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McVay Family

Issaquah, WA USA

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 151 ratings
  • 751 titles in library
  • 63 purchased in 2014
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  • Dare Me: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Megan Abbott
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (89)

    Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy's best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they're seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls -- until the young new coach arrives.

    Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach's golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as "top girl" -- both with the team and with Addy herself.

    Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death -- and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.

    The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as "total authority and an almost desperate intensity," provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.

    dougal says: "Intense reading"
    "Definitely a book for Young Adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I have read a number of "Young Adult" books, of those this is the first time that I felt the story was strictly for young adults, it does not transcend to an older audience as many others can and do. I would guess that young adults would enjoy the dark edge of this story, but I found it pretty over-the-top juvenile.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Megan Abbott? Why or why not?

    I doubt it; I don't relate her story telling but I take responsability for that, the book is designated as "Young Adult".


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was an excellent match. Much of the dialog is extreme teen talk and even hard to listen to, but it is presented in a believable teen manner.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Although a bit extreme, I suspect the dark side of this story is one that many true young adult readers would find intriguing.


    Any additional comments?

    One reviewer related this story to "The Secret History", that is a very weak comparison. That story had smarts, this one does NOT.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5972)
    Performance
    (5181)
    Story
    (5171)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Entertaining and Well-Crafted Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Beautiful Ruins again? Why?

    Definitely! I listen to so many books that I often revisit favorites.


    What other book might you compare Beautiful Ruins to and why?

    The book is entertaining, what makes it great is the interweaving way in which the story is crafted. I can’t think of another book of the same quality which is crafted in the same manner with a light-hearted feeling.


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    It is a lively cast of characters and the challenge was significant; the narrator, despite horribly mispronouncing the Washington & Idaho regional names, brought personality to each.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • People of the Book

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Edwina Wren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1057)
    Performance
    (508)
    Story
    (501)

    This ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in 15th-century Spain.

    When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding - an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair - only begin to unlock its deep mysteries.

    Yvette says: "Amazing, fabulous, wonderful!!!"
    "Excellent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to People of the Book the most enjoyable?

    The backwards chronology of the story was exceptionally engaging and surprisingly a challenge to hold in the mind.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the balance in this story. For every thought or notion there seemed a counterpoint, perhaps at a different point in time or circumstance all together, but it was there. And for the thousands of points, big and small, there was just one that really bugged me and I can't stop thinking about it and I can't stop wondering if it where happenstance or deliberate. I didn't like the moral character of the most cultural progressed person, the multi-racial scientist who helps with the salt. If everything seemed so progressive and balanced, why is the character of the future, the one with the most mixed social, physiological and political heritage the most annoying? He doesn't detract form the story at all, he is very minor, but it is a good indication of how so many small parts make up the whole of this story.


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

    No, this is the first time I have heard her narrate a story. I was a little concerned when I read other reviews which disfavored her performance but I thought she did shockingly well! Her task was by no means an easy one! As to those who didn't like the Australian accent, the character was Australian for goodness sake, she was supposed to have an accent.


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

    I didn't have an extreme reaction in turns of crying or laughing but I would say this story engaged my mind, my love of history, my proclivity to fairness in all opinions and ideas in an extreme manner; no other book has done so as well.


    Any additional comments?

    A friend recommended this book saying she had just finished it a second time. The "second" time was quite a recommendation in it's own right, any book read twice is a book worth reading once. I am certain I will listen to this book a number of times over the years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    • Narrated By Shannon Cochran
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (689)
    Performance
    (590)
    Story
    (590)

    Instead of saying "I do" to Mr. Irresistible, Lucy Jorik hitches a ride on the back of a beat-up motorcycle with a rough looking, bad-tempered stranger who couldn't be more foreign to her privileged existence. While the world searches for her, Lucy must search for herself, and she quickly realizes that her customary good manners are no defense against a man who's raised rudeness to an art form. Lucy needs to toughen up - and fast. Her great escape takes her to his rambling beach house on a Great Lakes island. Here, she hopes to find a new direction...and to unlock the secrets of this man who knows so much about her.

    April says: "Better than the last one"
    "Missed the mark."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Great Escape? What did you like least?

    I liked the characters, especially the secondary ones, but the story was seriously lacking in what I would have expected from SEP. It almost seems as if she can't really relate to this generation anymore and was more interested in political and social nano-points rather than a convincing story. Just the name of the main male lead, "Panda", indicates how far this story misses the mark. Having said that, it does follow the traditional SEP format which many of us enjoy. In regards to what I liked least, I would say the narration assignment was so way, way off that it was unsettling; which isn't to say the narrator wasn't good, she is very talented but she seemed far more mature than the voice of the generation depicted in the story.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Susan Elizabeth Phillips again?

    I would listen to a story associated with the Chicago group of stories, but not any associated with the Texas group or this First Family group.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    She is a very talented narrator and did an excellent job with the craft of narration but she is far too mature for this story; it was unsettling and awkward.


    What would have made this romance irresistible?

    Just giving the male lead a real name would of made a HUGE difference! What was SEP thinking? Who thinks "Panda" is sexy, swarthy and yet still respectable at the end of the day?


    Any additional comments?

    SEP writes a great story, she needs to develop stories and characters a bit older than these she is holding on to, she can't relate anymore.

    0 of 0 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
    (17049)
    Performance
    (15170)
    Story
    (15212)

    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!"
    "An exceptionally unpleasant experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Gone Girl?

