LISTENER

M. Boyer

  • 36
  • reviews
  • 51
  • helpful votes
  • 73
  • ratings
  • The Test

  • By: Sylvain Neuvel
  • Narrated by: Neil Shah
  • Length: 2 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 63

Britain, the not-too-distant future. Idir is taking the British Citizenship Test. He wants his family to belong. Twenty-five questions to determine his fate. Twenty-five chances to impress. When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death. How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing.

  • By M. Boyer on 04-23-19

Amazing.

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

Reviewed: 04-23-19

Wow! Just wow. Akin to a Black Mirror episode. Couldn’t recommend more if I tried. So good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Hate U Give

  • By: Angie Thomas
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 35,356
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32,662
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 32,548

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Book Changed My Entire Perspective

  • By Wendi on 01-14-18

This book ripped me open & sewed me back together

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

Reviewed: 03-28-17

I don't normally leave the book covers so large on this blog. But this blook was so good, all I want anyone to do is see this cover and buy this book. Angie Thomas has done an incredible job capturing life in this book. I can't even.... Stop what you're doing. Go to the store. Go to Amazon, go to Barnes and Noble, go to Audible.com go anywhere and buy this book. Most of my readers know it's a rare day when I'm pushing a book so much that I give you links to buy it.

This is a brilliant, gut-wrenching, heart-bursting novel. Angie Thomas will be remembered for having written a classic of our times. This book is about the need to speak out against injustice in our lives, communities, the world. I feel like this book has opened my eyes, shattered my heart, and yet still warmed me inside. Fiction can be transformational, and THE HATE U GIVE is the best example of it, for me, to date. I couldn't put this down and ugly cried through at least 40 minutes of it.

Like many books, I chose to listen to this one on Audible. The narrator Bahni Turpin had very specific praise when I was reading up on the book before buying it. So much that I had to listen to this book instead of buying a hard copy. I wouldn't have changed that for a moment. Each character was so specific to them, I could tell them apart based on her voice alone. She is a gifted story actress and I will be buying more of her work.

So to summarize.... Just buy this book and let it swallow you into its dark abyss. Let it rip out your heart and sew you back together again. Let it paralyze you and make you ugly cry. Let it open your eyes and heart. Let this book into your lives where it belongs.

33 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,387
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,566
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,541

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun! Things you might want to know:

  • By Alexis on 08-29-14

<3 for Scalzi <3 for Wheaton

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

Reviewed: 12-28-16

When I drive in the car, cook dinner, do dishes, etc. I usually am listing to an audio book. Multi tasking at it’s best. If I’m being honest with my audience, and I always am, then you should know that the reason I chose to read John Scalzi’s Lock In wasn’t because of his popularity in the science fiction world or the fact that he has been a New York Times Best Seller. No, the reason I picked this book was because Wil Wheaton is one of the Narrators.

I have a long love affair with Wil Wheaton’s writing and much to my surprise I’ve recently come to learn that the triple threat also narrates books! So when I was looking for a new book to read, having previously been blown away by his narration of Ready Player One (Which I will no doubt re-read soon and tell you all about it), I came across Lock In.

Point number two for this book was that Amber Benson also Narrates another audio version. After having read it, I can tell you that there is no gender identity for the lead character whose name is simply Chris Shane. I would happily reread this book with Amber Benson as the Narrator, and I have no doubt it would be equally as exciting, in all new ways.

Lock In takes place decades after a global flu killed 400 million people world wide leaving 1 percent to experience “locked in”. This unlucky 1 percent, also known as Hadens, are unable to move or respond to stimulus in any way but they are completely aware of what is going on.

The world moves on and technology evolves. Humans interact and connect with computers in ways that were never dreamed possible. A virtual reality called The Agora was created. It’s a place where those who are locked-in can interact virtually with the world and visa verse. It should come as no surprise that the younger generation of Haden’s prefers to interact with the world this way.

Android technology emerges in a from called a “threep” (a fun Star Wars reference), which houses the mind of someone locked-in virtually and allows the person to continue to have a life in the real world via a robotic body.

Scientists discover that some rare survivors of Haden’s who were not locked-in can in fact allow those who experience lock-in to essentially rent their bodies to others, they’re called “Integrators”.

Shane’s first day of work at the FBI involves investigating an incident with a dead body of an Integrator. This happens at the same time that Hadens are threatening to march on the nations capital after new legislation is passed that will take away funding that has been essential to Hadens for years.

