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Amanda

Shrewsbury, MA, United States | Member Since 2009

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 93 ratings
  • 171 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
1

  • Russian Winter: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daphne Kalotay
    • Narrated By Kathleen Gati
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (51)

    In Russian Winter, the beautiful debut novel by critically acclaimed writer Daphne Kalotay, a famed ballerina’s jewelry auction in Boston reveals long-held secrets of love and family, friendship and rivalry, harkening back to Stalinist Russia. Russian Winter is a perfect choice for fans of the novels of Debra Dean (The Madonnas of Leningrad), Ann Patchett (Bel Canto), and Ian McEwan (Atonement).

    Griffin says: "Excellent"
    "Slow Moving & Unengaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a ballet dancer, I was very excited to listen to this book. It was awful, though - the narrator's voice was extremely boring to listen to and grated on my nerves (as did her English-speaking Russian accents). I didn't finish it, but rather scanned a paper copy for the last 200 pages or so. I found that I didn't know who characters were (and honestly didn't care), didn't like the characters, and felt totally unengaged the entire time. There wasn't nearly enough ballet information, either (for a Bolshoi prima ballerina, we got absolutely no insight into the true ballet world). As I scanned the end, there were some interesting developments, but I still feel like I don't understand the main "mysteries" of the story. Perhaps this book is better read than listened to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10240)
    Performance
    (9744)
    Story
    (9764)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. Just...WOW. This book is incredible from start to finish. It kept me on the edge of my seat...I literally couldn't breathe at times and thought about it when I wasn't reading it. I was awed by the technical/scientific/mathematical expertise (assuming it's all factual?), and couldn't help but think of the old, "When will I ever need math/science in real life" question (because it's ALL everyone needed in this book!). I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone, and I can't imagine this not being made into a movie. The narrator did a fantastic job - it was so good that I listened not only while driving on my daily commute, but in my house while baking, cleaning...pretty much anything I could do where I could keep this playing! It's so fulfilling as a reader to experience something this masterful. This book is brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Cassandra Clare
    • Narrated By Ari Graynor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4209)
    Performance
    (3042)
    Story
    (3080)

    When 15-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing, not even a smear of blood, to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

    Teddy says: "2 Stars because it actually gets worse...."
    "TERRIBLE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was terrible. I listened to it after seeing the movie preview, but after finishing it I will definitely not be watching the movie. The narrator was horrible - her tone and enunciation are incredibly difficult to listen to, and she made all of the characters sound dumb and babyish. The plot was ridiculously juvenile and utterly dumb and pointless to the point that I wanted to punch something - I found it ironic that the book uses the word "mundane" approximately 900,000 times considering the plot, characters, and dialogue are exactly that, as well as incredibly annoying. One other late-listening revelation (which I won't disclose here to avoid spoiling the plot) disgusted and annoyed me to the point that I almost stopped listening. I'm so over this ridiculous genre and anything like it - I honestly can't believe I even finished this!!

    0 of 1 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
    (20813)
    Performance
    (18659)
    Story
    (18726)

    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!"
    "Pretty Good but Runs Too Long..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This audiobook was definitely really good, but it ran a little too long for me (I got to a point where I was really sick of it), and I didn't like the end at all. Up until the mid-point it was really good, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12081)
    Performance
    (10973)
    Story
    (11000)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Loved this - amazing adventure!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was AWESOME - the best I've read/listened to in as long as I can remember. It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next right up until the end, and it built up to the perfect climax - to the point where I was practically yelling in my car as I drove and listened. This book combined all of the things that I love most - lots of interesting characters, mystery, history, suspense, ultimate adventures, and the narrator did a great job. I can't wait to read more by this author! My only question - when is this going to be made into a movie?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Twenties Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Sophie Kinsella
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (316)

    When the spirit of Lara's great-aunt Sadie - a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance - mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie's possession for more than 75 years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions.

    Alison says: "Love this One of my Favorites of Sophie Kinsella's"
    "Eh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book honestly annoyed me a lot...and often. While I did like certain parts of the plot (namely how Sadie's true life and identity, so to speak, unfolded), I found the whole ghost thing really ridiculous and annoying, and I felt like the book really stretched out a lot and was way too long. It was entertaining, but I wasn't jumping for joy or really engrossed in the plot (that "can't stop listening feeling") at any point. Overall just okay.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Matched: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ally Condie
    • Narrated By Kate Simses
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1557)
    Performance
    (1239)
    Story
    (1260)

    Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

    FanB14 says: "Giver Goes Green"
    "Annoying Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Everyone is raving about this book, but it was just okay for me. The narrator drove me crazy (she sounded like a 13-year-old who inhaled helium), and the book was repetitive at times, which was irritating (they beat the whole "Do Not Go Gentle" quote to death, which irritated me because I have a special attachment to that poem - just one example). I'm sick of reading books about futuristic societies squashing all human and civil rights and controlling people to the Nth degree. The concept of destroying all things historical offends me, too (especially books). Kind of tired subject matter for me...I think I'm over the whole Dystopian Literature phenomenon at this point ("The Hunger Games" trilogy exhausted the genre for me). I wonder if I would have liked it more if I'd read it in my hands versus listened on audiobook, but I doubt it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Interview with the Vampire

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Anne Rice
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1157)
    Performance
    (952)
    Story
    (964)

    Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force - a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write. From the Paperback edition.

    James says: "Compelling, Simon Vance does it again!"
    "A Pretty Good Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall this book was pretty good. The second half was really boring compared to the first half, but overall it kept my interest and was well-written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tale of Halcyon Crane

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Wendy Webb
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (34)

    Ghosts don't exist in our world of today. Life is too pragmatic, too consuming, too busy for past lives to linger on longer than their allotted time, or so Halcyon had believed, until she received a letter from a lawyer claiming that her mother, whom she had thought long dead, had actually been living in another part of the country since Halcyon's early childhood. She had only recently passed away, leaving Halcyon heir to an unexpected fortune and an estate on an isolated island in the middle of the Great Lakes.

    S. Brown says: "Atmosphere plus"
    "Just Okay..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was pretty good. It definitely held my interest throughout, though something about the end seemed sub-par to me. It wasn't as amazing in the end as I hoped it would be at the start, unfortunately.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Haunted Ground

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Erin Hart
    • Narrated By Jennifer McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (479)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (191)

    When farmers cutting turf in an Irish peat bog make a grisly discovery, the perfectly intact body of a young woman with long red hair, archaeologist Cormac O'Callaghan and pathologist Nora Gavin are thrown together by their shared scientific interest in human remains. Because of the preservative effect of the bog, it is difficult to tell whether the body has lain there for two decades, two centuries, or two millennia.

    Sara says: "Archeology, Folklore and Mystery in Ireland"
    "Lackluster"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've finally finished this book. Thank goodness. I never felt engaged at all or as though I knew any of the characters -- I can't even remember their names at this moment -- or what was happening plot-wise, and I honestly don't care. Even though the premise sounded interesting (albeit disturbing), the three or so sub-plots wound into one was too many, and the end was lackluster after the long road getting there.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ransom Riggs
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (923)
    Performance
    (801)
    Story
    (804)

    A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets 16-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

    FanB14 says: "Just Missed the Mark"
    "Not Worth It!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The plot summary of this book promised me something eery, adventuresome, and mysterious. What it provided was nothing of the sort. I honestly hated this so much that I found it hard to pay attention from around the halfway point to the end (at which point my frustration and irritation kicked into overdrive). This book was a huge disappointment and just plain stupid in my opinion. My apologies to anyone who enjoyed it!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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