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MANASSAS, VIRGINIA, United States | Member Since 2013

  • 2 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 69 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015

  • Testimony: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Anita Shreve
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff, Eve Bianco, Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices - those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal - that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment.

    Robert says: "Required Reading"
    "Boring and Predictable"
    What disappointed you about Testimony?

    The story itself was bland and trite. The plot was predictable and so were the characters. Many of the characters were supposed to be high school students, but it seems as though Anita Shreve really has no concept of high school students at all. The dialogue was cheesy, and the descriptions lasted forever and accomplished nothing.

    The story is supposed to be cleverly written because it constantly alternates between characters, time, and perspective, but the plot and the characters were so blah that I couldn't bring myself to appreciate the style.

    The performance was fine, but the story was awful to the point of distraction.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I will probably read a non-fiction.

    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrator’s performances?


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Testimony?

    I would skip everything and just get to the end. The entire story is painfully drawn out, and I guess by not revealing the entire story until the very end, Shreve is attempting to create some kind of suspense. I would fall asleep listening to this and wake up and have to rewind and then realize that I was probably better off never rewinding at all.

    Any additional comments?

    I wonder if the paper edition really has every single high school student avoiding contractions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reconstructing Amelia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kimberly McCreight
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter. Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension. Her daughter is dead.

    FanB14 says: "Gossip Girl"
    Any additional comments?

    This would have been a better book if the characters were more realistic. This isn't a book with characters as much as it is one with goofy caricatures of rich people.

    Kind, sporty, rich, unique, humble, beautiful, incredibly smart Amelia and her incredibly ambitious yet kind-hearted, gentle but tough, beautiful, successful single mother Kate act as the foil to pretty much every other character in the book. Besides Amelia and Kate, every character is portrayed as being so wildly and obviously unlikeable that the ensuing melodrama is predictable and boring. Even Amelia's "likable" best friend is vicious, selfish, vengeful, manipulative, crude, and petty.

    For example, dialogue between Amelia and her best friend Sylvia usually seesaws between Sylvia saying something impossibly rude (about Amelia not having a father/Amelia being a virgin/Amelia being smart/Amelia's mom working long hours) and then Amelia apologizing.The relationships between the characters make no sense. Even the relationship between Amelia and Kate is confusing and unrealistic.

    A good mystery should allow for some mystery. By blatantly pushing for sympathy toward Amelia/Kate and disdain toward Gretchen/Zady/Zady's mom/Zady's dad/Sylvia/Magpies in general/school administrators/Ms Pearl/the first detective/boys in general/adolescents in general/etc, "Reconstructing Amelia" really allows for no imagination or thought.

    The only mercy in this book is that Amelia dies. Unfortunately, it is a slow death (about 12 hours and 15 minutes).

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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