There is a readily available amount of social commentary as Scalzi hits on the treatment of people with disabilities, the oppression of minorities, civil unrest, and the dangers of big business.

On a whole Scalzi’s Lock In is an old-fashioned detective story set in a world where post-apocalyptic wasn’t an answer. The tech-born culture is incredibly in depth and believable. There is action and whit a plenty. I can really see this making a good film and I hope someday I have the privilege of writing a comparison between the two. Oh if a girl can only dream.

  • Matched

  • Book 1
  • By: Ally Condie
  • Narrated by: Kate Simses
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,185
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,676
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,691

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Giver Goes Green

  • By FanB14 on 12-26-12

I'd prefer to read it myself - Great overal

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

Reviewed: 12-28-16

I’m a firm believer that 99% of the time, reading a book is better than watching the movie. However, I still enjoy the movies; I just want to enjoy the book first. So when I was going through the list of books to movies this year I took note of some titles that sounded interesting. Let me introduce Matched by Ally Condie.

Matched is about a dystopian society very reminiscent of other dystopian societies (i.e. The giver, Divergent just to name a couple). What makes this one unique is that ‘the society’ is breeding out bad habits, genes, and breeding in strength, intelligence, and submission to authority. Those who do not fall into their categories are given infractions, and their families are shamed. This story told through the first person eyes of young 17-year-old Cassia. We meet her on the day of her Matching ceremony, where she will be matched with her mate. In four years time they will be married and will go on to live ‘a good life’. A life without choice or freedoms, and on her 80th birthday, she will die; as everyone does. She is matched with her best friend Xander but much to her surprise when she goes to look at a micro-card with his information on it, a picture of Ky comes up. Ky is another childhood friend of hers. She is told it was a mistake; she cannot love Ky or be with him, no one can. “It is one thing to make a choice and it is another thing to never have the chance.”

This book was simple, and easy to read. The ideas aren’t all that new, there hasn’t been a moment where surprise, shock, or dismay took over. But what I loved about it was the way it was written. Condie goes to great lengths to express emotion and love; she does so, beautifully. There were many great quotes that I enjoyed and they even made me pause to take note.

“Growing apart does not change the fact that for years our roots grew side by side.” How many us can relate to this? This is a fact of life, and Condie illustrates it well with her words. The whole book is written this way, and this is what I loved so much about it. She writes with great flair and emotion, bottling it up for her readers to gulp down.

In the end, I enjoyed Matched a lot more than I expected to. I look forward to reading the second book in the series when it comes in the mail next week. Until then I will remember this: Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light – Dylan Thomas

  • Warm Bodies

  • A Novel
  • By: Isaac Marion
  • Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,892
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,774
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,771

R is a young man with an existential crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. His ability to connect with the outside world is limited to a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend, Julie.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • This was...OK

  • By Amazon Customer on 05-21-13

Just keeps getting better with each new page.

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

Reviewed: 12-28-16

I was in the midst of my finals and in dire need of something light and fun to read. Lucky for me Audible had a sale a couple of weeks ago and I bought a handful of books for $5 each! I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I love to have an audiobook on standby for when I’m driving, doing dishes, or even just relaxing. Since I’m a sucker for a book on sale, in any way, shape, or form, I have an endless supply of options to pick from.

Visually speaking, Isaac Marion’s book Warm Bodies is a mental delight. It’s a quick read, sitting at a mere 240 pages it made for a wonderful zombalishious snack. I have to give a nod to my fellow Seattle author. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more then a little excited to meet him at Emerald City Comic Con later this month.

The book was well written, but more then that it was fresh. The main character, R, is a zombie and as the reader we get to experience the world from his point of view. The book grows in consciousness as R does. I can’t say if it was intentional or not, but the descriptions, and artistry of Marion’s writing grows to a climax right along with R’s own transformation from zombie to human.

I’ve often wondered if it is possible to care passionately for something that contemporary mythos deem a monstrosity, and the resounding answer is yes. Marion has created a mesmerizing evolution of a being, bringing together both the mob mentality of your typical zombie movie and the genital romance of first love. Who would have thought it was possible?!

I enjoyed this book very much and I look forward to watching the movie later this week! Did you read Warm Bodies? What were your thoughts?

  • A Quick Bite

  • By: Lynsay Sands
  • Narrated by: Victoria McGee
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,698
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,314
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,319

Lissianna has been spending her centuries pining for Mr. Right, not just a quick snack, and this sexy guy she finds in her bed looks like he might be a candidate. But there's another, more pressing issue: her tendency to faint at the sight of blood . . . an especially annoying quirk for a vampire. Of course it doesn't hurt that this man has a delicious-looking neck. What kind of cold-blooded vampire woman could resist a bite of that?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Liked the book...hated the narrator

  • By Shelly on 06-08-10

Pass on the first book move on to the second

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

Reviewed: 12-28-16

I read A Quick Bite after hearing a number of wonderful things about Lindsey Sand’s Vampire series. Each book in the series stands alone but the many characters mingle throughout the books each focusing on someone new. I’d decided that if I was going to read one or two, why not start at the beginning.

This series of vampire books are meant to be comedies, although I wouldn’t have guessed from reading this book alone. A Quick Bite was decently written (although not my favorite) and most definitely a different take on the vampire genre; tying in the Lost City of Atlantis was a nice twist. That aside, it read like bad case of Stockholm syndrome.

I forgot while reading this book that it was supposed to be a comedy and found myself cringing more then a few times at the language and random situations the main characters found themselves in. The plot was lacking and what little plot there was, was quite predictable. If it wasn’t for the fact that I prefer not to leave books hanging, I may not have ever finished this one.

On the plus side, I’ve heard that the series does get better and at 22 books long, I would hope that is the case. Maybe skip this one and move on to book two. You’re really not missing much. Once you’ve fallen in love with three or four then come back to A Quick Bite and read it with the knowledge that it might be Sand’s weakest work. I’m guessing that you’ll be glad you took my advice on this one.

  • The Name of the Wind

  • (Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1)
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 27 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71,215
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64,997
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65,085

This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By Joanna on 05-10-11

Get past the first 50 pages and never put it down.

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

Reviewed: 12-28-16

I met and had a great conversation with Patrick Rothfuss, before ever knowing who he was. I met him, among many other wonderful authors, at the writer’s conference during ECCC this past year. Later when I was looking through the books for purchase I recognized his name from meeting him and I picked up a copy of The Name of the Wind and read the back. While standing there merely reading the back of this book I was stopped not once, but three times. Each person who approached me felt the strong need to tell me about his or her individual love for this very book. The last person told me that not only was this his second favorite book of all time, but that his first was Ready Player One, which as you know, if you’ve read my review, is also my favorite book. There was no question now… I had to buy it.

This is the sort of novel that fantasy readers search their whole lives to find, and the kind of book that a novelist (such as myself) can only hope of attaining a fraction of its beauty. This book is eloquently written, with deeply complex characters. There are careful revelations and amazing pot twists. In my opinion one of the best parts is emerging into the world slowly without feeling overwhelmed when being introduced to its nuances. No, instead, every thing I learned made me fall in love a little more.

Step into a world where magic, mystery, adventure, and most of all a great story lives. This is the story of Kvothe. He is Kvothe the bloodless, The Flame, The Thunder, The Broken Tree, E’lir, and one of the Edema Ruh. He is Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller.

Kvothe, our protagonist, is seemingly hiding as an innkeeper. But when he rescues a bard, he ends up sharing his life’s story with the chronicler. 9/10ths of this book is the back story of a nearly-mythical wizard, mixed with the increasingly dark present back at the inn.

The best part about this book is that Kvothe is, in so many ways, a very relatable character. The conflict isn’t built up on small disagreements that could have been easily solved if one person would have just cleared up some misunderstanding. Those types of situations would have me shaking my head and this was not the case during The Name of the Wind. The love story is something we can all relate too, probably in our teen years. A friend who we have stronger feelings for but never had the courage to say anything for fear of ruining the relationship. And most of all, Kvothe is afraid of failure and making mistakes. His problems often stem from a lack of action rather then a stupidity or brashness. I don’t know any man who isn’t afraid of failure on some level.

The magic in this novel is thoroughly rooted in the world in which Rothfuss has created. Nothing seems contrived and the consistency of it is flawless. When the protagonist does something youthful and dumb, the authenticity rings true, just as it does when he does something clever. Each character is realized. Because of this, the magic is true to its own world.

I devoured this book, and felt as though I’ve been on a long journey in another land. The second in this three (and a half) book series, The Wise Man’s Fears will be on my reading list in due time.

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts” – Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

  • By: L. Frank Baum
  • Narrated by: Anne Hathaway
  • Length: 3 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,965
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,302
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,272

One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway ( Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Just wonderful.

  • By WhosYourChubby on 08-29-16

Loved Anne Hathaway

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

Reviewed: 12-28-16

In the forward, Baum says that he didn’t intend for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to be violent, like so many fairy tales before it. However this is a book about a little girl get’s transported to a magical strange land where she kills the first person she meets. Later she teams up with three complete strangers to kill yet again.
image

When I was young, I watched the movie, with Judy Garland, but I never understood what the appeal was. I was perusing the audible titles the other day, as I like to listen to books as well as read them. At first when I saw the listing I kept right on looking, until I saw that Anne Hathaway was reading it. Oh how I clicked to look.

Turns out for 99 cents I got to hear one of the funniest audio’s of a book; that I wasn’t even that fond of. My favorite part was probably Hathaway’s valley girl raven. It was a short read coming in a just over three hours. Overall, still not my favorite, for no reason in particular. But I did enjoy Hathaway’s rendition. I would recommend investing some pennies for a good laugh.

  • In the Unlikely Event

  • By: Judy Blume
  • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
  • Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,317
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,176
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,178

In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was 15, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "HOPE FOR THE BEST... PLAN FOR THE WORST"

  • By Tracy P. on 09-21-15

Happy for another Blume Y/A book.

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

Reviewed: 12-28-16

In the Unlikely Event is Judy Blume’s highly anticipated new novel, and only one of four aimed at an older audience in Blume’s career. In the vein of Summer Sisters, this novel is told through the many eyes of a town. In the Unlikely Event takes place in the 1950s in Elizabeth New Jersey where three planes fell from the sky in less than sixty days. Pulling from the backdrop of her own experience living through these actual events, at 77 years old, Blume depicts a time when Elizabeth Taylor haircuts and A-bomb hysteria were very real.

I know that a lot of people found tracking the various characters difficult, the biggest complaint about this book, however I didn’t find it to be anything new. One of my favorite books is Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters and it was written in a similar fashion. I found it refreshing and ultimately unique story telling device that enriched the narrative.

While the crashes are at the center of the story manipulating the lives of each character, this narrative is really a coming of age story. The reader experiences these events from three generations of families, friends, and strangers.

Blume successfully honors the real victims of these tragic events by bringing to life the facts surrounding the plane crashes in New Jersey. In the Unlikely Event is an enchanting story of life’s ordinary and extraordinary events.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

  • By: Claire North
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,612
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,011
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,005

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now.As Harry nears the end of his 11th life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I'd feared

  • By Isobel on 04-29-16

Best Claire North book to date

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

Reviewed: 12-28-16

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a book unparalleled by most. I picked this book up in an audio format. First let me say this note about Peter Kenny, he is hands down one of the best narrators I’ve ever had the privilege of listening too. Throughout this book, there is an endless array of accents, even by our main character and Kenny handles each flawlessly. Not only does is voice add to the story, I can’t imagine that this superlative novel being told any other way.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August explores the meaning of time, life, friendship, and personal fate in awe-inspiring premise. Harry, our protagonist is reborn life after life as himself, same year, same family, same everything. Reincarnation or Groundhog’s day on steroids, I suppose we’ll never know. Each beginning of his lives is identical to the first with the exception that by the age of four or five Harry remembers the entirety of each of his former lives. At first, in his second life, Harry and his family think he’s gone mad and he kills himself by the age of seven. By his third life he’s adjusted to his fate and starts to understand the advantages to using his knowledge of the world to better his situation.

Soon Harry learns that he is a rare bread of people, the Kalachakra, who are apart of a secret society, the Cronos Club, spanning all of time. The club protects and saves young members from the hostage like state of having to live life as an adolescent repeatedly without being able to change their own lives. The club also is a way for each member to connect and pass messages through time both forward and backwards. Harry receives such a message in his eleventh life from a little girl: The world is ending, much like it always does, but at an accelerated rate and far sooner then it should.

I found that Harry is most fascinating when he’s at his most reflective moments in the book. Harry endures some atrocious experiences in multiple lives; he often looks back in a retrospective way with an almost cold historian like dispassion that edges on inhuman. This wall he’s built up around himself protects him from every experience he’s had in his more then 900 years on earth. Once in a while that wall cracks, and when those emotions come out and Harry can’t catalog them as a third party anymore, that’s when Harry is most compelling. The internal battle between what he dispassionately knows needs to be completed and what he emotionally desires to do instead makes for a beautiful read.

Claire North aka Catherine Webb is a skilled writer who strings a number of deeply complex events together flawlessly in a clear and compelling narrative. I couldn’t put this down.