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Wendi

Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!

Overland Park, KS, United States | Member Since 2011

94
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 100 ratings
  • 586 titles in library
  • 102 purchased in 2014
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10

  • The Storyteller

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3397)
    Performance
    (2964)
    Story
    (2979)

    Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?

    Suzn F says: "The Baker, The Nun, The Virgin and The Monster"
    "Best Novel from Picoult in Years"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Storyteller the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Storyteller?

    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.


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

    I really loved the German accents, and the way the few lines in German sounded. I loved the different voices for each character.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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)


    Any additional comments?

    I think this is the most intimate book Picoult has ever written and I could not put it down. It was a fantastic read.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • The Silent Sister: Riley MacPherson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Diane Chamberlain
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (300)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (277)

    In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?

    Patti Fulmer says: "Excellent story line"
    "Great story, kept me reading until late at night"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Silent Sister contains much of Diane Chamberlain's usual formatting in writing a work of fiction. We have a confused woman who is trying to make sense of her family, and a ton of secrets behind the scenes that are slowly seeking their way to the top.

    Riley is a high school counselor. Her father is in ill health, and when he dies she discovers that long ago, she had a sister. Her brother is an ex veteran and isn't really interested in talking about the sister, who apparently committed suicide. However, as Riley digs deeper, she finds that her sister Jade's death was a big lie. Why would her family go to all of the trouble to fake her death and move her? There is an excellent reason why.

    The Silent Sister moves quickly and is packed full of juicy twists and turns. The main character is likable and the story on the whole is very well done. The narration was impeccable and this is an overall good audiobook which I enjoyed tremendously.

    Solid 4/5 stars

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Accidents of Marriage

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Randy Susan Meyers
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    Maddy is a social worker trying to balance her career and three children. Years ago, she fell in love with Ben, a public defender, drawn to his fiery passion, but now he's lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids - which works to keep a fragile peace - until the rainy day when they're together in the car and Ben's volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.

    Daryl says: "Searing, honest... I loved this book!"
    "Depressing and Eye Opening- Hit Too Close To Home"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first started reading Meyers' 'Accidents of Marriage' I was overwhelmed with the similarities between my marriage and that of the main character. The husband Ben is a very self centered jerk who really couldn't care less about his wife Maddy, who took care of their family while he was out often 'on business.' He threw tantrums and she never knew what would set him off.

    One day he is in a very bad mood and they get into a car together. It's raining, and he has an accident and Maddy is left in the ICU with a brain injury. While her three children wait, terrified their mother will die, Ben is worried that people will discover the truth- which was that the accident was his fault and caused from his anger.

    The book goes from one narrator to the next, and uses the person's point of view. It reminded me a little of Gone Girl in the beginning, and a Jodi Picoult book in the middle and end.

    This book, albeit very depressing, was a real eye opener for me. The writing is just so raw and honest and it's touching. I sucked me in and I listened to it in two nights. The narrator does a wonderful job with all of the characters as well.

    4 solid stars

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (952)
    Performance
    (898)
    Story
    (908)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "The Years WThill Pass Us By.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen King is getting less creepy and more and more 'normal' in his writing. I know that a lot of people won't really like King's 'Revival,' however I wasn't one of them.

    Revival is about the pull that people have between believing in a higher power and giving what may seem like miraculous wonders credit to science.

    We start out with a young boy and his preacher, Charlie. The preacher teaches the young boy how a certain type of electricity works and lets him play with his many toys. When the preacher's wife and son are killed in a car accident, the 'terrible speech' was given- the preacher said that we are all fools if we believe in God.

    Years later, some of the people in the story are sick, some have died, but the little boy meets up with Charlie again. The little boy is now a heroin addict, and Charlie cures him- not without a few adverse affects. The two form an unbreakable relationship which is tumultuous but best served if they help one another.

    Strange things happen to some of their sick friends, but the question is always- what caused the strange happenings? A person- or a different force? Would you still believe?

    Revival is a very well read novel with excellent prose and great character development. I read it in two nights and I thought it was amazing.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2962)
    Performance
    (2714)
    Story
    (2711)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Joanne M. McGowan says: "I didn't want to press the stop button!"
    "What Lies Beneath Our Outer Shells"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished listening to 'Big Little Lies,' the book which has been on the New York Times Bestselling list for weeks. Another book by the same author had equal popularity. It's called 'The Husband's Secret.'

    Big Little Lies focuses on a group of Kindergarten parents in Australia.

    Jane has moved her son Ziggy to another school. She is a single mom and of course wants the best for her child. On the first day of school, Ziggy is accused of choking a little girl. This immediately tarnishes Ziggy and Jane's social status. Her right to bring her 'horrible' child to school is questioned by the 'bobs' which are the Stepford-like judgmental moms (with blonde bob haircuts) who not only have the same coiffure, but make it a point to be a pack of followers. Renata, the parent of the attacked child, is relentless.

    Celeste is the mother of twin boys with a ridiculously handsome and wealthy husband. She sides with Jane on the matter, when parents start to write a petition to kick Ziggy out of school. Merideth also befriends Jane.

    Behind the friendships and talk of their children though, all of the women have some pretty shocking secrets to share, which all come to a head on 'Trivia Night,' where worlds collide and the truth comes out.

    I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes good literary fiction. The narrator was near perfect. She has an Australian accent and she is clear and concise. I really thought her voice was perfect for the story.

    There are a lot of 'shockers' in Big Little Lies, which made it hard for me to break from. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am sure any other audible listener, or reader, will as well.

    5 stars all the way through!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Time

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1185)
    Performance
    (1090)
    Story
    (1096)

    Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest.

    Jan says: "Pickiest Reader Would Be Willing to Give 6 Stars"
    "I Won't Lie, I Am Disappointed with Jodi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First let me say that Jodi Picoult is hands down, one of my top favourite authors. I've struggled with her ridiculous, and, at times, non-existing endings over the years. However, I always pre-order her books and look forward to their release. The reason I like Jodi so much is she makes the reader think of uncomfortable situations and deal with them. She also has a real knack for story telling.

    Sometimes though, Ms. Picoult has a habit of ripping off other authors' ideas. For example, her book 'Change of Heart' could have been titled 'The Green Mile Rip Off.' Anyone who's read it will know what I am talking about.

    **Spoiler Alert**

    Having said that, 'Leaving Time' is a bunch of very well done research about the mourning habits of elephants. It has some wonderful information on elephants in general, and Jodi has done her research. However, the story line might as well be called 'Elephants and the Sixth Sense.' In fact, maybe she could get Bruce Willis to play the hero, and perhaps grab Whoopie Goldberg (who, I swear the 'medium' character is written for), to co-star.

    Leaving Time focuses on a little girl who is trying to find her mother. Her mother is a specialist in the elephant kingdom, as was her father. Her mother, however, left when the little girl was extremely young and she was never found. So, a psychic and a police detective decide to help the girl find her mother.

    The book is mostly filler- it could easily be a non fiction book about elephants- but the story line develops throughout the filler, and ultimately left me with the 'ARE YOU KIDDING ME' face. Jodi needs to be a bit more original if she's only going to come out with a book every year or two. Her publicist should be fired..

    Total disappointment.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Suffer the Children

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Craig Dilouie
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    Suffer the Children presents a terrifying tale of apocalyptic fiction, as listeners are introduced to Herod's Syndrome, a devastating illness that suddenly and swiftly kills all young children across the globe. Soon, they return from the grave, and ask for blood. And with blood, they stop being dead. They continue to remain the children they once were, but only for a short time, as they need more blood to live. The average human body holds 10 pints of blood, so the inevitable question for parents everywhere becomes: How far would you go to bring your child back?

    AudioBookReviewer says: "How far would you go?"
    "Completely Surprising, A Horrifying Delight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I googled 'Suffer the Children' because I was trying to find the author to the book. But, it wasn't this book I was looking for. When the book by Craig Dilouie popped up I read the description, and I immediately ordered it on audible. I gobbled it up voraciously- which may be a bad play on words..

    Dilouie delivers something original, fresh, and exciting. For people who are tired of vampires, no need to worry- reading this sheds another light on thirsting for blood. It's incomparable to Sookie Stackhouse or Bram Stoker himself..

    A disease has wiped out every single child and unborn baby who has not reached puberty-- in the entire world. This poses a lot of problems of course. Grieving parents, full graves, rotting corpses, miscarriages, and a stunned world. It seems as though humans will be extinct with no future generation.

    When some children flutter their eyes and come back from the dead asking for blood.. yes.. blood... desperate parents everywhere try the quite 'natural' remedy and see their children with rosy cheeks and smiles again. But when the cure works for a small amount of time, and more and more blood or 'medicine' is needed to stir the sleeping/dead children, things get ugly. People with money can afford to buy blood from those willing to sell, however regular folks have to rely on their own bodies.. and one pint gives an hour of life..

    I have read a lot of scary books, and Stephen King is my favourite author, but this book is completely original. In fact, if I didn't know better, I would have thought that King was the author because of the fresh content and ultimate creepy factor.

    The ending takes on an entirely new twist which will delight horror lovers and leave a scar in the memories of parents everywhere. This would make a most excellent movie if done correctly.

    The narration is nearly perfect- with that 'matter of factness' which makes a scary story even more terrifying. The only thing worse than things you can see in a horror novel.. are the things you can't.

    5 stars, highly recommended- be prepared to binge read.. and hug your children...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Deepest Secret: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Carla Buckley
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (78)

    Eve Lattimore’s family is like every other on their suburban street, with one exception. Her son Tyler has a rare medical condition that makes him fatally sensitive to light, which means heavy curtains and deadlocked doors protect him during the day and he can never leave the house except at night. For Eve, only constant vigilance stands between an increasingly restless teenage son and the dangers of the outside world.

    Suzn F says: "Engaging and Interesting Story"
    "Gripping and Suspenseful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have never read Carla Buckley before. This audiobook kept me engaged. I listened to it at work and while going to sleep, and also in the car.

    Eve would and has done anything for her son. He was diagnosed with a very rare condition called XP which makes him completely intolerant to sunlight. He will die of cancer if he's exposed. Eve has tailored her life around his, being there for him in the day, setting up the perfect environment, living in darkness, etc. This constant care for her youngest son creates a strain on Eve's daughter Melissa and Eve's husband.

    One awful day during a torrential rain storm, Even hits her neighbour's daughter with her car and accidentally kills her. The only thing she can think of is covering up the crime so that she can be there for her son, who needed her to survive daily.

    The book continues to weigh Eve's conscience and while the police become hot on her trail, she does everything she can to make her look completely innocent and not suspected. Things start to spiral out of control though...

    I loved the narrator and the book was great- with the exception of the ending which I found rather lame and it didn't really tie up the issues presented by the book. I would definitely recommend this though-

    4 solid stars.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kelley Armstrong
    • Narrated By Carine Montbertrand, Mozhan Marno
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (233)

    Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions. But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence.

    Marianne says: "An Awesome Start to a New Series"
    "Omens- Kelley Armstrong"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have never ever read anything by Kelley Armstrong. I was thrilled to find out that she had written a book called 'Omens,' I really enjoyed it, and I will buy the next in the series as soon as I can get my hands on it.

    Kelley's heroine is 24 year old Olivia, who is a very high society girl and engaged to an equally high society rich, dashing young entrepreneur. Olivia, however, was not born into the wealthy lifestyle she lives. She was adopted. When it comes to the public eye that Olivia's real parents were notorious serial killers who brutally murdered several couples- cult style, Olivia is forced to remove herself from her home and friends. Her mother can't handle the stain on the family and Olivia herself is hurt, confused and bewildered. She is also without money.

    Olivia decides to take the time after the shocking revelation to go back to her roots and find out more about her serial killer parents. In doing so, she meets several people who help her find what she's looking for. And I have to say, what she finds is shocking. The little town she is from is full of secrets, and Olivia learns that she has some characteristics unlike those of any other people.

    Olivia starts to understand that she was meant to come back to the town in which she was born. She belongs there for several reasons. And she goes on a quest to find out what really happened when her parents were taken from her by police at a young age. It's beginning to look like her parents have been in jail for years, with absolutely no evidence pointing to them.

    Omens is a very exciting and high paced story. I loved it, and I listened to it in just two days. I found myself listening in the car and on breaks from work. I can't wait to find out what happens next.

    4 stars across the board.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • When She Woke

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Hillary Jordan
    • Narrated By Heather Corrigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (241)

    Hannah Payne awakens to a nightmare. She is lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home. She is now a convicted criminal, and her skin color has been genetically altered. Her crime, according to the State of Texas: the murder of her unborn child, whose father she refuses to name. Her color: red. The color of newly shed blood.

    Amy says: "A Thoughtful Dystopia"
    "When She Woke- SciFi Version of The Scarlet Letter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hillary Jordan takes us to a time where abortion is again, illegal. This is the very near distant future. This could be our future. Instead of filling up prisons with people, people are made to be outcasts and second class citizens by dyeing their skin.

