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Wendi

Houston, TX
  • 182
  • reviews
  • 2,175
  • helpful votes
  • 249
  • ratings
  • Allie and Bea

  • By: Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo, Janet Metzger
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,364
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,351

Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat - on a mission to reclaim what's rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I did not see this coming

  • By Lolasark on 07-19-17

Beautiful, clean, feel good story! Lovely!

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

Reviewed: 12-13-18

I have never read a book by this author but I saw that there were several great reviews for this book and I decided to purchase it while it was on sale. I am not disappointed!

This book is a very 'feel good' book that has no gratuitous sex, cussing, or inappropriate behaviour. It's a lovely story about a old woman who's down on her luck, and a young girl who is equally unlucky. The two of them form a friendship although the friendship is not conventional, and they sort of find themselves through their problems, together.

This book is a beautiful testament that you don't always need to have a lot of money to be happy, that there are many beautiful things to see in every day life, and that if you keep your heart open, you may just form friendships with people who surprise you.

I loved this story- Brava!

-Wendi

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 23,504
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21,347
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21,237

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

I am Shocked That Everyone Loves This Book!

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

The audible sale (or any audible sale) is so tempting to an audible addict like me. I have been avoiding reading any memoirs this year because.. well.. there are just too many. I am also a memoir addict, but I have been trying to read as much fiction as possible this past year. The sale gave me 50% off 'Educated' plus I had a $5.00 coupon, so I decided to go for it.

I started 'Educated' as soon as I bought it. I fell asleep 5 times while listening to it and had to go find where 'I was.' I was thinking this would be a thought provoking, moving memoir. I was hoping for 'The Glass Castle' with all of the rave reviews and 'Audiobook of the Year, Memoir Category.' Unfortunately this memoir just isn't very good. There is nothing jaw dropping or amazing or 'wow' about it. In fact, it's incredibly boring and the story is nothing out of the ordinary.

The youngest girl of a strict Mormon family with 7 children tells their life story. Their dad was a big believer in living off the grid, which meant most of their children were born at home, and home schooled. The kids had to help their parents with the family businesses, and with chores. Their father was paranoid and didn't want to let the government know his business.

The children had grandparents they could see. The older kids left when they could to get away from 'crazy' and went to college. Our subject of the memoir learned many things during her childhood that children wouldn't pick up in conventional schools, but she was still taught how to read and write, and other lessons when growing up. Her mother was a midwife, and her father had a business, so they rarely did without money.

The truth is, all you have to do is a bit of research to see there are several Mormon families who live this way, as well as other families too. There is nothing shocking about it. It's not a conventional life, but it's not like the people who raise their families this way should all be considered abusive and neglectful. It seems to me that this memoir was molded after Jeannette Walls' 'The Glass Castle'- which was truly shocking, and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. 'Educated' is boring, and over-rated. It's just.. no big deal.

Disappointed.

-Wendi

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dream Daughter

  • A Novel
  • By: Diane Chamberlain
  • Narrated by: Susan Bennett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 613
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 573
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 572

When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam War, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly's part. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

  • By Cyndi on 10-05-18

Chamberlain is Amazing! Now She's Time Traveling!

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

I love Diane Chamberlain. I have NEVER read a book or listened to a book of hers that I haven't liked. I will admit her stories have a formula, but they never get old. They are always about women, and the women in her stories face some kind of unique struggle. I always get addicted to her characters and the narrator is always fantastic in portraying the Chamberlain 'classy lady' voice.

The Dream Daughter was a little bit out of her normal realm but it was awesome!! It's her same wonderful formula but this time, there is time travel involved. She does an amazing job at roping the reader in to all of her characters; past, present, and future. I loved each one of them, and this book is melodic and delightful and full of surprises, love, and character.

She is amazing. Loved 'The Dream Daughter.' I highly recommend this author, especially to women. She entangles social issues, trying times, and heartfelt sentiment in her writings and she is a wonderful author.

