Overland Park, KS, United States | Member Since 2012
Overall, I felt that the perplexity and the fantastic chrarters are definitely the best part of 'The Story Teller. I was very hard to put down. I got lost in the points of view of the Holocaust, and then I found the point of view from a guard at Auschwitz. Picoult devles into th social history of the Holocaust, and tells the story from an officer who was there, and a woman who was there to take him abuses. She adds a certain 'human' element to each character, and displays their weaknesses, flaws, and strong points.
There are so many wonderful moments in The Story Teller, however the most memorable moment was when the grandmother is speaking, and tells of her best friend being murdered in front of her eyes even though she's not done anything wrong. The entire story was really very memorable and well done. It will stick with me forever.
I really loved the German accents, and the way the few lines in German sounded. I loved the different voices for each character.
I was especially moved when Sage, the granddaughter of the Holocaust survivor, learned of everything that had happened to her grandmother. The comparing of 'What if that would happen now?' is simply terrifying. Also, I cried a one point where a lady had to suffocate her baby to keep it quiet. (Won't say who)
I think this is the most intimate book Picoult has ever written and I could not put it down. It was a fantastic read.
Jacob McNeely realizes his lot in life. He understands while he's growing up that he's Southern White Trash offspring. It's nothing for him to share a joint with his junkie mother. He's dropped out of high school, and he is targeted by police who are one the one hand, disgusted by him, and on the other, afraid to upset his father who happens to be a big meth distributor in his town and county.
Jacob dreams of being able to leave small trash loserville with his high school sweetie Maggie.
Things start to spiral out of control when his father begins to make some even worse decisions which involve Jacob. Will Jacob get revenge, will he fall in his father's footsteps, or will his dream of getting out of town with Maggie come true?
This story is solid. It kept me wanting to listen on mainly because of the narrator's performance. He sounds like Matt Mcconaughey, with a deep sexy Southern Drawl. David Joy really makes Jacob come to life. His character is rich, complex and pure. The reader/listener will like him immediately, but become frustrated with his poor environment and his family ties.
Where Are The Light Tends To Go moves a little slow for a short book. I did enjoy the book and the narration, but it was missing something- which was character development beyond the our main character (which was very deep).
Overall I would give it 4 stars. Depressing book, but beautifully read and great main character.
'Wreckage' is a good attempt at a novel by Emily Bleeker. The story is about David and Lillian and Kent- who are stranded on an island after a plane wreck. There are inevitable deaths from the plane crash and then the shock of it all. There are burials and then the 'Cast Away' cliches- fish spearing, weight loss, muscle gain, tooth aches. The three survivors get along well until Kent starts to be a major jerk and decides he wants to rape Lily. The dynamic of the surviving trio changes rapidly, and when David and Lily are rescued, they have to stick to a story that they must tell again and again. The first thing in the book is Lily telling the reader that she is a liar- so this sets the tone nicely.
The narrators do well- the book goes back and forth between a woman and man narrator, and it also skips to the time on the island and present day. It seems as though 'Gone Girl' has taken the lead on this formula and it's the going thing in new fiction- I personally like it and find it more exciting.
'Wreckage' fails simply because the story is altogether too basic. It's predictable and cliche, and it's all been done before. I could have guessed what each character was going to say or do. I found myself not liking the characters much- they had no depth and no real personalities.
Overall, the book is an easy read and I would classify it as a chick-lit beach read. I didn't hate it, but it wasn't fantastic either.
3 stars all around
I've never read a Quindlen book that didn't sneak up on me with a resounding shock wave- I know they are coming, yet I read them anyway. It's like watching a movie that you know isn't going to end well more than one time- and hoping to see the same movie, yet wanting the ending to change..just once.. Like why did Jack have to die in Titanic- why couldn't Rose have moved over to let him on the floating piece of wood?
Anyway, One True Thing is a beautiful novel about human compassion, and important subjects that seem taboo to discuss at dinner parties. When our loved ones get cancer and hospice comes to help in their dying days, more often than not a morphine overdose speeds along their death, decreases their horrible pain, and enables them to peacefully fall asleep.. forever.
Our main character in One True Thing puts her life on hold and takes care of her dying mother. During the horrific process, she learns so much about her mother and father, and family- she is overwhelmed by the close feelings she develops and she is devastated when her mother passes from this world to the next. She is more surprised however, when she is arrested and put in jail for killing her mother- with a morphine overdose. She did not commit this crime- but she thinks she knows who did- and yet she finds the 'crime' an act of bravery as she recalls how her mother begged her to help her die, to help her ease her pain.
This novel is beautiful and literature at it's very best. I would keep a box of kleenex nearby to go on this journey, which will most definitely hit far too close to home for many readers.
4 stars across the board, I love Quindlen.
I love Grisham's books. Heck, I even really liked 'A Painted House' for it's beautiful simplicity. When I started reading about Samantha, a laid off New York law intern, I thought I was in for a treat. Her father is a disbarred lawyer who had a spectacular reputation at suing Airlines for gross negligence. Her mother is a lobbyist, very involved in politics. Samantha is lost after 100 work weeks. She's a spoiled rich kid who decides to go to Appalachia and work as an intern for a free legal advice office.
While she's there she becomes involved in petitions and law suits against big coal companies who are literally destroying the Appalachian mountains just for their greed. There don't seem to be many laws protecting the simple folk in the lands, and people are dying from cancer at unheard of rates due to the mess 'Big Coal' leaves behind in the water and the environment.
The story gets dull immediately after Samantha moves to Virginia. Some of it is interesting and fresh, but most of it comes off as an environmentalist's petition. It's preachy and it's not typical Grisham. I was expecting more.
That being said, if someone else had written it aside from John, I probably would have given it another star- but I just simply expect more from him.
I thought the narrator did a fine job- she was just the right voice for Samantha and the Southern characters. The book isn't a total waste- it's worth reading. It's just, sadly, underwhelming.
3 stars across the board.
I bought Ten Tiny Breaths because I was compelled with the story and because it had such great reviews. I was so totally disappointed.
It all starts okay. A horrible accident which kills Kacey's whole family except for she and her younger sister spawns the first foster father who immediate tries to take advantage of Kacey's only living relative. Kacey packs up and moves her sister to Miami to start fresh- to forget, and to forge a life for them.
While they are there they meet a nice neighbour who happens to be a stripper. Kacey takes a job at the strip bar which has a pretty 'good guy' owner. Kacey's little sister babysits for the stripper- and all seems well. Until of course, they start getting involved in tumultuous relationships and people who live a much more wild lifestyle than Kacey is used to. And of course, she meets a guy that she really wants to open up to- but just can't after all that's happened.
The story is cliche, the characters are predictable, and it's hard to listen to without falling asleep or getting bored. Too much sex and detail made me feel like I was reading another '50 Shades.' And I don't think that honouring women who have made very poor choices in life makes for a good story line.
I know this review won't be popular, but I just didn't like Ten Tiny Breaths. I think it's an over-hyped smut book and I didn't enjoy it at all.
2 stars- the narrator is good.
I pre-ordered 'My Sunshine Away' by M.O Walsh because of the description of the book, and the recommendations by some of my favourite authors. I think that Kirby Heybourne did a decent job narrating the novel, although his voice lulled me to sleep a few times.
The story centers around a young boy who's coming of age, and he's in love with the girl next store. In fact, obsessed is probably a better word. The story draws you in, because the girl of the story tellers dreams gets raped- and our boy is a suspect. The book then narrates the story of the time the boy experience before the rape and after, with his crush Lindy.
Other things that happen are extremely depressing. We have divorce, arguments, abused children and fatal car accidents- it's really not an uplifting story in the least.
The prose are beautiful and the novel has a soul- the soul is tragic, however it is also touching, loving and remarkable. This audiobook tore me from wanting to be angry with the story to feeling so much empathy for the boy narrating the book. His raw honesty is refreshing and very touching.
This wasn't my favourite listen and I was somewhat disappointed by the depression factor, but it's definitely worth the time.
3 stars across the board
First off- I love Kristin Hannah. I have enjoyed her books thoroughly over the years. In fact, I have loved every single one I've read- with no exaggeration. The story of the Nightingale is probably no different- about two girls in Paris growing up during the war, and their struggles. Hannah has a knack for addictive characters and drawing empathy from her readers- which is why we all love her and her novels.
That being said, I am going to have to return this book and buy the novel instead.
This is the most annoying narrator I have ever listened to. I have probably listened to over 300 audible books or more- and I have listened to some pretty bad narrators- but this by far is the worst.
