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Lulu

ratings
962
REVIEWS
165
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
229
HELPFUL VOTES
789

  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6309)
    Performance
    (5605)
    Story
    (5601)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "A Wordy Yawn of a Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book came out to rave reviews. Everyone said I had to read it, including people who's book judgement I usually trust. I've even seen it show up on a couple of those "100 Books to Read Before You Die" lists. Yet after reading the synopsis I was pretty certain this book would not appeal to me. I got so tired of hearing about it that when it went on sale on Audible I bought it. Even though I was pretty certain I wouldn't care for it. Then it sat in my library for about six months until I was at a point between books and I was tired of alternating between fictional fluff and non-fiction. I decided I needed to read something with pretensions to literature. So I listened to it. Or at least all but about the last two hours and then I skimmed through that. And, I hated it.

    If after reading I found I just didn't care for the book, I would have moved on and not reviewed it. But it isn't just that I didn't care for the book ... didn't like the genre, the subject, etc. ... I thought the book was very poorly written and terribly dull. This is a great example of an author who thinks - "why use five words when I can use thirty" - on a phrase that can be sufficiently expressed using two. I understood that the circus tents were black and white stripped after only being told that once. I am even OK with the author reminding me of that fact another 10-15 times. But by about the fiftieth time I have to hear about the black and white stripped tents, I've lost patience.

    The word that best describes the book to me is - languid. Stultifyingly, painfully, laboriously, dully languid. Unfortunately, I am not the author of the book, so I can't come up with another 30 words to express just how languid I found the pace of this book.

    The narrator was great. Unfortunately he had very little to work with.



    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Molly Cannon
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Etta Green kissed Everson, Texas, goodbye years ago. A big city chef, she intends to return only long enough to settle her beloved grandmother's estate and then hightail it back to Chicago. But Grammy Hazel had other plans. In her will, she left Etta part-ownership of a B&B that's about to go bankrupt before it even opens. And what's worse - Etta's partner is Donny Joe Ledbetter, a handsome devil with some serious bad-boy charm.

    Lulu says: "Disappointed"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was not a bad book. Parts of it were enjoyable. It just didn't last. The narration was very good. But I listened to this author's debut book Ain't Misbehavin and thought it was an incredibly well written, entertaining, unique book. The characters were all well developed and quite eccentric. While they were easily recognizable as a certain type of character - a proud, native Texan from a small town, they weren't stereotypical or a caricature of the species.

    I don't usually like books that focus on characters from a specific region or heritage. The author usually goes into overkill making the characters the epitome of the obnoxious Texan, or New Jerseyian or Italian, or whatever. That just makes the characters sound stupid and should be insulting to someone who comes from that region or shares that heritage. The author avoided this in Ain't Misbehavin. She doesn't in Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

    I felt the characters in this book were not nearly as well developed. And when their actions seemed unbelievable, they weren't just quirky - they really were unbelievable. And they were just too Texan, from good ole boy name of the hero to the fact that every other scene takes place in the same honky tonk. Even the narrator, who is a favorite of mine seemed to spread the Texas a little too thickly. I never understood why Donny Joe was a partner with Etta's grandmother in the B&B. And I certainly didn't understand why everyone seemed to think of Etta's sister's desertion of her only child as only irritating. It went beyond irritating. It not only made Etta's sister Belle a completely unlikeable character with no redeeming qualities, it made Etta less likeable. Her reaction to her sister's actions was so mild it made me think almost as poorly of Etta as it did Belle.

    Finally, this book lacked the humor and warmth of Ain't MIsbehavin. I didn't find the characters funny, engaging or particularly likeable. It is hard to like a book if you don't like the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Corinthian

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Georgina Sutton
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    The accomplished Corinthian Sir Richard Wyndham is wealthy, sophisticated, handsome ,and supremely bored. Tired of his aristocratic family constantly pressuring him to get married, he determines to run away after meeting the delightful, unconventional heroine Penelope Creed. Penelope - literally - falls into his life late one night as she hangs from the window of her aunt's house - she too attempting to escape the pressures of forced marriage.

    Carol says: "Fun on the Run"
    "The Heyer Genre I Don't Particularly Like"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Every so often Heyer wrote a novel that was essentially about a journey, usually dealing with a serious but misunderstood hero who comes across as aloof but is really a hopeless romantic and a scatterbrained heroine who is wise beyond her years and is exactly who the hero has always wanted, even if they didn't know it. Or the scatterbrained female is young and she leads our hero to back to his faithful one true love. Sprig Muslin and the Foundling are two examples. This is another. It was just so formulaic I was frustrated reading it. If it was the first time I read this plot, I would have enjoyed it. But I've read it too many times before.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Vienna Waltz: Malcolm & Suzanne Rannoch, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Teresa Grant
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    Europe's elite have gathered at the glittering Congress of Vienna--princes, ambassadors, the Russian tsar--all negotiating the fate of the continent by day and pursuing pleasure by night. Until Princess Tatiana, the most beautiful and talked about woman in Vienna, is found murdered during an ill-timed rendezvous with three of her most powerful conquests… Suzanne Rannoch has tried to ignore rumors that her new husband, Malcolm, has also been tempted by Tatiana.

    Lulu says: "A Very Frustrating Intro to a Frustrating Series"
    "A Very Frustrating Intro to a Frustrating Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not sure why this author made reading this series so confusing. I enjoyed quite a bit about this book but the entire time I was reading it I knew that there was a great deal of background fact that I knew nothing about, so chunks of this story made very little sense. The gaping holes meant I had difficulty following the plot and understanding the characters.

    So I went to her website hoping there would be a FAQ or some other section that would explain what I clearly didn't get. That made it even more confusing. I discovered that the book I was listening to, which Audible labeled Malcom and Suzanne Rannoch Book 1, was originally written as Charles and Melanie Fraser Book 3, although chronologically it was Book 1, except for a new prequel that was just released. There was an attempt to address the character name change - some publisher issue, but that really didn't help, since it seems she continues to refer to Charles and Melanie on the website. The website has "letters" written between Charles and Melanie and a few other characters. I thought they might fill in some of the background, but like the books, they are not published in chronological order and it looks like many are no longer available. I then read the prequel about how Malcom and Suzanne or Charles and Melanie met and married, but it was written after Vienna Waltz and the explanation in the prequel doesn't match the information in Vienna Waltz.

    I finished this book and started the next book in the series. But I don't know that I will finish it. I enjoyed Vienna Waltz, but there was just too much I didn't understand, it was too difficult to follow and the writer seems intent on intentionally keeping the series confusing. I think it will take way too much effort to read this series and it isn't well enough written to go through the hassle.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Line: Witching Savannah, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By J. D. Horn
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (426)
    Performance
    (389)
    Story
    (388)

    To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South. Despite being powerless herself, of course. Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content.

    Robin in Vermont says: "Great new series!"
    "Good First Effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fairly strong debut. The series has promise. It seemed slightly disorganized at the beginning, as if the author thought the reader already had quite a bit of background knowledge. But eventually it made sense. Then the climax got a little jumbled. But while it seemed pretty obvious that Mercy's sister wasn't was saintly as we were led to believe, the author did surprise me with the other villain. If there were a lot of clues, I missed them. And some of his actions prior to the big reveal didn't make much sense in hindsight. But the fact that I was surprised at the big reveal, shows the author has some promise. I am not dying to get my hands on the next book in the series. But I will definitely read it. And I expect it to be an even better experience. The narration was kind of a non-issue and that is a good thing. It didn't overpower the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lost Lake

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Sarah Addison Allen
    • Narrated By Janet Metzger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (344)
    Story
    (340)

    The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future. That was half a lifetime ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband, George, is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone.

    Jen says: "Pure Sarah Addison Allen"
    "A Sweet Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not usually a fan of "sweet" fiction. And while I will read some fantasy, I don't really care for unexplained magic. But every time I pick up a book by Sarah Addison Allen, I know, without understanding why, that I will like it. Typically, a lot. I can't explain why I don't find her books saccharine-y annoying and why I tolerate random acts of magic with no explanation. I just do. She writes genuinely, with obvious care and respect for her characters. And she gives them just enough historical sorrow and difficulty so they are human. I tolerate their uber-sweetness and goodness because there is something terrible in their background they didn't deserve.

    I loved the characters in this book. Especially Eby and Devon. And I loved the way the plot meandered to the expected but still very satisfying end. There is something magical about this author's writing. And that is probably why I tolerate the magic in her books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Secondhand Spirits: A Witchcraft Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Juliet Blackwell
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (658)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (607)

    Lily Ivory hopes for a normal life when she opens Aunt Cora's Closet. With her magical knack for vintage fashion - she can sense vibrations of the past from clothing and jewelry - her store becomes a big hit. But when a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area, Lily may be the only one who can unravel the crime.

    Sherry says: "Witches and fashion - what's not to like!"
    "Liked Book --- Disliked Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an enjoyable, easy read. Not at the level of Molly Harper's or Elizabeth Hunter's books, but definitely worth the time. If this series was narrated by someone other than Xe Sands, I would have already purchased the next two books in the series. Instead, if I decide to read the rest of the series later on, I will buy the ebook versions.

    I like Xe Sands narration style. But it works with specific books. And it didn't work on this book. She is too monotone, relaxed and breathy.. She sounded world weary and worn out. She didn't narrate this she read it. And she sounded like Siri as she read it. I actually fell asleep listening to her.

