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kathryn

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The War I Finally Won audiobook cover art

Second book as good as the first!

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

Reviewed: 03-23-19

This is a two book series. The first book was absolutely excellent, so I worried that the author might not be able to keep up the writing and story as magnificently, but I’m happy to report that she succeeded. Another excellent book!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Lilac Girls audiobook cover art

A story that submerges you into the lives 3 three women

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

Reviewed: 06-16-18

...but mostly into the lives of the women who were captured and sent to Ravensbrück camp, who were later forced to undergo inhumane, experimental surgeries in an effort to prove that a doctor didn’t make a medical mistake when one of Hitler’s friends died from infection after being attacked. Horrific all the the way around. This book is well written and performed. I give the story 4.5 stars. There were a few slow parts with the relationship between Caroline and Paul, and overall didn’t feel that that relationship was very necessary to include in the book; it didn’t really go anywhere. However, it did provide an additional context for why Caroline had such affection for France.

The War That Saved My Life audiobook cover art

Loved it all!

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

Reviewed: 01-16-18

Two unwanted children, abused by their mother get shipped off to the countryside as refugees during World War 2. There they find someone who needs them as much as they need her. A wonderful story told from the point of view of an 11-ish year old girl. I liked everything about it.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine audiobook cover art

Eleanor is NOT completely fine...

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

Reviewed: 12-22-17

The after effects of abuse are far-reaching and damaging. The effects of tires genuine friendship are far-reaching and healing. This story is as much about a supporting character, Raymond, being the truest kind of friend a person could have as it is about Eleanor dealing with her demons. Two events catapult Eleanor on a path of recovery. 1. She makes a decision to change her life (she starts with the outward appearance), but just in the decision to make a change she opens herself up to new experiences & people which start to change her life. 2. She unwillingly is thrust into a situation where she and a co-worker, Raymond, have to help someone out in an emergency. Raymond is a REALLY good guy. The guy they help is a REALLY good man too. Their families are full of good people and are so warm and welcoming. It works a change in Eleanor. At first she is reluctant to be around other people due to her past experiences, but slowly she begins to realize that this is what she needs.
Raymond is a shining example of what it means to be a good friend and I am inspired to think more about how I can improve myself as a friend.
I feel like I am an accepting and loving person, but this story has caused me to take a look at my own biases that prevent me from reaching out to others. It’s one thing to be kind to people who maybe have some personality quirks and dress a bit oddly, but what about actually making attempts to befriend them? Like I said, this book, for me, is very much about Raymond and his personality. Eleanor’s story is also very compelling. I really enjoyed watching their friendship unfold and then blossom. Well done!

My Not So Perfect Life audiobook cover art

Light and Fun with a Great Story

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

Reviewed: 11-11-17

This book was more than just light and fun to read. It had laugh out loud moments as well. I really liked was that the characters learn that the face people put on in public, work and social settings isn’t the way things really are for people. The Instagram and other social media are how people put on their best face. I enjoyed that the characters in this book went through some personal growth to learn about each other and themselves, and the author did it in a fun way.

What She Knew audiobook cover art

Gripping and tense

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

This book captured my attention from the start and didn't let go. There were twists I didn't see coming.

My Last Blind Date audiobook cover art

Cute short story

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

Reviewed: 09-13-16

Enjoyable 30 minutes. This is a perfect outline for a Hallmark movie. If you like those, then you'll like this.

Cinder audiobook cover art

Not Usually a Genre I Would Read

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

Reviewed: 07-26-16

I saw this on sale and since I think retellings of popular stories are fun, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did! The author was vey creative in how she reimagined Cinderella and her environment. It worked beautifully. It is the beginning of a series, so the end of this book is a real cliffhanger. The story only gets started and just enough is revealed to keep you hooked.

The Cuckoo's Calling audiobook cover art

Well written mystery - could've done with less swearing

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

Reviewed: 06-14-16

Well crafted, well written mystery. JK Rowling, I mean Robert Galbraith, surely does not disappoint. He is a master story teller. I had one problem with the story, which would be a major spoiler if I divulged it.
Also, the were an awful lot of f and c words. Certain interviews that the detective had with certain people garnered a lot of swearing, as in several f words and c words per sentence, so even though it may be an authentic representation of some people's way of speaking, it was quite an assault on the ears at one specific point in the book. I still enjoyed the story, but I wanted to put a warning out for anyone who is squeamish about such things.
The two complaints I've made here cause me to reduced the rating by one star, but I would still recommend it as a terrific mystery.
The reader, Robert Glenister, was absolutely brilliant!

What She Left Behind audiobook cover art

From frustrating to horrifying to touching... I think his boom gave me high blood pressure.

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

Reviewed: 02-18-16

The story went from miserable to horrifying and then to whatever is worse than horrifying. Just when I thought there was no way to salvage the story, that this had to be a tragedy that would leave me with sadness hat would last for days and make me wish I'd never read this book, it turned around and I cried happy tears. This book lost one star for me because of two things... First, in the end during the reveal, I felt the author made it a little soap opera-ish, if you will, just when one character was revealing what happened the author switches to a barrage of questions the other character was thinking, but the questions weren't new; they'd been brought up several times before, so there was no need to rehash them. The second reason is because of a suppressed memory of molestation. It was a really big deal in the 90s. There were a lot of people claiming repressed memories of things like that, so it's right for the setting that the book is in, but it's a very controversial topic in psychology. This story made me research repressed memories to refresh my understanding of them. It also caused me to really dig into the history of Willard Asylum. I've got a book coming tomorrow that is all the documentation and photos of many of the suitcases found in Willard's attic. It's called "The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic" by Darby Penney and two other authors