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Karen A. Oakes

Northern California
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 4
  • ratings
  • 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 20,917
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19,234
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19,182

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
  • An excruciating listen.

  • By Debra on 01-12-18

Wow!!! I was mesmerized!!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-18

I was very surprised to find out this was the author's first book. It's depth and complexity speaks of a more seasoned writer. I'm am a wordsmith and logophile, and the interaction that he painted with words and letters "fighting to get out, tumbling against one anither as they exited her mouth and flew around the room before she could catch them ." He is an extraordinary artist who paints with words. This book was an incredible journey through the jumbled and fractured mind of a woman with such severe mental illness that she cannot leave her own home. this story just wraps itself around you and doesn't let you go until the very end. The plot twists and turns were expertly crafted. I cannot wait for his next book!!!!

  • The Substitute

  • Wedding Pact Series #1
  • By: Denise Grover Swank
  • Narrated by: Shannon McManus
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,676
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,557
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,549

Megan Vandemeer meant to tell her parents about her broken engagement, but a month and a half later she finds herself boarding a plane home to her wedding. Having stretched avoidance to its limits, it's time to come clean - a terrifying prospect since her mother is sure to blame her rather than her cheating, emotionally frigid ex. A couple of drinks and two Dramamine later, Megan finds herself spilling her sob story to the tall, dark, and handsome stranger in the seat next to her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable & Fun Story

  • By Amy M on 10-23-16

Megan, Megan, Megan!

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

Reviewed: 09-05-16

What did you love best about The Substitute?

The intricate story line, the twists and turns, and the depth of the characters. What a great story. It kept me rivted!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Megan, because she was so much like me. She is a people pleaser, she wanted noting more than to please her mother, which you can see even though she pretends to be annoyed by her.

Have you listened to any of Shannon McManus’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, and it was just as wonderful as this one.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When you start to see the cracks in the facade of the mother and she starts to show that she really does love her daughter, she is simply flawed like everyone else.

Any additional comments?

The only reason I marked this overall score as a 4, is because there is one thing about this story that does not translate well into an audio book. I'm sure it wouldn't have been at all noticeable in a book you simply read, but in the spoken book, you can see that people are always saying her name. Over and over and over and over.. "Megan!" her mother calls. "Megan!" her friend say." "Megan!" her mother calls impatiently. Megan, Megan, Megan! LOL it became almost comical. Everyone was always calling Megan. She must have started about 2,345 sentences with "Megan!". :)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Only You

  • By: Denise Grover Swank
  • Narrated by: Loretta Rawlins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

Romance isn't an option for Holly Greenwood. With her wedding planner career on the line, she needs to stay focused, and that means pleasing her demanding boss, not getting distracted by her mind-alteringly hot neighbor.... Ex-marine Kevin Vandemeer craves normalcy. Instead he has a broken-down old house in need of a match and some gasoline, a meddling family, and the uncanny ability to attract the world's craziest women. At least that last one he can fix.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, great voices by the narrator. But...

  • By Karen A. Oakes on 08-12-16

Great story, great voices by the narrator. But...

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

Reviewed: 08-12-16

What did you love best about Only You?

The story was amazing. It was a wonderfully sappy love story with enough suspense to keep you listening.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Only You?

When Holly finally agreed to be Kevin's girlfriend

Did Loretta Rawlins do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, I liked how she did different voices for different people. She kept the voices the same and it was easy to differentiate. My only criticism about Loretta is the way she ends all her sentences. She puts an extra "uh" at the end of each sentence. "Do you want to go with me-yuh?" "No-wuh." "I have to plan the wedding-guh." It's really, really annoying.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

This is my only criticism about the narrator, and I mentioned it before but it bears repeating. It is my opinion she needs to relearn how to end her sentences. She puts an extra "uh" at the end of each sentence. "Do you want to go with me-yuh?" "No-wuh." "I have to plan the wedding-guh." It's really, really annoying.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful