LISTENER

Donna A

  • 104
  • reviews
  • 245
  • helpful votes
  • 246
  • ratings
  • 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 2,998
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,705
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,683

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

Premise of Every Breath is Intriguing

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

Reviewed: 12-16-18

It has been awhile since I have read a Nicholas Sparks book but the premise of Every Breath intrigued me. On the coast of North Carolina on an isolated beach there sits a mailbox known as “Kindred Spirits”. This mailbox holds handwritten notes and letters of love, hope, loss and fear.

It is a story of Tru Walls, a divorced father of a 10 year old son and a Zimbabwe safari guide that has come to Sunset beach to meet his biological father. Tru has hopes to find out what happened between his mother and the father he never knew.

It is a story of Hope Anderson, in a relationship for 6 years to an orthopedic surgeon. Hope has comes to Sunset Beach to partake in her friend’s wedding and ready the family cottage for sale for her dad was recently diagnosed with ALS. Hope must also ponder this on/off relationship with a boyfriend that has not always been faithful.

Hope’s dog Scotty brings these 2 people together and the beginning of a true love affair. Hope shares the magic of “Kindred Spirits” that will link them forever. It is a story of fate, dreams, heartbreak but most of all true love.

  • A Spark of Light

  • A Novel
  • By: Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin, Jodi Picoult
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,993
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,831
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,832

The number-one New York Times best-selling author of Small Great Things returns with a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis. The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center - a women’s reproductive health services clinic. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage. After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter. Then he finds out that his 15-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Least favorite Picoult book

  • By Stephanie Stupack on 10-09-18

Hard to follow ..at times

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

Reviewed: 11-09-18

Jodi Picoult new novel<b>A Spark of Light</b> centers on a hostage situation inside a women’s reproductive health services clinic in the Deep South. This story is told in a narrative structure and begins at the conclusion and works backward to the beginning of that pivotal day. The novel commence when George enters The Centers shooting and taking hostage. From that point on the story unfold backwards in time; hour by hour end unfolding thought the eyes of 11 different individuals; each telling their story as to what brought them to The Center on this critical day.

I have always love Jodi Picoult books. I not sure how she picks her subject matter but they are always seem to be relevant to current day happening .. this one being pro-choice vs pro-life and Jodi does her research showing both sides. Her books always make me think and evaluate how I feel about the issue being presented.

I really had a hard time following this story line, going backwards in time told by different people I found very confusing and at times hard to follow. There were just too many characters and different stories. This was an audiobook narrated by: Bahni Turpin which I found was monotonous.

I thought the highlight of the book were the author notes presented by Jodi Picoult and this one quote so resonated with me : ‘Laws are black and white. The lives of women are a 1000 shades of gray” Jodi Picoult

  • Before and Again

  • A Novel
  • By: Barbara Delinsky
  • Narrated by: Mary Stuart Masterson
  • Length: 14 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 118
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 108

Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment, but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends - and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now, she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid. Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • So So

  • By Rhea Ann Rettke on 07-01-18

One of Ms Delinsky best, terrible narration

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

Reviewed: 07-09-18

Have you ever wondered how 30 seconds can completed change your life forever .. just ask Mackenzie Cooper. While driving her little 5 year old daughter, Lilly to a play date Mackenzie just took her eyes off the road to check her GPS .. that 30 seconds not only stole her daughter from her it destroyed her marriage, her relationship with family and friends; it landed her in jail – it even stole her privacy. Now 4 years later, Mackenzie has reinvented herself as Maggie Reid, lives in a small town in Vermont with her dog and 2 cats in a cute little house in the woods where all her secrets are kept. She has new friends, some with their own secrets to hide. Maggie is a well respected and talent makeup artist at the lavish local spa. Clients love how Maggie can help remove all evidence of tiredness, or sickness or even cover up an injury … after all she master at covering up these types of scars up.

Keeping under the radar is all Maggie wants to do but all will coming crashing down when one young 15 year old boy, the son of her best friend decides to hack into schools, spa and twitter accounts. It pulls in the media, the FBI and her parole office into town. More surprises await Maggie when a new group has purchased the Inn and Spa that will force Maggie into looking at the past to discover her future.

Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky is a story about loss, loss of a child, loss of a man and marriage, loss of who you were as a person. It is also a story about being a true friend, of the strength to overcome hurt and self blame to forgive yourself and let you rediscover that family, friends and the man you once loved are worth fighting for.
I was total absorbed with Before and Again, I love how Ms. Delinsky tells a story, it had all the feels. Her characters are not flawless – they are all have strength and flaws, some likable some not.

Before and Again gets 4.5 stars .. a story that will linger on and highly recommended.

