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Wendi

Houston, TX
  • 168
  • reviews
  • 1,889
  • helpful votes
  • 236
  • ratings
  • The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

  • By: Diane Chamberlain
  • Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
  • Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,654
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,515
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,516

In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child. CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she also knows what happened to the missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and she has another choice to make: tell the truth, and destroy her family, or let an innocent man die in order to protect a lifetime of lies....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More! More! More!

  • By Simone on 11-22-13

Ms Chamberlain Is A Literary Genius

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

I discovered Diane Chamberlain about five years ago and I have tried to read all of her books since my first discovery. Her stories are rich and true, and I have never read or listened to a book of hers that I didn't thoroughly enjoy.

CeeCee Wilkes is magnificent and I held on to every word of the story, listening on my lunch breaks, on the rides to and from work, and whenever I had the chance.

A young girl gets seduced by an older gentleman and ends up involved in a crime that she never would have been involved in otherwise. We are told the story of how she had to go underground after she committed the crime and live a new life, with a new name, hundreds of miles away. A beautiful woman, mother and wife emerges with a terrible secret that haunts her and makes her every breath one of fear that she will be discovered.

This book is full of love, excitement, and beautiful characters. It's nearly impossible to put down. The narration is as brilliant as the story. I highly recommend The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes- what a great listen!

-Wendi

  • Katerina

  • By: James Frey
  • Narrated by: James Frey
  • Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

A kiss, a touch. A smile and a beating heart. Love and sex and dreams, art and drugs and the madness of youth. Betrayal and heartbreak, regret and pain, the melancholy of age. Katerina is a sweeping love story alternating between 1992 Paris and Los Angeles in 2018. At its center are a young writer and a young model on the verge of fame, both reckless, impulsive, addicted, and deeply in love. Twenty-five years later, the writer is rich, famous, and numb, and he wants to drive his car into a tree, when he receives an anonymous message that draws him back to the life, and possibly the love, he abandoned years prior.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • James Frey Fans Will Appreciate this Book

  • By Wendi on 09-12-18

James Frey Fans Will Appreciate this Book

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

A Million Little Pieces, an Oprah book club selection that millions read and loved, became a huge fiasco and embarrassment for James Frey when it was outed that Frey's non-fictional story with his struggle with addiction and recovery was mostly lies and embellishments. Regardless of how his readers felt about his book, one thing remains true: James Frey is a hell of a good writer. He followed up 'A Million Little Pieces' with 'My Friend Leonard,' which was an extension of some of the characters he met in rehab, and I found that book equally appealing.

Katerina is sort of hard to describe. It emphasizes (surely after the hoopla with A Million Little Pieces) that this book is a work of fiction. I believe that Frey wrote this book about himself, and he embellished, as he did with his others. It shows the person he is, his love for literature, and his attitude of not really caring what others think. One line in the book that was really poignant was "I didn't care about the money and the success, it was the climb to the top that I cared about, and I miss that."

A young dreamer with a love of real literature (especially Henry Miller) goes to live in Paris and soaks up culture by simply being places with his notebook, wine, sometimes drugs, and his mind. He discusses his life back in the 90s and his life today loathing his corporate world, and also the love of his life and how they met. His words are crass, yet beautiful. They are obnoxious, yet wise. They are hard, and soft and full of hate and love. They celebrate the beauty of depressed and poetic literature and the raw newness of it's discovery. This book is fluent, yet written in Frey's choppy style. It's narrated by Frey as it is written, with run on sentences, monotony, and a faint lisp. It's educational, sad, happy, beautiful and ugly, and in the end not so different from Faulkner and Miller, and every one of Frey's heroes who have made a great societal and intellectual impact on the free thinking literary minds in our world and worlds past.

If you didn't like Frey's other work, you may find this boring, trite, and pointless. I feel like I caught a piece of the millions he shared, and I feel like this, albeit fiction, is a masterful compromise on his part- a way to say 'screw you' to the masses with discretion. This is a work of fiction, but so much of it is not. And, if you like the book or not, I don't think Frey will care.

Solid 4 stars- next time he gets five if he doesn't throw in the 'fiction' disclosure. Love your mind James- stay sober, my friend.

-Wendi

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • All We Ever Wanted

  • A Novel
  • By: Emily Giffin
  • Narrated by: Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Milton Bagby, Catherine Taber
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,393
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,178
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,158

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville's elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she's strayed from the person she once was. Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville's most prestigious private school.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bizarre make performance!

