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Alysia

Just another girl with too many books and not enough time for them all.

Redondo Beach, CA, United States | Member Since 2013

24
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 79 reviews
  • 82 ratings
  • 143 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Dashing Through the Snow

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark
    • Narrated By Carol Higgins Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    In the picturesque village of Branscombe, New Hampshire, the townsfolk are all pitching in to prepare for the first (and many hope, annual) Festival of Joy. The night before the festival begins, a group of employees at the local market learn that they have won $160 million in the lottery. One of their co-workers, Duncan, decided at the last minute, on the advice of a pair of crooks masquerading as financial advisers, not to play. Then he goes missing.

    Alysia says: "Light Hearted Story"
    "Light Hearted Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For the month of December my book club selected this book and it's our second book in two years by Mary Higgins Clark. Needless to say that makes it my second time reading a book by her.
    The story of a group of co-workers winning the lottery right before Christmas was quite cute. The author set them in a small town were everyone knows everyone and everyone's business was very picturesque in a small town way. I love the mystery element they brought in and how the characters slowly but not too slowly started to put the pieces together.
    But when I tell you this is a light read I am not joking. In my opinion there are a few too many characters in this book for how light it is. It seemed like a few of them could have been left out and it would not have effected the storyline at all.
    I am not a big readers of this series and I found it just ok as a stand alone. Their were a few mentions of things that happened in another book but overall you could get in and out of it without knowing all the back story.
    The narrator and co-author Carol Higgins Clark did a good job of reading her work. I know that sounds strange but I am not a fan of authors reading their own work. Most of them don't act the part and just read the words. For me the better the acting in an audiobook the better the story.
    Overall, this was a perfect holiday book and I am happy it was light-hearted.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Christmas Prayer

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Kimberla Lawson Roby
    • Narrated By Maria Howell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    Alexis Fletcher hasn't had a merry Christmas in five years - not since her mother passed away. Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season and feels the pain of her absence, even more so now that she and her sister are barely speaking. More than anything, Alexis wishes her family could be whole again.

    K Spearman says: "A Christmas prayer"
    "DRAMMMAA!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I never thought I would be reading another Rev Curtis Black novel or novella again. The series and the books I have read are too over the top in the “crazy black woman drama” department for me. I have to say this one is no exception either. There is crazy black woman drama from chapter one to the last chapter. Never ending.
    Alexis Fletcher morns the passing of her mother every Christmas for the past 5 years. Even with the love of a new man and the rise of her career, Alexis is still not truly happy around the holidays. Alexis’s son to be mother-in-law has a few strong opinions about her and is not afraid to tell her. As Christmas fast approaches Alexis life takes a dramatic and unforeseen turn for the worse.
    Just telling you this small tidbit is very drama filled for a contemporary novel with grown adults who are active in the church. It just seems to me the author paints her villains like Cruella DeVille who plan out the most evil things to do to other people. And these are supposed to be Christian churchgoers. I am not saying churchgoers are above doing bad but can there be a character who is doing good (besides the protagonist)? Alexis is such a victim here that is a bit ridiculous. She lets people talk to her any old kinda way and she lets her sister endanger the life of her niece. Alexis just has an "oh well" attitude that really pissed me off. I was hoping her Wonder Woman would come out and do something to help her cause.
    Why did I give it three stars? Well the narrator was just ok. Nothing special and nothing really bad. She read the book and did her part. The theme of the holiday season and the ending was ok too. The ending was a bit redeeming for the whole book. I love a great ending and if you like a good ending as well then you won't be to disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Americanah

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Adjoa Andoh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (747)
    Performance
    (674)
    Story
    (675)

