LISTENER

Jennifer Greenlees

Arizona
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 9
  • ratings
  • A Gathering of Shadows

  • A Novel
  • By: V. E. Schwab
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 16 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,795
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,604
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,593

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift, and into Black London. In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid Second Installment

  • By Beth Anne on 02-28-16

I Did Not Much Enjoy This Book

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

This book was performed well, but it felt like filler to me. I don't know how much of my feeling this way is due to the fact that I listened to A Gathering of Shadows rather than reading it myself, but after finishing it. . .

I don't understand why it took 16h,9m to tell this story. Seems to me it could have been a chapter or two at the start A Conjuring of Light. All I'm taking from this story is that we met Alucard, learned that Lila DOES have magic, and Holland survived only to be subjugated under Oseran (sp?), and Oseran want Kell.

It really felt like I listened for +16h just to get Kell into Oseran's clutches, along the way meeting Alucard and learning that Lila DOES have magic. Again, I don't understand why this couldn't have been worked into a chapter or two at the start of A Conjuring of Light. :-/

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Husband's Secret

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,314
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,749
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,756

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but a little too much hand-wringing

  • By Regina on 08-18-13

3.5 stars: A Very Good Story, but Tess, the End...

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

Reviewed: 01-20-18

Would you consider the audio edition of The Husband's Secret to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print edition of this book, nor do I ever plan to read it. This audio edition was perfectly acceptable to me.

If you’ve listened to books by Liane Moriarty before, how does this one compare?

This was my first Liane Moriarty book. I might someday try another. (If I do, I'll hope for a more satisfying ending.)

Have you listened to any of Caroline Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't think I've heard any other books read by Caroline Lee, but I'd be willing to try another. I thought she did a very good job with this book.

Any additional comments?

3.5 stars - good

This was a pretty good story, but I had some problems with it. So it gets a 3.5-star "good" rating from me.

I have two major complaints, which I'll talk about at length in just a bit. . .

But first, I actually laughed out loud a couple of times in the beginning. Because I listened to this audiobook version of this story, I did not feel able to note down where or why I laughed, but it was sometime during the first 20% of the book - and I'm pretty sure I laughed at things Cecilia either thought or said (or at least, in the "Cecilia Family Scenes"). :-)

One of my - or maybe two of my three? - complaints is related to this line in the book's description:
"But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret."

The letter WAS important to the story, but it took an awfully long time before Cecilia read it and we learned what it said. It was introduced fairly early, but it wasn't opened until almost the second half of the book (on page 162 in the hardcover; felt like halfway through in the audio). And then when we did finally learn what "the husband's secret" was. . . The book could have ended right there, 'cause nothing happened regarding it! :-(

(I mean, yes, Cecilia and John-Paul's youngest daughter was an indirect victim of the secret revealed in the letter, but that was it. No punishments or anything were forthcoming for anything.)

This is actually the second - and most important - of the two major complaints I mentioned at the start of this review: The ending didn't resolve anything! The Epilogue actually told us what would have happened had Rachel's daughter remembered about an appointment that day and gave us a pretty big hint as to what was in Cecilia's daughter's future had she not been hospitalized.

But was the husband ever punished for the secret in his letter? No. Not in this story's time line, at least. Once Rachel learned the truth, her reaction to that truth also left a lot to be desired. And while I could believe that it could have happened that way, it did not make for a very satisfying or satisfactory conclusion. :-(

My first major complaint - stemming from the above-mentioned blurb in the description - involves Tess's role in this story. Specifically, what was her role in this story? ???

I initially thought that the husband's secret involved bigamy, but this theory was tossed out as soon as we met Tess and her husband, who was clearly not John-Paul. . . .

Tess hadn't known Rachel's daughter, and she didn't really know Cecilia (if they didn't have their first meeting in this story, they were only passing acquaintances before it), so why was she in this book? She was the ex-girlfriend of that one guy, but he was also a teacher at Cecilia's youngest daughter's school, so Tess was not needed to introduce him as a character.

So why were Tess and her husband and her cousin - and all of their drama and angst - in this book?

???

Can anyone tell me? Because it seems to me that she was filler. :-( Cut Tess out, and the book would have been much shorter. So was she in there just so that this story would be book-length? And so that she could help Cecilia when she collapsed after learning the letter's secret and coming face-to-face with one of the victims of that secret? Because neither of these reasons is enough to justify her inclusion in this story.

Having Tess in the story made it sort of more interesting, but it also made this book read like a soap opera. :-(

So this was a really good story, with a super interesting premise, but it all just sort of fizzled away in the end. I doubt I'll remember this story or these characters in a week, and if I do remember them, it will only be because of how dissatisfied they made me feel. :-(

I feel like I should give this story fewer stars, but it was a good story. It kept me engaged and reading/listening, and I did care enough about the characters to want to see where the story went. . . I'd have given it four stars for being a story that I really enjoyed, but that ending (or non-ending). . .

So 3.5-good-stars is the right rating from me.

A few words on the narration: Caroline Lee did a good job, and if I wouldn't have been able to identify who was speaking apart from Esther (she had a lisp) and Jacob (he was a toddler, and sounded like a toddler), at least the text gave me their identities. So I never felt lost as to who was talking.

One note that it now occurs to me to share: I mentioned it in my first status update on Goodreads while "reading" this book, but forgot about it when writing my review until I started talking about the narration. . . I don't know if it was how the narrator read it or just how it was written (though I suspect it was how it was written), but the love scene between Cecilia and John-Paul made for very awkward listening. I'm pretty sure I actually rolled my eyes (though it might only have been mentally) during that scene. :-(

But overall, I think Caroline Lee did a fine job. I suspect that it is thanks to her narration that I didn't mind all of the Tess parts when I was engaged in listening to this book, even after I began to suspect that the Tess parts were mostly irrelevant.

So I'd give the narration a solid four stars for being "very good; really enjoyable." :-)

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Widow

  • By: Fiona Barton
  • Narrated by: Hannah Curtis, Nicholas Guy Smith, full cast
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,689
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,203
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,196

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on when more bad things began to happen... But that woman's husband died last week. And Jean doesn't have to be her anymore. There's a lot Jean hasn't said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Disturbing but very good.

  • By CR on 02-18-16

A good, satisfying, story

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

Reviewed: 01-20-18

I really enjoyed this book. I didn't listen to the whole of it. I read the first ten chapters, and then listened to most of the rest of the book, reading the print edition along with the audio for the final few chapters.

I thought the readers did pretty good jobs, but calling this a "full-cast production" made me think every character would be voiced by a different person. And this was NOT the case.

Instead, the chapters were all from differing points-of-view: The Widow, The Reporter, The Detective, The Mother, The Husband. . . And each POV was entirely read by the specific readers for these POVs.

So once again, I was left wondering why the widow wasn't always voiced by "the widow," why the reporter wasn't always voiced by "the reporter," why the detective wasn't always voiced by "the detective," and so on. (The Good Girl by Mary Kubica was also performed in this way.)

Each reader did do a pretty excellent - even five-star - job at distinguishing the characters from one another, but I was a bit disappointed due to the reason I shared above, so the overall narration gets just four stars from me.

About the story being told, I have to say that I was not surprised - at all - by Jean's internal memory of her husband's death. (I saw that coming as soon as we learned why Jean was being hounded by the press.) But the rest of the ending did sort of take me by surprise. I had so hoped that Bella would be found alive...

So was this a good book? Yes, I really enjoyed it. Will I ever reread it? Probably not.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • All I Want for Christmas

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Lauren Davis
  • Length: 2 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 422
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 334
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 335

Identical twin boys Zeke and Zach wanted only one gift from Santa this year: a new mom! But convincing their love-wary dad that their music teacher, Miss Davis, was his destiny and part of Santa's plan wasn't as easy as they'd hoped.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining

  • By Lisa on 02-12-08

This is my favorite Christmas story

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

Reviewed: 01-10-18

Would you consider the audio edition of All I Want for Christmas to be better than the print version?

Sadly, no. When I read the print version (in my edition of The Gift by Nora Roberts), I both laugh AND cry, in several places. With this audio edition, Lauren Davis did an excellent job, but I never laughed and I only cried in a couple of places (not in all of the places I cry when I read this story myself). But still, I did cry! So kudos to Lauren Davis for evoking tears in me.

What was one of the most memorable moments of All I Want for Christmas?

Apart from the once or twice I cried, I really love the scene wherein Nell and her students are putting on their holiday show. And then the ending is really just lovely. :-)

Have you listened to any of Lauren Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I believe this was my first experience at hearing Lauren Davis perform an audiobook. While she is not my favorite narrator, I would be willing to try another book narrated by her, so long as that book was in my immediate areas of interest.

