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Michelle Harder

  • 23
  • reviews
  • 416
  • helpful votes
  • 117
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  • Where the Crawdads Sing

  • By: Delia Owens
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 20,675
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,985
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,906

For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Seattle blues on 08-17-18

Wonderful Story

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

Not much that I can say aside from the fact that the writing was exceptional, lyrical, poetic, and the story was beautiful.

  • The Broken Girls

  • By: Simone St. James
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,259
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,091
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,079

Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants - the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming - until one of them mysteriously disappears.... Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Drama, Suspense, Intrigue and a Ghost

  • By Anna Landry on 04-13-18

Decent Story, But Quit Reading Because...

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

Reviewed: 10-14-18

I'm a picky reader, and because I read so much, I may pick up on and be more annoyed by cliches and worn out tropes and devices than the casual reader. I decided a while back that it didn't matter how decent the story, I would stop reading any murder mystery in which an author used this one tactic, which is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine: the bad guy manages to trap the main character and gets a chance to explain themselves in some long, painfully unrealistic diatribe: why and how they did it, detail by agonizing detail. It's such a tired, worn out device in mystery stories; it is flat out lazy, and I can't believe that as many times as it has been used, writers still have not figured out that it's unrealistic and annoying. Almost NO ONE speaks the way authors voiced their villains in this scenario.

The bad guy always has the same tone, same attitude: smug disdain, defiant justification for their crimes, and overly obvious feigned regret for what they're about to have to do to the person they're spilling it all to. I've heard it so often that I know how it plays out the moment it begins. Let me know if this sounds familiar: Main character, close to the end of the story, is right on the edge of figuring out whodunnit. They manage to somehow trust the person who did it just before they have the epiphany that they are in the same room with the bad guy. So they say "It was you, all along" and the bad guy goes into his diatribe "I had to do it because...and here is how I did it...and this is why I did it this way...and this is what is up with"... (ties up every loose end the author was too lazy to tie up some other way or didn't give the reader enough credit to figure it out on their own with the information provided). And finally, "I would have managed to get away with it had it not been for your meddling, so as much as it pains me, I'm going to have to kill you now so you don't foil my whole dastardly plan."

I stopped reading at that point, so I don't know if it gave the hero/heroine the time they needed to figure out how to escape or to be rescued, but if this worn out device continued in the same pattern as they usually do, that's what happened next. The villain spilling their guts gives their intended victim just enough time to manage to escape somehow. Lazy, sloppy writing is what it is now. It reads like the end of a gosh dang Scooby Doo episode.

The story, up to that point, was tolerable, though not the 4 and 5 star writing that this book is rated -- not by a long shot. To be honest, I found myself tuning in and out, being drawn in and semi sympathetic to a character in some part to the point of almost caring what happened to them and why, but never really GOT THERE. My rule that I always stop a book when I discover the author is too lazy to wrap it up in a fresh way has, once in a while, been difficult to follow, because I at least sorta cared what happened to the characters. Not so much this time. In short, I've stopped reading much more well written stories before they end.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • What She Doesn't Know

  • A Psychological Thriller
  • By: Andrew E. Kaufman
  • Narrated by: Christina Traister
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 309
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 247
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 245

Sometimes what you don’t know can hurt you. In Riley Harper’s case, it’s what she says she can’t remember. Nearly a decade ago, Riley was the suspect in a murder investigation that destroyed her life and drove her into a psychiatric facility. Locked away for years, she was always guilty in the eyes of an unforgiving public. Now, after being released, all she wants is a fresh start, but the effort stalls when she becomes fixated on her new neighbor’s extravagant life. She can’t stop watching Samantha Light. And it’s curiously satisfying.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Definitely a psychological thriller...but

  • By Jenn on 04-10-18

Decent Writing Style, Silly Story

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

Reviewed: 06-16-18

I couldn't get into it. Wayyy too far fetched, over the top, done before. I didn't mind the writing style, so I listened as long as I could to kill time and get my credits worth, but by the end, I rolled my eyes though the entire last 30 minutes. Disappointing, and called for wayyy too much suspension of disbelief for the type of story it was. Ugh. I want my credit back.

  • A Secondhand Life

  • By: Pamela Crane
  • Narrated by: Melanie Carey
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

Suffocating beneath the weight of avenging a dead girl and catching a serial killer on the loose dubbed the "Triangle Terror," Mia must dodge her own demons while unimaginable truths torment her - along with a killer set on making her his next victim. As Mia tries to determine if her dreams are clues or disturbing phantasms, uninvited specters lead her further into danger's path, costing her the one person who can save her from herself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A secondhand Life

  • By MANI on 06-20-17

Ehhh. It was OK.

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

Reviewed: 04-18-18

I'm not sure why, but I had trouble with this one. Maybe I just didn't like the author's writing style. The story wasn't awful, but it just didn't hold any real surprises for me. Not really mysterious, not really suspenseful...and the main character was a bit whiney for my taste. The narration of the villain was horrid and trite. Almost cliched. Very one dimensional. I am evil...but I think I'm good, but I know I'm really evil, and I love the killing and the blood and the moment the life drains from them...blahblahblah. Just fell really flat. By the end, I just didn't care anymore and just wanted to finish so I could start something better.

  • The Perfect Roommate

  • By: Minka Kent
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Siedt
  • Length: 5 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 178
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 167
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 168

She's my roommate. I know how she takes her tea, how she organizes her closet. I know when she goes to bed each night, what she eats for breakfast, the passcode on her phone. I know she calls her mother on Mondays, takes barre on Thursdays, and meets her friends for drinks on Fridays. But more important than any of that...I know what she did.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • MINKA ROCKS!!!

  • By Getshotzi on 02-11-18

Enjoyed the Read

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

Reviewed: 02-15-18

I liked the Memory Watcher a little more, but I think it was because of the subject matter. The writing was just as well done. This author is very promising, and does well with holding the reader's interest. I also could identify with the inner dialogue of the narrator, which is always a pleasant little surprise.

  • The Wife Between Us

  • By: Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,741
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,173
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,125

When you listen to this audiobook, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are listening to a story about a jealous ex-wife. You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement - a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle. Assume nothing. Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • NOT that confusing! Gone Girl + Last Mrs. Parrish

  • By Jenn on 01-11-18

Not my usual read, but well written

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

Reviewed: 02-12-18

I totally saw the first and last twists from 10 miles away, but it was ok, because the story was well written, the characters were believable. I was never bored or wanting to skip through to the next part. Having been in a very similar relationship to the one in this story (I won't give details in the interest of spoilers), I could identify with nearly ALL of the inner dialogue of the main character. There were times I found myself literally nodding along with her and thinking "I feel ya, girl". I remember saying certain things verbatim in my own head during and after the relationship ended, so I felt like I was listening to a woman who could relate to my story. And then I remembered I was listening to a fictional story. In reality, though, while the more fantastic situations and details described in the story line are fictional, the marraige between the main character and her husband (and the other woman) couldn't be any closer to real. I think that's why I maybe saw some of the twists so early on, and while typically seeing a twist too soon irks me, it actually bode in favor of this book, because of the remarkably relatable aspect. I love it when a book surprises me, but I also love it just as much when a book KNOWS me as this one did.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl Who Lived

  • By: Christopher Greyson
  • Narrated by: Amy McFadden
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,034
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 957
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 963

10 years ago, four people were brutally murdered. One girl lived.... As the anniversary of the murders approaches, Faith Winters is released from the psychiatric hospital and yanked back to the last spot on earth she wants to be - her hometown where the slayings took place. Finding no solace at the bottom of a bottle, Faith decides to track down her sister’s killer - and then discovers that she’s the one being hunted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who do you trust when you trust no one?

  • By shelley on 12-15-17

It was o.k.

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

Reviewed: 02-09-18

Nothing special. It was a decent story, decent plot, mediocre to cliche characters, and a semi decent twist. Nothing about it was special or spectacular, and I will forget it by the time I'm done with another book. Worth a read if you're between good books and have a credit to burn, but it's definitely not one that I will ever look back on. In fact, in a few months when I'm browsing, I'll see this book and it's fantastic ratings and think about getting it...the only reason I will know not to is that Amazon will tell me their records indicate I have already purchased it.

  • The Woman in the Window

  • A Novel
  • By: A. J. Finn
  • Narrated by: Ann Marie Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18,219
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16,750
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16,698

Anna Fox lives alone - a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times...and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble. And its shocking secrets are laid bare.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • STAY AWAY!!!

  • By Susan Olson on 06-02-18

Solid first effort

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

Reviewed: 01-09-18

Slow start, great middle, slightly over the top climax, decent end. Will read future novels by this author.

  • Butterfly Kisses

  • A Thrilling Serial Killer Novel - Detective Damien Drake, Book 1
  • By: Patrick Logan
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

When a drug addict finds the body of a man in the basement of an abandoned warehouse in New York City, Detective Damien Drake is called in to lead the murder investigation. Damien's last case cost him his partner's life. This case threatens not only his job, but his sanity, as well. And this time, the killer may be even smarter than he is. One thing is for certain, if he doesn't catch the killer soon, more people will die. The only question is, will the next victim be someone close to Detective Damien Drake?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Could not get through the prologue

  • By JustMeOpinion on 09-20-17

Ugh

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

Reviewed: 09-25-17

I wanted to like this. The story line itself was getting to be a little intriguing, but I was completely and totally thrown out of it by the narrator so many times that I had little tolerance for any sort of annoying plot holes or cliched tropes.

So when the villain was introduced as "the man in black" (biggest cliche ever) it sent me right to the edge of "NOPE" immediately, and then...oh gosh. The villain said to the main protagonist (only he says this to himself where only he can hear it while lurking in the shadows and looking at the main protagonist -- another whopping cliche) "your time will come"... Eye roll inducing cliche number 3 in a matter of seconds. I'm OUT!!

What year is this?? The story includes smart phones and references to Urban Dictionary, but the villain is out of a 1970s B film?? I was waiting for the narrator to say he wrung his long bony fingers together whilst saying "mwaaahahahahahHaha" afterwards. Geeze!!!!

So I may end up slogging through this when I've run out of reading credits for the month, but I just can't force myself back to it right now.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Creole Belle

  • A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 19
  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,416
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,131
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,082

Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song “Creole Belle” on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Burke & Patton -- Synergistic Phenomenon

  • By Mel on 07-25-12

Enjoyable, though a bit slow

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

Reviewed: 09-17-17

I'm a sucker for Will Patton's narration, so I was able to make it through the slow parts. To be fair, I enjoy mysteries mixed with psychological thriller and twist elements, so it's a preference thing. It was overall a good book, but it took me longer to make it through because it just wasn't as suspenseful as I like. Glad I read it though. The author does have a nice writing style, and the character development was good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful