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Yvette Z Vandermolen

  • 15
  • reviews
  • 55
  • helpful votes
  • 108
  • ratings
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

  • A Novel
  • By: Hank Green
  • Narrated by: Kristen Sieh, Hank Green
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,013
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 963
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 961

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., 23-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship - like a 10-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor - April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads Online. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world - everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires - and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense media spotlight.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Grape jelly in the void

  • By Marissa on 09-27-18

Fantastic Narrator/Author Match!

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

Reviewed: 10-03-18

For anyone who has watched Hank Green's videos, his particular voice really shines through in his writing here. Kristen Sieh could be his female doppelganger, she captures his cadence so well. She's fantastic with the cast of characters and all the female and male voices. Sometimes it is a bit confusing as to whether it's the lead character or her girlfriend talking, but that can happen on the page as well, and that subtle difference really forced me to pay attention.

Just finished the book yesterday and I'm still baffled by the ending. Looking forward to my husband finishing the book so I can unpack the ending with someone else. Another reviewer called it cheap, but that's a cheap description. The rest of the book is so carefully crafted -- and so much about careful crafting -- that it's hard to believe the ending was just slapdash. This is a book that encourages multiple encounters, not only to puzzle out what are likely multiple interpretations of the ending but also just to hang out with the characters again. And I'm sure it's not just me, but April May is often difficult to like, and I like that.

  • Something in the Water

  • By: Catherine Steadman
  • Narrated by: Catherine Steadman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,858
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,064
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,975

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Give this a HARD PASS

  • By 3dewdrops on 06-27-18

Hope There's a Sequel!

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Perfect popcorn suspense novel for summertime! Catherine Steadman's narration is among the best I've heard for author-read books. Also one of the best narrations from a screen actor; voice acting is a special skill within the profession and Steadman has clearly honed it. Performing one's own work can be risky, but she brings her story alive through her familiarity with the material instead of getting in the way.

Reviewers who didn't finish the book and criticize the main character for her bad choices made the wrong choice themselves. This novel is proof that unlikeable lead characters are a feature not a bug. The first-person narration from an unlikeable, unreliable lead reminds me of Caroline Kepnes's YOU, which had a sequel to wrap up loose ends. Something in the Water could use a similar treatment.

  • The Power

  • By: Naomi Alderman
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,204
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,959
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,949

In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: There's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Beginning pulls you in, but end doesn't hold up

  • By Maren M. on 08-06-18

Model Example of Matching Narrator to Book

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

Reviewed: 04-25-18

Not what I expected, thank the Goddess! People are complex, gender is complex, society at the best of times is a hot mess. This is not a simple feminist critique of men as leaders, or women as leaders, but a complex deep dive into how humans respond to and handle power. And the narrator is fantastic!

  • The Comfort Food Diaries

  • My Quest for the Perfect Dish to Mend a Broken Heart
  • By: Emily Nunn
  • Narrated by: Candace Thaxton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

One life-changing night, reeling from her beloved brother's sudden death, a devastating breakup with her handsome engineer fiancé, and eviction from the apartment they shared, Emily Nunn had lost all sense of family, home, and financial security. After a few glasses of wine, heartbroken and unmoored, Emily - an avid cook and professional food writer - poured her heart out on Facebook. The next morning she woke up with an awful hangover and a feeling she'd made a terrible mistake - only to discover she had more friends than she knew.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible Narration

  • By Yvette Z Vandermolen on 11-25-17

Terrible Narration

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

Reviewed: 11-25-17

I might buy the Kindle or paper version for the recipes, but other than that I can't really recommend this book. With such a title I was expecting something more uplifting, but instead got a continuous rant about how awful this woman thought her family had been to her. It's like going out for a coffee date with a friend who really needs a shoulder to cry on and then not leaving for several days. I like helping my friends, but I really don't appreciate paying for the privilege of helping a stranger, especially when I thought I was getting entertainment. The whole experience is made worse by a strained narration style that sounds like the reader is always out of breath. The whole experience made me tense!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Paradox Bound

  • A Novel
  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,356
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10,768
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,747

Nothing ever changes in Sanders. The town's still got a video store, for God's sake. So why doesn't Eli Teague want to leave? Not that he'd ever admit it, but maybe he's been waiting - waiting for the traveler to come back. The one who's roared into his life twice before, pausing just long enough to drop tantalizing clues before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. The one who's a walking anachronism, with her tricorne hat, flintlock rifle, and steampunked Model A Ford.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Standard Clines. Fun and forgettable

  • By Debra on 10-07-17

Read 14 and its sequel instead

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

Reviewed: 10-04-17

I was hoping this book was more like 14, but it seems more like Clines' fantasy books. The characters are flat and boring - Why is the main character staying in a hometown and in a life he clearly hates? Because "it's home"? No depth to the characters, no clear motivations, just a pointless road trip. A real disappointment. Ray Porter is amazing, as usual, but still I didn't waste time finishing this book. Look forward to Peter Clines' next book with faith this one was just not to my taste.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • I Am Princess X

  • By: Cherie Priest
  • Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102

Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a longlost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun story, but audio may not be the best medium

  • By Yvette Z Vandermolen on 02-24-17

Fun story, but audio may not be the best medium

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

Reviewed: 02-24-17

Went looking for another Cherie Priest book set in the real world and was excited to find this one is set in Seattle, a city I know pretty well. Priest gives us an excellent tour of the city and had me thinking I had actually seen signs of Princess X in my own adventures around town. I wish this book had gotten more notice locally, especially from the local comic con and rather significant comic book scene. It would be fun to do this as a book club selection with Girl Scouts or some similar group. It's a wonderful YA book for mid-adolescent age but also fun to read as an adult.

That said, this book is probably best experienced in visual form, as the story shifts from novel to graphic novel. The narration is fine with the novel characters but the comic book characters are overacted and irritating. The narrator just doesn't have the vocal range for those parts of the book, which are almost painful to listen to. Casting a separate narrator for those voices may have been a better choice.

Even with the sometimes irritating narration, I was sad when the story ended. I really love these characters! I hope Cherie Priest writes more of these sorts of fantasy thrillers set in real places; she's got an amazing sense of place.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Hike

  • By: Drew Magary
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,678
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,460
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,449

When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Kafkaesque novel that went on way too long

  • By Ketil on 01-06-17

Weird and Wonderful!

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

Reviewed: 11-12-16

I had no idea where this hike was leading. Is this a fairy tale? Am I leveling up (or not) in a psychotic game? What the hell is happening?! Even when the twisting path leads to a satisfying conclusion, I'm still left with questions. Great read, great peer into the existential void, great philosophical inquiry. And a great narrator to lead listeners down this path to ... what?!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Fireman

  • A Novel
  • By: Joe Hill
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
  • Length: 22 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,937
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,558
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,541

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it's Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies - before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A bit disappointed

  • By NCBluebonnet on 06-06-18

NOT a Joe Hill book!

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

Reviewed: 06-24-16

If you've never read a Joe Hill book, short story, or comic book, STOP NOW and read one of those instead!

Joe Hill has become my favorite writer to emerge in the last decade or so. He plunges readers into intricate worlds full of engaging characters who demand your loyalty and then take you right up to the edge of sanity. His writing is economical even as it builds whole worlds you could crawl right into and live inside, if they weren't so damn terrifying.

Unfortunately, with The Fireman he has chosen to ape the more wandering and flabby style of Stephen King. I fear this over-reliance on his father's style and material will become a habit. I hope this was just a one-off homage to Stephen King classics like The Stand, or even an experiment. I welcome experiments, and in some ways this book was an interesting one. If a shrewd editor had chopped off the first half of the book and encouraged Joe Hill to lean into his own style (as he does in the second half of the story) to flesh out the whole book, it wouldn't have been damaged by the dull rambling that has marred his father's books in the later part of his career. I loved Kate Mulgrew's reading of Hill's NOS4A2 and she certainly kept me going with this book, but it was still a slog, which is a new experience for me with a Joe Hill story.

Even if you like The Fireman, please understand it in no way reflects the experience of a REAL Joe Hill book, one of which should be your very next read/Audible experience.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • You

  • By: Caroline Kepnes
  • Narrated by: Santino Fontana
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,022
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,231
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,214

Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: she's gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and sexy beyond his wildest dreams. Joe needs to have her, and he'll stop at nothing to do so. As he begins to insinuate himself into her life - her friendships, her email, her phone - she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom-made for her. So when her boyfriend, Benji, mysteriously disappears, Beck and Joe fall into a tumultuous affair. But there's more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow. This. Book.

  • By Emily - Audible on 07-17-15

Excellent match of book and narrator!

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

Reviewed: 03-22-16

Sick and twisted in the best possible way. One of those stories that makes an old married person very, very glad to be off the market. Dating is hell.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  • A Novel
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,822
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,638
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,619

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gaiman delivers an intimate masterpiece

  • By Talia on 08-07-13

I expect better from Gaiman

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

Reviewed: 05-27-14

Gaiman's Anansi Boys is one of my Top 5 favorite audiobooks, and I love Coraline, Neverwhere (TV and radio shows), The Sandman series, and the movies that have come out of his work, such as Mirrormask. Given how inventive he can be, this book really falls flat. It's predictable and not all that exciting. I had just finished listening to Joe Hill's NOS4A2, with all of its twists and turns and deeply realized characters, and Ocean just felt amateurish by comparison. I think it got raves because everyone expects a certain style from Gaiman, so if that style is present, the book is automatically a winner. I think King's writing has suffered from this same slavish behavior from fans. This is not Gaiman's best work. Spend a credit on his older and better stuff, or get Mr. Penumbra’s 24‑Hour Bookstore or Alif the Unseen instead. Those books aren't the English-nanny airy-fairy style of Ocean, but the stories are much more engaging and the fantasy elements not so old fashioned and predictable.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful