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Jessica Stewart

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SAVOY, IL, US | Member Since 2012

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 143 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • 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
    (5218)
    Performance
    (4810)
    Story
    (4815)

    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"
    "Over too soon!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This book enthralls you quickly, for the first half of the book, I wasn't sure what direction the story was going in (and this was a good thing!) Wonderful storytelling, great narration, very unique topic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The boy's character and point of view.


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

    His accent, the voice inflections, the pauses and tone HE, as the author, wanted us to hear.


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

    It was a little shocking at the beginning, because I have not read Neil Gaiman before, so I was unsure of the genre.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish it was longer!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Original Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Dorothea Benton Frank
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (225)

    Leslie Anne Greene Carter is the Last Original Wife among her husband Wesley's wildly successful Atlanta social set. His cronies have all traded in the mothers of their children they promised to love and cherish - till death did them part - for tanned-and-toned young Barbie brides. If losing the social life and close friends she adored wasn't painful enough, a series of setbacks shake Les's world and push her to the edge. She's had enough of playing the good wife to a husband who thinks he's doing her a favor keeping her around. Now, she's going to take some time forherself - in the familiar comforts and stunning beauty of Charleston, her beloved hometown.

    Judith D. Collins says: "Full of Sass and Southern Humor - Loved it!"
    "Great Book and Amazing Voice Acting!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Last Original Wife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would say this is one of the top books I've listened to because the story was interesting and funny and the voice actor was amazing! She could read the dictionary and leave you unable to put it down.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Les...She became a strong woman who finally went after what she deserved and wanted.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The early therapist scenes with Wes. His mindset is so self focused it's hilarious


    If you could take any character from The Last Original Wife out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Harlin for his wonderful sense of style and historical knowledge.


    Any additional comments?

    I will be reading all of this author's other works. I'm so happy to have discovered her. I've always been a fan of Anne Rivers Siddons and was looking for a similar author. They have different narrative styles but both make Charleston and the south seem magical.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Time of the Twins: Dragonlance: Legends, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman
    • Narrated By Ax Norman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (178)

    Sequestered in the blackness of the dreaded Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas, surrounded by nameless creatures of evil, Raistlin Majere weaves a plan to conquer the darkness - to bring it under his control. Crysania, a beautiful and devoted cleric of Paladine, tries to use her faith to lead Raistlin from the darkness. She is blind to his shadowed designs, and he draws her slowly into his neatly woven trap. Made aware of Raistlin’s plan, a distraught Caramon travels back in time to the doomed city of Istar in the days before the Cataclysm.

    Matthew says: "TERRIBLE, Passionless, and Dry Narration"
    "Jump right into this series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Time of the Twins again? Why?

    Yes, as Raistlin is my favorite character, you learn more and more about him, the good, the bad, the heart wrenching.


    What three words best describe Ax Norman’s performance?

    uninspiring, bland, not in character


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

    Listened to this book in record time, written well, couldn't wait to hear more from Raistlin.


    Any additional comments?

    I jumped over to this series right after Dragonlance Chronicles 3rd book. The story line flows right to this series. Now, I don't really have any plans to go back and read the 4th book in the Chronicles series though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Dale McGowan
    • Narrated By Milton Bagby
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (44)

    Its hard enough to live a secular life in a religious world. And bringing up children without religious influence can be even more daunting. Despite the difficulties, a large and growing number of parents are choosing to raise their kids without religion.In Parenting Beyond Belief, Dale McGowan celebrates the freedom that comes with raising kids without formal indoctrination and advises parents on the most effective way to raise freethinking children.

    Melissa says: "I'm so glad I found this book"
    "Starts good, ends a bit off course"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Parenting Beyond Belief the most enjoyable?

    It gave some really practical, hands on examples on ways to raise a child in a secular household.


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

    No


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    That it is likely a child will receive harsh or negative criticism from other children about the fact that they don't go to church or believe in God.


    Any additional comments?

    The last couple chapters seemed to stray from the practical how to's and spoke about secular topics in general, and at length (evolution/Darwin for example). I did like the different viewpoints and methods it discussed though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1656)
    Performance
    (1443)
    Story
    (1459)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    mj says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "A good read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Flight Behavior rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rank this book in the top 10%. The author reads it, her accent and slow southern rhythms really add to the story. Excellent writing and character development.


    What other book might you compare Flight Behavior to and why?

    It is similar to The Prodigal Summer, both take place in the south, involve a nature aspect, family life, church and southern culture, and strong female characters. I would rank Prodigal Summer a bit higher then this one for the story. I felt like there was too much 'science' at times that certain character plots got dropped along the way, but overall a very enjoyable read.


    What about Barbara Kingsolver’s performance did you like?

    Her accent and pace.


    If you could take any character from Flight Behavior out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Dovey. She reminds me of myself.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Bluegrass Baby

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1511)
    Performance
    (1387)
    Story
    (1373)

    Sadie Hutchins loves her job at the Kentucky Tourism Commission. Not only could her co-workers double as the cast of Parks and Recreation, but she loves finding the unusual sites, hidden gems, and just-plain-odd tourist attractions of her home state. She’s a shoo-in for the director’s job when her boss retires at the end of the year…until hotshot Josh Vaughn shows up to challenge her for the position. Josh is all sophisticated polish while Sadie’s country comfort, and the two have very different ideas of what makes a good campaign.

    Diana Turmenne says: "Made me want to visit Kentucky!"
    "Couldn't finish it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made My Bluegrass Baby better?

    The story is weak. Felt like I was reading a second rate tv sitcom.


    Has My Bluegrass Baby turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes, I need my fiction to be solid, not looking for a beach-read.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Amanda Ronconi’s performances?

    I won't look for her specifically.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prodigal Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (880)
    Performance
    (438)
    Story
    (442)

    Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives in southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches them from an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and her solitary life.

    Lily says: "Amazing!"
    "Wonderful Work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Prodigal Summer?

    The complexity and realness of the characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Nothing I did not like


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

    Poisonwood Bible, I really liked the Prodigal Summer much more. The writing was just as good, but I became much more invested in these characters.


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Truly well written piece of work. Takes place in Appalachia and follows the lives of 4 different individuals. She weaves the culture, vernacular, and landscape into a story that gives you an appreciation of a way of life we probably don't give enough respect to.

    I love that Barbara did the audio her own slow southern accent really adds to the story and I appreciate knowing I am hearing the work as she meant for it to be heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Narrated By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1451)
    Performance
    (1252)
    Story
    (1228)

    A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother....

    Janice says: "I wanted to cheer out loud!"
    "Amazing story telling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Joshilyn Jackson weaves an amazing story. Her characters are all ones we can relate too. This story is told from the perspective of 3 different characters and each one is so true to life! I bought this book to listen to on my commute, but got so hooked on the story and plot, I ended up listening to the entire second half of the book in one weekend!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Big. She has a fiesty screw-you attitude and loves her girls.


    What about Joshilyn Jackson’s performance did you like?

    Since she wrote the book and narrated it, I feel like I am truly hearing as she meant it to be heard.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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