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Valeria

The Mad Reader

Member Since 2014

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 36 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12775)
    Performance
    (11699)
    Story
    (11766)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "An Inspiring and Heartbreaking Love Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is beautiful, deep and meaningful and it will touch you to the core of your heart. It raises issues of life and death, of sickness and health and the utter importance of love.

    What is love? How long lasting it has to be to be significant? How do you live a life in sickness? These are all questions that the author tries to answer in this marvelous novel.

    Much as An Imperial Affliction, this book provides a different and more real intake to kids with cancer and how we idolize their lives after they’ve passed just because they were sick. It was interesting and mind opening, because as Hazel was always concerned, people should be remembered for who they were, not what illness they “battled”. It also portrayed our need to be remembered by humanity once we are gone, our desire to do great things.

    In sum, this book was heartbreaking and compelling, and it got me thinking until way after I finished it.

    I loved the characters and the depth they all had. Each one of them had their own concerns. For Isaac it was his broken heart, for Augustus was posterity, and for Hazel was her being a grenade. Apprehensions that signified humanity’s greatest fears towards death.

    I particularly loved the way they related, and how they helped each other overcome their toughest moments. You can experience, through them, that love and friendship can change the perspective of everything.

    This was my first audio book ever, and I’m so grateful I took the risk and got it, because I opened up to a whole new and wonderful world I was missing. I’m officially an audio book lover! Anyhow, even if it was my first audio book, I didn’t need to be an expert to tell that the narration was impeccable! Kate Rudd, did an excellent job, especially with the gender roles. It’s hard for a woman to portrait good male voice, and she did it superbly not only with one, but with several characters. I particularly enjoyed that you could immediately tell who was speaking. Not one voice was like the other, and I loved how she played Peter Van Houten and Lidewij, because she did a great job capturing their accents. Finally, I will like to add, her rhythm and breathing were smooth. I will be keeping my eye out for other narrations of her.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Good Marriage

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Jessica Hecht
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (140)

    What happens when, on a perfectly ordinary evening, all the things you believed in and took for granted are turned upside down? When her husband of more than 20 years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It’s a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends a good marriage.

    Tim says: "Buy Full Dark, No Stars"
    "Another masterpiece by Mr. King"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a short novel, so I decided it was best if I did a mini review.

    Mr. King doesn’t cease to amaze. I wonder what it feels like to be in his head. Anyhow, I went into this book not knowing what to expect, and it was better that way. I loved how Mr. King truly captures the complexities of the human mind. I mean, I felt like I was following Darcy’s train of thought right as it was happening. It is easy to relate to her struggle, and Mr. King nails it perfectly.

    To provide some context, Darcy was pretty happy with her marriage until one day she discovers something really nasty. I’m talking about horrific proportions here and her world just goes spinning down a rabbit hole. I loved that the story was progressive. First we have a denying Darcy that doesn’t want to know her husband’s secret, which in retrospect would’ve been much better; we really don’t need to know everything about our spouses. But at last, it was inevitable to look. I don’t think that I would’ve struggled so much, I’m too curious.

    You can tell she was a very smart woman, and I think she played all her cards well. I don’t know if I would’ve done the same, but I certainly respect her decision.

    You could feel she was broken and I simply loved how Mr King managed to pull this story off.

    In short, it was thrilling and compelling, and I just had to keep listening to know how things would unravel. It did not disappoint. It is a classic horror that could happen in any household, and what is scarier is the question Mr King poses about how well you know the person you’ve been living with.

    Jessica Hecht's narration was impeccable. She set the perfect tone for the story and her pacing was great. She added a particular element that I think you could've missed when just reading, which added so much to Darcy's character. It was mainly the struggle in her voice. You could feel she was a broken woman trying to put herself together. She is desperate, yet determined, all thanks to an excellent performance. Let's just say, she brought Darcy alive in a way the imagination would've been short.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Stupid Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Aurora Smith
    • Narrated By David Dietz
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    All seventeen-year-old David really wants is to fly under life's radar. In a typical cold winter day in Montana he does something extraordinary: he rescues smart, funny, gorgeous good-girl Lucy Peterson from drowning in a freezing lake. As their friendship grows, David realizes that risking his life was the easy part. His friendship with a girl who is different from him in every imaginable way forces David to challenge himself and those around him.

    Valeria says: "Very truthful deep and fun"
    "Very truthful deep and fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn’t expecting to love this book, but I did! It is a sweet coming of age story about forgiveness. I loved watching these characters make mistakes and learn from them.

    The fact that all of the characters were flawed made this story feel real and true, like it could be happening somewhere in the world. It has a mixture of drama and comicality, which made this a fast paced and easy to read story, even if it dealt with some difficult issues like domestic violence, teen pregnancy, adoption and loss.

    It did seem like too much drama for one lifetime, and maybe some of the subplots or main events weren’t necessary, the story had enough material as it was. That definitely is my biggest complaint with this book. It also confused me a bit that the time frames were changing all the time. Like from one chapter to the other several months would’ve passed, but sometimes three or more chapters would take place within the course of days. Finally, I felt that David’s reactions to one particular event, which I cannot comment about without spoilers, were weird. If that happened to me I would’ve been way angrier or frustrated, confused even. Not so happy or willing. I did feel that as time passed he sort of felt the consequences of that decision, like it hit him later, which made up for his hastiness a bit.

    Other than that I felt this story was simply beautiful. I tend to avoid Christian fiction at all costs because, even if I’m a Christian myself, I found them to be, more often than not, too preachy and the characters just don’t appeal to me. They are weird. Like being a religious person means you don’t get to be normal. Thankfully this book was an exception, which is one of the main reasons I loved it. The Christian kids were very real and normal, and the book wasn’t preachy at all. It portrayed God as a loving father who accepts us no matter what.

    Lucy was very religious but so real. She did normal stuff, felt jealousy and envy at times, made horrible mistakes! Cared about important and silly stuff, like a Normal teenager! I actually felt very close to her, because I used to be just like her! And worried about the same stuff.

    But what I loved the most was the message about forgiveness. It is portrayed just as it is: a hard decision we have to make over and over again, but in the end will help lift a huge weight off our shoulders. I also loved that they featured it as the most important Christian value.

    I loved David’s journey because we could see him change, but also understood the moments that triggered those changes or growth. It was very organic and progressive.

    The narration was good. I enjoyed David Dietz narration a bit more than I did in Halfskin. He wasn’t too loud this time, and I thought I would have trouble hearing the same voice for a different character but I didn’t. I liked how he did David and Grandma, and he had great pacing for his narration. I did feel though, that the female voices were too similar to each other.

    Overall, it was a great read, with powerful messages and good narration; and even if it was charged with heavy stuff, it was still a light read. It has great character development and it is impossible not to care for this adorable gang, and David’s grandma. What a women she was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Attachments: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Laura Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (857)
    Performance
    (757)
    Story
    (762)

    Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder, coworkers at The Courier, know the newspaper monitors their office e-mail. But they still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers, and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill still can’t believe that it’s his job to monitor other people’s e-mail.

    Julie says: "Just what I'd hoped for"
    "It is the simplicity of life captured in a book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I absolutely love this story! I didn’t expect to love it so much, because honestly I didn’t feel much for Eleanor & Park, but this? Wow!

    So original, such creativity, but what I love the most is that Rainbow Rowell managed to turn a dull and mediocre life into the greatest story. In a way is about nothing and about everything at the same time.

    It is the story of Lincoln, a guy who is far from being satisfied with his life. He has the most boring job, killer hours and still lives with his mum at age 28, I think? Someone we could classify as a looser. So if you had told me that was what this story was about I would've said, and you want to read that?

    As it turned out the answer was heck yes!

    This book is about life, learning to value the little details, and finding happiness in the simple things. Is about trusting yourself and growing up, about making decisions, and about finding love where you least expect it.

    I just felt so compelled about every bit of this story, I can’t believe that weeks after I still feel that same enthusiasm.

    I think I loved Beth and Jen as much as Lincoln did. They were so true to their selves, so sure about who they were, silly, smart and definitely one the best friendships I’ve read about. I love this pair together. How they respect each other, comfort, and support and make happy. I sure wish I could’ve met them in real life. I would love to have them around.

    Surprisingly, Lincoln was the one I felt most closed with. I really got him. I understood completely his feelings for his ex, how hard it was for him to get over her, and the overall feeling of emptiness. I loved how subtle his growth was, and it was simply wonderful to come along for the ride.

    I loved how the author changed the points of view. I mean, in truth the whole story was told from Lincoln’s point of view, but we get to know and love Beth and Jen through their e-mails, so in a way it feels like we get a bit of their points of view as well. Such an original way to introduce a character. Who knew we could learn so much about a person from just reading their e-mail?