This audiobook was narrated by Mary Stuart Masterson. I will have to say her narration of this book was a big disappointed. She basically read the book, at time she was monotone; she did very very few voices so it was hard to distinguish who was talking. Because it got a tad better towards the end I give this performance only get 1.5 stars.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Summer That Made Us

  • By: Robyn Carr
  • Narrated by: Therese Plummer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 850
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 789
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 788

A television talk show host returns to her childhood summer home to rebuild her life after she's fired for falling ratings. The return is bittersweet as the house has been neglected for years. She's flooded with memories of the wonderful summers she spent with her sisters and cousins before a tragic event changed everything. Working to uncover what really happened the last summer they were all together, she reaches out to her family and the women all gather for an uneasy family reunion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story -

  • By melissa davis on 09-11-17

Slow start

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18

The Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr is the story of mothers, daughters, sisters and cousins that once all spent lazy summers at the family lake house until one heartbreaking summer. Jo and Lou are sisters that have not talked to each other since that summer. But what really happened between these 2 sisters that torn this family apart?
Talk about a dysfunctional family; there is Meg dying from breast cancer, her sister Charley, a 44 year old talk show host who has just lost her job, Hope, who lives in a fantasy world and her sister Krista that has been in prison for 23 years for murder. Meg embarks on inviting her mother, aunt and cousins to spend the summer at the lake house and help mend these old wounds.

I am only giving the book 3 ½ stars – I felt the beginning was slow and had a hard time getting to know these characters. As story starts to unveil itself it turned out to be a heartwarming story of family love, being truthful and learning to forgive happening from the past.

This was an audiobook which was narrated by Therese Plummer.

  • On Second Thought

  • By: Kristan Higgins
  • Narrated by: Sands Xe, Amy Rubinate
  • Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,083
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,079

Ainsley O'Leary is so ready to get married - she's even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn't anticipate is for Eric to blindside her with a tactless breakup he chronicles in a blog - which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her half sister, Kate, who's already struggling after the sudden loss of her new husband.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!

  • By Diane on 02-24-17

Enjoyable listen,

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

Reviewed: 05-07-18

On Second Thought by Kristin Higgins is a story about 2 half sisters, Kate and Ainsley. At the age of 39 Kate recently married Nathan; they are desperately trying to get pregnant. Ainsley on the other hand desperately wants to marry her 11 year boyfriend Eric; she has even found the Tiffany engagement ring. But for these 2 sisters all this will change very quickly. This heartwarming story is an emotional journey about 2 sisters, once distance with each other are brought together to support each other at the end of love relationships and the beginnings of new ones.

On Second Thought is my second audio book by Ms. Higgins. Because the book was written in 2 POV there were 2 narrators; Sands Xe and Amy Rubinate, both did an excellent job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Now That You Mention It

  • By: Kristan Higgins
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,936
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,782
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,774

It's been over a decade since Nora left her hometown of Scupper Island, Maine, and very seldom looked back. She's carved out a successful life in Boston, where no one knows her as the awkward girl with the delinquent sister and the dad who left, but a not-as-dramatic-as-it-sounds brush with death has her taking stock of her life. Inspired to reconnect with her prickly mother and snarky teenage niece, Nora returns home for the summer, where she's forced to face the people she's spent the last ten years trying to avoid.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 10 million stars!

  • By jodiod on 12-28-17

Totally enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 03-09-18

Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins is my 1st book by this author. I am not sure what has gotten me in this mode of reading books about these dysfunctional and wounded but wonderful characters but this is one of several books this year that fall in this type of genre. I guess I find it fascinating to read about their messed up lives and how they over come all the heartaches and mistakes to find a beautiful and fulfilling life.

Nora Stuart has been bullied all her life .. she has been called a troll, fat, she has been pushed, shoved, and knocked down, she has been threaten by her fellow classmate and even her little sister Lily. It all started when Nora at the age of 12 had a life changing event happens to both her and her little sister Lily, their Dad suddenly leaves with not a word as to why and where he has gone. At the age of 18 Nora see a chance to change her life and sets out with grit, resolve and determination to win the a full Tufts Scholarship bestowed on a local senior. Upon winning the scholarship Nora leaves the a small island Scupper Island off the coast of Maine, heads to off to Boston where she is transformed; she loses weight, goes off to medical and becomes a very successful specialist to be hired at prestigious Boston Gastroenterology office. Life events interfere in Nora’s life once again; she is almost raped and murdered, a year later gets hit by a van, sustaining severe injuries to only wake up to find he boyfriend hitting on another woman. All of this leads Nora into taking a leave of absence and return to after 17 years to Scupper Island. Back to a mother that is distant, cold, uncaring and just not happy to see her back, back to a home town that blames her winning a scholarship that causes the local hero, Luke's downfall. Back to find her surly 15-year-old niece, Poe is living with Nora’s mother while sister Lily is incarcerated in Seattle.

Now That You Mention It is Nora’s heartbreaking, emotional and finally joyful journey of finding her confidence and accepting herself; along this journey she discovers family secrets and love once more. I highly recommend this book and have added several other Kristan Higgins books to my TBR list.

This book was narrated by Xe Sands. I almost returned the book because of the narration but in the end so glad I did not, total enjoyable.

14 of 16 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 21,940
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,013
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,914

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting!

  • By Deborah on 02-07-18

An Emotional and Powerful Story

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

Reviewed: 03-02-18

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is an epic and powerful story about the power of love .. the love of a mother, the love of a friend, young and enduring love, love of a land that is wild, beautiful and unforgiving … even the love of a very dysfunctional family. Ernt Allbright returns from Vietnam a broken and mentally unstable man; a man that can’t seem to hold a job nor his temper. Ernt finds he has inherited a cabin and land in the wilds of Alaska decides that the answer to his problem is to move his family there to start homesteading. With the help of the town Ernt, Cora and Leni prepare their new home for the upcoming winter. But the preparation is not enough for as the weather deteriorates so does Ernt’s mental state and temper. Cora is the recipient of Ernt’s temper as well as his declaration that he will never do this again, he will get better. As Leni watches this toxic relationship between her parents, she finds love in a young man name Matthew Walker. The bond of this mother-daughter relationship is so strong it leads them both down a road of bad decisions, decisions made with hopes that Ernt will become the man he was before Vietnam.

This was a bitter sweet story of love lost, love found, forgiveness and healing. The Great Alone was an emotional but darn good read, I highly recommend read.

The was an audiobook that was narrated brilliantly by Julia Whelan.

  • The Lullaby Sky

  • By: Carolyn Brown
  • Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 797
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 675
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 675

After seven years of misery and abuse, it's all over - Hannah O'Malley is officially divorced. Hallelujah. It's like every Christmas in her life all rolled up into one glorious day. Not only does Hannah get to keep her grandmother's spacious old house, but she has full custody of her sparky five-year-old daughter. All Hannah has to do now is put the past behind her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it all!

  • By Life is an adventure!!! on 03-28-17

It was just okay

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

Reviewed: 02-11-18

The Lullaby Sky by Carolyn Brown is a novel about Hannah O'Malley who after many years of spousal abuse is official divorced and set free. Part of her divorce settlement is to retain her grandmother’s home and full custody of their daughter. With the support of her grandmother and circle of her closest friends including her high school love, Travis Wilson, Hannah embarks on a journey to put her past behind her. Hannah turns the family home into a safe house called Lullaby Sky, helping other women escape abuse.

This audio book was narrated by: Brittany Pressley. I found narration just okay; the older women’s voices were rather rough or scratchy sounding.

  • Island of Glass

  • Guardians Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,643
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,390
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,379

As the hunt for the Star of Ice leads the six guardians to Ireland, Doyle, the immortal, must face his tragic past. Three centuries ago, he closed off his heart, yet his warrior spirit is still drawn to the wild. And there's no one more familiar with the wild than Riley - and the wolf within her....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • NR Trilogy - great story

  • By Laura L. on 12-08-16

Typical NR-trilogy-formula

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

Reviewed: 02-05-18

Island of Glass is the 3rd and final book of The Guardians Trilogy by Nora Roberts. The story picks up as the six guardians arrive in Ireland to Bran Killian’s home on the coast of Clare. Here they will hunt for the final star, the Star of Ice. In the mean time the dark goddess, Nerezza is healing with the help of creature Malmon and plotting on obtaining not only the 3 stars but the blood of the guardians.

This 3rd installment focuses on Riley and Doyle, the final love interest. Doyle must face his painful and tragic pass. Riley, the werewolf/archaeologist searches Irish history for clues as to where the Star of Ice is hidden but also finds she is the target of Nerezza wrath.

The Star of Ice along with the mystical Island of Glass is found. But it is not over for our six guardians. There is 1 more task they must complete before the 3 stars can be returned to the sky – only the magical sword can kill the dark goddess.

I went into reading this trilogy expecting the story line to be predictable for they all seem to follow the NR-trilogy-formula. The best I can give this entire series are 3 stars.

The Guardians Trilogy was narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, who did an amiable job.

  • Bay of Sighs

  • Guardians Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,862
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,560
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,554

Mermaid Annika is from the sea, and it is there she must return after her quest to find the stars. New to this world, her purity and beauty are nothing less than breathtaking, along with her graceful athleticism, as her five new friends discovered when they retrieved the fire star. Now, through space and time, traveler Sawyer King has brought the guardians to the island of Capri, where the water star is hidden. And as he watches Annika in her element, he finds himself drawn to her joyful spirit.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • New narrator,finally

  • By Raemar3356 on 04-01-17

Main character was a tad too naive

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

Reviewed: 01-31-18

Bay of Sighs is book 2 of The Guardians Trilogy by Nora Roberts and narrated by Saskia Maarleveld. The journey for the 6 Guardians continues to the island of Capri where they believe the 2nd star, the Water Star is hidden. But the evil ‘goddess’ Nerezza having lost one star to the guardians and cannot lose this one so blood must be spilled. She develops a new relationship … one that is human, one that is deadly and volatile but one that can be manipulated to do her bidding.

The main romance interest centers on Annika (the mermaid) and Sawyer (the traveler). I had a hard time grasping the whole mermaid thing, Annika was just a little too naïve and just too sweet to be such a real heroine.

In the end – good wins, the Water Star is found and hidden while an injured Nerezza lays on the floor of her cave being cared for my her non inhuman Andre Malmon.

I can only give this book 2.5 stars. Now onto to the final book in the trilogy .. Island of Glass.