    This book needed someone with passion and attitude narrating. As the main character was contemplating the strong possibility that she might have to sacrifice her own life, she sounded bored.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2339)
    Performance
    (2173)
    Story
    (2168)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Great Characters, Convuluted Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The character development in this series is wonderful. I want to know Cormoran and Robin personally. They are both complex and fascinating, although it takes longer to appreciate Robin's depth than it does Cormoran's. He ranks as one of the best detective characters in this genre. And in this book, the secondary characters of the murder victim's wife and daughter were an added bonus. They were both so quirky and in many ways difficult to love that they became quite endearing.

    However, I thought the plot in the first book in the series was somewhat convoluted. Unfortunately it becomes even more so in the second book. There was just too much going on and the murder was so over the top as to be unbelievable. The author expects a great deal of the reader and in many ways I appreciate that. I like books that make me think and pay close attention. But this plot goes beyond that. And the plot would have been better told and more understandable if the book was only about 75% of its length. Way too much clutter.

    I will continue to read this series because I love the main characters and am enjoying getting to know them. But I hope future books rely more on the characters and less on fantastical and implausible story lines.

    The narration continues to be spot on. I recommend this book. But be prepared to be confused and read it when you have the time to follow the complicated plot closely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thirty Postcards Away

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Sara Ventas, Erica Mena (translator)
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Will Damron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    Love is just an elevator ride away . . . Sofia isn’t exactly running away from love, but she has other priorities. Still, she can’t help but notice her new neighbor, Jamie, in the elevator every morning. Her first impression tells her he’s totally type-A and way too serious to be any fun at all. But try as she might, Sofia can’t deny that he’s tall, well-dressed, and handsome - and he smells so good. What Sofia doesn’t know is that Jamie’s been wondering about her, too. He can’t seem to get her out of his mind.

    Jessica says: "A sweet casual chick lit romance"
    "Surprisingly Enjoyable Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't have great expectations when I started reading this book. I knew nothing about it, beyond that it was a translated book by a Spanish author. I thought the love story was touching and uniquely told. I appreciated the well-developed characters. I got a little frustrated with the thick-headedness of the heroine in the last 1/3 of the book. But she got over it and the postcards redeemed the end.

    I thought the narration was very good as well. I really recommend this book and hope I get additional opportunities to read this author's work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sweet Spot

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Stephanie Evanovich
    • Narrated By Katie Schorr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it's love at first sight. While Amanda can't help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god build, he doesn't have a chance of getting to first - or any other - base with her. A successful entrepreneur who built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn't need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn't interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates.

    Lulu says: "Lightweight, Fun Read"
    "Lightweight, Fun Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this before the first book in this series, Big Girl Panties. I am glad I did because if I had read Big Girl Panties first, I would not have read this book. Even though Amanda and Chase were the only likeable characters in Big Girl Panties, I was so frustrated with that book I never would have picked this one up.

    Throughout most of The Sweet Spot, Amanda and Chase are an enjoyable couple to get to know. I had a couple of issues with Amanda. First, she is originally developed as a strong-willed, independent, ambitious and successful woman. As she falls for Chase, all of those strengths seem to disappear. I understand that being in a relationship with such a famous person might necessitate changes in her career and personal time priorities, but her change was far more dramatic than that. I also think that the author used the couple's mild "kink" as the excuse for this dramatic personality change. Which seemed terribly judgmental, narrow-minded and unrealistic to me. Finally, I thought her handling of the crisis was entirely out of character of the woman she is in the first half of this book.

    In spite of this, I still enjoyed the book. Parts of it were quite humorous and as inconsistently written and as disappointing as Amanda was, by the end of the book, Chase was a well developed and consistently portrayed character.

    The narration was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Big Girl Panties: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Stephanie Evanovich
    • Narrated By Katie Schorr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (128)

    Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich is a rollicking and poignant romantic comedy about a young widow who decides to get in shape...and winds up getting her groove back - and a whole lot more! Holly Brennan used food to comfort herself through her husband's illness and death. Now she's alone at age 32. And she weighs more than she ever has. When fate throws her in the path of Logan Montgomery, personal trainer to pro athletes, and he offers to train her, Holly concludes it must be a sign. Much as she dreads the thought of working out, Holly knows she needs to put on her big girl panties and see if she can sweat out some of her grief.

    Judith D. Collins says: "Full of Humor and Life Lessons!"
    "Dislike-able "Hero""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really disliked the main male character in this book. I found him incredibly shallow. It seemed all he had going for him was his good looks. And if that is all that there was that made Logan lovable to Holly, then that diminished my opinion of her. I actually enjoyed her character through most of the book, but the way she got revenge also lowered my opinion of her as well.

    I wanted to be happy for Holly because she successfully changed her life for the better. Instead, in some ways her life became as shallow as his.

    This book sent a very clear message about the negativity of obesity and made me believe that the author truly feels that someone who has struggled with weight her entire life is unworthy to be loved. It also attempted to make the male character's prejudices seem acceptable. And they are not. He was the one unworthy of love. Not her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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