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Nicole

CHICAGO, IL, United States

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 43 ratings
  • 193 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015
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  • Fangirl

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Maxwell Caulfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (804)
    Performance
    (726)
    Story
    (731)

    Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life - and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow Series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go.

    FanB14 says: "Freshman Comes into Her Own"
    "I'm such a fan..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to the book Fangirl because my older sister read it over the holidays and told me I would love it and then took it away with her. I had an Audible credit and was agonizing over what to buy when it hit me that I could buy this book by some chick named Rainbow Rowell and I’d get to “read” it. So I did. And it pretty much changed my life.

    The book is about Cath and her relationships. Her relationship with her twin sister, Wren, is changing because they’re going to college and Wren wants more independence from her family. Cath doesn’t feel that same need and doesn’t want to be too free. Her relationship with her dad is changing, because he’s home alone for the first time since their mom left, and she worries over him. Her relationship with her fan-fiction community is changing because the demands of college life is somewhat overwhelming. And now she has to deal with her roommate, her boyfriend, her sister’s roommate, her writing partner, and her professors.

    Cath writes fan-fic about Simon Snow (a bit like Harry Potter only different) and she’s very serious about it. I wish I had the dedication that she does to her craft. It made me insanely guilty.

    Okay, there are so many things I loved about this book, I almost don’t know where to begin. Levi, I’ll start with Levi. Levi is such a beautiful optimist and a treasure. He is Cath’s roommate’s (Reagan) friend, initially thought to be her boyfriend. He has never read a novel all the way through, and Cath actually get angry about it (something I would totally do).

    She decides to help him with a test and reads the entire book The Outsiders aloud to him. It was my second favorite scene in the book.

    Reagan is a pretty awesome character herself. She’s completely kick-ass and I-don’t-give-a-crap-what-you-think, but her relationship with Cath becomes one of my favorite in the book. They sit in the cafeteria and make fun of people. Reagan is a good reminder to Cath that there are other things in the world besides fan-fic. Like, take this quote for example:

    She’s a perfect person to befriend Cath.

    And Cath, oh man. I am her, in so many ways. Like she wears her fandom t-shirts every day and is introverted and awkward. She’d prefer to read or write to any other activity. And she cares so much about everyone and doesn’t know how to express it well. My heart bled for her when Wren walked away from, leaving her to room with someone else and basically deal with her freshman year alone. Cath deals with it by isolating herself and writing her fan-fic novel. Which, again, I relate to so well.

    The most emotional point in the book for me was the end. That seems cliché and expected, but it isn’t for the reason that you might think. Since Simon Snow is the equivalent of Harry Potter, I felt a kinship to Cath merely because her level of Snow fandom is the same as mine to Potter. At the end of the book, the last Simon Snow novel comes out and Cath and Wren get emotionally overwrought and I lost it. I sat in the dark of my room bawling as I listened because all of my Harry Potter feels resurfaced after seven years and I couldn’t help myself.

    ALL THE FEELS!

    Rebecca Lowman is one of my favorite narrators of all time and she did such a good job reading this book. Although, I have to say, some of my favorite parts were the Simon Snow bits before each chapter, which were read by Max Caulfield. It was a phenomenal narration.

    [SPOILERS]

    My favorite parts of the book were Cath/Levi moments. They get together before you reach halfway in the book, so I don’t really view this as a spoiler, but other people might. Levi is the ultimate extrovert, saying ‘hi’ to people he’s never met and starting conversations out of nothing. I admire his mad skills. Cath is the ultimate introvert and thus limits interaction with human beings to the absolute minimum. How could you not see them coming? And how could you not love them together?

    This review was originally published on my blog, Infusions of Wit From an Everyday Girl.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Celebrity in Death: In Death, Book 34

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1876)
    Performance
    (1639)
    Story
    (1631)

    Her career in homicide has taken her into the darkest depths of New York City’s underground - and sometimes Lieutenant Eve Dallas feels more comfortable in those kinds of places than in the high-rise, high-society world of her billionaire husband, Roarke. But while she’s no party girl, she’s managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity-packed bash celebrating the debut of The Icove Agenda. This time it’s Eve, not Roarke, who’s a guest of honor, since the film is based on one of her famous cases. Her partner, Peabody, is practically giddy....

    Amy Huber says: "Susan Ericksen is amazing!"
    "A Nice Break"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Celebrity in Death again? Why?

    Yes, I've already listened to it several times. I love Susan Ericksen as a narrator and Peabody cracks me up in this book.


    Would you be willing to try another book from J. D. Robb? Why or why not?

    I read all the books. I love the characters, even if the plots are formulaic.


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

    I've bought books solely because she narrates them. I have to say, I love her renditions of the In Death books better than anything else.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dracula [Audible Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3825)
    Performance
    (3501)
    Story
    (3520)

    The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

    N. Houghton says: "Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
    "Mina: A Heroine for the Ages"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Insomnia is my thing lately. Don’t sleep; stay up forever. Might as well write, right? So here it is, a book review. I know you’ve been dying for it, and I gotta say, I’ve been dying to write it.

    Dracula was one of those books that I pretended to read in high school and then glossed over in college. Horror isn’t really my thing (Although Stephen King is probably one of my favorite writers ever. His genre of choice is unfortunate). Recently, I decided that I wanted to read more classics and so I bought a few on Audible. Audible is the bomb.

    They had an Audible Studios edition of Dracula narrated by a full cast and oh, my. It was perfection. Alan Cumming was Dr. Seward. Katherine Kellgren was Mina Harker, Simon Vance was Jonathan Harker, and Tim Curry was Dr. Van Helsing. The narration was spot on. The narrator who did the voice of Lucy was irritating (her name escapes me at the moment), so I found Lucy irritating, but I think I would have anyway. Audible did a terrific job producing this.

