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Erin - Audible

Nothing I love more than a well-rounded character and intense plot.

Jersey City, NJ | Member Since 2010

ratings
133
REVIEWS
23
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
52
HELPFUL VOTES
95

  • Bearded Lady

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 20 mins)
    • By Mara Altman
    • Narrated By Mara Altman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Mara Altman, author of the best-selling Kindle Single Sparkle, returns to top comic form to address the problem every woman faces but no woman wants to acknowledge: facial and body hair. Her brave, witty memoir gives readers a rare, honest glimpse into the hidden world of lasers and razors. It begins in childhood, when Altman discovers that hair sometimes grows in unexpected places - and that it's best to remove it immediately, or risk ridicule from 8th-grade girls. It continues into early adulthood, when romantically inclined men make offhand remarks about her fine coating of fur.

    Erin - Audible says: "Emergency. Tweezers."
    "Emergency. Tweezers."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mara Altman deftly tackles the extremely taboo first world problem of hair removal in modern America.

    Of COURSE I don't want you to know about my unmentionable hairs. It's obvious I have arm hair, and sometimes I give up on my pits and legs for a few months at time because lalala I can wear tights and longsleeves, and I am Staunchly Feminist about my lower region. But I have parts you don't know about. Emergency tweezers in my purse.

    We don't talk about this. EVER. We never talk about emergency tweezers, and Mara Altman WANTS TO TALK ABOUT IT. And it's a beautiful thing.

    I wish we lived in a society where this was not a big deal. But if we did, then I wouldn't be able to listen to Mara's hilarious exploration of our culture, how it came to be, and the terrifying billion-dollar industry that now stands because of it.

    In short, if you're a person who grooms, listen to this. Now. It'll take you like an hour. And you'll laugh and commiserate the whole way through.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Indexing

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Seanan McGuire
    • Narrated By Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (222)

    For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected - perhaps infected is a better word - by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.

    Erin - Audible says: "The X-Files meets Grimm meets Law and Order"
    "The X-Files meets Grimm meets Law and Order"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got caught up in my life, so Indexing took me by surprise when I saw it on the Audible homepage on Tuesday.

    Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal.

    And I was like, Toby Day and Henrietta (Henry!!) Marchen* cannot have a similar voice, that would be weird.

    But it wasn't that weird after a while. In fact, I kind of like it. Kowal's familiar hard-boiled cadence transported my brain into a similar, but entirely new, world.

    Imagine the most powerful magical force in the universe was a neutral, non-corporeal non-entity that existed to do nothing but complete fairytales over and over again with whoever was handy. Now imagine that in order to combat the ever-invasive narrative (think of it as kudzu!), there's a government agency called the ATI - a little like the X-Files!

    Every person has the potential to be drawn into the Narrative. Every fairytale has an index number, every tale is indexed and classified. And everyone, absolutely everyone, who has been drawn into the Narrative, is watched for the rest of their lives. Because when fairytales activate... there's a lot of collateral damage. There's no such thing as a real Ever After, or when there is, it's not good.

    Indexing is a compilation of serial novellas, much like McGuire's "Velveteen Vs." series. I found the beginning to be very thrilling. It lagged a little in the middle, but picked right back up at the end again. I didn't realize it was a serial until afterwards, so parts of it felt extremely disjointed, and I was wondering if I just kept missing parts (I didn't!)

    The thing I most love about McGuire's more recent work is her easy inclusion of LGBT characters. It always feels natural in her word, as natural as the magic that drives the plot.

    Can't wait for the next one :)

    *Loving the continued feminine full name with a masculine nickname trend. LOVE IT.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Velveteen vs. the Multiverse: Velveteen, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Seanan McGuire
    • Narrated By Allison McLemore
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    He was the last great hero of his generation. Velma Martinez - Velveteen - had never intended to be a great hero, but she was out of choices. "Hello, Jolly Roger." "Hello, bunny-eared girl who's taken over my ship. Have you come to collect the bounty on my head?" "I've come because Dame Fortuna told me how to find you, and we need your help." Velveteen crossed her arms. "The Super Patriots are corrupt, and I think Marketing is evil, and they have my best friend, and we want her back."

    The J says: "Men's Voices"
    "Velveteen vs My Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Imagine a world where instead of Hollywood, the Kardashians, Real Housewives, and the Bachelor, you had The Super Patriots. And The Super Patriots had the world's best marketing division. And it's always on. Velveteen’s world looks and functions exactly like ours, except their celebrities are superhumans – and the marketing division decides the vantage points of good and evil. As you can imagine, anyone not with them must be against them – but when 95% of the world’s operational superheroes are with them… being against them gets a little tricky.

    Velveteen is a superhuman whose focus has always been on the human, rather than the super. She wants the world to reflect that back at her. I do, too. She is a heroine I could have met on the subway yesterday.

    When Seanan McGuire started writing Velveteen shorts, I don't think she expected her "silly superhero stories" to resonate so soundly with the world we live in, to tell a truth so firmly and make us laugh until we cry with poignancy and wit. I haven’t listened with a book without stopping for a long time but, I powered through Velveteen (clocking in at twelve and half hours) in almost exactly two days. That should tell you something about Velveteen and the enrapturing world she takes you to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Boyfriend App

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Katie Sise
    • Narrated By Arielle DeLisle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Computer whiz Audrey McCarthy feels most at home in a tech lab, surrounded by her fellow geeks. Once popular and fearless, she hasn't been the same since her dad died. And her ex-best friend, gorgeous queen bee Blake Dawkins, has turned into her worst nightmare. Audrey is counting the minutes until high school is over and she can get the hell out of Dodge and go to college - if she can find a scholarship. So when Public Corporation, a giant tech company, announces a contest for the best app developed by a high schooler Audrey is spurred into action.

    G. House Sr. says: "Great combination of tech and teen romance"
    "Hackers meets Mean Girls meets Love Potion No. 9"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was fantastically written and has a great plot, but please see below for why it gets a 2 star rating from me. Spoilers. Spoilers everywhere.

    Arielle DeLisle is a FANTASTIC narrator, and I will be looking for other books read by her.

    Audrey McCarthy is your typical teen programmer - shy, introverted, and brilliant. She's also very poor - her dad died three years ago in a terrible work accident, and her mom is a lunch lady. When Public (read: Facebook) announces an app contest with Danny Beaton (read: Justin Bieber) as the spokesperson, she knows its her only chance to go to the college she deserves to go to. So, she programs The Boyfriend App - a sophisticated dating algorithm (read: OkCupid) with GPS capabilities that will alert you when your highest match is within 100 yards. While initially a great craze, the teenagers occasionally end up so mismatched that fights break out everywhere and BFA soon loses steam, knocking it out of the running to win. During an effort to get back in the running, Audrey accidentally discovers nefarious neurotransmitting software within Public's basic applications and OPS, and modifies it to turn BFA 2.0's female-only users into date-rape machines.

    That's right, she programs the app to emit a sonic signal that elicits dopamine and oxytocin production in the brain of the user's target. User A likes Target A - she makes eye contact, turns the app on, Phone A sends a signal to Phone B, Phone B begins emitting the sonic signal, and Target A becomes her willing slave - all without knowing and/or understanding what is happening. This is sonic rohypnol.

    Well, it's clear to me that you can't have a co-ed user base for this, since we would all automatically assume that boys would use it for sexy purposes and girls just use it for love and affection and makeouts. Good, clean things.

    Audrey seems to understand that this is not an okay thing on an individual level, but that does not stop her from justifying its use for her gain. Two wrongs don't make a right, Audrey. This book could have a lot darker.

    Of course, there's lots of techno-politics to keep it interesting - dirty corporate secrets, blackmail, all that good stuff.

    It's all quite well-written. Slow in the beginning, but it picks up significantly.

    I love reading about female engineers, and I love YA. This book was fantastic, but its promotion of using subliminal neurotechnology to remove a person's agency was extremely disturbing. It bothers me that Audrey didn't face any kind of consequence for that - she still gets the guy, in fact, he wasn't even doped when he came to her rescue in the first place, so that makes it all okay.

    That and Katie Sise completely lifted the teenage fight/2.0 craze scene from Mean Girls - it was fun, and I understand why she would do it as it had to be a blast to write, but there was no originality there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emerald Green: The Ruby Red Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Kerstin Gier
    • Narrated By Marisa Calin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (203)

    In Kerstin Gier's Emerald Green, Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And, she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.

    Erin - Audible says: "The end!"
    "The end!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. May contain minor spoilers.

    I love how neatly everything about Gwen's family was tied up - it was an excellent decision on Gier's part to head in that direction.

    I love that the butler gets in on the adventurous action!

    Nothing in the world is going to convince me to get behind Gideon, however, but that's mostly because I'm really bored of the Darcy trope. I get it, he's mean because he loves you. I did like their ending, it was sweet and well-deserved.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • If You Could Be Mine

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Sara Farizan
    • Narrated By Negin Farsad
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    17-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They've shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love - Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light. So they carry on in secret - until Nasrin's parents announce that they've arranged for her marriage.

    Erin - Audible says: "Revelant and Realistic Queer YA"
    "Revelant and Realistic Queer YA"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If You Could Be Mine is the story of two girls in Tehran who have been best friends since childhood. The protagonist, Sahar, is a very smart young woman on track for the top university in Iran. Nasrin is a spoiled rich girl whose parents are intend for her to marry as soon as she leaves high school. Neither of these situations is painted as unusual in Iranian society within the context of the book. Farizan clearly establishes the country's culture without it seeming intimidating or anti-Islam.

    Negin Farsad's narration makes the story more emotionally resonant than I think it would be otherwise. Sahar spends a lot of time being angry about her situation (understandable), and defensive of her decision to pursue a sex change so she might marry Nasrin instead of her fiance. Farsad easily finds the essential nuances within that anger, creating strong, unwavering characters.

    As the story is in first person singular, we don't see any of Nasrin's real feelings on the subject of her impending marriage beyond her outside behavior, and what she says to Sahar. I would have liked to know the complicated feelings going on in Nasrin's head as well; it surely could not have been easy to choose duty and a life of ease, or the love of your life.

    Overall, I found If You Could Be Mine thoughtful and well-written, with fully developed characters and socially relevant storylines. I liked the insight into underground queer culture in Iran. I would have rather seen a sweet ending, or a bitter ending, rather than a bittersweet one, but I'm glad Sahar was able to make the choices she did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Love in the Time of Global Warming

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Francesca Lia Block
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Her life by the sea in ruins, Pen has lost everything in the Earth Shaker that all but destroyed the city of Los Angeles. She sets out into the wasteland to search for her family, her journey guided by a tattered copy of Homer’s Odyssey. Soon she begins to realize her own abilities and strength as she faces false promises of safety, the cloned giants who feast on humans, and a madman who wishes her dead. On her voyage, Pen learns to tell stories that reflect her strange visions, while she and her fellow survivors navigate the dangers that lie in wait. In her signature style, Francesca Lia Block has created a world that is beautiful in its destruction and as frightening as it is lovely.

    Pamela says: "Wow, what a disappointment"
    "A Homeric Dystoperiffic Dreamland"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh, Francesca Lia Block, never change.

    To be completely honest, I didn't even read the description for this book, so I had no idea what it was actually about until I started listening.

    She wonderfully infuses grim dystopia with fairy dust. Love In The Time of Global Warming is a pretty straightforward retelling of the Odyssey, with (as usual, for her) a cast of teenagers, and mad scientists for villains.

    It's lush, there's no better word to describe the writing. Smearing fairy dust under your eyes. Richly detailed.

    I was never scared - I know the story of the Odyssey, but I loved the diversity of the cast, though at times it was a little too perfect. Block always makes sure to include the weird kids and the queer kids, and this book has them all in spades. I love that she breaks from heteronormativity and writes as if it matters without queerness being the focal point of the story. The journey about love is the story, about remembering your family, and how to get home.

    Julia Whalen was a wonderful choice to narrate this dreamland. She gets the dreamy parts, and the exciting parts just right. She never breaks from Pen's truth.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Brian Donovan
    • Narrated By Ax Norman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1022)
    Performance
    (897)
    Story
    (901)

    Forty million people in the US have tried Internet dating, which means 40 million people have probably gone on some pretty crappy dates. Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters is about one guy who experienced more than his fair share. Brian Donovan, a writer and comedian whose work has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, NPR, and Chapelle's Show, has been on over 100 Internet dates in a genuine search for love and happiness.

    Erin - Audible says: "Dating in New York is a Horrible Crapshoot."
    "Dating in New York is a Horrible Crapshoot."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I pre-ordered Not a Match because like many twenty-somethings living in the New York metropolitan area, I have tried internet dating. It's the the only way I to meet people and successfully filter out the creeps and crazies 100% of 75% of the time. If the cosmopolitan mating call of dark, expensive cocktail soaked lounges with too-loud music after 9 doesn't appeal to you, and for some reason your best friend's mother won't set you up with a nice Jewish boy... yeah, the internet is where its at. There are a lot of sites, a lot of members, a lot of weirdos, a lot of liars, and somewhere... SOMEWHERE... is your perfect match.

    Just do the math. Literally. Brian Donovan wrote an equation for you (kind of.)

    I've been on a lot of disastrous, semi-disastrous, or dull dates (and will likely go on many more), and I wish they'd been half as entertaining as Brian Donovan. His prose is sardonic, his wit dry, and his writing style entertaining.

    Ax Norman was a great narrator; effusive where necessary, sarcastic in the right spots. He embodied the voice of Donovan's New York-style of storytelling very well. I kept reaching for my coffee thinking it was a cocktail and remembering I was in the office, and not a bar in the village, on a first date, listening to his stories.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Nightmare Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mindee Arnett
    • Narrated By Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder. Then Eli's dream comes true.

    Erin - Audible says: "Gave up pretty quickly in"
    "Gave up pretty quickly in"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has a great premise, and I want to try again in dead tree format.

    I couldn't handle Cassandra Morris' narration - the stereotypical teen girl voice is like nails on a chalkboard for me, and I just wanted to smack her.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heirs and Graces: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1331)
    Performance
    (1196)
    Story
    (1186)

    As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable light murder mystery"
    "Fun! Again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Can we talk about what a wonderful narrator Katherine Kellgren is? She just never drops the ball. Ever. Each recurring character is precisely the same as they have been in each previous book.

    I love this series. It's pure historical fun. Heirs and Graces has a neat twist ending (with Georgie ending up rescued by someone other than Darcy, hooray!), and delightful caricatures of British nobility.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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