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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

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 83 reviews
  • 86 ratings
  • 144 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Booktaker: A Nameless Detective Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 27 mins)
    • By Bill Pronzini
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    Overall
    (575)
    Performance
    (497)
    Story
    (497)

    The Nameless Detective is called upon to find out how rare books and maps are being stolen from an antiquarian bookshop with a faultless alarm system. He goes undercover in the store, only to be foiled when a theft occurs right under his nose. Then, as he ponders the case (while on a date with the lovely Kerry), he’s violently struck from behind by a car that seems bent on driving him off the road. Will Nameless survive this attempt on his life and solve the case?

    Doug says: "Weak writing and weaker reading"
    "I Was Expecting More"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was just ok. There was a good set up and and good flow but a completely mediocre ending. I was just excepting a better ending with the storyline and all. Oh well!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7072)
    Performance
    (6332)
    Story
    (6338)

    Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries.

    Hallie says: "Even better than A Discovery of Witches"
    "So Many Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am going to try my best to write this review without any spoilers. Well maybe one small one. London. There it is. That is all I am going to say about it. The second book in the All Souls Trilogy takes place mostly in London with Diana and Matthew meeting a lot of new and interesting characters as the journey to find Ashmole 782 continues. Along with several other big and small adventures.
    So now to make this a spoiler free review I will tell you mostly about my thoughts on the book and I won't divulge any details, just generalizations.
    I like historical reads but I think the time period determines if I like a particular historical read. This period of time is not very interesting to me so it was not a big pull for me. The author did do a lot of great references to the time period in regards to clothing, travel and food. But I think I was just not thrilled about that period of European history.
    Where this story left off in book one gets convoluted and messy because there are so many new characters, plot points and story lines here and there that you kind of forget the purpose of book two. I felt like there were about 10 characters toooooo many in this book. And every new character tells a story of their past and there are character names in there too. I was getting a bit over loaded with new characters and back stories with back stories. I mean by the middle of the book I was thinking of pulling out a notebook and creating a character tree to keep everyone and their relationships straight. There were a few characters that I felt did nothing at all the help the story along and was asking myself why are they even there. Every single time there is a conversation there seems to be three to four people in the room with more coming in. It was a bit overwhelming.
    As for the narrator, she is the same as in the first audiobook and I think she sounds a bit more breathy than she did in book one. She has this incredibly soft, wispy voice that works for Diana but seems a bit too dreamy at times. She did really well with the various characters and their accents.
    Overall, I was not impressed with this book in the series but I will read/listen to book three to see if it gets better and if all of these issues get resolved some way or some how.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Hans Christian Andersen
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    Overall
    (5377)
    Performance
    (4729)
    Story
    (4774)

    This classic tale is a fantastical fable of two dear friends - one of whom goes astray and is literally lost to the north woods, while the other undertakes an epic journey to rescue him. This charming, strange, and wonderful story is a timeless allegory about growing up and the challenges of staying true to one's self, and it served as the wintry inspiration for the blockbuster hit Frozen.

    Sara says: "Strange & Fascinating"
    "Kinda dark"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had never heard o this story and was interested in reading it (since it was free for Audible.com members) I thought it was a really interesting fairy tale. The ending was sweet and cute but I not sure what age group this would be good for since it is kinda dark. The best part of the story is the explanation of the little bits of mirror and what happen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Vicious

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By V. E. Schwab
    • Narrated By Noah Michael Levine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (58)

    Victor and Eli started out as college roommates - brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

    Dupree101 says: "It was a hard read"
    "Comic Book Style"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was my book clubs first pick of 2015. I had never heard of the book or the author before this.
    The story reads just like a comic book or an X-Men prequel with two college friends acquiring special abilities. Victor and Eli both started as normal kids both of them in love with the same girl, but things change quickly in their senior year. It all happened when they tried to be extra ordinary. Now they are each others arch nemeses and they are out to eliminate one and other.
    The story had a big element that I love. A unique story. That is so refreshing and V.E. Schwab did a great job of creating the world, the back story and the follow through. With chapters jumping from present to past to recent past it was a bit hard to follow in audiobook form but in the end everything tied itself up nicely. I had/have a feeling there might be a book 2 because there is definitely more that can be written about these characters.
    Speaking of characters, V.E. Schwab made me think and change my opinion several times throughout the story as to who was the good guy and who was the bad guy. Honest, I had a hard time picking the good guy because one would do something so awful I had to rethink it. There was a time in the book I was on the road to resolve there is no good guy. Victor and Eli seemed to be villains and there was nothing I could do about it.
    Noah Levine was a good narrator and he did a good job of reading. I had to get use to his lack of inflection in the beginning but don't worry he throws them in towards the middle and keeps it up to the end.
    Overall, V.E. Schwab did a good, fast paced book with unseen twist and turns.
    I took away one star because the jumping bck and forth in time was not easy to follow in audiobook form and it would have been nice to have more than one narrator but I really liked the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Legion: Skin Deep

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1948)
    Performance
    (1759)
    Story
    (1762)

    As the new story begins, Leeds and his "aspects" are hired by I3 (Innovative Information Incorporated) to recover a corpse stolen from the local morgue. But there's a catch. The corpse is that of a pioneer in the field of experimental biotechnology, a man whose work concerned the use of the human body as a massive storage device. He may have embedded something in the cells of his now dead body. And that something might be dangerous.

    B. says: "A Pleasure"
    "Not a the Conclusion Just a Continuation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I received this book for review from Audible and I am so glad that I had a new story to the Stephen Leeds series. This short story from Brandon Sanders is not a conclusion to Legion Book 1 but just another story in Stephen Leeds life. Who is Stephen Leeds you ask? Well, he is a wealthy man who has the unusual ability to solve complicated crimes and task using his internal group of aspects. His aspects are individuals that each hold a talent or knowledge for Stephen to tap into. He is the only one who can see them, talk to them and they see everything and everyone and talk back to only him. Can you image having several personalities in your head but they live outside your head too? I know it sounds crazy but it works to Stephen's benefit. This short story is really interesting in that there is a crime to be solved at a biotech company and Stephen calls new aspects to help out.
    Yes it is a short story and the crime is solved kinda quick with all the ends neatly tied up at the end. There was very little to no violence and bits of humor sprinkled here and there which I loved. One of the funny things is that the aspects talk to him and with each other about his ex-girlfriend. Tons of personal involvement here.
    Now let's talk narrator. Oliver Wyman narrated this one and I think his voice is perfect for the multitude of characters he had to read and give unique accents for. From Tobias (professor-type black male) to Ivy (prim white woman), and all the other characters he was clear and made each one unique. The only thing I would have liked would have been a faster pace. I used the 1.25x button on my iPad and it made everything better. I felt Oliver was a bit to slow for me and just a touch of speed made it better. For an action type of audiobook the pace didn't fit at all. So if you can, speed him up a bit. But Oliver made this audiobook work and he brought it to life.
    Overall, it was a great short story that I would actually watch if it was a TV series. It feels like there might be more stories in the series coming soon because this story was not a conclusion to book 1 just a continuation.

    0 of 0 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
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    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
    (1092)
    Performance
    (979)
    Story
    (980)

    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
    (243)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (147)

    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.

    Gabriele says: "Octavia Butler is a genius"
    "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
    (4403)
    Performance
    (3935)
    Story
    (3957)

    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.

    Bonny says: "Will & Louisa - each has what the other one needs"
    "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
    (152)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (134)

    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

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