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Wendi

Houston, TX
  • 156
  • reviews
  • 1,625
  • helpful votes
  • 223
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  • The Visitor

  • By: K. L. Slater
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 72

Holly never thought she'd move back to her hometown, but then something terrible happened. She doesn't know if she can recover. But she knows she can never tell another soul. People say her neighbour, David, is 'different'. He doesn't go out much, and never after dark. But in David, Holly finds just what she needs: a friend. Someone who's always there. No-one knows Holly's secret or where she lives. She has left the past behind. So why does she feel as though she's in terrible danger?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good not great

  • By Brian A on 05-18-18

The First Stinker From One of my Favourite Authors

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-27-18

I took a few days to decide what I wanted to say about 'The Visitor.' I wanted to continue to rave about K.L. Slater and her wonderful psychological twists and turns. The problem is, this book was.. well.. awful. There was no real story line, the characters didn't connect and there was no point.

I highly recommend reading LIAR by K.L. Slater or, well.. anything else. Maybe she needs to take a hiatus from book writing. I respect her trying to put out as many as possible, especially with her recent success. This book however, is just not good.

Disappointed, but will still keep reading her books. Everyone can slip once in awhile.

-Wendi

  • The Forgotten Ones

  • A Novel
  • By: Steena Holmes
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe, Arthur Morey
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 281
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 254
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 254

Elle is a survivor. She’s managed to piece together a solid life from a childhood of broken memories and fairy tales her mom told her to explain away bad dreams. But weekly visits to her mother still fill Elle with a paralyzing fear she can’t explain. It’s just another of so many unanswered questions she grew up with in a family estranged by silence and secrets. Elle’s world turns upside down when she receives a deathbed request from her grandfather, a man she was told had died years ago. Racked by grief, regrets, and a haunted conscience, he has a tale of his own to tell Elle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Story of Past Family Secrets

  • By Wendi on 05-04-18

Amazing Story of Past Family Secrets

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-04-18

An old man lays dying in a hospital bed, and his only solace is his attentive and kind nurse. He is certain he will burn in hell when he dies, so as the cancer eats his body he savours the pain because he knows he's still alive.

Miraculously, his estranged granddaughter works at the hospital in which he is dying and he asks for a final last wish- which is to talk to her and tell her the story of her mother and grandmother. There is a strong and horrific history of depression in the family, but this particular old man, William, was in love with his wife no matter her state of mind.

As events unfold and the truth comes to light, a family heals and makes amends.

The story telling by the dying old man is done so very well. It personifies his characters and evokes empathy from the listener. I relished this book and although the subject matter wasn't always pleasant, and to be honest it was downright shocking at times, everything done in the past was done out of love and protection for family.

Excellent story telling by Steena Holmes!

5 solid stars

-Wendi

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • An American Marriage (Oprah’s Book Club)

  • A Novel
  • By: Tayari Jones
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden, Eisa Davis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,786
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,252

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to 12 years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved the Story, but...

  • By Lisa N. Haynes on 03-01-18

Maybe the Narration Ruined This For Me..

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-18

An American Marriage was okay. To summarize, a newly wedded couple (husband openly admits he has transgressions), were unlucky enough to be in a hotel room beside a rape victim. Some how the husband gets charged for the rape and ends up in jail. We assume he was tried and convicted for nothing more than being black.

The couple keeps up with writing to one another for a couple of years, and then the wife decides she can't take it anymore and falls in love with her childhood friend. The husband gets out of jail on appeal and goes back to try and salvage the marriage.

The narration is so monotone. I kept asking myself 'Why isn't he more upset about this??' There was no voice infliction to indicate any sort of feeling from the male or female narrator. It made the book less intense, less interesting, and less convincing.

I am grateful to Oprah for introducing me to dozens of books which I have loved since 1995. This just wasn't one of them.

-Wendi

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • I Am Watching You

  • By: Teresa Driscoll
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,363
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,067
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,058

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it - until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she's decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls - beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard - has disappeared.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • don't waste your time

  • By Shannon Conner on 10-26-17

Awesome Ending.. Fairly Good Story Line

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-18

I Am Watching You was one of those books on the 'back burner' of my 'to read list.' I finally got around to giving it a listen, and I was happily surprised.

Mom of the only baby in her neighbourhood overhears chatter on her baby monitor and it sounds like someone is trying to steal her baby. She becomes extremely paranoid that one of the neighbours is out to get her. Her husband starts to think she is crazy. Turns out, there are probably some logical explanations to her paranoia. Then again, maybe not.

The ending of this book blew me away. I was not expecting that. Be sure to listen to the epilogue. Totally awesome!

4 solid stars,

-Wendi

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Circe

  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,566
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,347
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,338

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refined writing with an intimate performance

  • By Michael - Audible Editor on 04-11-18

Stunning!! An Incredible Accomplishment

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-18

First off, if you've read previous reviews on Circe, you are likely under the assumption that if you don't know anything about Greek Mythology, you may not be interested in reading/listening to the book. This is not true.

My Greek Mythology is rusty at best, and I devoured this book like it was chocolate on Easter morning. I actually found myself looking up details about certain gods, goddesses and demi-gods and doing so increased my appreciation for Circe tenfold.

Madeline Miller focuses on Circe, the daughter of Helios (the sun god) and Perse who was an ocean nymph. To sum up the plot without getting 'too Greek,' Circe is banned from home and sent to an island to live out the rest of her days (which, as a goddess, are infinite). Circe is a sorceress and her magical powers get stronger through the centuries, but Miller shows more of her human side.

Circe has many visitors to her island and she tells the many stories of the visitors and their journeys. The tales all intertwine with Greek Mythology, but with a very human touch. This book was written to please all readers, regardless of their previous knowledge. We are introduced for seemingly the first time, to Persephone, Artemis, Athena, Eris, Demeter, Poseiden, Hermes, the story of the Minotaur, the Labyrinth, and more- with a very human touch.

The prose are beautiful, the narration is perfect, and Circe is probably one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading/listening to. I am buying 'The Song of Achilles' now and I intend to listen until I can listen no more! Brava Ms. Miller!!

  • The Child Next Door: An unputdownable psychological thriller with a brilliant twist

  • By: Shalini Boland
  • Narrated by: Katie Villa
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 561
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 521
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 523

Kirstie Rawlings is jolted awake by a child crying. Racing upstairs to check on her newborn, she is plunged into every parents’ worst nightmare. She hears an unknown voice in the baby monitor saying, "Let’s take the child - and go." Is someone trying to steal her little girl?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better and better

  • By Brian A on 04-06-18

One of the Best Endings- Ever..

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-20-18

The Child Next Door deals with a woman who stays home with her baby, and overhears someone else on her baby monitor talking about 'taking' a baby.' Her monitor has picked up someone talking who may have another monitor. Since her baby is the only one in the entire neighbourhood, the woman thinks that someone is planning on taking her baby. The confusion and paranoia begins as the woman calls the police and tells her husband that she is convinced her baby will be taken.

All is not peaceful and serene in her little quiet neighbourhood in the suburbs outside of London. It's surprising what you can find out about people. The neighbourhood in question can be likened to Wisteria Lane (Desperate Housewives).

The ending of this book actually shocked me. It was a total surprise; so much so that I had to laugh in delight with the brilliance of it! The story is fairly good, but anything lacking in the story was made up for with the ending.

4 solid stars

Wendi

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Little Liar

  • By: Clare Boyd
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 224
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 205

When a child’s scream pierces the night, Mira does what any good neighbor would do: She calls the police. She wants to make sure that Rosie, the little girl next door, is safe. Opening her front door to the police the next morning, Gemma's picture-perfect family is forced under scrutiny of social services. As her flawless life begins to crumble around her, Gemma must fight to defend the family she loves and protect her daughter from the terrible secret she's been keeping. When Rosie disappears without a trace, Gemma thinks she only has herself to blame....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I couldn't put it down

  • By Tracy Stack on 02-27-18

A Very Odd Novel

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-10-18

Little Liar is an odd book. I am not really sure what the point was, but it did keep me listening. We have a family who lives outside of London with their young daughter Rosie, and their son. Jemma (Mom) is pregnant again and Pete is seemingly basking in his job, married life, and children's love.

But, Jemma's neighbour has a past. She had her baby taken away when she was just 15 years old. She is jealous of Jemma, and reports her to social services for child abuse. Although, Rosie isn't an 'angel' child because she lies about being abused as well. She has terrible temper tantrums and she behaves badly.

Rosie drives Jemma to the point of screaming (and I can't say I blamed her). Every time this little brat would act like a spoiled little witch I wanted to scream at her. My rage built up inside me, too. Jemma felt guilty about getting angry, and her nosey neighbour fills Rosie's head with more ammunition to get Jemma in trouble, and she's already in jeopardy of going to prison for abuse!

The neighbour is suffering from PTSD due to a bad relationship with her mother, and being raped by her mother's boyfriend as a teen- and then having the consequential baby taken from her and put up for adoption. Rosie the 10 year old needs some anger therapy, as does Jemma.

This book is depressing and it has no specific climax. It's one heart ache after another and it screams 'THESE PEOPLE NEED THERAPY' to the reader. It doesn't really fall under a psychological thriller. It's just a story about people who are a complete mess.

It's worth the listen if you can get it on sale. I hated Rosie (that's so awful of me!), but some of the other characters are very likable, and the bond between families (good or bad) is portrayed beautifully by the author.

-Wendi

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Ladies' Room

  • By: Carolyn Brown
  • Narrated by: Donna Postel
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,665
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,228
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,232

Secrets told in the church ladies' room are supposed to stay in the ladies' room. But that doesn't mean that what Trudy overhears there during her great-aunt Gertrude's funeral won't change the rest of her life. Trudy has a daughter in the middle of a major rebellion; a two-timing husband who has been cheating for their entire married life; and a mother with Alzheimer's residing in the local nursing home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Soul Food!

  • By Tunes on 02-25-17

Easy, Simple and Sweet

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-18

I have never read anything by Carolyn Brown before. If I can find a special price, I may read something else, but to be honest I didn't know she wrote Christian fiction. Well, it's sort of Christian fiction. There is a lot of mention of God, the bible, the devil and church- but it's not always in a really religious way. There is however, a definite lack of sex and no cussing, which are normally my prerequisites for enjoying a book. (Sad but true! ha!)

Anyway, this novel is about a lady, Trudy, who's weird Aunt Gert dies. She goes to the bathroom at the funeral and overhears her two cousins gossip about how she is so stupid and her husband has been cheating on her for years. It turns out weird Aunt Gert was smart enough to know that the 'stupid' cousin, Trudy, was the kindest one, and has left her a home and a ton of money- and a gorgeous, sweet neighbour. She moves into Aunt Gert's home and starts living a life without the fog of her jerk ex husband and her ungrateful daughter. She also takes advantage of her special relationship with Aunt Gert's neighbour, and she comes out of her shell and realizes that she doesn't have to be everyone's door mat.

This is a very enjoyable listen, easy to understand, and pleasant. It was a nice change from the gritty psychological thrillers I choose!

-Wendi

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Night Trade

  • Livia Lone, Book 2
  • By: Barry Eisler
  • Narrated by: Barry Eisler
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 583
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 537
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 536

For sex-crimes detective Livia Lone, a position with a government anti-trafficking task force is a chance to return to Thailand to ferret out Rithisak Sorm, the kingpin behind her own childhood ordeal. But after a planned takedown in a nightclub goes violently awry, Livia discovers that she's not the only one hunting Sorm. Former marine sniper Dox has a score to settle, too, and working together is the only way to take Sorm out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dox and Livia - does it get any better than this?

  • By shelley on 01-24-18

Livia Lone's Legacy Continues

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-18

Barry Eisler narrates his second novel himself (as he did the first). His narration is impeccable, and the story is a marvelous continuation of the first book in the series.

Livia Lone is grown and working as a detective. Her history is extremely complex as she was sold into the child trafficking industry by her parents, and taken from Thailand to live with a powerful American politician who abused her. After years of mastering martial arts, and the need for revenge on the men who killed her sister, Livia becomes a product of her past. She is a very unique vigilante and stops at nothing to bring justice to her sister and her stolen childhood.

Livia is now a very well respected detective with the Seattle Police Department and she has an opportunity to go back to Thailand to track down a powerful child trafficking ring of criminals, including some of the men who used and abused and discarded she and her sister when they were children. This is a fast paced book which introduces us to a couple of new characters on the 'good' side who are extremely likable. With all of Livia's faults and sins, the reader stands behind her and feels that she needs to do 'whatever' to get even, to cope, and to vindicate her past experiences.

This is an excellent second novel in a fantastic, gritty, terrifying series.

-Wendi

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Every Note Played

  • By: Lisa Genova
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris, Dagmara Dominczyk, Lisa Genova - afterword
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211

From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful and heartbreaking exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.

An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.

He knows his left arm will go next.

Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn’t moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.

When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard’s muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it’s too late.

Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripped me from the first word.

  • By Julia on 03-21-18

Not Nearly As Good As Her Others

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-23-18

What I feared might happen has definitely happened. Lisa Genova is showing more of her 'neuroscientist' personality in her books, which should be a balance of rich, complex characters as well as neuroscience.

I loved 'Still Alice.' I adored 'Left Neglected.' The O'Brien's are a family I won't soon forget. However, 'Every Note Played' falls flat. (Pardon the pun).

Usually we see the 'beginning' of the rare disease Genova writes about. Her characters have symptoms and then get diagnosed. In 'Every Note Played' we are immediately notified that the main character, Richard, has ALS. We are then told his story and the story of his ex wife.

The description of ALS is so personal and effective. The way Genova describes the ongoing ruin of Richard's body makes the reader (listener) cringe. The picture is clear, and Richard's pain and suffering are so real. Obviously, as always, Genova has done meticulous and immaculate research on the progression of the disease. (All of her books are focused on some kind of disease or disorder).

The problem is, the characters are completely unlikable. I wanted to stop listening several times because, quite frankly, I hate all three major characters- especially the one with ALS. Genova has disassociated the fiction with the facts, and the book comes off only as an in depth description of what happens during the frightening and terrifying stages of ALS.

I was hoping for more, but I respect Genova's writing and research abilities. Bring back characters like Alice and the O'Brien family Lisa!

-Wendi

5 of 6 people found this review helpful