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C. ALLINGER

YA literature addict

Pennsylvania, USA | Member Since 2010

41
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 115 ratings
  • 246 titles in library
  • 36 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
11

  • The Raven Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Maggie Stiefvater
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (783)
    Performance
    (714)
    Story
    (718)

    It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them - not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain.

    C. ALLINGER says: "Stiefvater does it again!"
    "Stiefvater does it again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although The Raven Boys is quite different from Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and The Scorpio Races, it highlights her amazing characters, exciting suspense, and that intriguing sense that the words could almost be poetry.

    Each of the characters in this novel are both utterly deep and (despite the supernatural themes and plot) utterly real. For fans of Stiefvater's other works, this is expected. The bonus of this novel is that we get so many characters and yet can feel invested in all of them. Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronin, & Noah (the most central characters) were especially wonderful because they were neither wholly good nor wholly bad. Each had his/her own idiosyncrasies and failings as well as moments of heroism and compassion. I fell in love with all five!

    I'm not generally a fan of the supernatural genre, but this story had me mesmerized and on the edge of my seat. I would have listened straight through if it weren't for those pesky distractions of sleep and work. You can tell that this is the beginning of a series ("The Raven Boys Cycle," according to the audiobook), but it does not end in an annoying cliffhanger.

    The prose itself is captivating. I'm not even sure how to describe it, really, except that you can tell that Stiefvater's writing style is influenced by her love of music. I highly recommend reading/listening to any and all of her works.

    Note about narration: Will Patton did an excellent job; he really brought the text to life! I wasn't sure if I would like his narration because I expected the narrator to be about the same age as the characters (late teens) and Patton is definitely much older. However, the 3rd person point-of-view and his engaging narration really made it work and, I think, added to the whole experience.

    32 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • Swept Away

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Mary Connealy
    • Narrated By Barbara McCulloh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (49)

    Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't all that upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. She prayed for a chance to get away, and then came the raging flood. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke Stone...so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future. Luke is heading home to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family.

    Debbie says: "western drama"
    "Decent Story, Poor Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Story: The plot is pretty standard for the genre, but the characters are quite enjoyable. I like that there is some real psychology in the villain; his characterization was certainly the most complex and interesting (though he is in NO way sympathetic). The romance(s) were sweet and done more realistically for the time period. Our hero is a zero in the romance department most of the time, but you can't help but love him like Ruthie does anyway. Ruthie herself is a fun spitfire, which speaks to my inner feminist :)

    The biggest flaw is in McCulloh's narration. The worst part is that she pauses ridiculously long between her phrases. Seriously, ridiculously long. I had to listen to the whole book at 1.5x the speed, which made some words and phrases sound a bit funny, but shortened the pauses enough to keep me from going completely insane. Also, sometimes I couldn't distinguish between her different character voices and got confused about who was talking. I had to use the little rewind 30 seconds button and listen again, paying more attention to the other dialogue cues to figure it out.

    All in all, the narration really took away from the selection, and my next step is to return Swept Away and get my credit back. I think I'll pick up the ebook though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Head in the Clouds

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Karen Witemeyer
    • Narrated By Nicole Poole
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (114)

    Following the stunning success of her high-spirited debut, Karen Witemeyer delivers this compelling blend of humor and romance. When Adelaid Proctor finds herself stranded in 1883 Texas, she’s hired by a British-born sheep rancher as governess for a daughter still grief-stricken over her mom’s death. As Adelaid gently draws the girl out of her shell of silence, the governess and sheep rancher, at first, resist their mutual attraction.

    A. J. McConachie says: "Great Story"
    "Historical Romance that isn't Stuck in the Past"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm going to assume you're already familiar with the hallmarks of the historical Christian romance genre (clean romance, religious themes, lots of old West stuff, etc.), and instead focus on what makes Head in the Clouds unique (and awesome!)

    A Much More Modern Take on the Genre:
    There are some great themes like crossing cultures, adoption, and some that I can't mention for fear of spoilers, but mostly, it's the protagonists that seem to be born in the wrong century (and I mean that in a good way!). Adelaid is very independent, passionate, and intelligent---one of my favorite lines is when she mentions how all little girls should dream up stories of "fair maidens who outwit dull princes to rescue friendly dragons." Gideon, though, is no dull prince; in fact, he's the sexiest male protagonist I've come across in this genre (don't worry, nothing scandalous). He's compassionate, occasionally sharp-tempered, and quite witty. Though he's got the whole protective vibe characteristic of the genre, he's characterized more by his humor and charm.

    A Believable Romance
    Gideon and Adelaid are so right for each other, and their relationship unfolds in a very real and endearing way. This genre is usually strife with romances that are all about how the characters' insecurities (particularly the heroine's) or lots of miscommunication get in the way of their happily ever after. For G & A, this is not the case (won't say anymore---you've got to read it yourself).

    ~Note on Narration: Poole does a great job, particularly with the funny lines. Although the accents weren't perfect, they were believable and really added to the experience. I could always tell who was speaking; the characterization was spot-on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Plots and Pans

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Kelly Eileen Hake
    • Narrated By Sharilynn Dunn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Order dictates Tucker Carmichael’s life - his orders. On a cattle drive, a moment’s hesitation can mean death. The Chisholm Trail is dirty, dangerous, and no place for women. After years at school, Jessalyn Culpepper has come home and is determined to show everyone that a woman can manage everything from cooking to cattle - whether they like it or not! Tucker tries to manage his partner’s headstrong sister, horrified when she wants to join the cattle drive.