    I chose the story based on a review which likened it to a puzzle, so I was anticipating a story in which the crux of the situation is never really known until the end; that was not the case. This is a story about two loathsome people relating to their lives together in a despicable manner, the puzzle being just how pathologically horrible they can undo one another. Regardless of being well written, there isn't a single engaging element to the people or the story, so as an experience it is flat and awful.


    What was most disappointing about Gillian Flynn???s story?

    I should have followed my first reaction to the author's name, I could recall the book cover of "Sharp Objects" and a faint impression of having not really favored that story either but I couldn't recall the actual story itself, so I disregarded my instinct and fell victim to all of these positive reviews. So ultimately, I am most disappointed in having not followed my instinct.


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No, absolutely not, which is why I am writing such a negative review. I don't make a habit of being negative or even writing reviews but this story was so awful I feel compelled to tell people. I chose this book based on a positive comment, there is a flood of positive reviews, and I think people should know there is a counter-balance of listeners who hated it.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor: Friday Harbor, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Lisa Kleypas
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (177)

    "Dear Santa, what I really want for Christmas is a mom...." In the close-knit community of Friday Harbor, secrets don’t last long. So when the local radio station reads Dear Santa letters on the airwaves, everyone knows this heartwrenching letter was written by Zarchary Nolan’s adorable young daughter Halle. Zachary has been a widower for two years, and his family and friends have decided it’s time for him to start dating. But will all their matchmaking efforts help to make Halle’s Christmas wish come true?

    K. says: "Synopsis is TOTALLY off, but the story is cute."
    "Fun, Light Seasonal Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The story was seasonal yet light and fun. You could see whare the story was going, yet the characters were real enough and engaging in their personalities and back stories, to make the journey a fun little listen.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I enjoyed the personailities of the characters most. I am very familiar with the setting, so I wasn't drawn into the descriptions as much as someone who would be creating the images in their mind. I would think for them, that experience would also be a delight.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Tanya Eby?

    I probably wouldn't search her out as I do some other favored narrators, but I wouldn't not choose to listen to a book she narrates simply because she is filling that role.


    Do you think Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Seasonal stories don't need follow ups, especially light ones like this one. It's a perfect little holiday package, don't introduce overkill.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Christmas Wedding

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Richard DiLallo
    • Narrated By Susan McInerney, Kathleen McInerney, Eileen Stevens, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (233)

    The tree is decorated, the cookies are baked, and the packages are wrapped, but the biggest celebration this Christmas is Gaby Summerhill's wedding. Since her husband died three years ago, Gaby's four children have drifted apart, each consumed by the turbulence of their own lives. They haven't celebrated Christmas together since their father's death, but when Gaby announces that she's getting married - and that the groom will remain a secret until the wedding day - she may finally be able to bring them home for the holidays. But the wedding isn't Gaby's only surprise....

    Sheila says: "A solid, good book"
    "It was dull."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Christmas Wedding better?

    The premise of the story is the mystery of who will be the groom for the Christmas Day wedding, yet all components of the story, the characters and even the elements of drama are predictable and to be truthful, not very engaging. Therefore, little could of been done to make it better, what was there to build upon was weak and uninteresting.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I understand these authors are well known, well loved and have a devoted following, but I won't be joining the ranks, so my next book (ever) will not be one of theirs. I listened to


    What three words best describe the narrators???s voice?

    I have forgotten.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Dreariness.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Call Me Irresistible

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    • Narrated By Shannon Cochran
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1018)
    Performance
    (472)
    Story
    (460)

    Call Me Irresistible is the book Susan Elizabeth Phillips's readers have long awaited. Ted, better known as "little Teddy," the nine-year-old heartbreak kid from Phillips's first best seller, Fancy Pants, and as "young Teddy," the hunky new college graduate in Lady Be Good, is all grown up now—along with Lucy from First Lady and Meg from What I Did for Love. They're ready to take center stage in a saucy, funny, and highly addictive tale fans will love.

    "unknown" says: "SEP is Back In The Game!! Loved It!"
    "Ruins the SEP Characters in Texas"
    Overall

    If you like any of the charcaters in Texas from other books, like "Lady be Good", then do not listen to this book. Nothing is worse than having favorite charcters trade their charm for hypocrisy. This is a story about an entire town forcing a woman into an undesired sexual encounter with a snake of man, just for financial security...wait, isn't that basically pimping a woman out? How could SEP made such a severe misjudgement?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Room: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Emma Donoghue
    • Narrated By Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4566)
    Performance
    (2036)
    Story
    (2024)

    To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, but what she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

    Kathleen says: "A truly memorable read"
    "Read this book, don't listen to it."
    Overall

    This is a magical story, that much is true. Other reviewer's warnings regarding narration are equally true. I read the reviews warning how the narration dulls the experience but discounted them in favor of all the reviews regarding the story. Now I see how one can so effect the other, don't listen to this book, go buy a copy/check out a copy of this book and snuggle up under a duvet near a window and read it. The voices are irritating and don't seem in sync, it's hard to imagine a recording session where the characters were even in the same room in the same conversation, it's all a beat off. Let your own mind fill in the voices and your experience will be far better than listening to the one provided here.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Caught

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie, Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (915)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (295)

    Seventeen-year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her. Which is why, when her mother wakes one morning to find that Haley never came home the night before, and three months quickly pass without word from the girl, the community assumes the worst.

    Linda says: "It's Coben at his best!!"
    "Too many twists and turns!"
    Overall

    I like Coben's style of twisting and turning the story, however, in this book, he over does it. The story would of been alot better had it simply ended 3/4 the way through. It seemed an excersize in shoving in as many (too many) twists as possible in one story. By the end, I was just glad to be done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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