    Anna-Bo-Banana says: "Dazzling, Romantic, and Witty"
    "One of the Best this Year"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a book club of the month selection and I am not sure I would have picked it up on my own. There's a lot of hype around this (award winning) book and I have found too much hype not to be a good thing with some books. But this book is so worth all the hype and accolades it has received. If not more!
    The story centers around Ifemelu (IF-E-MA-LU) a Nigerian student and her new love Obinze (O-BEN-ZAY) as they grow up together, dream together and go to school together. That is until Ifemelu gets the chance Obinze has always wanted...to go to America. Ifemelu comes to America with a lot of preconceived ideas about the country and quickly finds that race is important in all aspects of her new American life. We see her build relationships, finally get a job and how she relates to her family members, fellow Africans who are already here in America.
    This book was great and I loved the relationship aspects of the book the most. Ifemelu's relationship with Obinze was fun and carefree. He loved her and she held him accountable for it. Obinze's relationship with his mother was interesting because they saw themselves as equals. Not just mother and son. Well most of the time. That relationship was quite different from Ifemelu's and her parents. They were typical parents and a bit separated from her and what was REALLY going on in her life. Her mother's relationship with God and church was funny because I see it happening so many times with so many older women. This book is great! I highly recommend it if the discussion and opinions of race don't hurt your feelings.
    I really liked about this book were the use of smell. Some other authors have done this but Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie did a great job of it. She gave the cities of New York and Philadelphia a description and a distinct smell.
    Let me just list to you a few more things about my love for this book. One, I love seeing America through the eyes of a non-America. I love that she is a Blogger. (I can relate.) There are even blog post in the book.
    I read the book and listened to the audiobook on this one. Half and half. The narrator was really good. I loved her accent and the pace she read at as well. I would love to have had a male voice reading the chapters from Obinze. Or just having a cast would have made it made it better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fledgling

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Octavia E. Butler
    • Narrated By Tracey Leigh
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (139)

    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler's final novel, is the story of a young amnesiac girl whose inhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must learn who wanted to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself.

    Laura says: "Child in sexual situations"
    "Felt Imcomplete"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not my first book by Octavia Butler and I have to say it was not my favorite out of all the books of hers I've read.
    A young looking girl wakes up in a cave with a unbearable hunger and no memory. With the body of a child Shori finds out her real age is 53 years old and she was apart of a "Ina" family who are no longer living. As she finds out what happened to her family she learns of her vampire abilities, history and her place in it all.
    The overall premise of this book is really good and I have to say that was the best part. Having the story start with Shori not knowing anything about her past and who she is was brilliant. It gives the reader a chance to learn along with her. The reader knows what she knows. I really found that to be very intriguing because she asked a few questions I was asking myself along the way. But I have a few Pro's and Con's about this book overall.
    Pros
    I love that Shori is Black and the fact that she has abilities other vampires don't due to skin color.
    I like the way the story unfolded.
    I liked the characters and what they brought to the story
    Cons
    I felt like there should have been more to the story. It felt incomplete.
    I hated Shori looking like a child and having a sexual relationship with a grown man.
    I wasn't thrilled with the middle of the book. It dragged on here and there.
    I felt there were a few characters who were introduced for no reason at all.

    For these Pros and Cons I have to say that I thought the book was just OK and not Octavia's best book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carter Finally Gets It

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Brent Crawford
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Meet Will Carter, but feel free to call him Carter. (Yes, he knows it's a lazy nickname, but he didn't have much say in the matter.) He has a stuttering problem, particularly around boobs and belly buttons. He battles Attention Deficit Disorder every minute of every day...unless he gets distracted. He's a virgin, mostly because he's no good at talking to girls.

    L. Hew says: "Funny and so believable!"
    "Excellent!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was selected by my book club Mocha Girls Read as our book of the month for August. I have been thinking about picking this one up. Now I finally got a reason. Thank you book club.
    Louisa is your average everyday young lady growing up in tiny village with an ordinary or more like a boring life. That is until she loses her coffee shop job and has to find a new job quickly. As one of the few bread winners in her family making an income is extremely important to the well being of the four generations living under one roof. When the job placement agency sends her on a interview for a care taking position, Louisa gets it and that is when everything changes. In comes Will, a rude and hard to get along quadriplegic who was once an well traveled adventurist. Will and Louisa don't get along but that is not saying much for and about Will. He has been in a deep depression living in the annex of his parents home with 24 hour care since he has tried to commit suicide. I know this sounds really heavy and deep and it is. Not the hot summer beach read but it was a great read. The story has moments of light and laughter here and there. Louisa's boyfriend is too funny but shhh! don't tell him, he thinks he is serious. And Louisa completely reminds me of Bridget Jones but a younger version.
    There are so many controversial and conversation tidbits in this books. The issue of a young woman living in a small town and not having any experiences outside her small world, the issue of quality of life, and the big one is the issue of assisted suicides. That is THE heavy and controversial topic the book slaps you with.
    From what I have heard a few people cried when they read this book. Is there something wrong with me? I didn't cry. I didn't get choked up. I felt sad and let down but not to the point of crying. Sorry. I am a softy but this didn't do it for me.
    The narrators did a good job. I appreciated having a variety of voices for the different sections in the book. Overall, I really like the story. Will and Louisa are really well written and thought out characters. The ending I am not going to tell you about but I was hoping for a completely different ending. I am happy there were some loose ends tighten up here and there because that would have just been plain rude if it wasn't. If you finish the book you'll know what I mean. I think the author did a great job with this topic and made it interesting from a new point of view.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3806)
    Performance
    (3432)
    Story
    (3451)

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Michael says: "Who or What defines Quality of Life?"
    "Interesting and Touching Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was selected by my book club Mocha Girls Read as our book of the month for August. I have been thinking about picking this one up. Now I finally got a reason. Thank you book club.
    Louisa is your average everyday young lady growing up in tiny village with an ordinary or more like a boring life. That is until she loses her coffee shop job and has to find a new job quickly. As one of the few bread winners in her family making an income is extremely important to the well being of the four generations living under one roof. When the job placement agency sends her on a interview for a care taking position, Louisa gets it and that is when everything changes. In comes Will, a rude and hard to get along quadriplegic who was once an well traveled adventurist. Will and Louisa don't get along but that is not saying much for and about Will. He has been in a deep depression living in the annex of his parents home with 24 hour care since he has tried to commit suicide. I know this sounds really heavy and deep and it is. Not the hot summer beach read but it was a great read. The story has moments of light and laughter here and there. Louisa's boyfriend is too funny but shhh! don't tell him, he thinks he is serious. And Louisa completely reminds me of Bridget Jones but a younger version.
    There are so many controversial and conversation tidbits in this books. The issue of a young woman living in a small town and not having any experiences outside her small world, the issue of quality of life, and the big one is the issue of assisted suicides. That is THE heavy and controversial topic the book slaps you with.
    From what I have heard a few people cried when they read this book. Is there something wrong with me? I didn't cry. I didn't get choked up. I felt sad and let down but not to the point of crying. Sorry. I am a softy but this didn't do it for me.
    The narrators did a good job. I appreciated having a variety of voices for the different sections in the book. Overall, I really like the story. Will and Louisa are really well written and thought out characters. The ending I am not going to tell you about but I was hoping for a completely different ending. I am happy there were some loose ends tighten up here and there because that would have just been plain rude if it wasn't. If you finish the book you'll know what I mean. I think the author did a great job with this topic and made it interesting from a new point of view.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Barbarian Nurseries

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Héctor Tobar
    • Narrated By Frankie J. Alvarez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (131)

    With The Barbarian Nurseries, Héctor Tobar gives our most misunderstood metropolis its great contemporary novel, taking us beyond the glimmer of Hollywood and deeper than camera-ready crime stories to reveal Southern California life as it really is, across its vast, sunshiny sprawl of classes, languages, dreams, and ambitions.