    C. ALLINGER says: "Sweet Story, if a Mite Predictable"
    "Sweet Story, if a Mite Predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Plots and Pans is a light and enjoyable read for those who enjoy Christian romance fiction. The characters are flawed but likeable, and the chemistry between the leads is satisfying. I enjoyed the Biblical lesson woven into the story, but didn't find it forced down my throat. The only criticism that I can offer is that the story is fairly predictable and the transition from "Wait, maybe I don't actually hate you----we just passionately misunderstand each other" to "Let's get married!" is a bit rushed.

    As to the narrator, Dunn's reading voice is animated and engaging, but she doesn't differentiate the characters' voices enough. Sometimes it was difficult to follow the dialogue because the characters sounded so alike.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Delirium

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1990)
    Performance
    (1691)
    Story
    (1694)

    "Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

    Joyce E McBride says: "Wonderful"
    "Narration makes it shine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first Lauren Oliver novel that I have read. The story line is exciting and well thought out. The thematic elements definitely bring to mind other teen dystopia favorites such as The Giver and The Hunger Games, but Delirium has enough of its own flair to keep from feeling unoriginal.

    The best part of this audiobook, by far, is Sarah Drew's masterful narration. I don't believe that I would have been as impressed with the novel had she not so completely wrapped me up in the story. She IS Lena Haloway - complicated, often conflicted, but utterly real.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Angel Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Shannon Dittemore
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt...and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake. Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption. Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby hiding in plain sight....

    C. ALLINGER says: "Christian YA Lit that is Actually Interesting!"
    "Christian YA Lit that is Actually Interesting!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The basic plot is quite similar to the ones currently in vogue in YA Literature: somewhat emotionally damaged girl meets charming but mysterious boy, pair become embroiled in epic (supernatural) conflict, powers are revealed, random civilians placed in jeopardy, etc. As a fan of YA Lit, definitely up my alley.

    The characters are excellent and endearing in that "love me even though I'm broken" kind of way. The good news is that the focus of the story is overcoming that "brokenness," so to speak, unlike many YA novels that seem to wallow in it. Also, the solution to their emotional damage is not simply romantic love - a nice change of pace from what much of the currently popular novels suggest.

    What makes this book incredibly unique is its spiritual foundations. Using angels & demons as characters is not new, but using them in a way that actually promotes faith is. Dittemore raises some great, thought-provoking questions and weaves Biblical stories & truths into her story line.

    In terms of narration, Cassandra Campbell does an excellent job. I could hear the emotions of the characters throughout the performance.

    All in all, an awesome listen. As a final note: the ending of the novel, though not a cliffhanger, does suggest future sequels -- I look forward to them!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Price of Trust

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Amanda Stephan
    • Narrated By Shawna Windom
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    With the death of her parents, Carly's vulnerability made her trust a man with an attractive façade, now that same man tracked her across the country, always nipping at her heels, preventing her from reaching out to anyone other than her God. Now she's in Montana, and surely that is far enough away from Texas and her abusive past that she can rest. But her emotional scars are reluctant to heal, and Carly resists the friendliness of those in the small town she lights upon, especially handsome farmer Joe Baird.

    C. ALLINGER says: "Sweet, but cheesy"
    "Sweet, but cheesy"
    Overall

    Like many of those $4 paperbacks at Wal-Mart, this Christian suspense novel was enjoyable but ultimately forgettable. There were a couple of eye-rolling moments, but who doesn't like some sweet brain candy every once in awhile? The romance is sweet, the action exciting, and the characters likeable.

    Word of Warning: The narrator's performance can get kind of annoying. Play the little sample and you'll see why. I was mostly able to get past it, but it got in the way sometimes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Linger

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Maggie Stiefvater
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (451)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (268)

    In Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. Add to the mix a new wolf named Cole, and Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves.

    FanB14 says: "Respectable Second Entry"
    "Even better than Shiver"
    Overall

    If you enjoyed Shiver at all (which I did), you should definitely give this book a try. The voices are amazingly well done (especially compared to the Shiver production). I appreciated the "new" characters, Cole & Isabel, because it really relieved what would otherwise be a repetitive and sappy story. Having the very different perspectives allowed the Sam & Grace bits to stay sweet and not become drippy.

    Some have argued that the story rambled in places or didn't accomplish much, but I didn't feel that at all. Just being with these great characters was more than enough to keep me entertained. Also, those who felt that this is just another Twilight ripoff should know that Shiver & Linger are way better than Meyer's saga.

    P.S. The original music by Stiefvater played at the end is excellent. I actually rewound the track to listen to it again! :)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Palace of Mirrors

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Margaret Peterson Haddix
    • Narrated By Polly Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Disguised as a peasant, Cecilia has been hiding for years from the evil people who killed her parents. Now the time has come to reclaim her title. There's just one problem. Princess Desmia - supposedly Cecilia's decoy - believes a different version of the story.

    C. ALLINGER says: "Interesting Book - TERRIBLE Reading"
    "Interesting Book - TERRIBLE Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A big fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix myself, I was thrilled to see "Palace of Mirrors" on audible (a book I have never read before). I clicked play with great anticipation, but unfortunately the audio performance that followed was more than disappointing.

    I listened for 30 minutes before I decided that although the story itself was engaging I was not going to let Polly Lee (narrator) ruin it for me. Her slow mechanical reading of the narration drained Haddix's words of any life. Although her dialogue-voice for the main character was passable, she seemed to be completely misinterpreting the dialogues between the characters. What is written as playful banter between friends sounds almost menacing. And Harper (whom I can only assume will be the male lead of the story) sounds like a bully which is not what the actual words being spoken imply.

    I have decided that I will simply need to get this one from the library, and now I'm left only with a bitter feeling that I've wasted an audible credit. I recommend you do the same, or at least have the good sense that I didn't have and listen to the sample first (not a mistake I'll likely make again).

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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