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

As said above, the scene wherein Nell and her students are putting on their holiday show (and what happens immediately after this show) and the ending are very moving for me. :-)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

  • By: Mackenzi Lee
  • Narrated by: Christian Coulson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,151
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,973
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,968

Henry "Monty" Montague doesn't care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family's estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Even better than I expected...

  • By 5ismyfavoritenumber on 07-22-17

Really enjoyed despite my lack of love for the mc

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

Reviewed: 11-28-17

I really enjoyed this book, but despite several emotional scenes, I never laughed or cried. This might be because of the reader.

Don't get me wrong, I thought the reader did a pretty excellent job with voicing the various characters, both male and female, but none of the voices evoked an emotional response from me.

Also, I did not particularly like the main character. Monty was selfish in a completely unattractive way. He did come to realize that not everything was about him, but it was too little, too late for me to think of him favorably.

My favorite character was perhaps Felicity, Monty's younger sister. With her reading glasses and love for books, how could I not love her? :-)

I also really liked Percy, though I wished on several occasions that he would take a two-by-four and apply it to Monty's head. ;-)

I thought the whole thing with the Duke of Bourbon was a bit farcical, but it suited the story, so it was okay.

I should mention that I got majorly confused in Chapter 5. I tried listening to it on audio five or six times before I had to give up and find a print edition. Thankfully, I had a hold on a print edition at my library, and my mother was able to check it out for me on the Saturday that fell within the time I spent reading this audiobook (November 23-27, 2017).

So I did read the first five chapters in the print edition. You see, I didn't understand how it seemed like one minute Monty was mooning over Percy and then the next he was caught in flagrante with a girl. But when I read Chapter 5 with my own eyes, that switch came clear for me.

After I read through Chapter 5 in the print edition, I went back to the audio, restarted it partway through Chapter 5, and then finished the book on audio. Did I understand everything? I think so. Did I hear everything? Probably not. But I did understand the story, and, as I said at the beginning of this review, I did really enjoy it. :-)

  • Like Water

  • By: Rebecca Podos
  • Narrated by: Kyla Garcia
  • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

In Savannah Espinoza's small New Mexico hometown, kids either flee after graduation or they're trapped there forever. Vanni never planned to get stuck - but that was before her father was diagnosed with Huntington's disease, leaving her and her mother to care for him. Now she doesn't have much of a plan at all: living at home, working as a performing mermaid at a second-rate water park, distracting herself with one boy after another. That changes the day she meets Leigh.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Does she have HD or not?

  • By Jennifer Greenlees on 11-20-17

Does she have HD or not?

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

Reviewed: 11-20-17

I really enjoyed this audiobook. The reader did a pretty good job and the story was very interesting.

That said, Savannah learned the results of her blood test for Huntington's disease, but all she said was "I knew..." and we weren't ever told if she had it or not. :-(

Apart from that one complaint, I thought this story was great! Vanni's father has Huntington's disease, and I found this heartbreaking as his symptoms seemed similar to those my father had. (My Dad had a form of dementia. He passed away in 2014.) I didn't ever cry, but I came close once or twice.

One other thing that took me aback: I knew Vanni worked as a mermaid, but I spent the first hour and change wondering how I missed mentions of "mermaid" in the text. Then we had Chapter Six (I think) and Vanni went to a casting call for mermaids. Chapter Six was more than an hour into this book!

One other thing I'll comment on. . . I had heard from some people that they didn't like the insta-love in this book. I did not see Vanni's relationship with Leigh as an insta-love situation. Leigh's bitchiness toward Vanni could have disguised her attraction, and Vanni didn't realize she was bi. I thought their relationship was handled well and well-written.

In sum, I really liked this story. It was very good. I just wish we had been told whether or not Vanni has Huntington's disease!

  • The Good Girl

  • By: Mary Kubica
  • Narrated by: Lindy Nettleton, Johnny Heller, Tom Taylorson, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16,452
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14,688
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14,676

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, Colin Thatcher seems at first like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • griping storyline, i wish it wasn't over..

  • By Katrina Baecker on 01-22-15

Wish it hadn't had that Epilogue

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

Reviewed: 11-19-17

3.5 stars

I'll talk about the audio first: This book was told from three perspectives until the Epilogue, when a fourth perspective was shared. The primary three were Eve Dennett, Mia's mother; Gabe Hoffman, the detective on Mia's case; and Colin Thatcher, Mia's kidnapper. And then in the Epilogue, we finally heard from Mia herself.

