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MidnightBookGirl

Freelance Book Reviewer at Midnight Book Girl

Member Since 2009

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 302 titles in library
  • 75 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Game: The Sequel to 'I Hunt Killers'

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Barry Lyga
    • Narrated By Charlie Thurston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jasper (Jazz) Dent, the son of the world's most infamous serial killer. When a desperate New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz's door asking for help with a new case, Jazz can't say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple - and its police force running scared with no leads. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer's murderous game. Meanwhile, Jazz's dad, Billy, is watching... and waiting.

    Amazon Customer says: "OUTSTANDING"
    "A Great Sequel to I Hunt Killers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is a bit graphic for the YA set, but as an adult who reads and reviews quite a few YA books and loves thrillers, this was a great listen. The book is full of gruesome crimes and depraved killers, but it also features the strength of friendship. There's a lot going on in this sequel- the story expanding from a small town boy dealing with his serial killer father's legacy, to New York City and the possibility that Jasper's dad is on the hunt again. While Jasper helps the cops in NYC, Howie and Connie are dealing with a mystery a little closer at home. The end of the book leaves several cliffhangers that will have you desperate for the next book!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Game?

    The ending had me on the edge of my seat! The stakes have gotten so much higher in this third book, and the fate of the main characters had my pulse racing!


    What about Charlie Thurston’s performance did you like?

    Thurston stepped up his performance for this second book, and while I thought he did an okay job in I Hunt Killers, I much preferred his narration in Game. I'm including him in my "favorite narrators" list now. ;)


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "Losing this game could be deadly"


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Little Night Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Lucy March
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1208)
    Performance
    (1110)
    Story
    (1100)

    Olivia Kiskey needs a change. She’s been working at the same Nodaway Falls, New York, waffle house since she was a teenager; not a lot of upward mobility there. She’s been in love with Tobias, the cook, for the last four years; he's never made a move. Intent on shaking things up, Olivia puts her house on the market, buys a one-way ticket to Europe, and announces her plans to her friends - but then she meets Davina Granville, a strange and mystical Southern woman....

    Elizabeth says: "Not quite Molly Harper, but not bad.."
    "Cute Story, Amazing Narrator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Story

    I picked this audio up awhile ago, saving it for a time when I was in the mood for something cute and magical. This book delivered that, although it definitely had a darker side.

    The town of Nodaway Falls felt cozy mystery charming, and someday I will make the Hubs move to a smaller, quainter town than where we currently live. Where, no doubt, I will suddenly discover that I have latent magical abilities, or that I'm actually quite crafty. I also loved the romantic tension between Olivia and Tobias. Although, authors, please. Stop trying to make the name Tobias sexy. It's not sexy. It's an old pervy man's name.

    Friendship plays a large role in the book too. Despite the fact that it soon sours, I loved that Olivia met up with her friends Peach, Millie and Stacey weekly for drinks and confession. The difference between the women was nice, but still made sense that they would connect. However, some of the secrets and jealousy lingering beneath the surface were plain troubling.

    The magic in the book is unique, or at least it's new to me. There's daytime magic users and nighttime magic users, and I like the constraints and problems the magic rules caused. Watching Olivia discover her magic and her true history was both fun and interesting- you have to love ceramic mug bunnies and paper birds!

    I didn't expect this book to be as dark as it was in places, but I think it needed the higher stakes involved. It's not a perfect book by any means, sometimes the characters felt a little immature or silly. But because the book has such a great narrator, it helped me overlook issues that I might have worried more about had I read the book in print.
    Narrator

    Once again, Amanda Ronconi! When I bought this book on Audible it was before I became a huge fan of Ronconi, but she's the main reason I finally listened to it. I had just finished another audio narrated by her and wasn't quite ready to move to a new narrator, event though the two books were both magical romances. Like I said, this book had some flaws, but with a great narration it's easy to just go with the flow and enjoy the fun and magic!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night of Cake & Puppets

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Laini Taylor
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam, Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (121)

    Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her "rabid fairy," her "voodoo eyes" are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or "Violin Boy," her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to meet him, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It's a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter's night before finally leading him to the treasure: herself!

    Amy says: "Rabid Fairy + Violin Boy = Magic"
    "An Absolute Must Listen for fans of Taylor or Hvam"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Laini Taylor has created such a unique story and her characters are so full of life that my friends and I discuss them like they're real (especially Zuzana!). I often recommend Khristine Hvam narrated books to my friends who are just starting to get into audio books because she's one of my all time favorite narrators. Kevin T. Collins is high up on the list too! They did a fantastic job of the dual narration!


    What other book might you compare Night of Cake & Puppets to and why?

    I have a hard time comparing Laini Taylor's novels to other books, but for me she brings the magic of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater or Neil Gaiman.


    What does Khristine Hvam and Kevin T. Collins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I don't know any narrator outside of Jim Dale who can do narration as well as Khristine Hvam- she has a knack for accents and her voice is immensely suited to YA. I was very impressed with Kevin T. Collins performance as well, although I haven't listened to many novels narrated by him in the past, I plan on rectifying that! ;)


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

    This book will make you laugh out loud simply because Zuzana is delightful! I honestly can't think of a single character in YA or Adult that charms me and makes me giggle like she does.


    Any additional comments?

    Read this series now! Or better yet, listen to the series on audible! The last book comes out in April so now is the perfect time to start. ;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Week in Winter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Maeve Binchy
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (588)
    Performance
    (504)
    Story
    (506)

    Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know one another. When Chicky Starr decides to take an old, decaying mansion set high on the cliffs overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean and turn it into a restful place for a holiday by the sea, everyone thinks she is crazy. Helped by Rigger (a bad boy turned good who is handy around the house) and Orla, her niece (a whiz at business), Chicky is finally ready to welcome the first guests to Stone House’s big warm kitchen, log fires, and understated elegant bedrooms.

    A User says: "Didn't want it to end....."
    "Another Warm Binchy Read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A Week in Winter the most enjoyable?

    The loss of Maeve Binchy in 2012 was hard on us fans, and I put off reading this one until recently. I love Binchy's writing style and her characters so much, and narrator Rosalyn Landor did an amazing job bringing it all to life! I commute quite a distance during the week but books like this make me want to spend time in my car!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved them all, but I particularly liked Winnie's story- finding love later in life and then having to deal with Lillian, who is a true monster-in-law, was both funny and heart-warming. I also felt Winnie's frustration and understood her just wanting to concede victory rather than deal with Lillian forever.


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

    This was my first Rosalyn Landor experience, but it won't be my last! I've already put several of her narrated books on my wish list. I love finding narrators I love!


    Any additional comments?

    Maeve Binchy had a remarkable talent in creating characters. In just a few lines, or a bit of dialogue, you get a sense of who they are. There is something quite lovely in reading her novels, something cozy and familiar.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cracked Up to Be

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Courtney Summers
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    Perfect Parker Fadley isn't so perfect anymore. She's quit the cheerleading squad, she's dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she's failing school. Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she's playing games, but they don't know that the real reason for this whole mess isn't something she can say out loud. It isn't even something she can say to herself. A horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault.

    MidnightBookGirl says: "Snark and Secrets"
    "Snark and Secrets"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Cracked Up to Be in three words, what would they be?

    Snark and Secrets.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The humor, despite it being mostly snark, is laugh out loud in some parts so be prepared to have people see you laughing to yourself while you're driving, exercising or grocery shopping.


    Which character – as performed by Khristine Hvam – was your favorite?

    Khristine Hvam is amazing as every character, but she nails Parker. Nails it! ;)


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Popularity isn't all it's cracked up to be.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm surprised I ended up liking this book as much as I did because Parker annoyed me at first. Although she's super snarky and acidic, she's also super funny and, usually, dead on in her observations- about other people, and not herself. My favorite scenes in the book were when she would imagine what her parents' silent conversations were about, usually ending them with one of them saying "We're such good parents!".

    Parker is a very interesting, tightly wound character. The mystery involving the story kept me glued to my seat. In fact, that's kind of what keeps this book from being a 5 star- it's just not resolved enough for me. I'm okay with how things end up for Parker, it would have been awful if Summers had wrapped up all her problems with a shiny pink Becky-like bow. However, I wanted more of the Jessie story and I'm a bit surprised that Parker didn't have more consequences for some of her... actions.

    Overall, it's a fast paced audiobook, read by one of my favorite narrators, Khristine Hvam. I'm definitely interested in reading more books by Courtney Summers and I'm wondering which book of hers I should read next?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Silent Girl: A Rizzoli and Isles Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1082)
    Performance
    (790)
    Story
    (799)

    In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed all in black, the body nearly decapitated. Two strands of silver hair — not human — cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make a startling discovery: This violent death had a chilling prequel.

    Barbara Ferrini Hilfiker says: "somewhat disappointing"
    "Tess Gerritsen Just Gets Better and Better!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Silent Girl?

    I really loved the narration! I've tried to read this book several times, but I just couldn't get into the print version. Tanya Eby's great reading of the book really hooked me, and I was able to immediately connect. The mystery was also done really well, and while I was able to predict certain parts of the mystery, a few details really took me by surprise. I already have the next book waiting in my Audible queue, and I can't wait to get to it!


    What other book might you compare The Silent Girl to and why?

    Tess Gerritsen is one of my favorite thriller authors, and if you like her books then check out books by Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner.


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

    I thought Eby did a great job with all of the characters and the different accents, from Bostonian to Chinese American, were impressive. I never had to wonder who was speaking, which can be a problem with a less experienced or talented narrator.


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

    Definitely! I use the Audible app, usually at 2x speed, which helps speed things up, but it's one of the stories that will keep you driving around longer than necessary if you listen on your commute like I do.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter's Bone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Daniel Woodrell
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (668)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (487)

    The sheriff's deputy at the front door brings hard news to Ree Dolly. Her father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date. Ree's father has disappeared before. The Dolly clan has worked the shadowy side of the law for generations, and arrests (and attempts to avoid them) are part of life in Rathlin Valley.

    Brooks says: "A Masterpiece"
    "WInter's Bone- great listen for winter drive time."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Winter's Bone is my book club's read for this month, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Despite the bleak setting and bleak circumstances, there's a redeeming grace in Ree's struggle to save her family home and to take care of her ailing mother and younger brothers.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ree Dolly is a wonderful character- full of strength and good old fashioned gumption. Tough talking and even tougher physically, Ree still has tender moments with her best friend Gail, and her family.


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

    I haven't seen the movie, so Emma was Ree for me. She put a lot of emotion in Ree's voice and just brought the whole Dolly clan to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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