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Captain Rhetoric

IL United States
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 29
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  • The Lightning-Struck Heart

  • By: TJ Klune
  • Narrated by: Michael Lesley
  • Length: 19 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,942
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,855
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,847

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident. Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam's pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the king's wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely brilliant

  • By Rain on 12-23-15

Incredibly funny and touching

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

Reviewed: 09-29-17

I worried it would be too silly if there is such a thing. It was hilarious and I laughed out loud. But I also was touched and enjoyed the journey.

  • Tales From Foster High

  • By: John Goode
  • Narrated by: Michael Stellman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 192
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182

Kyle Stilleno is the invisible student, toiling through high school in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Brad Greymark is the baseball star of Foster High. When they bond over their mutual damage during a night of history tutoring, Kyle thinks maybe his life has changed for good. But the promise of fairy-tale love is a lie when you're gay and falling for the most popular boy in school. A coming of age story in the same vein of John Hughes, Tales from Foster High shows an unflinching vision of the ups and downs of teenage love and what it is like to grow up gay.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Nice surprise

  • By Riva on 02-06-14

Tales is a must read for its entertainment value and for the lessons it can impart

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

Reviewed: 07-02-15

Tales is a series that, now having read the first three, I can't wait to continue. The story reminds the reader that the struggle for acceptance, tolerance and even safety for gay youth is far from over. Kyle as a character speaks to kids that feel they have to hide because of the dangers involved physically but are already used to being ignored and marginalized. Brad is the sports hero that everyone adores and wants to be, who can lose it all upon coming out. But what are they gonna do? If you fall for someone it's only a matter of time before you have to go for it or be miserable. Here they go for it and meet a lot of misery thanks to a small Texas town. It is well written, coming from Kyle's point of view. The books that follow alternate viewpoints. Each of the guys are interesting in their own way and are expressed as deep, rounded characters. I want to read more!

  • The Front Runner

  • By: Patricia Nell Warren
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121

In 1975, coach Harlan Brown is hiding from his past at an obscure New York college, after he was fired from Penn State University on suspicion of being gay. A tough, lonely ex-Marine of 39, Harlan has never allowed himself to love another man. Then Billy Sive, a brilliant young runner, shows up on his doorstep. He and his two comrades were just thrown off a major team for admitting they are gay. Harlan agrees to coach the three boys under strict conditions that thwart Billy's growing attraction for his mature but compelling mentor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Surprisingly Great Love Story

  • By Donald on 03-06-12

Great groundbreaking classic

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

Reviewed: 02-14-15

Would you listen to The Front Runner again? Why?

The Front Runner is an intense and passionate look into true love found in the running world of the 1970's. The protagonists, Harlan and Billy, are so fleshed out that I practically searched the internet to see if this was based on a true story. It was written mid seventies, before some of the topics it covers became acceptable to even talk about in public. It dared to explore gay sex, relationships, friendships, marriage and even adoption way before the rest. In that it is groundbreaking. The story is well written in general, so it transcends the mere fact of being historical into being groundbreaking even now. The struggle to find love for a regimented track coach with a tough coming out past, a young runner who finally finds someone to express his heart with, the road to the Olympics laid out before them, and the burgeoning gay rights movement with all the dangers imagined and real; this book has it all. The story is so captivating as we follow Billy into Harlan's care as track coach, to their unlikely love story. There are twenty years separating them, and it felt weird that Harlan was his coach, but they were both adults capable of making their own decisions. I felt that some of the supporting characters were too ok with some of the decisions of the man characters. The university owner seemed saintly, Bill's dad was supremely understanding, Betsy extremely selfless. Even so, those and the rest of the characters were exciting and compelling. I was drawn in, pulling for their every challenge to be overcome. I felt the wind on my face as everyone watched Billy run for the tape in the Olympics. [spoilers removed] The running is written very well that a complete non runner like me could be so enthralled by it. The science of running and the human body intrigued me. All that together makes a great book. I will check out the sequels.

What other book might you compare The Front Runner to and why?

It is similar to the Art of Fielding in that the sports story entwined a gay love boy meets boy tale.

Which character – as performed by Christian Rummel – was your favorite?

Billy captures your heart, but Harlan paints him as an ethereal being so you have no choice but to love him.

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

When Vince helps Harlan come to terms in the end. Or when Billy helps Harlan learn to love.

  • Loving Jay

  • By: Renae Kaye
  • Narrated by: Dave Gillies
  • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 266
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 266

One thing Liam Turner knows for sure is that he's not gay - after all, his father makes it very clear he’ll allow no son of his to be gay. And Liam believes it, until a chance meeting with James "Jay" Bell turns Liam’s world upside-down. Jay is vivacious and unabashedly gay - from the tips of his bleached hair to the ends of his polished nails. With a flair for fashion, overreaction, and an inability to cork his verbal diarrhea, drama queen Jay must have a screw loose.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cute story

  • By Kindle Customer on 01-20-15

A fun and light coming out story Aussie style!

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

Reviewed: 01-29-15

What did you love best about Loving Jay?

Loving Jay is a sweet love story, a boy meets boy coming out tale with great build up and a satisfying finish. It is not great in terms of literature, but it pulled me in from the start. It has many of the usual inner struggles of a closeted gay man finding his way through shame and fear of losing family. It also has some almost too good to be true reactions in it that although idealistic were refreshing. It kept Loving light hearted and fun and that's what this book is: fun and light. It is enjoyable. I like Liam and through him found Jay engaging and lovable even though he can be a blabber mouthed, self centered, fashion and make over obsessed, walking stereotype. His patience at just the right moment made him round out enough to be a great character and worthy of what Liam becomes. Sidebar- someone should tell author Jay Bell that they used his name for a character! The brotherly love and mothering were sweet. The other plot devices like the bashing and death of a loved one provided great opportunities to make everything more real, even if they were cliché. The book was better than the sections that were so explicit one could only describe them as erotica. I enjoyed them but wondered if the book should have done more or less of it and picked a side. Listen to the audiobook and the great narrator with his Aussie voice and you will fall for it.

What other book might you compare Loving Jay to and why?

Something Like Summer by Jay Bell for the coming out and finding true love aspect. The characters in both feel so real.

What does Dave Gillies bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The Aussie accent made me enjoy it very much. His voices, inflections and passion came across well. I'd listen to another of his audiobooks.

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

When Liam was not allowed to go I to Jay's hospital room and couldn't find out any information about him. Heartbreaking.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Vanished from Dust

  • Vanished from Dust, Book 1
  • By: Shea Norwood
  • Narrated by: David Dietz
  • Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

A chill runs through his skin as the phantom appears. He sees them everywhere.... Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn't think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that's not going to happen since the whole town thinks he's crazy. Why didn't he keep his mouth shut? No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town. Eric reluctantly reveals his secret.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • An OK Story.

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 12-27-14

A nice idea, not well written

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

Reviewed: 01-19-15

Vanished from Dust is an interesting story populated with characters we barely understand and don't know enough about to root for. Some of the dialogue is very basic and is populated by he said, he said, he said to the point where it was distracting. Without giving too much away, some of the concepts and language used seemed above the ages of the main characters. I think the main idea of the story is really cool and there are parts in this book that are so interesting that I would have loved this book and would love to read the sequel if the rest of it was fleshed out a little bit more effectively. The Audiobook version is not well executed with not only the main characters names coming straight out of South Park, I feel like some of the dialogue and the sound of the voices the narrator used came out of South Park as well. Why did we meet Josh the fat kid and spend so much time on him if he is not important? The end was also very abrupt. I'll take a pass on the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Something Like Summer

  • Something Like..., Book 1
  • By: Jay Bell
  • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,273
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,197

The hot Texas nights were lonely for Ben before his heart began beating to the rhythm of two words; Tim Wyman. By all appearances, Tim had the perfect body and ideal life, but when a not-so-accidental collision brings them together, Ben discovers that the truth is rarely so simple. If winning Tim's heart was an impossible quest, keeping it would prove even harder as family, society, and emotion threaten to tear them apart. Something Like Summer is a love story spanning a decade and beyond as two boys discover what it means to be friends, lovers, and sometimes even enemies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Stick with it.

  • By Orlando on 06-26-13

Great book

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

Reviewed: 01-12-15

Something Like Summer is such an amazing book that carries us across the epic of three people's lives that intertwine, separate and come back together again in such a powerful way. I've loved this book for years and cannot wait until the movie comes out next year sometime. The narrator does a very good job separating the voices so they are easily identifiable and gives just the right amount of sass when it's needed and the right amount of emotion, so this was very a enjoyable. Audiobook version of an incredible book.