There were four readers for this book: One each for Eve, Gabe, Colin, and Mia. They did pretty excellent jobs, but I don't understand why, in Eve's POV chapters for example, ALL of the characters were read by the woman who voiced Eve. Similarly, the guys who read for Gabe and Colin did ALL of the voices in their respective POV chapters, too. I don't understand why Eve wasn't always voiced by "Eve," or Gabe by "Gabe." And when "Mia" came to life for us in the Epilogue, I wondered why that lady hadn't always been the voice of Mia. :-(

Within their POV chapters, it was always clear who was talking when, so props to the readers for that. But none of the readers wowed me, so four stars for the audio.

The story. . . Is this book one in a series? Because if not (and I don't think it is), that ending was highly unsatisfactory. I actually replayed the Epilogue to find out what I had missed. But sadly, I heard it right the first time.

And since an earlier chapter told us - I'm pretty sure - that Mia's father was already pretty much destroyed, I don't see why she did what she did in the Epilogue. (And speaking of Mia's father, destruction couldn't have happened to a better person. He was no prince.)

So I would have given this book four stars, but that ending. . . *ARGH!!!*

One further complaint, though a minor one: I never understood why Mia had amnesia until one of the final Eve or Gabe "After" chapters. Turned out to be the result of trauma, just not physical trauma.

Also, despite the many "After" chapters, it wasn't until the end that we learned about that traumatic event.

So despite the fact that we didn't hear a word from Mia's POV until the Epilogue, we didn't learn about that detail until Mia's memory was restored. While this worked for the story, I did raise a mental eyebrow over when and why we were finally told. :-/

Sadly, I just cannot say that I really enjoyed this story. I liked it well enough, but. . . So that's why I'm rounding down to three stars, when usually I give 3.5-star books four stars.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 164,613
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 151,951
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 151,788

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

I LOVED this book!

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

Reviewed: 04-13-17

Where does The Martian rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would put this book at the top of the top five of all the audiobooks I've listened to so far, and it is THE BEST book narrated by a single person of those top five. :-)

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

I listened to this book while driving home from the Houston area of Texas to Tucson, Arizona. The most memorable moments for me are that I both laughed and cried during my listening experience, and I did not crash the car. ;-)

Which scene was your favorite?

I just really loved the whole book. Sadly, I have only listened to it once, and that "once" was over 18 months ago, so I no longer remember the story too well, beyond that I absolutely adored it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes! I both laughed and cried at certain sections. R.C. Bray did such a fantastic job with this book.

Any additional comments?

Again, I just really loved R.C. Bray's narration. He voiced all of the characters so very, very well. I will happily listen to this book again, and probably even before I read the print edition, which I bought a year or so ago. :-)

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Half-Resurrection Blues

  • Bone Street Rumba, Book 1
  • By: Daniel José Older
  • Narrated by: Daniel José Older
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 395
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 369
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 373

Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead's most unusual agents - an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind - until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death. One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He's summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Funny, Sharp Urban Fantasy

  • By Alex on 10-18-15

Sadly, I DNFed this book

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

Reviewed: 04-13-17

Would you try another book from Daniel José Older and/or Daniel José Older?

I would be willing to try another book from Daniel José Older so long as the narrator is someone other than Daniel José Older.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The premise was interesting. Sadly, I had trouble focusing on this book, mostly due to the poor narration, so I can't really say much more than that.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I was severely unimpressed by this author's attempt to narrate this book. In the beginning, he seemed to at least TRY to make the females sound like females, and to make the various voices distinct from one another. But by the time I "finished" it (I gave up after Chapter 28 - at 52%) almost all of the voices sounded alike to me. The females and the males, the speaking parts vs. the narration, nearly all of them just began to sound the same. :-(

Was Half-Resurrection Blues worth the listening time?

No, I do not feel that this book was worth listening to. I wish I had given up much sooner than I did.

Any additional comments?

Happily, I also own a print edition (mass market paperback). I am hoping to enjoy this book more when I can read it for myself. Also, please note that had I been able to submit this review without giving a story star-rating or an overall rating, I would have left those two blank. As it is, I gave the story three stars, as I feel that the narrator cannot be completely blamed for my lack of focus/interest, and the overall rating of two stars is simply an average of the story and performance ratings.But I do really hope - and expect - to enjoy this book more when I can make time to read the print edition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful