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Maria

Oscoda, MI, United States | Member Since 2013

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 88 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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  • The Third Heiress

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Brenda Joyce
    • Narrated By Mary Jane Wells
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    The Third Heiress. The tragic death of her fiance in a harrowing car accident plunges Jill Gallagher into a dark mystery. His final words to her: "I love you…Kate," force her to realize she neither truly knew this dashing British photographer, nor understood his true motives for being here in America. When she brings his body back to his English family, she enters a world of hostility, suspicion, and closely guarded secrets. Then she finds a century-old photograph of an American heiress named Kate Gallagher who looks remarkably like herself-and who disappeared nearly a century ago.

    Maria says: "Meh... great plot, mediocre delivery"
    "Meh... great plot, mediocre delivery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise behind this novel with its century-old murder mystery was a terrific one. Brilliant, in fact. I love genealogy, so stories like this really catch my interest. But the writing was terrible. The cliches were endless! Not just endless, but repeated over and over and over. I lost track of how many times the main character, Jill, froze, or began shaking, or stood unable to breathe. I think she spent 90% of the book frozen and shaking with fear. None of the characters were very likeable, and the back-and-forth "do I love him, or is he out to kill me" question got old about half-way through the book. Combine that with the narrator's bad/distracting rendition of an American accent, and the result was a pretty disappointing listen. This was my first Brenda Joyce novel and I'm not so sure there will be another one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lyrebird Hill

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Anna Romer
    • Narrated By Eloise Oxer
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Ruby Cardel has the semblance of a normal life – a loving boyfriend, a career she loves – but in one terrible moment, her life begins to unravel. The discovery that the death of her beloved sister, so many years ago, was not the accident she’d always been told makes her question all she’s known about herself. Travelling back home to Lyrebird Hill, the beautiful bushland property where she grew up with her mother and sister, Ruby begins to remember the year that has been blocked in her memory.

    Maria says: "Terrific book!"
    "Terrific book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you love Kate Morton, Belinda Alexandra or other Australian "family drama" authors, this will be right up your alley! I enjoyed it thoroughly, and loved the plot twists and turns. I knocked off a star because it was a little slow in parts, but it didn't distract from the story. It's a little tough to get the flip-flopping from past to present just right, and there were a few times where I wanted the story line to stay on Ruby vs. Brenna, but it was still good. Highly recommend!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Keep Your Friends Close

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Paula Daly
    • Narrated By Colleen Prendergast
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Natty and Sean Wainwright have a rock-solid marriage and family. When their younger daughter falls ill on an overseas school trip, Natty rushes to her side. Luckily, Natty's best friend from college, Eve Dalladay, is visiting and offers to stay with Sean to lend a hand in the Wainwright household. But Natty returns home to find that Sean has fallen in love with Eve. Natty attempts to start anew, but Eve is there to knock her down again.

    Maria says: "A really great book..."
    "A really great book..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. The narrator was great, and the plot held my attention right up until the very end. I have this awful habit of not finishing my audiobooks about a half-hour from the end, because I know exactly how they're written and what happens, and usually by that point I'm bored. But I listened to this one right up until the very last second -- and oddly enough, the ending was a bit stunted and abrupt. Yet still good! I recommend it... terrific mystery and suspenseful drama.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fat Chance

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Nick Spalding
    • Narrated By Heather Wilds, Napoleon Ryan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Meet Zoe and Greg Milton, a married couple who have let themselves go a bit. Zoe was a stunner in her college days, but the intervening decades have added five stone, and removed most of her self-esteem. Greg's rugby-playing days are well and truly behind him, thanks to countless pints of beer and chicken curry. When Elise, a radio DJ and Zoe's best friend, tells them about a new competition, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn their lives around.

    Maria says: "I freakin loved this book!"
    "I freakin loved this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    SO funny!!!! This book was absolutely hilarious. It's one of my favorite books so far this year. I love the writing style, and the voices for both Zoe and Greg were perfect. At first I loved Zoe's part, but then after a few rounds of Greg, I decided his was funnier. There were times where I was doubled over in laughter, tears streaming down my face. The story was witty, sarcastic, poignant and had an overall terrific message. I totally recommend, especially if you like books that make you laugh out loud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love is the Drug

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Alaya Dawn Johnson
    • Narrated By Simone Missick
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect IvyLeague future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC's elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law.

    Maria says: "Not my favorite, couldn't get through it"
    "Not my favorite, couldn't get through it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm the kinda gal who loves "doomer fiction" and this plot was right up my alley! I was very much looking forward to the book. Too bad the execution is a dud. First of all, the narrator is very quiet and monotone and slow -- it almost sounds as if she's reading a relaxing good night story to a toddler. I usually can do well with most narrators, but I found myself daydreaming and drifting away from her voice, continuously having to rewind and play again -- which I almost never do with other books. Also, the story itself is slow. It reads almost as if Emily is drugged through the whole entire thing. It's foggy and slow paced with a lot of descriptive words. It reads almost like poetry, which would be beautiful with the right story, but feels completely out of place here. This apocalyptic plot with danger and mystery should be fast-paced, exciting, full of tension and apprehension, but instead it feels sleepy and tranquil. In the first hour or so of the book, there's virtually no information about the virus itself, or how it has affected the world, or how life has changed. These upper class teenagers just go through the motions of their day, talking about weddings and jewelry and tampons in a very shallow, superficial way. It's all just kind of strange, and I just had no interest in finishing it. Bummer. I'm going to return it for my credit back...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1971)
    Performance
    (1814)
    Story
    (1807)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Marci says: "Great story. Genius writing"
    "Fantastic! I absolutely loved it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book starts off a little slow and confusing, but it doesn't take long to get rolling and suck you in. You'll see about half way through just how genius the writing is. I didn't see the twist at the end. Caroline Lee is incredible, and she did a terrific job narrating. This was one of my favorites this year. I'm a Liane Moriarty fan for life now! Highly recommended!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lost and Found: Find Me, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Trish Marie Dawson
    • Narrated By Erin Spencer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    She survived Earth's worst global pandemic. In the city she learned how to cope with the roaming dead. Tucked away in the mountains she struck down the living who tried to kill her. Now Riley fights a new battle - the one within herself. Wracked with survivor's guilt and an almost crazed sense of duty that takes her out of the solitude of the Southern California mountains and into the heart of Orange County, she makes a series of choices that can lead to the destruction of everything she's managed to save.

    Pereza Mulanax-Corp says: "Great followup!"
    "Ugh, ended up returning it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series is just not for me. I'm a female, so I definitely have nothing against sexual attraction or the occasional sex scene in a book, but an hour into this one and we've got nothing but more sex and more ghosts -- the two things in the first book that I liked least. I was terribly bored and irritated at how many times there were references to sex or sexual attraction. I had hoped the characters matured since the last book, but apparently not. Maybe the rest of it speeds up and gets better, but the first hour was painfully slow and I gave up. Plus, I just don't do dwell with books that flip flop between first person and third person -- it gives the flow a disjointed, choppy feel and is very distracting. I don't know why the author just didn't stick with third person the whole time. If there's one improvement over the first book, it's that the narrator now knows how to say "mischievously." I hope others have better luck with this...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Hope You Find Me

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Trish Marie Dawson
    • Narrated By Erin Spencer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Life for Riley ends when her young children die in her arms…victims of a global viral outbreak that claims the lives of everyone she’s ever known. Left to fend for herself with only a dog as her companion, she sets out on a journey to find others, leaving notes everywhere she goes…hoping that one day someone will come looking for her.

    Julie M says: "I Hope You Find Me"
    "Not what I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high hopes for this book, since I love post-apocalyptic fiction. But this was just mediocre at best. It was pretty dull for most of the book. Riley starts out as a likeable character, but as the book progresses she just keeps doing really dumb things that make you shake your head in frustration. It boggled my mind that there was so much sex and sexual attraction. It's the end of the world, and everyone is dead of a virus, and yet much of the book reads like two horny teenagers who haven't gotten laid in years. Riley kisses several guys, and in the end, you end up hating her for her stupid decisions. I'm sorry to be so harsh because the book was very well-written as far as style and dialog go, but the plot was just ho-hum. I bought the second book at the same time as the first based on recommendations, so I'll give it a listen just to see if things get any better. I wasn't fond of the whole ghost/zombie storyline, either. I would've liked to have more specifics about the virus and the events leading up to it, rather than bloody ghosts with outstretched arms. It just added to the juvenile tone of the novel. The narrator was a good one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9480)
    Performance
    (8678)
    Story
    (8691)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Like three novels in one -- and only one is superb"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was by far one of the most interesting books I've listened to in a long time. First off, the narrator kills it. He was fantastic. I couldn't imagine reading this in book format, because he added so much to it. His portrayal of Boris was brilliant. The book was exquisite at the beginning when Theo was a little boy, going through the explosion and the sequence of events that happened afterward. The next part of it, his life in Vegas, was entertaining and interesting, but not quite as captivating. It still definitely held my interest though. However, the last part got a bit dull. I liked the way the story resolved itself -- that part was satisfying. But good Lord... the author got WAY too waxing poetic in the last quarter of the book. Yawn! And there were still a lot of unanswered questions (like Pippa, for example). Definitely superb writing, but the ending felt like some college prep philosophy paper or something. Awesome snowball, but as it got bigger it slowed down. Still well worth the credit, and I'll be interested to read future books from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1590)
    Performance
    (1467)
    Story
    (1475)

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "Fun book! Great "doomer" fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fun book! It was pretty well written, and very engaging. I like that the author didn't spend gobs of pages talking about the minutiae of guns and ammo, like Rawles does -- so women like who don't get all turned on by that sort of thing can enjoy this book without being totally bored. The scenes were realistic, and he nailed the emotional part of it perfectly. Not too superficial and cold, but not so full of drama and tears that it had you rolling your eyes. The only down-side to the book is that the author commits the literary faux paus of changing from first person (Morgan) to third person (Thad and Linus) on a whim, which confused me every time and took away from the really good flow of the book. It was a little disconcerting, but not enough reason to give it a bad review. I'm looking forward to seeing what the second and third books bring...

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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