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melissa

An avid reader who cherishes my time with a good book!

Norwich, CT, United States | Member Since 2012

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 54 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • Deeply Odd: Odd Thomas, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1593)
    Performance
    (1435)
    Story
    (1447)

    How do you make sure a crime that hasn’t happened yet, never does? That’s the critical question facing Odd Thomas, the young man with a unique ability to commune with restless spirits and help them find justice and peace. But this time, it’s the living who desperately need Odd on their side. Three helpless innocents will be brutally executed unless Odd can intervene in time. Who the potential victims are and where they can be found remain a mystery. The only thing Odd knows for sure is who the killer will be: the homicidal stranger who tried to shoot him dead in a small-town parking lot.

    D says: "Odd Once Again"
    "Delightfully Odd Again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have such a fondness for this character, ironic, because I never read series or books with recurring characters. In Odd Thomas, Koontz has created a very likeable, charming, witty young man full of heart and hope. David Aaron Baker has given this youth a true voice, with his narration, Odd lives beyond the pages for me. There were many times I grimaced but far more times I smiled, even a few times I laughed out loud during the course of this latest adventure. I was completely engaged in yet another seemingly impossible battle of good verses evil in which a young man possesses the fortitude and strength of heart to save the world - or at least one corner of it. I marvel at how easily I accept those ideas presented by the author, those wild notions that defy all known science, and follow Odd without question. This is character development at its absolute best. If you haven't met Odd yet, I promise you will love this guy.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Case Histories: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Susan Jameson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (551)
    Performance
    (371)
    Story
    (375)

    Case One: A little girl goes missing in the night. Case Two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack. Case Three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.

    Carrie says: "Deftly written, completely original mystery"
    "Entertaining and well written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had reservations about the way the book was structured at first but the author does a good job at tying it all together and delivering an interesting story overall. It was a little slow in parts but in general this is a good read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Laura McHugh
    • Narrated By Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Shannon McManus, Sofia Willingham
    Overall
    (542)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (482)

    The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see.

    John S says: "Not too bad but you have to pay attention."
    "Interesting but left me feeling a bit let down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story was well-written and the narration was very good. I enjoyed the characters and the setting was very engaging and interesting. It moved a bit slow in places and I just felt let down by the ending, as if there should have been more closure for the characters. It was a decent read but I would be far more inclined to recommend Gone Girl.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy Who Could See Demons: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Carolyn Jess-Cooke
    • Narrated By Bruce Mann, Carolyn Jess-Cooke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (49)

    Dr. Anya Molokova, a child psychiatrist, is called in to work at MacNeice House, an adolescent mental health treatment center. There she is told to observe and assess Alex Connolly, a keenly intelligent, sensitive ten-year-old coping with his mother's latest suicide attempt. Alex is in need of serious counseling: He has been harming himself and others, often during blackouts. At the root of his destructive behavior, Alex claims, is his imaginary "friend" Ruen, a cunning demon who urges Alex to bend to his often violent will.

    Mary says: "HOLY COW!!! Give me more, please!!!"
    "Interesting but a bit slow..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this story was well-written and I enjoyed parts of it very much. I found it moved a bit slower than I typically like and that the ending, though a nice twist, was actually not as surprising or revealing as I had hoped. The narration is good and the setting of Belfast and its commentary on its war-torn youth was both interesting and tragically sad. The story was compelling but simple dragged in certain parts that made it difficult to follow at times, I found myself easily distracted from the story which doesn't typically happen. Still, the writing is really quite good and if you are not looking for a blockbusting thriller, this may be for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wicked Girls

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Alex Marwood
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1061)
    Performance
    (955)
    Story
    (943)

    On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day so many years ago. Now with new, vastly different lives - and unknowing families to protect - will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?

    Tina says: "Really my rating is 4 1/2 stars."
    "A Fresh and Unique Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the way the story jumped back and forth between present day and the past and introduced us to a set of characters who grew deeper and more complex as their story was revealed. I didn't want to become engaged in their story given the horrific nature of their crime but I couldn't help being captivated. The ways in which the lives intertwined was simply great!The ending of the book for me was the most memorable because it brought everything full circle for me. I think the author made the right choice with the ending - it felt right to me on several levels and allowed for forgiveness where is was due. The writing really conveyed the feeling behind the foggy, coastal town and old amusement park clinging to the shores. It had a great setting that helped set the whole tone of the book. It was a different perspective and made me really think, which I always appreciate about a book.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Sharp Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3598)
    Performance
    (2874)
    Story
    (2894)

    Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

    Kelley says: "I agree with Stephen King"
    "Uniquely Creepy and Disturbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book goes past quickly. The pace is very fast and so it felt like it ended more quickly than I would have liked. I enjoyed it though, but not as much as I have others.


