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Samantha

Member Since 2013

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 58 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • The Goddess Test

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Aimée Carter
    • Narrated By Brittany Pressley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (162)

    It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family, and the fear her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld - and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests. Kate is sure he's crazy - until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

    Samantha says: "Twilight with Greeks instead of vampires"
    "Twilight with Greeks instead of vampires"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was SO VERY NOT my cup of tea. I went into this book thinking, like others before me, that it would be more about Kate's relationship with her mom, and learning to understand death and grieving loss, but no. Everything in this book is a set up to get Kate with Henry, who as far as I can tell has no redeeming qualities other than that he's very attractive, and approaches serious topics only to skirt around them with fluff and garbage. The characters are poorly portrayed as well; Kate comes across as a very bratty young girl with abandonment issues, Henry is an aloof controlling dick, Eva is a stereotypically ditzy cheerleader, and Kate's mom is a plot device.

    Aside from the actual plot, Ms. Carter just has some really annoying literary habits. Like, items appearing "seemingly out of no where" because she needs them in the scene to move the story along but couldn't figure out how to integrate them into the prose any other way. Also, Henry is constantly being described as warm. Like, if he's on the same plane of existence as Kate she can "feel the warmth radiating off his body." It's a weird thing to repeat so many times over the course of the book, especially because all the other descriptions are pretty sparse.

    Spoiler alert, but this book has some really weird attitudes towards sex. Kate is eighteen, and it's implied that Eva is about the same age as her (also a senior, and all), and in the chapter (fittingly) titled "Judgement," Kate slut-shames the crap out of Eva for sleeping with one of the guys at the manor while they're there for six months. In that very same chapter, Kate and Henry also engage in premarital sex, but Ms. Carter institutes the drugged-to-absolve-them-of-any-"blame" plot device! No one bothers to mention that this means that neither of them was able to consent to sleeping with the other, and Kate spent half the book saying she didn't date, didn't want to sleep with Henry, had no intentions of doing so, and was just there to save her mom. . . It didn't sit well with me at all.

    In short, if you liked Twilight, you may like this book. If you are looking for strong female leads in a YA fiction book, you desperately need to hit the back button and keep looking.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Howl's Moving Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    Overall
    (1175)
    Performance
    (933)
    Story
    (943)

    A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book and ALA Notable and Best of the Year in Young Adult Fiction, Howl's Moving Castle is by acclaimed fantasy writer Diane Wynne Jones amd was transformed into an Academy Award nominated animated motion picture by Hayao Miyazaki. On a rare venture out from her step-mother's hat shop, Sophie attracts the attention of a witch, who casts a terrible spell transforming the young girl into an old crone.

    Elisa says: "Howl's Moving Castle is Amazing!"
    "Listened because I was a fan of the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was wonderful! The reading was excellent; I loved Jenny Sterlin's voicing for all the different characters, especially Sofie and Calcifer. This book was really well written, and there is so much more to the story than what was turned into the movie. There are twists and turns that caught me totally by surprise, and whole characters that no one ever got a chance to meet. If you liked the movie, even just a little bit, you will love this book and this reading. Stop reading the review and download it now!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mockingjay: The Final Book of The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27195)
    Performance
    (21026)
    Story
    (21232)

    Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena live, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge....

    GS says: "Conflicting Emotions"
    "A good end to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Overall, I thought that Mockingjay was a really good finish to the Hunger Games series. I've heard some complaints that Suzanne Collins doesn't understand war, but this book isn't about frontline troops, or even about war. Katniss is not a regular Soldier, and with her famous background, it really isn't surprising that in a world where people are kept in line based on fear of things they see on TV, that a big portion of a rebellion would need to involve propaganda. This whole series uses propaganda as a focal point! So, with that in mind, it didn't bother me that Katniss doesn't see a lot of actual combat.

    I also liked the way that PTSD is handled in these books. The traumas that everyone goes through and see don't magically heal, but they survive the war and eventually, they manage. The characters at the end of this book are not the same people that they were at the beginning. It isn't pretty and sometimes you don't like them as much as you did in the past, but that feels very real. To me, that is an actual consequence of war, trauma, and loss. I think that for a lot of young people with brothers, sisters, parents and friends coming home from deployments, this will be pretty eye-opening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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