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Emily

Estate planning lawyer and mom to two boys. My older son liked audiobooks as an infant, and I've listened to a lot since then.

Portland, OR, United States | Member Since 2012

ratings
41
REVIEWS
40
FOLLOWING
32
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
13

  • The Cheerleaders of Doom: N.E.R.D.S., Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Michael Buckley
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    The New York Times best-selling author of the Sisters Grimm series, Michael Buckley has also written and developed shows for Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Discovery Channel. Supervillain Gerdie Baker, assisted by criminal mastermind Simon, has created a device that opens portals to other worlds, which she and other cheerleaders have been pillaging. But the alternate realities are starting to get awfully close together, so it’s up to Matilda “Wheezer” Choi and the NERDS to stop the cheerleaders before the worlds collide.

    Emily says: "Not as good as the other NERDS books"
    "Not as good as the other NERDS books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Cheerleaders of Doom in three words, what would they be?

    Funny. Exciting. Extraordinary.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Per my 11 year old: Interesting plot. Lots of humor.


    Which character – as performed by Johnny Heller – was your favorite?

    The 11 year old: Duncan is my favorite in the overall series. In this book, Heathcliff/Simon/Choppers/Screwball/Brainstorm. The narrator is great, and adds to the laughs.


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

    No, but it was very enjoyable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • From Colonies to Country: A History of US, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Joy Hakim
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    How did compliant colonials with strong ties to Europe get the notion to become an independent nation? Perhaps the seeds of liberty were planted in the 1735 historic courtroom battle for the freedom of the press. Or maybe the French and Indian War did it, when colonists were called "Americans" for the first time by the English, and the great English army proved itself not so formidable after all.

    Tina says: "These books make US History fun!"
    "Enjoyable US history for kids and adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, this series has been really enjoyable for both my 12 year old and me. If you like history, it is educational but truly a pleasure to listen to. I'm urging my high schooler to listen to it too.


    What other book might you compare From Colonies to Country to and why?

    Well, of course the other books in the Hakim series. If you had a child that liked The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer, or other children's history books, this would be a hit too.


    What about Christina Moore’s performance did you like?

    Her narration is lively and keeps me interested -- at the same time, she has a pleasant, non-jarring voice.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the most interesting in the series, since it is such a fascinating time in US history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sisters Grimm: The Unusual Suspects

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Michael Buckley
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (186)

    Daphne's lucky enough to get Snow White for a teacher - she loves little people - but poor Sabrina's stuck with Mr. Grumpner and a class of mildly psychotic sixth graders. When Mr. Grumpner is found hanging in a spider's web, it is up to the Grimms to find the Everafter who did it. If only Sabrina can get over her distrust of all fairy-tale folk. But how can she trust those who just might be responsible for the disappearance of her parents?

    Laura says: "I'm hooked now!"
    "Tied with the Riordan books as son's favorites"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Sisters Grimm the most enjoyable?

    My son can't put these books down, and eagerly waited for the next installment. Other than the Riordan series, I haven't seen him that anxious to get the next book downloaded.


    What did you like best about this story?

    All of the allusions to fairy tales and other well-known stories.


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

    My 12 year old came close -- certainly was anxious each evening (our time to listen to books on tape) to get this playing.


    Any additional comments?

    From an adult perspective I didn't love this series as much as my son -- but I would definitely recommend it to kids in his age group.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NERDS 5: Attack of the Bullies

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Buckley
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (2)

    The grand finale to the best-selling series, Attack of the BULLIES stars Ruby Peet, aka Agent Pufferfish, the team captain with super nanobyte-enhanced allergies. Pufferfish leads the team in their latest case: the kidnapping of the president' s daughter. But the NERDS discover she hasn' t been kidnapped - she' s been recruited. Their former librarian, Ms. Holiday, has started a rival organization called BULLIES, who each have their own nanobyte-enhanced upgrades. The BULLIES' plan: go back in time to make sure NERDS never existed!

    Emily says: "Another entry in a funny series"
    "Another entry in a funny series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to NERDS 5 the most enjoyable?

    Great narrator and a funny book. My 12 year old laughed out loud.


    What other book might you compare NERDS 5 to and why?

    of course, it is a lot like the other books in the NERDS series.


    What about Johnny Heller’s performance did you like?

    He's a wonderful narrator for kids' books, and particularly fine with funny ones like this.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9516)
    Performance
    (8718)
    Story
    (8771)

    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"
    "Excellent for whole family; sad but uplifting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Fault in Our Stars to be better than the print version?

    I thought the narration was excellent and as such I recommended for everyone to listen to it on audio.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this audio several months ago for my sons (ages 12 and 15). I was surprised how much I liked it too, though I found it much sadder than they did. We enjoyed the literary allusions and humor throughout. I haven't seen the movie, but they both thought the audiobook was superior.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Loki's Wolves

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By K. L. Armstrong, M. A. Marr
    • Narrated By Casey Holloway, Jon Wierenga, Pat Young
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history - because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie. When the rune readers reveal that the monsters of Ragnarok are coming and kids will stand in for the gods in the final battle, Matt can hardly believe it. Matt and his friends must race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

    Emily says: "Good for Riordan fans; improves as story continues"
    "Good for Riordan fans; improves as story continues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Loki's Wolves to be better than the print version?

    We didn't read the print version. It is well-suited to an audio version.


    What other book might you compare Loki's Wolves to and why?

    Very much along the lines of the Rick Riordan books, though it suffers a bit by comparison. At the beginning, i was a bit disappointed, thinking it didn't live up either in the story or the narration to the Riordan audios. By the end, though, I very much appreciated it, My son (age 12) was drawn in from the beginning. It helped to tide him over to the next Riordan book!


    Any additional comments?

    Very educational in the way that the Riordan books are. We both learned a lot about Norse mythology in a very fun way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Exploding Toilet: Modern Urban Legends

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By David Holt, Bill Mooney
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Hey, did you hear the one about the man who dropped a lit cigarette into the toilet with some gasoline-soaked rags? Of course you did, it happened to your gym teacher's cousin. Or was it your cousin's gym teacher?

    Emily says: "Fairly bizarre book; parents beware"
    "Fairly bizarre book; parents beware"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Exploding Toilet? What did you like least?

    Johnny Heller is one of our favorite narrators and some of the stories made me laugh.


    What was most disappointing about David Holt and Bill Mooney ’s story?

    I'm not sure exactly what we were expecting, but I think we thought it would be full of funny and obviously fake stories. Some were, but others were pretty disturbing. Some involved rape and murder. My 12 year old was surprised it was billed as a kids' book. I certainly wouldn't recommend it for young kids. And I didn't enjoy it as a parent.


    What about Johnny Heller’s performance did you like?

    He always adds humor. We enjoy listening to his voice.


    Do you think The Exploding Toilet needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. Or at least we wouldn't buy it.


    Any additional comments?

    The main reason I gave it more than one star is that my son was interested enough to finish it, despite his complaints.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hurry Up, Houdini!: Magic Tree House, Book 50

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 52 mins)
    • By Mary Pope Osborne
    • Narrated By Mary Pope Osborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Magic Tree House number 50 features Jack and Annie and legendary magician Harry Houdini! If kids get hooked on Magic Tree House, they're hooked on books! The Magic Tree House books, with their fiction and nonfiction aspects, are perfect for parents and teachers just starting to get into the "Core Curriculum". With a blend of magic, adventure, history, science, danger, and cuteness, the book topics range from kid-pleasers (pirates, the Titanic, pandas) to curriculum perfect (rain forest, American Revolution, Abraham Lincoln) to seasonal shoe-ins (Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving). There is truly something for everyone here.

    Emily says: "My boys love Magic Tree House -- keep them coming!"
    "My boys love Magic Tree House -- keep them coming!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Hurry Up, Houdini!?

    Magic Tree House books definitely follow a formula, but they are beloved in my family. This was especially fun since it dealt with Houdini who is someone we have all been interested in. For sensitive listeners, this ends before his untimely death.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    My sons have loved Mary Pope Osborne's narration; me, not so much. Impossible to change narrators at this late date, but many parents may not want to listen along.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a series that all kids would like in early elementary. My son has stayed involved out of nostalgia -- his mom, too, I guess!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Letter from Birmingham Jail

    • UNABRIDGED (51 mins)
    • By Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    April 16th, the year is 1963. Birmingham, Alabama, has had a spring of nonviolent protests known as the Birmingham Campaign, seeking to draw attention to the segregation against blacks by the city government and downtown retailers. The organizers longed to create a nonviolent tension so severe that the powers that be would be forced to address the rampant racism head on. Recently arrested was Martin Luther King, Jr.... It is there in that jail cell that he writes this letter; on the margins of a newspaper he pens this defense of nonviolence against segregation.

    Emily says: "Great audio of historical document"
    "Great audio of historical document"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is hard to rate this since Letter is an important document in civil rights history. My 6th grader had to read it for school and so we decided to listen to this audio. I was glad we did. The audio performance was quite good and it was, as a result, a much more compelling experience than just reading it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Magic Tree House #49: Stallion by Starlight

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 45 mins)
    • By Mary Pope Osborne
    • Narrated By Mary Pope Osborne
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    If kids get hooked on Magic Tree House, they're hooked on books! This is one series that kids, teachers, librarians, and parents all agree on. A perfect blend of magic, adventure, history, science, danger, and cuteness - the topics range from kid pleasers (pirates, the Titanic, pandas) to curriculum perfect (rain forest, American Revolution, Abraham Lincoln) to seasonal shoe-ins (Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving). Magic Tree House #49 features Jack and Annie heading back to ancient Greece....

    Emily says: "Another great installment, Magic Tree House fans!"
    "Another great installment, Magic Tree House fans!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    These are great audio books for younger kids. Even my 11 year old still loves them! Both my sons devoured these when they were younger, and frankly I enjoyed them as well. Very formulaic in a comforting way.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As always, the author does a great job melding educational information (here, Alexander the Great and Bucephalus) with an interesting story.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I've always thought the narration was the weakest part of these audios, and I often don't care for author/narrators. I know other parents find MPO's voice grating. I can tolerate it, and at the 50 book mark, I now can't imagine anyone else narrating them. Still, I would listen to a preview if you plan to listen with your child (though these are good ones for younger kids to listen to alone).


    Any additional comments?

    This is a series that I would unqualifiedly recommend for younger listeners.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (114)

    Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected, also, that someone had been blackmailing her. Then, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose. But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death.

    Connie Condra says: "Hugh Fraser rules"
    "Great narration; loved by my 6th grader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Murder of Roger Ackroyd?

    I read it almost 40 years ago and found the final plot twist really shocking. What was fun about the audio was that I could share the experience with my 6th grade son. He loved it! This was some elective reading he had to do for school, but it turned into a fun experience for us to do together. I wouldn't have thought of this as a kids' book!


    What other book might you compare The Murder of Roger Ackroyd to and why?

    Well, it is a great example of Agatha Christie. It actually isn't one of her ones I most enjoy experiencing -- in fact, I found it disturbing enough when I read it as a tween that I didn't reread it until now. However, because of its subversion of the conventions I can see why it is an interesting one to read for English class. A great example of the unreliable narrator.

    So to compare it to other Christies, I would say it is more thought provoking, but not a cozy (though much of Christie has disturbing elements, especially for the time it was written).


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

    Well, I enjoyed him as Dr. Hastings, Poirot's sidekick on PBS Mystery. Although my son often watches Mystery with me, he wasn't familiar with the Poirot episodes so it was a new narrator/actor for him. Neither of us had listened to his audios before.

    I thought he was an outstanding narrator for this book. I would hope that he narrates other Christies.


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

    My son certainly found it hard to take a break from. We had to turn it off so he could get some sleep!


    Any additional comments?

    I continue to marvel about how accessible this was to a modern 11 year old who has grown up on TV and computers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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