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Cindy

I'm a high school English teacher, partner, mom, daughter, sister, and adventurer.

Torrance, Ca USA | Member Since 2013

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 49 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • The Nanny Diaries

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
    • Narrated By Julia Roberts
    Overall
    (565)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    "It appears that the help has been taking notes, and good ones. The help is very sharp-eyed indeed. The Nanny Diaries is diabolically funny...vastly entertaining...perfectly pitched social satire," raves The New York Times. Academy Award-winning actress Julia Roberts narrates this popular and critically acclaimed book - an enthusiastic skewering of high society written by two former nannies.

    Joanne says: "The Nanny Diaries"
    "Horrible reading by Julia Roberts :-("
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Having a different reader


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Predictable


    Would you be willing to try another one of Julia Roberts’s performances?

    No way.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Nanny Diaries?

    none


    Any additional comments?

    More character development of the narrator. Roberts read like she was reading to herself instead of to others. Of all the audio books I've listened to, she was by FAR the worst.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Allegiant: Divergent Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin, Aaron Stanford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8267)
    Performance
    (7572)
    Story
    (7649)

    What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times best-selling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of listeners in Divergent and Insurgent.

    Judy says: "What a let down!"
    "Interesting plot, wish it were written better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Allegiant better?

    If I'm supposed to buy in to a fabricated state of the nation, I need more background as to why and how it became that way. I also needed more information on how and why Tobias would decide to return and stay.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I didn't really like how in the 3rd and last of the trilogy, the format was changed to include a perspective from Four. I felt like it was a cheap ploy to sell more books in the hope that people would buy the supplements


    What didn’t you like about Emma Galvin and Aaron Stanford ’s performance?

    After listening to even 1 of the books, it bothered me how she emphasizes her "p" sounds. (picky, I know). But listening to someone read is a bit intimate and if the voice bothers you... well, it's hard to keep listening to.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    The ending was sad.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the plot and really wished it had been written better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (107)

    When a brute of a man tramples an innocent girl, apparently out of spite, two bystanders catch the fellow and force him to pay reparations to the girl's family. The brute's name is Edward Hyde. A respected lawyer, Utterson, hears this story and begins to unravel the seemingly manic behavior of his best friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and his connection with Hyde.

    Kristi Richardson says: "Classic novel of the duality of man"
    "Classic tale of human duality"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde again? Why?

    I might listen to it again to hear the layers of psychological duality that Stevenson was exploring.


    What other book might you compare The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde to and why?

    Frankenstein because of the psychological aspect of creation, father/son conflict, and pride.


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

    No.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    Overall
    (9302)
    Performance
    (8525)
    Story
    (8534)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Wow. So many people rated this book highly. It's a NY Times Best Seller. I thought, "this will be great!" However, it seems as if I"m in the vast minority. I kept waiting for something revolutionary to happen WITHIN the character... but it didn't. Events happen around the character, but I felt no growth, no real internal conflict, no climax. There was SO much detail - which some reviewers said was poignant - but I felt was overbearing and irrelevant. A great quote from the movie Amadeus is "Too many notes." The story could have been told much more concisely which might have actually heightened the emotional impact. For me, in a word, boring.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    A LeCarre detective story


    What does David Pittu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Terrific accents and other language pronunciations


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Goldfinch?

    I would have drastically cut down the amount of detail - which some reviewers said was relevant - but I truly struggled to see the import.


    Any additional comments?

    Theodore Decker, to me, was unlikable and anti-climactic. I really WANTED to like this novel. Disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jenna Miscavige Hill
    • Narrated By Sandy Rustin
    Overall
    (838)
    Performance
    (766)
    Story
    (766)

    Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org - the church's highest ministry - speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

    Tim says: "The Despicable Truth Behind Scientology"
    "Somewhat Interesting, but not enthralling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    A lot of reviewers have criticized the reader, but the reader's voice actually isn't too far off from the author's voice. So, it may have been a choice for authenticity.


    Has Beyond Belief turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    What aspect of Sandy Rustin’s performance would you have changed?

    Nothing. She portrayed the author as accurately as I can imagine.


    Could you see Beyond Belief being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No. Besides the story having some interesting revelations about this "religion", I didn't feel invested in the protagonist.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Influx

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2692)
    Performance
    (2479)
    Story
    (2484)

    Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they've been working toward for years: A device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics - the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel Prize. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring.

    Craig says: "Solid to Silly to Inane"
    "Influx is so bad, I want to cry..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If it were 100% better quality of writing and more adherent to Suarez's previous style. I excused a lot of the quality of his writing before due to my interest in his vision of future technology. However, Influx is inexcusable.


    What was most disappointing about Daniel Suarez’s story?

    I began the Suarez collection with Daemon, followed that up with Freedom, and backtracked to Kill Decision. I enjoyed all those books because (as Suarez readily admits on his Google talk) he had always written about technology that's on the brink. This made the stories have an air of realism, futuristic possibility, a vision of a potential world. However, with Influx, he ventures into "deeper" sci-fi, but in such a way that feels like a caricaturization, rather than a serious undertaking.

    The dialogue is staid, names are inert, and action scenes are indulgent. I'm so disappointed that I highly doubt I'll return to any future Suarez novel.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The beginning of the novel was good because I thought it was going to be like his other novels. Once I discovered that Suarez has journeyed into so much sci-fi that it's almost a caricature of sci-fi, then I lost interest.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger that I wasted my time.


    Any additional comments?

    I forced myself to finish the novel but hated every minute.

    13 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2852)
    Performance
    (2550)
    Story
    (2559)

    Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

    Madeleine says: "What's that droning sound?"
    "A high tech, thought provoking, action story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Kill Decision in three words, what would they be?

    high tech, thought provoking, action story


    What other book might you compare Kill Decision to and why?

    Daemon & Freedom - same author.. same reader.... same foundation of technological advancements and a world in which they're used differently.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The beginning scenes of the software development team and the "professor" before she joined "the team"


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No.... I just really like thinking about and envisioning how technology may be used in the future and what that might be like.


    Any additional comments?

    I appreciate the abundance of research Daniel Suarez does in order to get the details of the science and technology right. If it weren't realistic, I wouldn't be interested. But, it's a great vision into the possible.

    I also appreciate his representation of women in strong professions. However, that said, his dialogue is rather staid, forced, and simplistic. The female characters, in particular, are a bit reductive and over dramatized.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom (TM)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5190)
    Performance
    (3156)
    Story
    (3173)

    In a world of conflicted loyalties, rapidly diminishing human power, and the possibility that anyone can be a spy, what's at stake is nothing less than human freedom's last hope to survive the technology revolution.

    James says: "wow - a must read"
    "Compelling and vivid peak at possible world change"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Freedom (TM)?

    The use of current technology to launch into visionary tech possibilities.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The use of current technology to launch into visionary tech possibilities.


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Gurner – was your favorite?

    John Ross and Laney Price


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Visions of the small communities that embraced the Daemon and were uplifted by communal participation


    Any additional comments?

    I wish some of this were possible as I think it's too easy to feel helpless in our current capitalistic-run state.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7208)
    Performance
    (4227)
    Story
    (4258)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!"
    "Understand technology? You'll appreciate this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Daemon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was entertaining and engrossing. Maybe an 8 out of 10.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sobel, he was the brains of the operation.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I appreciate the descriptions of how the technology works to carry out Sobel's plans.


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader could go a bit slower, especially since the content requires so much thinking and imagining. I also found the technology aspects much more believable than the human participation. But... I'd actually enjoy seeing this as a movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joyland

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Michael Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3155)
    Performance
    (2917)
    Story
    (2919)

    Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

    Cozy Reader says: "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    "Thin and predictable plot - sadly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Joyland better?

    Nothing happened in terms of the plot until 3/4 of the way into the novel.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

    Yes. I still have hope.


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

    No. He was good.... Just not age appropriate for the older voice.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Good setting descriptions.


    Any additional comments?

    If I can predict the plot, anyone can. I really wanted to like this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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