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Anna

I love books.

Genoa, IL, United States | Member Since 2008

41
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 39 reviews
  • 125 ratings
  • 231 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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  • Being Audrey Hepburn: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Mitchell Kriegman
    • Narrated By Suzy Jackson
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    Lisbeth comes from a broken home in the land of tube tops, heavy eyeliner, frosted lip-gloss, juiceheads, hoop earrings, and "the shore". She has a circle of friends who have dedicated their teenage lives to relieve the world of all its alcohol one drink at a time. Obsessed with everything Audrey Hepburn, Lisbeth is transformed when she secretly tries on Audrey's iconic Givenchy. She becomes who she wants to be by pretending to be somebody she's not and living among the young and privileged Manhattan elite.

    Anna says: "Charming and more"
    "Charming and more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lisbeth comes from a family where she doesn't really fit in. Her mother is an alcoholic, her sister is quickly following suit, and her younger brother is struggling with some clear behavior disorders. Lisbeth's mother has a future all planned out for her since she is the "good daughter" with potential. However, it is a future Lisbeth wants nothing to do with.

    Lisbeth's main support system comes from her Nan, who shares and understands her obsession with Audrey Hepburn, and her best friend Jess, a brilliant fashion student currently working as a museum curator. One night Lisbeth meets Jess at the museum and finds herself trying on the famous Givenchy made for Audrey. A couple turns of event lead to a night that will change her whole life. Lisbeth finds herself in a world she has been desperate to experience, but knows that it can't last. Partially because she is pretending to be someone she isn't. Specifically Audrey Hepburn.

    At first, I was afraid that this was just going to be a fluffy story with a few mishaps and a little charm. In the beginning there was an awful lot of the author making sure we understood just how much Lisbeth loved Audrey Hepburn, and at one point I had to plead with the author to move on and stop repeating the word "Givenchy". However, those feelings quickly faded away as I became more connected to Lisbeth and found that there was much more to her and the story.

    What we get is a young girl finding herself and deciding who and what she wants to be. Even through the charade, it seems that Lisbeth is finding herself rather than losing herself in this world that is vastly different from her own. It was rewarding to see her discovering her talents, and finding the courage to go after the life she really wanted rather than the one that was being forced on her. She definitely makes some questionable choices, and takes some crazy risks, but at the heart of it all I was cheering her on and hoping that she would find her place in the world and become a woman who knew herself.

    I also enjoyed the evolution of the situation with her family and watching how even some serious challenges and struggles could help a very broken family start to heal.

    This was a delightful and entertaining read, and I thought the narrator did a pretty great job of voicing Lisbeth. She sounded just like what I would imagine Lisbeth sounds like, which made it easy to become immersed in the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Emily: Sex and Sensibility, The Wilde Sisters, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Sandra Marton
    • Narrated By Devra Woodward
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Emily Wilde is smart, well-educated and beautiful. She's led a privileged life. Now she's determined to make it on her own in Manhattan. Marco Santini grew up dirt poor in a Sicilian slum. Now he has everything. He's gorgeous. He's rich. He's powerful. And he has all the beautiful women a man could ask for. Then, one rainy night, he sees a woman standing alone on a deserted New York street corner. Emily is clearly in need of help, but she's not foolish enough to step into Marco's chauffeured Mercedes.

    Anwar says: "AmmaZZing"
    "Sweet romance with a classic feel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Emily comes from a wealthy family with some incredibly successful siblings. She is out of college and is trying to make a name for herself on her own. Because of her well-known family she is finding it impossible to make her way in the world independently. Emily drops her last name and is living the life she can entirely on her own. She is struggling to make ends meet, and is experiencing one disaster after another when she meets Marco Santini, who attempts to rescue her from being stranded in a storm.

    Marco came from nothing and has built himself into an incredibly successful business man. He has been hurt in the past, and is not interested in any real relationship with any woman. He and Emily are very attracted to one another, but both believe it would be a mistake to get involved. Fighting their attraction is easier said that done. Especially when they enter into a business relationship that is helping both of them significantly in different ways.

    Emily was an easy character to care about even though her behavior could be frustrating at times. Marco is a sexy man and watching him struggle as he becomes vulnerable for the first time in a long time was endearing. The physical chemistry between Emily and Marco is pretty intense. There is definitely some flowery language going on here, and some very fairy tale-like elements to this story. That said, I stayed engaged throughout and was really hoping that these characters would be able to work through their struggles and find happiness. I am very interested in learning more about the members of the Wilde family.

