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B.A. Wilson

Missouri
  • 243
  • reviews
  • 127
  • helpful votes
  • 280
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  • Crown of Midnight

  • A Throne of Glass Novel
  • By: Sarah J. Maas
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans
  • Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,944
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,446
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,443

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. But Calaena is far from loyal to the crown. Keeping up the charade - while pretending to do the king's bidding - will test her skills in an entirely new way. And it certainly isn't the only point of confusion for the young girl. Because though she's made her choice between Dorian and Chaol, the ways of the heart are never simple...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It got better!!!!

  • By Falon on 03-30-14

One Thing That Would Make This Better

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

There's one thing that will make this book better, and that's rereading it.

Sarah J. Maas is a literary beast, and I adore her. She claws these magical worlds out of chaos and serves them up still dripping in blood and angst. She holds nothing back and always progresses the story, with every scene and new character or creature.

I loved revisiting Chaol in this story, as so much happens after this point with his character, both good and bad. I was initially worried about reading TOWER OF DAWN (book 6), but I ended up absolutely loving it, which makes me extremely happy to be revisiting these novels again and remembering the early days of Chaol.

I still stand behind my original assessment that every book in this series is better than the one that came before, so make sure you have book 3 on hand by the time you finish book 2. You can't go wrong with Elizabeth Evans as a narrator.

  • Throne of Glass

  • A Throne of Glass Novel
  • By: Sarah J. Maas
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans
  • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,684
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,705

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, poor presentation

  • By Joel Võsu on 12-03-15

Narration A+ and Consistent Across Series

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

SOOOOoooooooo deliriously happy to be revisiting this outstanding world, and my favorite part is that even though I enjoy book one, I know every single book after this gets better and better and better. This is the kind of YA fantasy series that I can get behind and reread often.

I absolutely loved revisiting these characters where they started. The magic is minimal in book one, so I can't wait to watch that develop again in the later books. Everyone who knows me IRL should just not bother talking to me for the next 15 days, as I probably won't hear anything you say.

Also, I listened to the audiobook this time around, and it's excellent. Go fetch it on Audible. Elizabeth Evans narrates them all, and she's fantastic!

  • Let the Sky Fall

  • By: Shannon Messenger
  • Narrated by: Kristen Leigh, Nick Podehl
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 120

Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category-five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who's swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Clever, fresh and fun.

  • By Crystal on 08-12-13

Interesting World and Solid Narration

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

I enjoyed this unique world (sylphs). The male lead is an average teenager, with a dry sense of humor that I found to be charming.

I would have appreciated a bit more character development in the side characters, but overall I enjoyed this. I want to go on to book two, but I'm hesitating because book 3 is not yet an audiobook.

  • The Theory of Second Best

  • Cake Series, Book 2
  • By: J. Bengtsson
  • Narrated by: Zachary Webber, Andi Arndt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,412
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,275
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,268

Kyle McKallister has lived his life in the shadows. Younger brother to one of the world's most elusive and embattled celebrities, Kyle has carved out a comfortable existence touring with his famous brother and living in the lap of luxury with no commitments or plans of his own, only a deep, haunting loyalty to his brother. But his life is about to be shaken up when the opportunity comes to compete on a popular reality show.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great series!!

  • By jodiod on 05-01-17

Even Better Than Book One!!

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I almost love this one even more than book one, which I didn't think was going to be possible. Kyle and Kenzie are both such interesting characters that I was completely charmed from start to finish, even at points when neither of them was particularly charming.

The whole reality show twist to this one was a lot of fun, too, and again, I adored so many of the side characters.

  • At the Stroke of Midnight

  • By: Tara Sivec
  • Narrated by: CJ Bloom
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103

Once upon a time, Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the president of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money...and the babysitter. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic!

  • By mandy on 03-01-18

ROFLMAO Plus Love the Woman Empowerment Theme

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

This book is absolutely hilarious. Repeatedly. I maybe even snorted a few times.

The best part is the 3 women, who are all very different, and how they develop such an odd friendship. I adore that, far more than even the actual romance part, though wow. It’s scorching and spicy on the Cinderella & Prince Charming front.

Also, I obviously love the fairytale retelling. I confess I’ve never read a fairytale retelling that was so . . . shall we say risqué and indelicate? Okay, it’s actually more like bawdy, in a very in your face sort of way that is so shocking and always funny.

Woot! I think that’s the first time I’ve ever worked the word bawdy into a review before, but I just looked it up to be sure, and it describes this book exactly:

“Bawdy: dealing with sexual matters in a comical way; humorously indecent.”

This is delightfully bawdy! Feel free to quote me on book covers.

  • In Bed with the Beast

  • The Naughty Princess Club
  • By: Tara Sivec
  • Narrated by: CJ Bloom
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89

A tale as old as time: she needs a place to stay, he's a grump with a secret and an extra room...can love find a way? Living in her overprotective dad’s basement, shy Belle lives her life through books. Being a part of the Naughty Princess Club is the first adventure she’s ever had, plus she desperately needs the money to save one of her favorite places - the local library. But when her new friends and new business gets her kicked out of her dad’s house, Belle is rescued by the surly Vincent “Beast” Adams who invites her to be his house guest until she gets back on her feet.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Had me Laughing out Loud

  • By Nadine Bookaholic on 09-07-18

So Deliciously Nerdy and Hilarious

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

This is ridiculously delightful, especially for a librarian who grew up watching Beauty & the Beast. Belle puts all her money into trying to save her library, until a disagreement with her father leaves her homeless and sleeping in the library.

Intro Beast. He's gruff. He's bossy. He's mysterious, and he loves books. Mix that together with some ridiculous shenanigans by the gals of the Naughty Princess club, and this book is as hilarious and unexpected as book one.

  • Property of the Rebel Librarian

  • By: Allison Varnes
  • Narrated by: Monika Felice Smith
  • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

When 12-year-old June Harper's parents discover what they deem an inappropriate library book, they take strict parenting to a whole new level. And everything June loves about Dogwood Middle School unravels: Librarian Ms. Bradshaw is suspended; an author appearance is canceled; the library is gutted; and all books on the premises must have administrative approval. But June can't give up books, and she realizes she doesn't have to when she spies a Little Free Library on her walk to school. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Pro-Reading and Pro-Library Message

  • By B.A. Wilson on 09-20-18

Great Pro-Reading and Pro-Library Message

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

This is a great homage to reading, books, librarians, and the freedom to read. My librarian heart just loves the message of this story.

This would be a great book for group discussion at schools and libraries, since it opens up the topics of censorship and right to read, which can be major issues, especially for middle school libraries in small or rural areas.

As a band geek, and also having a degree in music, I really loved all the band moments in this story. It almost feels like this story was written just for me, to align with all my loves, interests, and career paths, so that’s super fun but obviously won’t apply to all of you.

Having taught middle school for 6 years, the voice was off for me and felt much more YA than MG. The dialogue is also very mature and contained none of the uncertainty or social awkwardness of middle school interactions, which is something I happen to love about that age level. That being said, I think my 6th graders would have loved this story, because most middle grade readers like to read up. They love to read about characters who are older and more mature. They also love to read about characters who are confident and brave, which June definitely is. I suspect this book will fly off the library shelves.

There are some situations that are a bit extreme, so you do have to be willing to suspend disbelief a few times. For example:

POTENTIAL SPOILERS (the spot where the spoilers end is marked in all caps)

what happens with the school library being boxed up and hauled out is pretty extreme, and most libraries and schools, even those in small and rural areas in the midwest (which is where I worked for 6 years), have policies and procedures in place for dealing with challenges to materials and censorship issues. Also, most administrators and school staff are well-educated and trained in how to handle matters such as this.

I did deal with some wild behaviors from parents, as a middle school librarian in a very conservative town, and there are some towns that do seem to employ administrators and staff who make poor choices in challenge situations, as we see it in the news from time to time. However, the level this went to before it got national media coverage shocked me.

With such a well-trained librarian, her first call would have been to her library association, who would have loudly supported and backed her up at a statewide level. Then her next call probably would have been to her teaching association, who would have challenged the legality of the suspension and protected her legal rights. ALA would have received notice right away, either from the school librarian, or a library friend, and they likely would have investigated and added legal support, in addition to potentially calling in the ACLU for help and media coverage.

One thing library folk do well is stand out against censorship and stand up for the right to read, and this school had an amazing librarian. In a real life situation, she would have taken action, as that is what would have been in the best interests of her learning community. Now, the reality of the situation is, that while most librarians and educators would know these things, most students aren’t going to, so it won’t interrupt their enjoyment of the story.

Honestly, it was something I tried to look past, because the extreme nature of this situation, though unlikely, really helped along the plot and theme of the story. And the reality is that most actual book challenges are very boring and not worth writing a story about, so I probably wouldn’t have wanted to read the book had it followed what is realistic in a situation like this.

SPOILERS END HERE:

Overall, this is an excellent, heartfelt story about the power and value of reading, and I truly enjoyed it. The fact that the voice is more YA might even be in this book’s favor, as it’s going to increase the appeal of the novel to some adult readers who tend to like YA but sometimes struggle with MG stories.

Also, the audiobook narration is excellent, and this would be a great book to listen to and discuss on a family road trip. If you have children, you should totally do that. This directive is middle school teacher, library media specialist, and band queen approved. You’re very welcome. ;)

  • Pushing the Limits

  • By: Katie McGarry
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews, Tara Sands
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 368
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect

  • By Onmykindle on 12-22-12

So Much Emotional Nuance

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18


Katie McGarry is an Author Goddess. She writes words that wrap me up inside so tight that I don't care about the world going on around me. Her characters are complex and layered. Her storylines are interesting and so effective. She takes every emotion I have and forces me to feel it at max volume. It melts my face off, and I love it.

This is my 2nd time through this book, and I'm still stunned by this story.

PREVIOUS REVIEW:
It's emotionally gut-wrenching in the cry so many tears the page gets blurry kind of way. The characters are complex and well-developed. The storyline is fascinating and fast-paced. The voice is good, the writing admirable, and I love the alternating POVs.

  • Eleanor & Park

  • By: Rainbow Rowell
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,269
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,765
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,785

Set over the course of one school year, in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love - and just how hard it pulled you under.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • E + P 4-ever!

  • By FanB14 on 04-27-14

Emotional Flailing

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

Reviewed: 09-04-18

#BecRereads2018

I read this straight through. Yes, again. I think it's better every time.

Previous review still stands.

PREVIOUS REVIEW:
I started this on audio in the car, but I couldn't quit listening. The story sunk in its hooks, reeled me in, and failed to catch and release me. Thank goodness. I took the book in the house and listened to it obsessively until I finished. Now, I want to describe what I thought and how it made me feel, but I can’t.

Something is seriously wrong with me, because when a book grabs on hard and touches something deep inside me, I can never write a review that makes any sort of sense. Real words fail me completely.

All I can come up with is a string of curse words to express my emotions, which is very non-specific, extremely unsophisticated, and basically useless in writing a book review, but it feels oh-so-right when I say them aloud. When a book ends, and I respond within the first minute with one random curse, it says everything, and yet somehow nothing, about the novel all at once.

Honestly, some days I think my Goodreads rating system would make more sense based on which curse word comes first from my mouth at the end. Of course, only those that make a lasting impression seem to inspire my vulgarity.

This novel got a giant F bomb, then another, and finally a third. That is the magnitude of my emotional commitment to the story, my love for the characters, and the kind of persistent heartache it evokes that is both brutally painful and eternally hopeful.

So, should everyone read Eleanor & Park? Apparently I effing think so. I want to march straight back to school and deliver it to as many students as possible, and then I could take on the teachers next and after that the whole community, except I resigned my post as librarian.

This novel makes me feel like an idiot for resigning my post as a librarian. Because I feel certain people need me to tell them about this novel. People everywhere, but especially here, need to read this novel, and now I have let them all down.

So in summary, I suck, but this novel definitely doesn't. It’s the complete opposite of suckage.

  • Pax

  • By: Sara Pennypacker
  • Narrated by: Michael Curran-Dorsano
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,341
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,339

Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day the unimaginable happens: Peter's dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather's house 300 miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be - with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox. Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How to you love something that hurts you?

  • By Anthony M Agostino on 12-13-17

The Only Person Who Isn't a Huge Fan

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

Reviewed: 09-04-18

This MG story was a real stretch for me. It's somewhat sweet, but you'll definitely have a hard time suspending disbelief with this one.

The ending is meh. The book is constructed to be symbolic and pull at your heartstrings, rather than be truly realistic or factual. And that's okay, but since it didn't inspire that much emotion in me, the little crap that just doesn't add up bothered me.

I am not always great with animal books, so the indifference could be partially me. However, I just don't think this lives up to the hype. Give me WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS any day over this.