  • By Angela R Erickson on 07-08-18

First Giffin Book I've Ever Read, Very Enjoyable!

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

I guess I always thought that Giffin was a romance writer, and romances aren't necessarily my thing. I read the reviews on 'All We Ever Wanted' and I was impressed enough to spend a credit on it, and I have to say- it was well worth it! I really enjoyed this story of a wife and mother and her honest problems with an unfaithful husband and a seemingly troubled child. I also enjoyed the alternate story of a single father and the challenges of raising a teenage girl. How the two families meshed was a tragic yet beautiful theme, and I would honestly recommended this book to anyone who likes good literature.

4 sold stars, a very good listen- and great performance from multiple narrators!


-Wendi

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Ex-Wife

  • A Nail Biting Gripping Psychological Thriller
  • By: Jess Ryder
  • Narrated by: Annette Chown
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,149
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,065
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,060

Newly married Natasha has the perfect house, a loving husband, and a beautiful little girl called Emily. She’d have it all if it wasn’t for Jen, her husband’s ex-wife who just won’t leave them alone. Then Natasha returns home one day to find her husband and Emily gone without trace. Desperate to get her daughter back, Natasha will do anything even if it means accepting an offer of help from Jen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • spectacular!

  • By Wilma on 06-14-18

Wow.. This booked absolutely sucked..

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

Reviewed: 08-31-18

For anyone looking to waste a credit, this would be the perfect book to do it on. Oh my goodness. There are no psychological twists and no shockers, and just plain obvious stupidity. I hated all of the characters and I just didn't care. I listened to the end, and after the last sentence of the book I thought 'What?? Seriously?? This is IT??"

I am going to try and get my credit back, although Audible is making it more difficult these days. I hated this book- every single part of it. It was like eating cardboard pizza- all filler and no taste.

Awful.

-Wendi

  • The Great Santini

  • By: Pat Conroy
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 19 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 952
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 757
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 754

Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He's all Marine -- fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife -- beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben's got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn't give in -- not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story with terrific narration!

  • By John on 08-12-12

Like All Pat Conroy Novels- Absolutely Phenomenal

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

I love Pat Conroy books. I truly do. I cherish The Prince of Tides. I adored South of Broad and The Lords of Discipline. I voraciously devoured Beach Music and I actually cried when it was over. I guess I waited to listen to 'The Great Santini' because I knew it would be something to be savoured and relished. And I was right.

The Great Santini has kept me up for three nights straight. It was worth it. A Marine Colonel moves his family from State to State, wherever his orders direct him. Like most military-brat families, his wife and children know there is a price to pay, like losing friends and being 'the new kid' everywhere they go. But their father, nicknamed 'The Great Santini' (and proud of it!) is a very interesting fighter pilot for the marine corps. Despite the fact that he's an obvious bully and loud mouth, he has a tender spot for his children. However, he finds it a sign of weakness to show affection.

The Great Santini is full of Southern Charm like all of Conroy's books. It's also full of sarcasm, hysterical situations and loving, moving moments. The story follows the antics of the Colonel, and the repercussions and benefits of being part of his family. Conroy gracefully gives us both, and lets us make our own opinion on whether or not we like our main character. I loved him.

Incidentally, when I finished the book I knew there was a move with Robert Duvall based after it, so I rented it on Amazon Prime. It's fantastic, almost follows the book perfectly, and Michael O'Keefe so totally deserved his nomination for Academy Award for the best supporting actor in the film. But, of course, the book is better.

Narration is near perfect. I liked the narrator for Beach Music better, but it was wonderful, nonetheless.

A masterpiece all around. 5 great big shining stars.

-Wendi

  • The Almost Sisters

  • A Novel
  • By: Joshilyn Jackson
  • Narrated by: Joshilyn Jackson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,271
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,201
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,194

Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs' weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman. It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She's having a baby boy - an unexpected but not unhappy development in the 38-year-old's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite book in a long time!!

  • By avid reader on 07-27-17

The Narrator Ruined this For Me!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I was so looking forward to this already-well-reviewed novel. I love stories set in the deep South as there is something romantic and epic about them. I was hoping for a beautiful story of love and family secrets, but instead I got sidetracked because, to be quite honest, the narrator in this story is on of the worst I have ever listened to.