-Wendi

  • The Perfect Family

  • By: Shalini Boland
  • Narrated by: Katie Villa
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 267
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 248

Gemma Ballantine is getting ready for work one morning when her eldest child comes running down the stairs saying the words every mother dreads. The front door is open. And her six-year-old daughter has disappeared. Frantic with fear, Gemma starts a nail-biting search for her little girl. After what feels like forever, her mother-in-law, Diane, finds Katie wandering lost a few streets away. Relieved to have her youngest child back in her arms, breathing in the sweet scent of her hair, Gemma thinks the nightmare is over. But then her perfect family starts to fall apart....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid Psychological Thriller

  • By Wendi on 12-02-18

Solid Psychological Thriller

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

Reviewed: 12-02-18

I have a weakness for British narrated psychological thrillers. I can't help it. They are my guilty pleasure. 'The Perfect Family' is different. Yes, a child is missing but the child is found right away- and that's just the beginning of the problems that faces our family.

This is fairly fast paced with interesting characters, and although I figured out the ending before 'the twist,' there were a few things that were a surprise.

Having said this, I've never read a Shalina Boland book before, and I will definitely be ordering more. I enjoyed her style, her pace, and the story was very good. I would recommend this to any fan of psychological thrillers.

4 solid stars,

-Wendi

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Great Alone

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,092
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,240
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,148

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Long, Hard Slog Through Endless Despair and Heartache

  • By Morro Schreiber on 04-11-18

I am so glad this is over..

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

Reviewed: 12-02-18

I have been in hospital lately and catching up on 'those books I meant to listen to.' I love Hannah and almost every one of her books except The Nightingale. I just hated the narrator, and 'The Nightingale' in fairness, is possibly a very good read. I couldn't get past the voice.

Anyway, I just finished with 'The Great Alone' and all I can say is 'Thank God.' I mean, how many bad things can happen to people? A family moves to Alaska to get away for a fresh start. Dad is a Vietnam vet with major PTSD and he's very abusive to mom, and very controlling of their daughter. Everyone in the Alaskan town hates him and the whole world knows he's an insufferable wife beater.

Things don't get better from there. It's one horrible situation after another. Verbal, emotional and physical abuse and a dismal bunch of characters (with a few charming memorable ones, I will admit), in the dark and unbearable cold winter of Alaska doesn't make for a great 'feel good' story. Hannah often writes of extremely depressing situations. One of her books deals with the aftermath of a teen death during a drunk driving accident. A few deal with cancer and death. This one deals with several depressing themes and my goodness, I am just glad it's over.

Hannah has managed to put together a story that held my interest for the most part, but my goodness- she needs to write something more uplifting for me to continue buying her books.

I don't know what all the fuss is about. If I wanted to be depressed I would binge watch 'This is Us'..

-Wendi

  • Nine Perfect Strangers

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,575
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,434
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,411

From number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty, author of Big Little Lies, comes her newest audiobook, Nine Perfect Strangers: Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amid all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these 10 days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next 10 days are going to be.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Listen on 1.5 speed

  • By Gary on 11-27-18

Sounds Like Nicole Kidman After Smoking A Blunt

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

Wow... First of all, I have cherished Liane's books over the years and I eagerly anticipated that this one would be 'the hit of the fall.' I was actually 'saving it.' I tested positive for Influenza B this past week and was miserable and I thought 'Oh, Liane's new book will cheer me up.' Oh.. my.. God..

I tried listening to this several times but the narrator literally sounds like Nicole Kidman after smoking some serious chronic medicinal marijuana. WOW.. I thought the woman who narrated 'The Nightingale' was bad, but this is THE WORST performance I have ever heard.

Maybe the story is great (It really didn't catch my interest to be honest), but that might have been because I was listening to that voice.. Oy...

I want my credit back. And, I have a raging headache which I am not sure is a symptom of flu or a side effect of this audio book.

Holy nutcracker, this sucks.

-Wendi

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Wrong Sister

  • By: T. E. Woods
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,808
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,675
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,668

From behind the wheel of her car, Tess Kincaid glimpses a woman walking down a Madison, Wisconsin, street. They've never met, but Tess sees the same features every time she looks in the mirror. Tess introduces herself and discovers that she and her doppelganger, Mimi, have more than appearance in common. They even share the same birthday. Mimi - confident and outgoing where Tess is understated and shy - is convinced they're twins, separated shortly after birth. When a body is discovered in a local marsh, Tess is entangled in a search for the truth....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing like anything T E Woods has written B4!!!