    Overall, if it wasn't clear enough, I loved this book. Seriously! Go read it, please!

    I’m afraid I didn’t like this narrator much. I liked the rhythm she imprinted to the story and the life she put into it, she really kept the story going, but I didn’t appreciate that all her voices were too much alike. I get that most of the characters were female, so it is hard to make all of them sound different, but sometimes I was confused whether it was Beth or Jen writing, so I would get lost for a bit. I did like her Doris though. She made her sound exactly like she was supposed to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paper Towns

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1118)
    Performance
    (935)
    Story
    (950)

    Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

    Jeremy says: "Green is Always Good, But Paper Towns Not Best"
    "Awkard Road Trip, Fun Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Green is an author genius! I haven’t read a book of his I haven’t loved so far, but I have to admit I am starting to discover a certain pattern.

    This book, as all the others, features a great group of friends were values like loyalty comes through.

    So, this book is about Q, a regular teenager about to graduate from High School who has never done anything extraordinary. He has good grades, is going to a great university but hasn’t done anything a High Schooler would deem as awesome.

    On the other hand we have Margo, who is practically a legend for all the unconventional things she has achieved.

    Put these two together and some crazy things may happen.

    Basically this story is the crazy journey Q goes through to find Margo. It involves mystery, some self discovery and the worst road trip ever! Seriously, who goes on a road trip but doesn’t stop anywhere? Ok, ok…they had a mission, but for what road trips are worth, this is definitely the worst.

    This plot was enticing and got me hooked from page 1. I just needed some more. This is the kind of book that will leave you thinking about it long after you’re finished.

    I did find a lot of resemblance to Looking for Alaska, but it’s not quite the same. It deals with different issues like self discovery and the perception we have of others, and the sense of adventure these characters have is different.

    The characters, as always, are very rich. They have even more dimensions they can see. They are so tangible you can imagine them easily. They could be any kid out there, which makes the story more beautiful.

    Margo is my favourite. Even though Looking For Alaska remains to be my favourite John Green book, I found Margo much more exciting and real than Alaska. She is not as cryptic as her, and she seemed to have lived more, in the sense of enjoying life at its fullest. I was also able to grasp her personality and relate to her much more easily.

    I would definitely want her to be my friend, no doubt. Life could never be boring with her. She is smart, interesting and with substance. Plus, you definitely wouldn’t want to cross her. No, no, this girl is a spiteful one.

    As always, this book is insightful and kind of addicting. I want some more! And I can’t wait for the movie.

    John Green is becoming one of my favourite authors fast!

    Dan John Miller did a great job with the narration. I loved how he did Radar so smooth and chill. I think he nailed the character. He also did an excellent job with the girl’s voices and never mixed any characters. My only complaint is that I felt his voice was too manly to play Q, I kind of needed him to sound a bit younger. But overall, this narrator is one of the best I’ve heard so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Halfskin

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tony Bertauski
    • Narrated By David W. Dietz, III
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Biomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body. No more kidney failure, severed spines, blood disease or cancer. Pharmaceuticals become obsolete. With each dose of biomites, we become stronger, we become smarter, prettier... and better. At what point are we no longer human? Nix Richards nearly died in a car accident when he was young. Biomites saved his life. Ten years later, he's not so lucky. The Halfskin Laws decree a human composed of 50% biomites is no longer human.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "You know I had to read this after seeing that cove"
    "Interesting and Thought Provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The plot of this story is very original. I mean I’ve read other books which deal with genetics but not quite as this book does. Basically the story takes place in a future where science has evolved in such a way they’ve created synthetic cells called biomites. The only problem is they reproduce so fast they take over everything organic so when people reach 50% of biomites they shut them down.

    I liked that it raised so many moral questions which really border on a line. It’s not black and white. We could really be discussing this subject for a while so why don’t you read the book and we can discuss it later? But honestly, I love thought provoking books as this one. Plus, the world building is amazing. It feels like a plausible future, so it was easy to get sucked into the tale.

    There were some weird stuff though, or maybe unresolved. Like this fantasy world Nix’s created or maybe it was real? The plot is definitely unfinished and I’m really hoping to get all my answers in the next book.

    As real as the world was, the characters were very human. So imperfect and driven by emotion. It’s so easy to understand what motivates them. They are so flawed it’s beautiful.

    I loved Nix and Cali. They were such an amazing team and have gone through so much. Seriously, can a single person endure so much pain in one life? But nevertheless they kept going, kept fighting, and that is what’s so brilliant about them.

    I also liked Marcus Anderson. As a character that is, not as a person. He is the perfect villain, but you can see the human in him. Very creepy guy though, just despicable, which made him an excellent character. The best thing about him is that in his mind he was the actual hero, the only with pants enough to do what’s right.

    The story’s point of view was alternately Cali and Nix’s, but some time it added some data collected from the Mother database, which was this machine who controlled everyone. Even if those excerpts did add to the story, it was weird for an audiobook narrative. The way you follow a story when you read is different when you listen, you need to be more attentive. So even if I loved this story, for the way it was written maybe it wasn’t as suitable for an audiobook.

    Overall, it was an excellent read. I think I’d read rather than listen the next book, but will be keeping an eye out for it. I only wished the author would redo this cover though. It is horrible, scary and creepy! Drives people away from this great story.

    Despite my statement above, I think the narrator did a pretty good job. He got the voices right, man and woman, even Mother (the machine). But I thought he did Avery, Cali’s daughter, sound sooo annoying when in fact she was a very sweet girl, and he spoke too loudly at the microphone sometimes. I get that he had to emphasis sometimes, but please, there are people listening to this with headphones. It wasn’t good to turn up and down the volume all the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reluctant Bachelorette: A Romantic Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Rachael Anderson
    • Narrated By Jennifer Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Unknowingly cast as the bachelorette for her town's charity event, Taycee Emerson wants out. Especially when she discovers her old teenage crush, Luke Carney, is one of the bachelors and it's up to the viewers - not her - to decide which bachelors stay or go.

    Valeria says: "Sweet and Funny Romantic Comedy"
    "Sweet and Funny Romantic Comedy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this plot from beginning to end. It was funny, light and true. I’m not a fan of the Bachelorette’s show or of any reality show as it is, but I did like this book very much. It was different from the TV show because it allowed an actual glimpse of what really goes on in the bachelorette’s life and heart; and of course this story has some setbacks and unexpected elements you wouldn’t have on the TV show.

    Taycee is easy to like. She is an honest character but too content with her life. It’s easy to feel her stress and how the complexity of her situation affects her, but I was very proud of how she deals with everything. I think if I would’ve been in her situation, I wouldn’t have came out of it as well as she did. I did think she was a bit of a pushover though, especially allowing her best friend manipulate her that way, that’s a big frown upon Jessa too.

    I did like Jessa too. As I already said, she was a bit manipulative, but her heart was in the right place. Plus she was fun to be around, so even if she made me angry at times, I would still like to have her as a friend.

    Last but not least, Luke. He was slow to see what was in front of him the whole time, but in the end he did. He was the whole package, but he didn’t make me swoon. I did like him for Taycee though, he was a gentleman, sweet and funny; but what I liked the most about him was that he wasn’t perfect like Jake appeared to be. Who wants perfect? That’s too much pressure, but he was perfect within his flaws.

    It took me a while to realize this story was actually being told from both, Taycee and Luke’s points of view, but I liked how their dynamics worked. We got more on the Taycee front, but just enough of Luke’s POV to understand why he acted the way he did and what his true intentions were.

    Overall it was a great story, hilarious, enthralling, sweet and fluffy. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good romance. It was very hard for me to unplug me from this book.

    To be honest my first impression of Jennifer Reilly’s narration was not good. I felt she was too calm and soft, like the kind of voice of a masseuse in a spa. Certainly not the kind of tone you’d expect for the narrator of a story; and it really ticked me off at first. After a while though, I don’t know if she actually got better or I just got used to it. Maybe I was too engrossed in the story, but it didn’t bother me anymore.

    Her character voices are another story. She is actually very good at them. I think that’s part of the reason her spa tone didn’t get to me anymore. I liked how real she made Taycee and Jessa, and even if the bachelors’ voices were a bit alike, she also did a great job with them. Quite manly I have to admit. She even got Miles’ accent right. In brief, when it comes to voices she is quite talented, but on her narrator voice she needs to lighten up the tone a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brilliance

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1642)
    Performance
    (1459)
    Story
    (1467)

    In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in.