    David says: "A modern classic for 21st century Los Angeles"
    "Just Ok!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book and the author were completely new to me before I went to the SCIBA (Southern California Independent Booksellers Association) dinner two years ago. And that night just happened to be the night Héctor Tobar won the 2012 California Book Award gold medal for fiction. So of course I just had to get a signed copy for my collection.
    This is a modern novel centered around the Torres-Thompson family. This very well off family has two sons, a great view and three Mexican employees. When the family fiances begin to decline changes are made and that is when the drama begins. This story is set in the upscale city of Orange County but soon becomes a journey through the streets of Los Angeles.
    For me the beginning of this book was so slow I had to think about completing it or just adding it to my DNF pile. The family is built of some really non interesting people who only think about race. Race is the main topic and only thing everyone talks about. The White family talks about their Mexican housekeepers strangeness (she is just an artist) and the Mexican housekeeper talks about the odd parenting skills the White family has. They do and to be honest it is not unusual. There are way to many hands-off parents today but that is another discussion all together.
    I thought this book had a great story to tell and had an interesting voice in the race discussion between Mexican employees and their White employers. I just didn't like the shallowness of the characters. It seemed to me not one single adult had any kind of connection to another character. The parents up and left their kids without really being concerned about them. The housekeeper was not into taking care of any kids (hers or otherwise). No one in the book had any kind of real relationship with a spouse, friend or family member. No one. It just made the book feel kinda sterile for me and that is not good. I was so hoping for something deeper.
    Without spoiling anything for you, there is a relationship in the end. It's a budding new one and I think it is not about the people but more about the destination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4250)
    Performance
    (3789)
    Story
    (3806)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    Margaret says: "Escape to the land down under..."
    "Great Summer Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was the book club selection for June. And I have to say that I was glad it was selected after reading A Wanted Woman.
    This will be a spoiler free review. That's right! I will not tell you what the letter says. Nope! Not a peep!
    So.... This story revolves around several characters and the crazy mayhem going on in their lives. One, Cecilia finds a letter in her home's attic from her husband telling her not to open it until he is dead. At the time he is on a business trip on another continent. The mother of 3 young girls has a perfect live and this letter might end all of that (or might not). Hmm!
    Then there is Tess. Tess's husband comes out and tells her he is having a non-sexual affair with her cousin Felicity. I know right! Can you image?
    Oh and there is poor Rachel who sits in mourning over the death of her daughter Janie decades later.
    All of these stories and characters start out as separate situations but quickly become one. And by the way you don't have to wait long to find out what the letter is all about but the process getting to it makes you flip pages quickly. And unlike so many ladies in the book club, I had no idea what the letter would say. I was completely shocked by the information revealed. I still think about how I would react if I was in Cecilia situation. I mean... WOW! What a shocker?
    Overall, I thought it was a great audiobook. The only down point would be there were a few too many characters to keep up with and their stories seemed to be just background noise. I think the Felicity and Will storyline could have been eliminated completely and it would not have affected the storyline at all.
    The book is a great summer read. The main characters are really well written and full of GUILT! That could be an alternative title to this book. LOL! Everyone is shackled with guilt from past actions, from unkind thoughts, from everything under the sun. Yes! They are Catholics.
    The narrator Caroline Lee did a good job of reading this audiobook. Her accent seemed to be in keeping with the Australian setting.
    If you need a good summer read, I would recommend this book without a doubt. You might need a pen and paper to write out notes of "who is who" to help you in the beginning. But it's worth it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Girl of Nightmares: Anna Dressed in Blood, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Kendare Blake
    • Narrated By August Ross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on. His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live - not walk around half dead, pining for her. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare with the dead girl he fell in love with. Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong....

    Alysia says: "Not as Good as Book One"
    "Not as Good as Book One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read book one (Anna Dressed in Blood) last year and thought the story idea was great but the audiobook execution was just ok. Nothing to write home about. So for the Spring Sequel reading challenge, I listened to this audiobook with hopes of the interesting story continuing. But...nope. It didn't happen.
    Without giving anything away, book two (Girl of Nightmare) picked up with Cas constantly thinking, seeing and worrying about Anna the ghost from book one. The story is 60% Cas fretting in some way about Anna. All of this worry takes him on a journey to try to bring her back from the other side. Yes! The other side of death. With his new friends in tow, Cas goes on this baffling journey for the remaining portion of the book.
    If you know my reading likes and dislikes, then you know it's all about the ending for me. A great ending can redeem a bad book. But this ending was.....how should I say.... a pointless waste of time. I went through all of this with Cas to get Anna back and that was how it ended? That was it! The ending was so quick that I felt there was way to much built up for...nothing!
    Something about the narrator reading in the slow, monotone voice did not add to the adventure and emotional roller-coaster Cas was going through. He really took the fun of this book away for me. If I had to cast this book I would have picked the amazing Kirby Heyborne from Rotters (audiobook).
    I have to say that I was extremely disappointed with this second and final installment of the Anna Dressed in Blood series. I was looking for something more with the conclusion of this sequel. I would have loved something that gave everything we have went through with Cas and Anna some kind of purpose or reason. SOMETHING!! ANYTHING!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night of Cake & Puppets

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Laini Taylor
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam, Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (144)

    Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her "rabid fairy," her "voodoo eyes" are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or "Violin Boy," her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to meet him, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It's a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter's night before finally leading him to the treasure: herself!

    Amy says: "Rabid Fairy + Violin Boy = Magic"
    "*Swwoonnn*"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OMG!!! I loved EVERYTHING about this audiobook. OMG!!! It was wonderful! beautiful! well written! And the perfect story in the mist of all the crazy from all the other books. I have to say that Khristine (narrator) did not hold to her voice for Zuzana throughout the audiobook but I loved it anyways. PERFECT story! I love Zuzana and Mick and now I love them more.
    I just had to add a gif to this one. It was THAT good!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Attachments: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Laura Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (906)
    Performance
    (801)
    Story
    (804)

    Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder, coworkers at The Courier, know the newspaper monitors their office e-mail. But they still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers, and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill still can’t believe that it’s his job to monitor other people’s e-mail.

    Julie says: "Just what I'd hoped for"
    "Great Flow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Have you ever bought a book without knowing anything about it? Nothing at all? And nothing about the author either? That was this spontaneous audiobook purchase for me. I didn't even read the synopsis. I know it's odd but I do it every once in awhile. And I have to say I wasn't over the moon thrilled and I wasn't kicking myself for purchasing it. It was middle of the road for me.
    The women centered in this story are Beth and Jennifer two co-workers who email each other all day about their personal and social lives despite the new office rule of no personal emails. Completely unbeknown to them the new IT guy is reading every single one of their emails. Lincoln feeling like the lowest of the low for reading their emails begins to develop a crush on one of them.
    I thought this story was really, really great and the narrator was doing a great job. The storyline development and flow...perfect. There were several laugh out loud moments and I could even relate to a few of the issues the characters were going through. So why not a perfect 5 star review then. Well, two things. One, the main character Lincoln is an indecisive man with not many friends and not good at speaking or meeting women. I get it but the whole D&D hang out crowd seems a bit too much for me. I don't understand why that was in there. It did not help with the storyline and it did not really give me any more insight into Lincoln. I think it would have just been fine without it and just have him without these temp friends he really does not not like anyways. Two, the ending. Endings are soo important to me. I need a good book to have a good ending to be a good book. This ending was unrealistic, easy, and quick. Nothing like the situations we were going through in the book at all. Why tie it up so nice and neat and quick? What is the purpose when the book did not flow like that in the first place? That's why I took of those two stars. But it was a great audiobook. Nothing was wrong. Maybe I am being a bit hard on this book but I had high hopes for the ending. I was there and I knew everything was going to be a bit off because there was no way a author would be THAT predictable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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