  • By shelley on 03-01-18

Held My Attention... But... It's Been Done Before

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

Reviewed: 11-15-18

T. E. Woods has created a fairly entertaining novel with some twists, turns, and interesting characters. A woman meets another woman seemingly coincidentally, which is nothing unusual. The unusual part is, the women could be her identical twin. It seems her sister-ish figure starts to stalk our heroine and shows up at her apartment and at her job unwarranted. The book gets to be a bit creepy, but then the author gives way too many hints to give away the ending.

I would recommend this novel to those who like a light, easy read with a little twist. I'ts not a bind bender, but it's not terrible.

3 stars all around.

#TagsGiving #Sweepstakes #Audible #EasyReadWIthATwist

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Shantaram

  • A Novel
  • By: Gregory David Roberts
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 42 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,746
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,331
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,323

Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum-security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of My Favorite Books! Great Narration!

  • By Memphis on 06-16-14

Phenomenal, Beautiful, Life Changing

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

I heard about "Shantaram' by Gregory David Roberts on a Facebook book club. I'd never heard of it before. I love reading novels that take place in other countries. I find them fascinating, especially when characters become immersed in another culture and learn from it. Although 'Shantarum' is extremely long (43 hour listening time),and it's based on a real story of an Australian prisoner escaping jail and fleeing to India, this novel is probably one of the most beautiful books I've ever read.

Gregory David Roberts takes us through the India he saw and fell in love with, despite the dangers, the poverty, the customs, and what may seem like violence to some. He immersed himself in the beauty of the people and became a cog in the wheel of life, helping many locals with healing among other things. He introduces us to the guts of India, and each experience he has brings with it a beautiful valuable lesson which are 'journal worthy' as they tug at your heart and make you think about not only how lucky we are as westerners, but how even when things are horrible, there is beauty in humanity.

I adore this book and I will be purchasing it for several people this holiday season. I will never forget this book, and I am ever grateful for reading it.

#Tagsgiving #Sweeptstakes #Travel #Discover #LifeChangingStory

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Other Woman

  • By: Sandie Jones
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,051
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,880
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,872

Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet. Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Meh somewhat ok thriller, but the kind where everything unravels at the VERY end

  • By Jenn on 08-22-18

Reese Witherspoon pick: 1st Novel by Sandie Jones

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones is Reese Witherspoon's newest book club pick for the month of November, 2018. It is in the 'Psychological Thriller narrated by a British woman' genre, which I am most often a sucker for.

This is Sadie Jones' debut novel. It deals with an all too-familiar scenario. Woman falls in love with man. Man introduces woman to mother. Mother hates woman and makes her life miserable.

The story was told in a way that kept my interest and made me want to listen to the whole book as soon as possible, devouring it at night, mornings, lunches and drives to work. There are a couple of glaring concerns in the book which beg answers the reader never receives, and perhaps the ending is a bit too tidy. However, for a first time author, I give Ms. Jones credit. This is a very strong novel which will be enjoyed by the many who are exposed to it, thanks to Reese Witherspoon. I will be on the lookout for Ms. Jones next book.

-Wendi

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Every Breath

  • By: Nicholas Sparks
  • Narrated by: Sean Cameron Michael, Vanessa Johansson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,907
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,887

In the romantic tradition of The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe, number-one New York Times best-selling author Nicholas Sparks returns with a story about a chance encounter that becomes a touchstone for two vastly different individuals - transcending decades, continents, and the bittersweet workings of fate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • beautiful story

  • By Jodie on 10-17-18

He's Back! Typical Sparks Book- Yay!

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

After reading 'Two by Two' I was almost angry at Sparks. I love his usual way of making me fall in love with his characters even though I know something drastically horrible will happen to one of them. I love crying through his torn love stories. I love reminiscing about his characters and getting lost in the daydream of real, true love.

His last book, Two by Two, was garbage. I was shocked at the good reviews. I couldn't believe he even wrote it.

However, Every Breath has all of the wonderful characteristics of a typical Sparks book, including love, frustration, addictive characters, and this one actually has some scenery changes as he writes about various parts of Africa. I have visited the places he wrote about, so it was entrancing for me.

If you're a Sparks fan, fear not. He's back, and just as good as always. 4 sold stars all the way through- Keep writing, kind sir!

-Wendi