?

    I agree with the other reviewers that the forced love triangle between Peeta, Katniss, and Gale in the beginning of the book is probably the weakest part of the story. Still, it is a brief plot point, and danger from The Capitol looms ever closer -- I eagerly await the conclusion, Mockingjay.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Heilemann, Mark Halperin
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1899)
    Performance
    (756)
    Story
    (757)

    Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

    Joe says: "Best Audiobook of 2010!"
    "Fascinating -- the truth is better than fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. This is a no-holds-barred, down-and-dirty look behind the glossy, phony exterior of politics and media "spin." I think, regardless of party affiliation, you will find this a fascinating listen. This is also not a dull or rehashed "politics" book -- it's more about the flaws of human nature, media manipulation, and mass perception.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I thought the book's treatment of former Senator and current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to be fair and surprisingly sensitive. A quote from a potential female voter hit especially close to home: "I want a female President, just not her." Clinton is an intelligent, savvy politician, who seemed to be punished in 2008 by the media at large for her marriage to former president Bill Clinton and the fact that she wasn't a traditionally "girly girl" in skirts and mascara, like former Governor Palin.


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

    Dennis Boutsikaris is a great narrator. I largely "read" audiobooks, because I love reading, but I'm a commuter by car, and I regret not having the time to visually commit to paper books or e-books. Audiobooks is the best way for me, and Boutsikaris has a clear, pleasant voice that really "drives" the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely. The story never "lags." Admittedly, it is focused heavier on the struggle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for Democratic presidential candidacy, but the book also spends a decent amount of time exploring the McCain campaign and the choice of Sarah Palin for potential Republican VP. I didn't know much about John Edwards's personal life prior to this book (he is not presented very sympathetically), and that was very eye-opening for me.


    Any additional comments?

    It doesn't matter how you voted -- there's a lot to like in this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Descendants

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Kaui Hart Hemmings
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (786)
    Performance
    (678)
    Story
    (682)

    Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive - one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control - 10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex is a recovering drug addict.

    Michael says: "Not Sappy instead honestly elicits tears & laughs"
    "Powerfully written. Sadly honest."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Descendants?

    I greatly enjoyed all of the family dynamics, but I really liked the portions of the book with adolescent Scottie and her father, Matt. I felt author Hemmings really captured the painful change from innocent childhood and super-sexualized teen years, and what a struggle it is for fathers to suddenly see their young girls become budding young women.


    Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Jonathan Davis was a smart, wry narrator -- it made perfect sense that the character he voiced (the protagonist, Matt King) would be played by George Clooney in the film adaptation. This was the first audiobook voiced by Jonathan Davis that I've heard.


    If you could rename The Descendants, what would you call it?

    Heartbroken in Hawaii -- cheesy, right? But that pretty much sums it up.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Mockingjay: The Final Book of The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26913)
    Performance
    (20769)
    Story
    (20966)

    Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena live, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge....

    A User says: "Conflicting Emotions"
    "Rushed, yet satisfying, trilogy conclusion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    It was nice to finally have closure to the emotional roller coaster of The Hunger Games Trilogy. The pace of the story (particularly *POSSIBLY MINOR SPOILERS* the siege of The Capitol and the events that occur within) felt a bit rushed -- maybe Suzanne Collins was pressured by the publisher or, as other readers have speculated, she was busy assisting the film adaptation. Still, it was a satisfying conclusion to me. Pieces fell into place, though war is never without losses.


    What about Carolyn McCormick’s performance did you like?

    I really enjoyed Carolyn McCormick's performance. She has a very pleasant voice for narration, yet still brings a lot of emotion to her reading. Best of all, her performance enhances the story being told -- sometimes, the narrator can distract from the story (attempting accents, providing unnecessary emphasis to particular words, etc.), but McCormick gave a professional and even reading that benefited the words written.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES, definitely. The strongest point of Collins's Hunger Games Trilogy has always been her interesting characters and how they fight to survive -- and I needed to know how it all ended.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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