She pronounces the letter S like a snake. Ssssssssssssssssssssssstop doing thisssssssssssssss to me! I always fall asleep lissssstening but I actually had to download another book. It was horrible! She also sounds ridiculous when she does a French accent- I literally wanted to cry I was so disappointed.
I don't know who produced this, but Hannah will lose money on this audible book unless they change the author and fix it. It's absolutely dreadful and I am so disappointed. I had pre-ordered this book and was so looking forward to it!
As I said, the story is probably very good but the narrator ruins it and makes it absolutely unbearable- like nails on a chalkboard.
I will start by saying that there is definitely a flow issue with this book. The story is somewhat disjointed, although some parts of it are fairly alluring.
The reason I found enjoyment in deMaraffi's book is because I was born and raised in Ontario Canada and I was the same age of the main character in the setting. In the early 1990's, the Province of Ontario was under high alert and stress because a serial killer and his wife, Paul Bernardo and Karla Holmolka, respectively, were kidnapping, raping, and killing teenage girls. Bernardo's wife Karla helped with the kidnappings and torture, but since she ratted Paul out first, he went to prison and she got off with basically a slap on the wrist. It was later found that Bernardo was the infamous 'Scarborough Rapist' as well, and was responsible for several rapes in a suburb of Toronto.
The main character Evie is a reporter hot on the Bernardo break out story, which triggers memories from her past. When she was in second grade, her best friend was taken and murdered, and everyone now knows her as the 'girl who's friend died.' While she continues to have panic attacks, she starts putting puzzle pieces together to find her friend's killer- and puts herself in danger at the same time.
There is no problem with the narration of this book. In fact, it's quite good. And, I enjoyed the descriptions of the towns and areas where the story took place because it was nostalgic for me. However, the author is all over the place and it's very hard to connect or care about the characters.
I will give this 3 stars total- I doubt those without local knowledge of the scenes and setting will be as patient as I was with the disjointed story.
You want to read 'The Best of Me' by Nicholas Sparks- Well- you really don't have to bother. You can read one of his dozens of other books and come up with the same sense of satisfaction.
Boy and girl know each other- Boy and girl are departed for a period of time- Boy and girl reunite but it's too late because some tragedy has happened and one has moved on.
The ending is ultimately depressing- but it's bittersweet. The hero of the story really does give the heroine 'the best of him.'
Nick needs to start moving on from formulations and start to make a few changes in his story lines. I think the last book I really enjoyed from Sparks was 'Dear John.' Of course it was really depressing and I cried like a baby while reading it- but at least I really connected to the characters.
There is no connecting to the characters in 'The Best of Me' and I found myself rolling my eyes at the predictable ending. The narration is well done and die hard Sparks fans will love it- but it was just 'meh' in my opinion. Although, I will admit- I probably will read his next book as I am a glutton for punishment.
3 stars overall
I am not sure why the reviews are comparing 'The Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins to 'Gone Girl.' Gone Girl was a great story and I even enjoyed the movie- but the main character in 'The Girl On The Train' is extremely irritating, completely pathetic, sad and quite dreary- yet extraordinarily lovable and magnetic. I couldn't wait to see what she would say next.
Rachel rides the train past the home of her ex husband and his new family. She notices their neighbours each day- a beautiful couple she names 'Jess' and 'Jason.' Each day on the train she goes by and spots them, imagining how happy their 'perfect' lives are.
What we don't know is that Rachel is riding the train into London because she was sacked for being a raving alcoholic- a condition brought by infertility problems and the subsequent affair her ex had, and then their divorce.
Things turn awry when Rachel rides by one day and sees 'Jess' making out with another man. While Rachel continues to fill her days drinking and faking being at work, she also develops a habit of drunk dialing her ex husband and his wife, and stumbling around in their neighbourhood. One night 'Jess' goes missing- and she's gone for days- and the problem is Rachel cannot remember what happened that night- only that the next day she had been hanging around her ex's neighbourhood and 'she has some unexplained bruises and cuts on her head. No one knows where Jess is- if she's dead, what she's done- but it turns out that there is a lot more to the 'perfect family' Rachel has conjured in her mind- and she finds herself entangled in their realities- instead of the imaginary family she made up.
This book is fast paced and told by three points of view. Every bit of it is interesting and I couldn't stop listening to it. The twists and turns are shocking and it's not a book I will ever forget. What an intense novel- I absolutely fell in love with it!
Brava! I am an instant fan of the author!
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