    Benjamin says: "Predictable Thriller"
    "An excellent & thrilling story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book...what can I say? It blew my mind! The story is so rich and detailed. I loved the idea of a world where more and more humans were born with special talents which made them brilliants, and how a whole web of terrorism and conspiracies was built around it. This book definitely kept me on an edge. But my absolute favourite thing was the talents themselves. They were so cool, and not at all ordinary. I mean, they weren’t superhero type of powers, but rather normal abilities enhanced, and I treasured how the world improved because of them.

    Another great feature of this book where its characters. They all had their own unique personalities and it was cool to see them blend together. Some of them are really unexpected, in a way you couldn’t predict.

    I adored the relationship Cooper had with his ex wife and kids, and his ability to work as a team. I loved his team mate Bobby, and the easy way Nick and Shannon's conversation flowed.

    Every piece of information would come back later on as a relevant clue to the puzzle. Sometimes it seemed that too much unnecessary information was given, but in the end every piece fits perfectly and you realize why they were put there to begin with.

    It did appear to me that maybe too many details were added and as an Audiobook sometimes they were hard to follow. They contributed to the sense of what Cooper was seeing, which added some effect of what his power would feel like, but I did get lost in the details. Maybe it’s because I listened to it when commuting, so I could only listen to like 10 minutes at a time, but once you reach part 2 you are already too invested in this story to care.

    In sum, this book is thrilling, enticing and will definitely want you leaving more.

    Regarding the narration, it’s safe to say that Luke Daniels is THE BEST narrator I’ve heard so far. He definitely added something extra to the already great story; he gave it a black & white old detective movie kind of vibe, even if the book is not much of a mystery; which made it much easier to get into this book and get enthralled by it. I’m definitely going to get the second book in the series as an Audiobook just for the pleasure of hearing him. His voice is so versatile and masculine; but the best part is not even that.

    They were so many characters and he managed to give each one of them a distinct voice you could recognize the character in a second when they spoke. He even had a different voice for the narrator. Of course, about the 15th character appearance, voices started to sound alike, but that is kind of inevitable. I’m always so sceptic on male narrators doing female voices, because they tend to make them sound like drag queens, no disrespect intended. But Luke totally nailed Shannon. She felt like a whole woman to me, at least. Overall, Luke’s technique is impeccable! You should definitely watch out for more of his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Is What Happy Looks Like

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jennifer E. Smith
    • Narrated By Andrew Sweeney, Marcie Millard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    If fate sent you an email, would you answer? When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen year olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person.

    Valeria says: "Every Teenage Girl Dreams Come True"
    "Every Teenage Girl Dreams Come True"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4.5 stars for the Book and 5 stars for the Narration.

    This plot is every teenage girl dreams come true! Who didn’t dream about dating a superstar back in the time? I know I did, and the circumstances of their encounter are the perfect meet cute, and totally in synch with today’s technological and social media dependant world. Plus, I can’t help to gush over Graham’s absolutely romantic grand gesture. I would die if a movie was set in a particular place just so the star could be near me!

    It was great that the story wasn’t only focused on the romance part, but it also has an intricate subplot that I wasn’t expecting. It captured marvellously the hell celebrities and public people go through with paparazzi, it’s just awful.

    The only downside to the plot is that once all the elements are put into play, its development is too predictable. It’s so easy to see what’s coming next, but it is still oh so enjoyable to attest.

    I loved that the author was focused on showing a different face to fame, and that it portrayed accurately how lonely and hard a celebrity’s life could sometimes be. I’m not a Britney Spears fan, but it sort of reminded me of her song “Lucky”.

    That being said, what stands out the most with these characters are their relationships. How they are intimate but fragile. How they aren’t perfect. But my absolute favourite character was Ellie. She was so responsible, but it was easy to the teenage in her. It was just so simple to relate to her. I was rooting for her all along.

    Whenever we get two narrators the gender role problem disappears. We have a clearly identifiable voice for each character. Nevertheless, they did have to play the other characters voice, even if it was for a brief a moment, at times; and both, Andrew Sweeney and Marcie Millard, did a great voice. I barely noticed it wasn’t the same voice because I was deeply involved with the story and their representation was good. It wasn’t the same of course, and at moments it was a bit weird that the voices changed a bit, that’s the downside of having two narrators. But they still made it work. I have to praise them both, because I felt they truly captured the essence of their characters, they sounded like two teenagers. They made the story come alive, and it was beautiful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Looking for Alaska

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1543)
    Performance
    (1328)
    Story
    (1347)

    Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words - and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

    Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another.

    FanB14 says: "Humorous YA for Adults"
    "Intense and Deep"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just loved, loved, loved this book! While some people choose to categorize this book as Romance, I think that even though there is some falling in love, there is no actual romance, but rather a story of friendship, loyalty and the pursuit of meaning.

    This book explores some of the deepest questions of humankind and even wanders a bit into how some of the main religions in the world answer them. But mainly it is about a group of friends discovering and questioning the meaning of life and existence, and how they choose to live it.

    The plot is absolutely engaging and it sucks you in from moment one. It is unexpected and refreshing. I wouldn’t have guessed the major twist of the story, but if even if it made me sad, it was necessary in the end to get through the message.

    John Green has the spectacular ability to merge profound subjects into a fun story about friendship, high school and taking chances, in a way you won’t even notice all the layers the story has until the end, because it is so easy to glide through it.

    Pudge was an exceptional character. He was the perfect impersonation of a boy trying to fit in and finding his way in life. Like your regular misfit, who finally found his place in Culver Creek. He was fun and loyal and pretty much I would’ve really enjoyed being part of his gang. The irregular group of friends he found there was a unique set of people; each brought something different to the table and the result was a bundle of weird awesomeness. I loved the Colonel and his audacity and loyalty; Takumi and his wits; Lara and her innocence; and, of course, Alaska, and her creativity. I just loved them all individually and as a group, but most of all, the way they fit together.

    In the end the message was loud and clear and this book took root in my heart. For me, the pursuit of the Great Perhaps was the way to survive the labyrinth. Because we are all in the labyrinth but what makes us different is how we choose to live in it.

    Jeff Woodman did and amazing job with the guy’s voices. He definitely picked up their personalities and he was a master with their different accents. He got Takumi’s and Lara’s accents perfectly and he nailed Dr Hyde’s old voice, just from hearing him breathing with difficulty you could tell the old man had his days counted. However, I detested what he did with Alaska. From her physical description and the way she behaved you would guess she was a feminine smart girl. But that wasn’t the vibe I got from her voice. She sounded more like a drag queen really. She was bold, fearless and she liked to swear, yes, but she was a teenage girl, and she wasn’t supposed to sound like that. I’m sorry to say so, but it weakened my enjoyment of the book. Other than that the narration was fabulous. I would totally forget where I was when listening to this book, and I found myself several times laughing out loud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jennifer E. Smith
    • Narrated By Casey Holloway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (78)

    Today should be one of the worst days of 17-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

    Tabitha says: "Quick, Sweet, & Funny"
    "For the Hopelessly Romantic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a sweet, light, romantic novel that will warm your heart. I had a close experience with missing a plane and falling in love in an airport, so this story felt a tad closer to home; but I still feel this story is the perfect mixture of romance, thrill and taking risks. It speaks of a real connection between two people; and although many may think this “insta-love” thing does not exist, I am a strong believer that once in a life it is possible to have a chance encounter with a person with whom you’ll have a powerful connection. I admit that those kinds of bonds are very rare, but when you find what your heart is looking for or needs, you’ll just know.

    That is why I felt the romance in this story is indeed genuine, because the author portrays said connection in a way you can feel their hearts recognizing each other. It is not fast, because it was an intense experience that allowed them to share fundamental parts of their history.

    I especially enjoyed how the author combined elements of fate with elements of free will. Certainly the circumstances were crucial for the turn of events, but said events wouldn’t have happened if Hadley and Oliver hadn’t made some choices of their own. In brief, the opportunity was created but they had to take it, and that is exactly what life is about, taking advantage of the opportunities that are offered to you.

    Lastly, this book also deals with important family issues and relationships; with new beginnings and endings, and the personal battle Hadley and Oliver are going through depicts the hardships of facing those kinds of situations with the maturity only a teenager can have, and how to better deal with it. The characters are real, their emotions ring true, and their behavior speaks of the carelessness and freedom of youth.

    Casey Holloway did an excellent job with Hadley, she truly captured her essence. She felt like a teenage girl struggling with this trip and her whole family situation, whiny and mature enough. But she didn’t get Oliver right. Her British accent left a lot to wish for, and I thought the voice wasn’t very masculine. Her Violet I liked, she had this snobbish and nonchalance air to it with matched perfectly with the character. Her rhythm was smooth but constant and it gave the notion of haste in the right moments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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