    The narrator does a great job of voicing Emily. She has a great Texas twang that really brings life to Emily. At times her Marco accent turns a little more Dracula than Italian ex-pat, but overall I found it easy to imagine these characters through her narration.

    I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good romance with a classic feel and a nice steam factor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Every Day

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Levithan
    • Narrated By Alex McKenna
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (238)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (214)

    Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply....

    Laura says: "Original & Moving"
    "Unique and Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    David Levithan is becoming one of those authors I can count on to write something I'll like. The kind where you can just hear that a new book is coming out by him, and pre-order it without needing any additional information. Every Day has a unique premise, and I was quickly absorbed into the characters and story. Levithan does a great job of succinctly explaining A's life in a way that feels completely plausible and allows the reader to just get into the story without needing all the specifics about the whys and hows. Things just are the way they are.

    I absolutely loved the way that this book immerses the reader in humanity in a way that transcends gender, or sexual preference because that is the character A. We are experiencing life as A, who is experiencing life as anyone and everyone. Since it isn't possible for each of us to truly experience life outside of the body and self we are born with, this book gives us the next best thing. It really caused me to think about all the things that make humans the same and individuals different. I am truly going to miss these characters, and even though I would have loved to spend a lot more time in this story the way it ended provided enough information that I can imagine things turning out in a way that feels good. However, should a sequel be written I wouldn't hesitate for even a second to get it!

    The narration was pretty perfect. The narrator had a voice that was fairly gender neutral, so imagining the characters anywhere along the gender spectrum was effortless. I highly recommend this book!

    1 of 1 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
    (3567)
    Performance
    (3234)
    Story
    (3252)

    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?"
    "So glad I got to know these characters!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book that was on my TBR list for quite a while. I kept getting strong encouragements to read it, but held back because I knew it would be a book that would get me feeling and sometimes it is hard to go into something knowing it might be a little intense. I am so glad that I finally experienced this book and know these characters.

    I don't want to talk much about the plot because I feel like going in with a lot of encouragement, but without much of an idea of what the book was about was really great. Louisa goes into her situation with no idea of what she was getting herself into and it really helped me connect to her since we were experiencing everything together. I became engaged in this story quickly, and one of the things I found completely fascinating was that even during periods where the main character was doing something tedious or experiencing a lot of boredom, all of those feelings were clearly relayed but in a way that never left me feeling disconnected. I like that this book brings up problems that don't have clear solutions and cause the reader (or listener) to examine their own beliefs while learning and understanding the points of view of each character. This book is charming, and witty, and wonderful. I adored the lovable dysfunction of Louisa's family, especially her relationship with her sister who was simultaneously a primary source of her frustration and anger as well as her closest confidant and a strong support. Relationships in real life are challenging, and complex and all of the relationships we experience in this book feel real and easily elicited a strong emotional response from me. I was totally engrossed throughout this entire story and would highly recommend it to everyone I know.

    The performance is fantastic and the multiple narrators really bring each character life. Each narrator completely fit with my idea of what that character would sound like, and added to the real feel of the story. I think listening to the audiobook version of this was a wonderful way to experience it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mountain Hero

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Cheryl Yeko
    • Narrated By Alan Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Broken Engagement: Finding her fiance cheating with her best friend was bad enough, but when Michelle heads up the Rocky Mountains for a little R & R, it goes from bad to worse when her car breaks down during a major snowstorm.

    Anna says: "What's not to love about a hero?"
    "What's not to love about a hero?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Michelle is heading to a cabin she rented to escape the current mess of her life. She's just caught her fiancé cheating with her best friend, and realizes that while she's mostly story about losing her best friend, she needs to get out of town fast and get herself together. Her car breaks down right before a snow storm, and just when she thinks she might be rescued, the rescuers turn out to be thieves and attackers. She is rescued a second time by a sexy fireman on his way home from his shift. Jason (sexy fireman) is able to get them both away from the attackers, but at the expense of their vehicles. Now they stuck in the Colorado wilderness in a strong winter storm. As they struggle to survive the night, they find they are extremely attracted to one another and both hope that there may be a future with the other if they can make it through the night and out of danger.

    I thought both main characters were very likable. They are both sexy and the author does a good job of helping the reader feel the chemistry and sexual tension between the two. The story was exciting, but there weren't a lot of surprises in terms of the plot. That said, if you are in the mood for a classic romance with an enjoyable story, some good steam, and a little action- this is for you. I would have liked a little more length, but probably because I enjoyed these characters and would have enjoyed spending more time with them and seeing their story develop even further.

    The narrator has a very nice voice, and does a good job of relaying Michelle and Jason's story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Code Name Verity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1645)
    Performance
    (1487)
    Story
    (1484)

    Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

    Suzn F says: "Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book"
    "Kiss me Hardy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Code Name Verity the most enjoyable?

    I was completely engrossed in this book from the beginning, and despite thinking through a good portion of it that I couldn't possibly love it any more I found the last half bringing everything to a level I couldn't have imagined. This story is amazing, and beautiful, and horrifying, and terrible. It elicited a wide variety of emotions from me, and is an experience I won't soon forget.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way it completely sucked me in, and everything felt authentic. This book took me on an emotional roller coaster, and while a lot of it was hard to experience, I wouldn't trade any of it.


    What does Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrators were perfect! I truly believe that they add an additional level of wonderful on top of what is already a phenomenal story. Their accents were spot-on, and really brought both main characters to life. This is a book that is worth listening to before reading. I can't imagine there is a better way to perform this story, or a better way to experience it than by listening.


    Who was the most memorable character of Code Name Verity and why?

    The two main female characters are very different, but I felt completely connected to both of them. They are very different characters, each with talents the other did not posses. Their unlikely friendship and strong bond was something special to experience, and I felt glad to have met both of them.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book that will stick with me. I've already found myself randomly remembering certain parts, which can elicit a strong emotional response even after the fact. I feel thankful to have experienced it, and will highly recommend it to everyone I know.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5243)
    Performance
    (4833)
    Story
    (4838)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Another masterful tale by Gaiman!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    I think when an author like Neil Gaiman is also a brilliant narrator, it definitely adds to the story to listen to it being told.


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    Gaiman has a wonderful reading voice, and is a brilliant story-teller. You can feel assured that when he narrates his own story, you are hearing it in exactly the way it is intended.


    Any additional comments?

    This story is engaging and unique. It easily takes the listener into the world of the characters and provides for an entertaining experience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11678)
    Performance
    (10889)
    Story
    (10898)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "Nerd-o-riffic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    I'm not sure.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Artemis. She is one seriously cool chick! I should note that I adore most of the other characters too.


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

    I haven't listened to other books performed by him before this one. I thought he was a great choice for this book specifically.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    There were points when I had a hard time turning it off.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought this story just got better and better as it progressed. This story produced a lot more nostalgia than I was expecting, but I loved it all!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12761)
    Performance
    (11689)
    Story
    (11756)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Absolutely Magnificent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've already given this book as a gift to several people and have recommended it to everyone I know. And possibly some strangers as well.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fault in Our Stars?

    I found nearly every moment in this book memorable. It has such a profound effect on me that I remember much of it with clarity. I've since listened to it more than once, and sometimes I quote it in my daily life.


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

    I haven't listened to anything else that she has narrated, but I would listen to more of her in the future. I feel that her performance really added a lot to this book and definitely enhanced a great read.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I found it hard to stop listening nearly every time I had to get out of my car.


    Any additional comments?

    I haven't been touched by a book this much in a long time, if ever. Due to some personal experiences, this story brought up a lot of memories and feelings I haven't experienced in a while. I found it to be thoughtful, memorable, charming, devastating, and hilarious. Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Looking for Alaska

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1538)
    Performance
    (1323)
    Story
    (1342)

    Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words - and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

    Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another.

    FanB14 says: "Humorous YA for Adults"
    "Great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Looking for Alaska again? Why?

    I might. I enjoyed it quite a bit.


    What other book might you compare Looking for Alaska to and why?

    I would compare it to Paper Towns by the same author. I liked this one better, but love everything John Green writes.


    What about Jeff Woodman’s performance did you like?

    I thought his voice suited the story and characters. His voice and performance never took me out of the story, and that is one of my criteria of a good narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    John Green always writes characters that I would want to be friends with. That definitely applies to this book. I loved pending time with them and was sad when the story ended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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