Every time I sat or laid down to try to listen to the story, my nerves were on edge listening to the pitchy voice that doesn't fit the story at all. I couldn't relax or let myself sink into the setting because I literally got a headache listening to her.

I have the kindle edition and I will give it a go that way, but the narrator is simply so horrible, I can't recommend the audio version.

-Wendi

  • In the Blood

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Unger
  • Narrated by: Gretchen Mol, Candace Thaxton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 471
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 414
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 413

Lana Granger lives a life of lies. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to controlling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Possibly the BEST psychological thriller EVER !

  • By ROBIN on 01-26-16

Great book, good story, good read!

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

Reviewed: 07-28-18

Are sociopaths born, or are they a product of their environment? Rachel has a son who is definitely a sociopath, going from school to school as he gets older, and facing the fact that her son is definitely not wired correctly.

Rachel hires a babysitter who is in school to work with psychologically troubled children and hopes for a little relief from her constant dealings with her son. Her fear is, once he gets to be old enough, he'll kill her.

The babysitter is very upset because her friend has disappeared, but she is determined to make this 'psycho kid' babysitting job work. However, things of course, are not as they appear.

In The Blood is a very good read that will keep you engaged with many twists and turns. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good psychological thriller.

-Wendi

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Then She Was Gone

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Jewell
  • Narrated by: Helen Duff
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,370
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,455
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,426

Fifteen-year-old Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenage golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her. And then she was gone. Now her mother, Laurel Mack, is trying to put her life back together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • SO GOOD

  • By Anonymous User on 05-24-18

Wow.. WoW..WOW!!!

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

I stayed up all night last night listening to this book- and I finished it off on my drive to work this morning. All I can say, is WOW! I am so impressed! This is my first Lisa Jewell novel and it was.. truly amazing.

This is a psychological thriller with everything- We have a missing girl, a strange new boyfriend, weird characters and coincidences and a great build up which is narrated by several of the characters who tell 'their side of the story.' The story may have been a little far fetched but I devoured it! Narration was on point and this audio book is fantastic! I am so glad I found a new author in my favourite genre.

-Wendi

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Everything You Want Me to Be

  • A Thriller
  • By: Mindy Mejia
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Thorburn, John Moraitis, Jeff Harding
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 436
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 394
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 387

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good citizen. When she's found brutally stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of her small-town community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend of the Hoffmans, vows to find her killer, but trying to solve her murder yields more questions than answers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Story with One Terrible Narrator

  • By Molly on 01-05-17

Loved the Story, Hate the Narrative

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

I waited a long time to listen to this book, and I guess it was because I noticed a lot of bad reviews. Let me start by saying, don't let the bad reviews make you miss a good story. 'Everything You Want Me To Be' is undeniably a very good thriller with likable characters and a story that will reel you in for the long haul.

Hattie has just turned 18 and she, like many girls her age, believes that the wonder of the world is at her fingertips and anything is possible. She is in love with her teacher, but keeps a boyfriend for appearances sake. Her parents, family and friends are all from small-town Minnesota, so not a whole lot happens that's exciting. Everyone knows each other, and everyone is about to get to know Hattie and her secrets.

The problem with the narration is laughable. The man who narrates for 'the teacher's' point of view sounds like he is from anywhere else but Minnesota, and actually pronounces OB/GYN 'Awb Ginn'.. It's hard to take the story seriously when you are listening to someone foul up simple words. He sounded drunk. The other two narrators were fine; in fact, the narrator for Hattie was actually quite good! It's just hard to listen to even a good book with bad narration.

This is a good story and a very suspenseful read, regardless of the voice!

-Wendi

  • 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 23,066
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,400
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,316

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

Held My Attention, Fantastic Audible Performance

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

Something in the Water was a good listen. It was suspenseful and unique. The ending was not great at all, and the book sort of took on too much after the mid-point, but I'd still recommend it.

A couple planning on getting married gets the bad news that the soon-to-be husband has been let go from his job. He's already trying to save money, so they agree that they'll cut their honeymoon short and make it for two weeks instead of three. While scuba diving in paradise, the couple comes across an unusual bag, and the contents of the bag takes them on a tumultuous ride they could never have bargained for.

I liked the suspense, and the narration by the author is superb. The characters were just too unbelievable, and the ending was frustrating, or else I would have given the book 4 stars for the story.

This is definitely worth the read, and I am glad it was recommended to me by Ms. Witherspoon.

-Wendi

0 of 1 people found this review helpful