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Julia

COSTA MESA, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 97 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • Thinking of You

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jill Mansell
    • Narrated By Julia Barrie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (40)

    Jem has headed off to university, leaving single mum Ginny with a severe case of empty-nest syndrome. To make matters worse, the first gorgeous man she's clapped eyes on in years has just accused Ginny of shoplifting. She decides to advertise for a lodger, but what she gets is lovelorn Laurel, who can only talk about her ex-boyfriend. But Laurel has a dangerously charming brother, Perry, and with the offer of a great new job on top of that, things seem to be looking up.

    Elizabeth says: "Great mother and daughter story"
    "Entertaining but Other Mansell Books are Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book, but glad it wasn’t the first Jill Mansell book I've listened to...I like the others a lot more. In this one, there's a bit of a theme betrayal, and some of the male characters are real jerks. These themes are not common to Mansell's writing…I'm glad!

    Having said that, hearing the internal conversations in the minds of the mother and daughter are hilarious - wanting some things so badly, but trying to play it cool on the outside - funny in a slightly neurotic, awkward, Bridget Jones-y way.

    One thing the publisher's description doesn't really make clear is that about half the book is about Jem's adventures in college, the other half is about Ginny's life as an empty-nester. The two story lines intersect and then veer off again in a fun way.

    The Jem scenes remind me of my college days, and the Ginny scenes make me picture what life will be like when my kids are all grown. Both fun places to visit via fiction!

    The plot is not predictable at all, lots of twists and turns -good!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lizzie Jordan's Secret Life

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Chris Manby
    • Narrated By Julie Maisey
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Lizzie Jordan considers herself one of life’s failures. Unlike her high-flying friends, Lizzie works as a typist, shares a grubby flat and “makes do” with her accountant boyfriend. But she has a secret love – Brian, a handsome American that she dated at university, five years ago. In her emails to him she pretends her life is a whirl of extravagant parties and million-pound business deals.

    Julia says: "Pretty Good, Has a Sequel"
    "Pretty Good, Has a Sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    First, I'd like to point out that this book has a sequel "Running Away from Richard" which I wish I would've known so I could listen to them in order. I liked the sequel a lot.

    The publisher's summary over simplifies the plot of this book. The first fourth of the book tells the story of 4 college friends at Oxford, college life, and the romance that develops between Lizzie and Brian. It's background for the rest of the book, but I found this part of it very entertaining and enjoyable.

    Then we move forward 5 years and meet 27 year old Lizzie, who is not thrilled with how her life is turning out. This includes some funny scenes with her messy flat, neurotic roommates, broke boyfriend, and lackluster job (secretly hoping, for example, that her boss doesn't make any sales so she doesn't have to do the resulting work.)

    She paints a much more successful picture of her life to long distance friend Brian, and scrambles to figure out what to do when he visits. She has gotten herself into a sticky situation.

    The extent of her lies to Brian were a little overdone for me, and at times I found myself thinking she deserved to be found out rather than rooting for her to pull it off. If you can get past that (fairly major) detail and just enjoy the unraveling of her plan, it's fun to see what happens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Christmas List

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Chrissie Manby
    • Narrated By Rebecca Courtney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    It’s the 1st of December and Milly Arnold is facing a miserable Noel. Newly single, the last thing she wants to do is join her settled sister and her young family for the first of their traditions: the writing of the Christmas lists. However Milly’s nephews have other ideas and insist she write a list of her own (with illustrations to help Father Christmas decipher her terrible handwriting). Milly duly makes a request for a bunch of roses, some chocolate and a new pair of shoes. She doesn’t expect to get any of it. However, that very day, a box of chocolates appears....

    Erin says: "Short, Sweet Christmas Story"
    "Light Fun Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a nice light fun romance with a touch of mystery to it. It's a short book, but I don't regret using up a credit on it. I found it entertaining from start to finish. It does end a bit abruptly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Sarra Manning
    • Narrated By Julie Maisey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    Girls like Neve Slater don’t get gorgeous guys like William. But William’s been in L A for three years, and Neve’s been slimming down in preparation for his return. Then her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she's an experienced love-goddess then she’d better get some experience - a man to show her the ropes, like Celia’s colleague Max. And since he’s not Neve’s type, she certainly won’t fall for him...

    Aimee says: "I do have to say I love this book"
    "Top of My Favorites List`"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I love funny chit lit, just about all I listen to, and this book is at the top of my list! It is absolutely witty and laugh out loud funny in some spots. Best use of humor I've seen in any book in this category. The characters are so relatable and lovable, and while romance is the focus of the plot, it's fun to get lost in all aspects of the main character's life - work, social, family, neighbors, diet, health.

    It's nice and long, in a I'm-so-glad-I'm-not-getting-close-to-the-end kinda way!

    Can't wait to pick out my next Sarra Manning and Julie Maisey books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Pamela Druckerman
    • Narrated By Abby Craden
    Overall
    (735)
    Performance
    (647)
    Story
    (640)

    The secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children is here. When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't aspire to become a "French parent". French parenting isn't a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren't doing anything special. But French children are far better behaved and more in command of themselves than American kids....

    Emily - Audible says: "Inspiring"
    "Love It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    When I read the description of this book, I thought it sounded like a selfish parent's guide to parenting. But a good friend loved it, so I gave it a chance.

    Wow, was it eye opening! Instead of seeing the French parenting style as selfish, I see the benefits of adding more structure to the daily routine and meals, can laugh at an outside perspective on the hyper competitiveness we Americans have in sports and academics, and most of all - in one week I have let go of a great deal of guilt I carry for doing anything for myself. I see the great value in letting the kids just explore for long periods of time, and the value of letting them get bored and learn to be patient.

    This book is light and entertaining, reads like a novel. The narrator is fantastic!

    I'm now listening to it a second time. Can't wait to try out a lot of these techniques!

    Oh, and I'm now laughing at all the commercials on kids TV and ads for kids activities that boast to help your child "get ahead", "get a head start", etc. Sheesh - what is the big hurry anyway??

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gifted and Talented

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Wendy Holden
    • Narrated By Suzy Aitchison
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    It's the new university term among the dreaming spires. The start of a whole new life. Meet Isabel, beautiful, clever, shy - and leaving home for the first time. Meet Olly, recently graduated, idealistic and a little hopeless, a man whose heart leads his brain and for whom opportunity just hasn't come knocking - yet. Meet Amber, the It girl who is soon partying with the fast set - and no-one is faster than Jasper de Borchy, glamorous leader of the notorious Bullinger club.

    Julia says: "Loved it!"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book grabbed me right from the beginning, I couldn't "put it down". I really felt invested in the plights of all of the characters. 4 main characters: Isabelle, college freshman, Diana, recently divorced, with new job, new neighborhood, new school for her daughter, Richard, recently widowed American, relocated to UK for a fresh start, Ollie, recent college grad, struggling to find his first "real" job in a depressed job market. There is an element of starting over for all the characters, but none turn out exactly as they expect. There are several other minor characters I fell in love with as well.

    The only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is that the antagonist characters are a little over the top, unrealistically pure bad. If you get to the middle and find yourself irritated with how bad the "bad guys" are, stick with it, as the actual plot stays good till the end!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gap Year for Grownups

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Annie Sanders
    • Narrated By Suzy Aitchison
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    After 20 years of comfortable marriage, and with the kids finally off her hands, Sarah Lewis realises she has filled the washing machine once too often. Surely there must be more to life than this? What she wants is an adventure - a wild, unpredictable adventure - but her husband, good old reliable David, is very happy with the status quo. What Sarah needs is a gap year for grown-ups - and she wants to do it alone.

    Bree says: "Disappointing"
    "Hooked from Chapter One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is about the 5th Annie Sanders book I've read. The plot - as with all her books - is great - got me interested right from the beginning and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. I love her style of alternating points of view each chapter! There are parallel stories of Sarah, David, and Claire, all interwoven together. Sarah and David are 40 ish and Claire is 19 ish. If you've ever daydreamed about giving up the responsible day to day existence of work, dinner, chores, predictable social life, to pursue your dreams and passions, this book will walk you down one outcome of that path. Loved it! PS - I almost didn't read this because another reviewer described it as depressing, but I didn't find any of it depressing - the challenges and relationship struggles are the drama that make it so intense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Apocalipstick

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Sue Margolis
    • Narrated By Sue Margolis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    From the No1 Bestselling author who brought you Gucci Gucci Co, Neurotica and A Catered Affair comes a hilarious new novel about falling in love, hating your job, and getting what you want out of life - without ever smudging your lipstick! When it comes to men, beauty columnist Rebecca Fine always seems to be on the scruffy end of the mascara wand. But all that changes the morning she meets Max Stoddart, her new colleague at the Daily Vanguard.

    Myrtha says: "Awful Performance!"
    "Just Couldn't Get Into It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The writing is very funny, but the plot didn't hold my attention. I've tried listening to this over and over for months, and I end up daydreaming, then eventually turn it off. I finally just gave up and am looking for a new book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • And Then it Happened

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Linda Green
    • Narrated By Suzie Aitcheson
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Mel Taylor was thirteen years old when she found her Mr Right. Twenty years on they remain blissfully in love. She has the man she adores, a gorgeous daughter, a great job and a dream home. But Mel's seemingly perfect life is spoilt by a dark secret and a niggling fear that her good fortune can't last for ever. Despite her husband Adam telling her to live for the present and stop worrying about the future, Mel can't shake the feeling that someone is about to call time on their happiness. And then it happens.

    Leisha says: "HAVENT YET FININSHED BUT LOVE THIS STORY"
    "Tragedy is Main Theme"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Wow - this book was not at all what I expected. It is a story of an unfathomable catastrophe that happens to a family of 3 - Mel, Adam, and 4-year old daughter Maya. The family is put to the test and defines a whole new level of level and commitment.

    Based on my last read of Linda Green ("Things I Wish I'd Known", awesome book!), I expected a story of intrigue with a bit of humor - well, there is some humor in this book, but it is dark humor. The primary story line is very sad. For me, having a husband and 4 year old daughter myself - it was just too depressing to put my head in this family's life.

    Having said that - if you enjoy the inspiration of undying love and commitment, of rebuilding your life after tragedy, this book will not disappoint. I could not wait to see what happened next.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Things I Wish I'd Known

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Linda Green
    • Narrated By Suzy Aitchison
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    When Claire Cooper was 15 she'd swear on her Wham! album that: big hair and rah-rah skirts were here to stay; Spandau Ballet would never split up; she would marry her idol, heart-throb footballer Andy Pailes. Fast forward 20 years and things haven't gone quite to plan. And when Claire discovers the 'dream list' she wrote as a teenager, she realises how far removed her life is from the one she'd imagined.

    Julia says: "Suspenseful - Great Plot"
    "Suspenseful - Great Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is one of my favorite audio books!

    The timeline jumps back and forth between the 15 year old Claire in 1985 and 38 year old Claire in present day.

    15 year old Claire has the rare privilege of meeting a local celebrity on whom she has a teen crush. That meeting sparks a turn of events that impacts the rest of her life as well as those around her. As the layers of the story unravel, you see how the events in her teenage life shape her as an adult. Now she has a chance to meet him again. Two adults on a more equal playing field. Fascinating dynamic.

    It is a story of friendship, love, family, career, adolescent dreams, and the reality of adulthood.

    Great plot - not predictable at all. The suspense is built skillfully... I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Great humorous moments. This is not a standard chick lit romance - much more substance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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