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Julia

COSTA MESA, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 80 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Things I Wish I'd Known

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Linda Green
    • Narrated By Suzy Aitchison
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    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
  • 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
    (32)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    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
    (20)
    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
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    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
  • Thinking of You

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jill Mansell
    • Narrated By Julia Barrie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (39)

    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
  • Rumour Has It

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jill Mansell
    • Narrated By Annie Aldington
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (58)

    When newly single Tilly Cole impulsively quits her London job for a fresh start in the small town of Roxborough she finds she's arrived in a hotbed of gossip, intrigue and rampant rivalry for the most desirable men. Tilly has no intention of joining in - she's just happy with her new Girl Friday job. Then she meets Jack Lucas.

    Courtney says: "Entertaining"
    "Great Small Town Story with Lots of Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is the story of 4 parallel lives (families) in a small town.

    Tilly has quit her London job and takes a Girl Friday job in a remote town where she knows only one person. She navigates work, love, friends, and social life in her new small town community.

    Tilly's boss, Max, has a family of 3, including a lively 13 year daughter. The dynamics of his whole family's work, school, and romantic relationships intertwine with Tilly's life in an intriguing, frustrating, and often heart-warming way.

    Tilly's best friend Erin's life takes a turn that includes love and the most unlikely and challenging friendship anyone could imagine.

    Tilly's befriends Jack, her boss's colleague, who on the surface is a charmer with a bad reputation, but Jack has a story of his own.


    I love Jill Mansell's style. It is peppered with humor and sarcasm. Hearing the characters' internal dialog as each twist in plot happens is hilarious! Mansell reminds me a lot of Sophie Kinsella, my fav author. This book moves quickly with lots of dialog, and that's what made it so much fun to listen to for me. Good one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • And One Last Thing...

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2798)
    Performance
    (2153)
    Story
    (2150)

    Lacey Terwilliger's shock and humiliation over her husband's philandering prompt her to add some bonus material to Mike's company newsletter: stunning Technicolor descriptions of the special brand of "administrative support" his receptionist gives him. The detailed mass e-mail to Mike's family, friends, and clients blows up in her face, and before one can say "instant urban legend", Lacey has become the pariah of her small Kentucky town and a media punch line....

    Ducky says: "For me this was such a HOOT!!!"
    "Everyone is Right! It's Hilarious!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I chose this book because of all the great reviews, and I wasn't disappointed. The description sounds kinda cheesy, and I guess it's an accurate plot summary, but let me tell you...Molly Harper executes on the plot with amazing wit! Imagine the day-to-day repurcussions of sending a scathing email that goes viral, and becoming reluctantly infamous for it. Great premise, great story, hilarious throughout, GREAT narration! loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Don't Make Me Choose Between You and My Shoes

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Dixie Cash
    • Narrated By Peggity Price
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (99)

    In this rollicking tale, best-selling author Dixie Cash - author of My Heart May Be Broken but My Hair Still Looks Great - sets Salt Lick's own sleuthing cosmetologists on a collision course with the Big Apple. On an all-expenses-paid trip to a New York PI convention, the Texas Tornadoes hope to do some serious shopping. But that's before they stumble across a serial killer.

    Julia says: "Silly but Decent Plot"
    "Silly but Decent Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book was a bit silly, the theme of humor was the contrast of country Texans in NYC. Kinda like Thelma and Louise meets the Beverly Hillbillies meets the Hardy Boys.The plot had long slow built up, but for me it was worth hanging in there…toward the climax, I couldn't put it down…or, uh…whatever the audio equivalent is. Great narration!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Gilbert
    Overall
    (4793)
    Performance
    (1437)
    Story
    (1449)

    Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. She got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. This is the absorbing chronicle of that year.

    Kerry says: "Witty and Wonderful"
    "Travel and Healing - Enjoyed the Travel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this chronicle of a woman's year of travel and healing. My favorite parts were the history and first-hand accounts of each local culture and the life stories of the friends she made along the way.

    The healing seemed like a series of mind-games she played with herself, but hey - it seemed to work for her. I didn't find it narcissistic at all, I found it fascinating to get in someone's deepest thoughts like this.

    Serious theme, but with many, many light-hearted and funny moments, some even laugh-out-loud.

    But the story left me feeling unsatisfied at the end.

    Also, it took me a while to get used the sleepy-sounding style of narrating, but I grew to love the narration, filled with animated accents of the other characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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