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DonnaRussell

Tempe, AZ, United States | Member Since 2009

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 849 titles in library
  • 74 purchased in 2014
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  • The Goddess Test

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Aimée Carter
    • Narrated By Brittany Pressley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (175)

    It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family, and the fear her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld - and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests. Kate is sure he's crazy - until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

    Samantha says: "Twilight with Greeks instead of vampires"
    "Dead Valley Girls"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Where to begin? This book sounds like it was written in 1954. We have Kate, a heroine who is so fixated on her mother that she's never had a boyfriend and Ava, a dead girl who is slut shamed because one boyfriend kills another over her (even though they're both dead) and somehow it's all her fault. No wait! It's our heroine Kate's fault because she should have somehow known about it in advance and should have stopped it. But this is the same heroine who feels guilty because jealous Ava tricks her into going to a non-existent party and then breaks her neck jumping into a river while leaving Kate alone in the big woods. Of course this is all Kate's fault. I frankly get really tired of her continual pity-party. Then there is the control freak James. It just goes on and on. The characters occasionally talk about individual freedom and such, but actions speak much louder than words. I would hate a young girl to take in the lesson that female sexuality must be controlled, that they are responsible for others' mistakes, that having a boyfriend is so so important, and I'm not even finished with the book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Aimée Carter again?

    Never


    What aspect of Brittany Pressley’s performance would you have changed?

    Tough book to read without sounding like a airhead.


    Was The Goddess Test worth the listening time?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe if I were a lot younger I would have a different view but I hope not.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tune In Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Tim Anderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (115)

    Everyone wants to escape their boring, stagnant lives full of inertia and regret. But so few people actually have the bravery to run - run away from everything and selflessly seek out personal fulfillment on the other side of the world where they don’t understand anything and won’t be expected to. The world is full of cowards. Tim Anderson was pushing 30 and working a string of dead-end jobs when he made the spontaneous decision to pack his bags and move to Japan.

    JOSEPH says: "Tune In Tokyo- a very enjoyable memior"
    "Tokyo Madness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tune In Tokyo?

    Was it the drunk Australian teacher or maybe it was the Vagina Room?


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed all the way through.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. The author was very engaging and very very funny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Birds of a Feather: Maisie Dobbs Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Kim Hicks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (820)
    Performance
    (514)
    Story
    (514)

    Maisie Dobbs is back, and this time she has been hired to find a wealthy grocery magnate's daughter who has fled from home. What seems a simple case at first becomes complicated when Maisie learns of the recent violent deaths of three of the heiress's old friends. Is there a connection between her mysterious disappearance and the murders? Who would kill such charming young women? As Maisie investigates, she discovers that the answers to all her questions lie in the unforgettable agony of The Great War.

    Linda P-C says: "Yikes! This is a problem."
    "Engaging Detective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really like the Maisy Dobbs series. Each one not only engages you on a realistic mystery, but takes you back to a particular time and place...England after the Great War. I plan to eventually read or listen to all of the books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foundations of Eastern Civilization

    • ORIGINAL (23 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Craig G. Benjamin
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (63)

    China. Korea. Japan. Southeast Asia. How did Eastern civilization develop? What do we know about the history, politics, governments, art, science, and technology of these countries? And how does the story of Eastern civilization play out in today's world of business, politics, and international exchange?

    Acteon says: "A worthwhile "big-history" survey"
    "Lots and lots and lots of information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I love the Great Courses for driving. I do a lot of 10 and 15 minute trips and it chops up fiction too much to really enjoy it, but these courses are best taken in small doses. I would never have the time and will to read all these lectures but I enjoy them a lot in spoken teaspoons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Accounting

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By William Lashner
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (222)

    Jon Willing was just a teenager when he and his buddies Augie and Ben stole a fortune in drug money. Brazen with youth and stoned out of their gourds, they thought they had the perfect plan for getting away with it. They were wrong. Twenty-five years later, Jon’s marriage is in ruins, his kids are virtual strangers, and the recession has decimated his finances. When he finds Augie murdered in Vegas, Jon knows his past has risen from the grave to grab him by the throat. Now Jon Willing faces a choice: run to a paradise of wine and women and endless sunshine or confront the demons from his past and fight for what’s left of his imperfect suburban life.

    Charles Atkinson says: "A Great Suspense With Great Depth of Character"
    "Surprising"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book was better than I thought it would be. I started it once and soon stopped because I thought it was just going to be about a guy running from the mob. Much later I tried it again and stuck with it long enough to discover that it was full of surprises. It really got me thinking about the high cost of something for nothing. I wound up really liking the book which was a nice surprise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Far from Perfect: A Love from the Heartland Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Longley
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (367)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (327)

    For Ceejay Lovejoy, life in Perfect, Indiana, has been anything but. Abandoned by her parents and left pregnant by her boyfriend, Ceejay has had to fight every step of the way to carve out a future for herself and her daughter. She swears off men for good - until the day Noah Langford appears on her doorstep. Noah narrowly survived the roadside bombing in Iraq that cost him his leg, returning home to the news that his stepbrother, Matt, has died in a car accident. It is the final blow to Noah’s shattered soul - until he learns about the girlfriend and baby Matt abandoned.

    TexasKeyLady says: "An Excellent Story. Wonderful Characters."
    "Hearts and Roses"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Every once in a while I want a romance. This is a good romance. I liked the characters, the story, the setup with the dead brother and materialistic grandparents. You knew from the beginning what was going to happen, and it did, and all's right with the world. It's not a book you would sit down and just listen to, but it is great for waiting in line, or painting, or cleaning the kitchen. I found it quite satisfying for that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteenth Child

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Patricia C. Wrede
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1062)
    Performance
    (965)
    Story
    (969)

    Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent - and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild. With wit and wonder, Patricia Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion that will delight fans of both J. K. Rowling and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    Erin - Audible says: "History, Magic, Teens, & Not An Inkling of Romance"
    "Alternative history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book had so many things going for it but somehow just didn't connect. I found the main characters rather annoying. The world created was quite interesting...the creatures were fascinating, but the people were just oblivious. The book didn't work for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dancing with Paris

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Juliette Sobanet
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (70)

    When Claudia takes a tumble in her grandmother’s San Diego dance studio, she awakens to her past life in 1950s Paris in the body of Ruby Kerrigan, the glamorous star of a risqué cabaret - and the number one suspect in a gruesome murder investigation. With the police hot on her trail and a handsome French doctor lighting a fire in her sinfully beautiful new body, Claudia has just five days to unmask the true killer and clear Ruby’s name. But to do so she must make an impossible choice, one that will change the course of both of her lives forever.

    Cini says: "Pretty Awful"
    "Time Travel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Dancing with Paris?

    I am such a sucker for time travel. This was not a great book but it was enjoyable and very relaxing. I listen to books when I paint or clean the house or drive and this book is good for that.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5981)
    Performance
    (5579)
    Story
    (5580)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Joyce says: "Love this style of King!!!"
    "Major Creepiness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Mr. Mercedes the most enjoyable?

    Some authors works are good for reading and some are not. Stephen King's writing reads very well...I call it transparent writing. He is easy to listen to and you become part of the book.
    The narrator did a good job and the story flowed along. This wasn't King's finest but it was good and he is always good audibly.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 47th Samurai: Swagger

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Stephen Hunter
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (136)

    Bob Lee Swagger and Philip Yano are bound together by a single moment when their fathers met in the bloody and chaotic battle for the island. Only Earl Swagger survived. More than 60 years later, Yano comes to America to honor the legacy of his heroic father by recovering the sword he used in the battle. His search has led him to Crazy Horse, Idaho, where Bob Lee, ex-marine and Vietnam veteran, has settled into a restless retirement and immediately pledges himself to Yano's quest.

    Trevor says: "Sharp action, but not very many bullets"
    "Kendo Action"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The 47th Samurai?

    The raid to rescue the girl was very well done.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I got a tear at the very end.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't usually listen to action stories. If I had known this was one I wouldn't have gotten it. BUT, that said, I found I really enjoyed the book. I liked the information on kendo and I loved the ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goblin Emperor

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Katherine Addison
    • Narrated By Kyle McCarley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

    Alison says: "Excellent story and great narration!"
    "Good Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Goblin Emperor again? Why?

    I probably wouldn't but if there is a sequel I would definitely listen to that.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a sweet book. I found the main character's interactions and his love for his dead mother quite touching. I like that he succeeded on his own terms and resisted being forced into a mold.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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