    The story is told in a series of diary entries, letters, and telegrams (the official word for those are epistolary novels, fyi). I didn’t know that before, or I might have read it sooner. I have an affinity for stories told in this manner. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of my favorites for that exact reason. It credibly shows what each character was thinking or feeling without putting the reader in the omniscient perspective. It was perfect for the chilling story which was told.

    The plot differed widely from the Dracula I had come to know through popular culture. Dracula is truly creepy and super old. He’s not redeemable, not good, but pure evil. And ridiculously smart. This isn’t Frankenstein’s monster or some mindless Edward-like vamp. This is a genius who pits his wits against a motley crew of Britain’s finest.

    Dr. Van Helsing is also brilliant, but definitely needs the help of his little band.

    The story starts with Jonathan visiting Dracula’s castle and realizing what he is. It’s very creepy and I had to stop listening for a time so I could reasonably get over it. Then Lucy becomes a vampire and thus the Band of Awesome is born. That’s just the title I gave them in my head. You’ve got Arthur, Lucy’s former fiancé. He’s a bit squeamish, but willing to undergo any trial to pay Dracula back for changing his darling girl. Then there are her two other suitors who were rejected: Dr. Seward (my personal favorite), and Quincy. Seward runs an asylum and Quincy is an American Cowboy. I love that Americans are represented in this tale. Seward calls Van Helsing, who knows more about Lucy’s “disease”, to help heal her. However, they fail and she is transformed into a child-eating vamp. Then Jonathan and Mina join the group as they discover they have all endured similar circumstances and that a grave danger faces England should Dracula move to London, as is his intent.

    I have to say, Bram Stoker wrote women rather well for a man of his time. Wilhelmina is no delicate flower in need of rescuing. She is rescued, but she’s strong and contributes to her salvation by keeping spirits high and organizing all the information and, in the end, going with Van Helsing to Transylvania. I admire her relationship with Jonathan so much. He trusts her to do her own thing and respects her strength, mentally, emotionally, and morally. And she loves and respects him and his passion for his work. She wants to be a part of his life and he wants to be a part of hers. It’s a really awesome relationship. They are basically the perfect couple and were it not for the pesky vampire they would have had a delightful life.

    I don’t want to tell all that happens because I enjoyed listening to it so much. Even if you’ve read it before, the Audible version is golden; you should go listen to it. It’s intense and beautiful. It’s intensely beautiful. This book is definitely on my favorites list.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Winifred Watson
    • Narrated By Frances McDormand
    Overall
    (1193)
    Performance
    (636)
    Story
    (636)

    Miss Pettigrew is a down-on-her-luck, middle-aged governess sent by her employment agency to work for a nightclub singer rather than a household of unruly children. Over a period of 24 hours, as she becomes caught up in the life of Delysia LaFloss, her own life is changed - forever. This charming, funny, light-hearted 1938 novel was a bestseller on its first appearance. Read by Academy Award winning actress Frances McDormand, who stars in the 2008 film as Miss Pettigrew.

    Holly C. Salley says: "Adorable"
    "Dark Chocolate for the Soul..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have a short list of books that simply feed my soul and this is one of them. I love Miss Pettigrew and her simple ways. I love how she affects others and doesn't know it. I love the way she stands up to horrid men and that she thinks ice cream is bad. The old fashioned-ness in a new era is brilliant and I only wonder why Winifred Watson isn't more famous all around.

    Frances McDormand played Miss Pettigrew in the movie and did an all right job here. There were a few times when I furrowed my brow in confusion, but usually it wasn't anything essential to the plot.

    This book is a happy tale that makes you think and transports you to a time and place that you'll want to return to over and over again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Trickster's Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tamora Pierce
    • Narrated By Trini Alvarado
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (464)
    Performance
    (237)
    Story
    (243)

    The native people of the Copper Isles, the raka, know that the ancient prophecy handed down by their trickster god is on the brink of coming to pass. But what they don't know is that all their hopes rest on the slender shoulders of Aly Homewood, formerly Alianne of Pirate's Swoop.

    Jia says: "entrancing!"
    "Great story, Shoddy narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you be willing to try another one of Trini Alvarado’s performances?

    No. I enjoy Tamora Pierce's books, but Trini Alvarado's narration is dry. Granted, I have read this book out loud myself, so I have a way in my head that I thought it should be, but still. She doesn't change her tone much and her accents all sound the same. There is little difference between Winnamine and Imogen, it's difficult to tell them apart. If you must, it's not a bad book and the plot makes up for the bad narration. Almost.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Goose Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Shannon Hale
    • Narrated By Cynthia Bishop, the Full Cast Family
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (103)

    Follow the adventures of Princess Anidori Kiladra of Kildenree as she struggles to regain not merely her crown, but her very name. Sweeping in its vision and enlivened by a huge cast of vivid characters, The Goose Girl has earned both rave reviews and an intensely loyal fan following.

    Amazon Customer says: "A Magical Listen"
    "Magical and Breathtaking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Goose Girl in three words, what would they be?

    Whimsical. Beautiful. Magical.


    What does Cynthia Bishop and the Full Cast Family bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Each character is distinctive and has their own voice. I really enjoyed the music as well.


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

    Yes, I laughed, I cried, I ranted and raved. I was swept along with the story. It was wonderful.


    Any additional comments?

    If you have the opportunity get this book. It was enchanting and I fully intend to listen to it again soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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