    Hannah wakes up to find that her skin is now red. She looks horrific and she is embarrassed and confused. She was impregnated by a very popular preacher, but the tragic part is he was married. She is deeply in love with the preacher and does not want to give his name. Because she refused to name him, she received the punishment. She was under questions because Hannah decided to get an abortion which are, in Jordan's futuristic book, entirely illegal. She is forced to serve a brief prison sentence and go into a half-way home for women of different colours. The colours are indicative of their crime. Red people killed- and murder includes the murder of an unborn child. Yellow people have stolen something. The list goes on.

    An underground group of people who save those who have been unjustly accused of these crimes and left to live as outcasts eventually saves Hannah, but she must cut all times with the people she's cared about for her entire life.

    Throughout her journey, Hannah makes some serious self discoveries which she probably would not have if this hadn't happened. She realizes that the situation she was in was not a good one for her psyche. She sees things from a different perspective. She is shunned by her family and even her sister's husband, who makes it a habit to kill the coloured criminals. She finds that her lifestyle when 'normal' wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and she discovers herself and revels in how strong she is. Her skin and her circumstances empower her.

    The book can be compared to the Scarlet Letter because the heroine's colour eventually defines her as a stronger person, just as the scarlet letter also eventually defined Esther not as an outcast, but as a badge of honour. Also comparable to The Scarlet Letter, the baby by the clergyman is another similarity. I thought the book was done well and I found it very interesting. I had a hard time putting it down, as it made me think of so many current political problems and hot topics that are going on in the world right now.

    The narration was extremely well done. I enjoyed listening to the reader at the speed of 1.5 throughout the book. I loved the fade in music for each chapter.

    It's an easy read, sort of like a Young Adult book.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good, thought provoking read. 4 Stars


    ***This review is mine and is also published on www.audible.com

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hopeless

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Colleen Hoover
    • Narrated By Angela Goethals
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (580)
    Performance
    (538)
    Story
    (545)

    Would you rather know a truth that makes you feel hopeless, or keep believing the lies? Beloved and bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with the spellbinding story of two young people with devastating pasts who embark on a passionate, intriguing journey to discover the lessons of life, love, trust--and above all, the healing power that only truth can bring.

    Jordy says: "Another 5 Star Favorite"
    "Seems Like An X Rated YA Book- Has Promising Start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sky was not a typical teenage girl. She and her friend snuck boys in their rooms after their mothers would be asleep and they spend time at one another's homes like they were sisters. This in itself is nothing odd when dealing with teen 'BFF' relationships. However, Sky has some pretty strict guidelines she has to follow. She was adopted by her mother who remains single, and never had a serious boyfriend since she adopted Sky at age 4. While her friends go to high school and have computers, televisions, cell phones and internet, Sky's mother doesn't allow any of these modern technologies for her daughter. Not only is Sky homeschooled, but she hasn't been exposed to the media or things like Facebook and Twitter.

    When Sky bothers her mother to the point where she wants to spend her senior year in a high school, they decide she may do so. Right away Sky meets Holder, and immediately has a strong attraction to him. This is so odd because Sky spend a lot of time making out with random boys but really never felt attracted to any of them. It was just time to waste and Sky maintained her virginity while basically blowing off boys who wanted relationships with her. When she met Holder, her world was turned upside down.

    The problem with Holder is he's weird. He seemed sort of stalker-ish at first and at times, creepy as well. However, the attraction could not be denied and as Sky's relationship with Holder continued to progress. We find out that there is a reason for Holder's strange behaviour as past secrets begin to reveal themselves. Sky's entire identity is shaken to the core as she quickly goes through a journey of self discovery which reveals a horrific part of the life she had been purposely forgetting.

    The suspense while Sky met Holder and the very graphic sex scenes made the book very interesting, and until half way through I was hooked. After we find out about Sky's past, the book starts to drag and it becomes very obvious what the conclusion will be. There is far too much time spent on Sky and Holder 'making out' and far too much description of their kisses. The book began to ramble in the last two hours of listening time and I found myself hurrying the reader to a '3' so that I could finish it quicker.

    This book is more like a teen book or young adult novel. It's a very simple story with a plot that has some good primary twists and turns, but then the writing as well as the performance becomes boring.

    3 stars across the board- good for those who might enjoy young adult with a little spice

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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