    If you’ve listened to books by Gillian Flynn before, how does this one compare?

    I've listened to Gone Girl and Dark Places and I would think that this one ranks much lower on my list that the other two. The plot is very fresh and unique. The characters are great too but the writing on this one...just didn't impress me as much as her other novels. I felt like it was missing that "bite" of her other books.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narrator was a good match.


    Was Sharp Objects worth the listening time?

    I think so. It was a good story and had I not read other books by this author that were far more superior, I would prob have rated it higher. Its less graphic than her other novels which is good news for many people that found the other books to be too brutal.


    Any additional comments?

    Still a good read but if you want to experience this author at her best, try Gone Girl or Dark Places first instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1297)
    Performance
    (1158)
    Story
    (1178)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    Jacqueline says: "A M A Z I N G"
    "A Stand Out in Thrillers!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of the more engaging stories I've listened to in a long, long time. Pessl delivers a great storyline that grabs you, shakes you by the roots and takes you a fast paced thrill ride. The writing is superb and the characters are so engaging and unique and they are brought into vivid color by a plot that will make you cringe, cheer, laugh and keep you up at night. Witchcraft and voodoo mix almost sensibly into a story about a family legacy, a mysterious compound and a young girl's untimely death. There are passages that blend the reality with the fantasy so artifully that even now, having finished the book, I'm at a loss to explain them. This book delivers in a way many others try and fail. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tunnels: A Kelly Jones Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Michelle Gagnon
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    An old, abandoned tunnel system beneath a prestigious New England college becomes the gruesome stalking ground of a serial killer.... The crime scenes are both grim and otherworldly. The bodies of two female students are found mutilated and oddly positioned in the dark labyrinth beneath the school - haunting symbols painted on the walls above them. In her decade tracking serial killers, FBI special agent Kelly Jones has seen some of the worst humanity can inflict. Yet the tragedy unfolding at her alma mater chills her to the bone.

    melissa says: "Just "Ok""
    "Just "Ok""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Despite the interesting setting, I found this story just a bit too predictable and bland. I wanted it to engage me more, but even the characters seemed to be people I've met before but under better and more exciting circumstances. Overall, something I would not recommend. There are much better, more original thrillers out there than this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (4563)
    Performance
    (3796)
    Story
    (3815)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Glenda Jeffers says: "Riveting but brutal"
    "Brutally Good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a fan of Gillian Flynn. Not only is she an excellent story teller, she does something continually that amazes me...she creates characters that I often dislike and then, through the magic of her craft, I find myself hooked on them, cheering them on, routing for their cause. Much like I did in Gone Girl, I did not initially like the Libby but by the end, I was pulling for her the whole way through as she pursued the truth about her family's brutal murder. There are parts that are very graphic and brutal, this story is very viseral. Flynn's writing is razor sharp and she carries the plot all the way through, answering all the questions no matter how difficult or unappealing. I found myself listening, tense and fearful but unable to put the story away. I had to know what happens! Gillian Flynn is a master storyteller and Dark Places might just be my new favorite over Gone Girl!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3193)
    Performance
    (2956)
    Story
    (2959)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "A big, big fan! Super Creepy, Wonderfully Engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was an instant fan of Joe Hill after "Horns", and his latest efforts have only solidified my affection for his style, his amazing characters and his plots - which are both highly imaginative but also very grounded. This book has his distinctive creep factor coupled with his amazing talents for storytelling and descriptive verse. His gut-twisting villain is just as engaging as his brazen heroine, Vic McQeen. There is humor, there is terror, there is humanity. This book is scary, action-packed, moving, funny and simply...great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 20

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1146)
    Performance
    (1014)
    Story
    (1000)

    In Light of the World, sadist and serial killer Asa Surrette narrowly escaped the death penalty for the string of heinous murders. But following a series of damning articles written by Dave Robicheaux’s daughter Alafair about possible other crimes committed by Surette, the killer escapes from a prison transport van and heads to Montana - where an unsuspecting Dave happens to have gone to take in the sweet summer air, accompanied by Alafair, his wife Molly, faithful partner Clete, and Clete’s newfound daughter, Gretchen Horowitz.

    Dave says: "Burke is still the best"
    "Burke at his Best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Light of the World to be better than the print version?

    I usually prefer the print but rarely have time to read anymore so I'm pleased with the audio version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The return of the familiar characters, their sincerity and their devotion to each other and their ideals. The story is as intimate as it is intricate. No one transports me to places and communities better than Burke.


    Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

    Clete Purcell, a lovable, train wreck of man. He is a tormented soul with a heart of gold. Burke has crafted him so vividly and Will Patton brings him to life so effortlessly and so perfectly.


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

    Burke's book engage me on all emotional levels, there is a realistic quality to his characters that really draw me in.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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