LISTENER

Cupcake

USA
  • 34
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 35
  • ratings
  • Beastie Boys Book

  • By: Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz
  • Narrated by: Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, various
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,723
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,522
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,507

A panoramic experience that tells the story of Beastie Boys, an audiobook as unique as the band itself. Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam “ADROCK” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers. For more than 30 years, this band has had an inescapable and indelible influence on popular culture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • License to Listen - The Illest Communication

  • By J. Combs on 12-12-18

4.5 could've had less lists stars

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

Reviewed: 02-21-19

I'm sure you're scratching your head about right now thinking, "WTAF is even happening with you, Cupcake????!!!!"

What had happened was...

Audible sent me an email that essentially said: THIS IS THE BEST F&^%ING AUDIOBOOK OF 2018!!! BUY THIS S@!T NOW!!!!!!! (paraphrasing since I'm quite certain Bezos wouldn't sanction such language, though evidently, dick pics are ok?)

My reaction was... ok. *shrug*

I mean, I'm not going to perpetrate and say I've been a Beasties fan since always cuz that's a damn lie. I didn't even pay attention to them until Hello Nasty then sort of backtracked to some others.

Why, you ask? Because they were asshats.

They were. They totally were. But one of the great things about the book is they admit to their assholery. They don't sugarcoat it or try to say the dog made me do it or some s@!t. No, they not only wrote a book with all of it in there but they also narrated the book and apologized for it. With sincerity.

As a person who garnered a rep in high school as being a mega-bitch, a rep I might add that between 2-5 yrs later I still had trouble shaking, I can relate to making poor life choices and generally being galactically stupid as a teen and trying to make amends for that s@!t later in life.

But I digress.

I sort of got into them around Hello Nasty because it was the s@!t and I knew one of them was dating Ione Skye or something and no way was Ione F&^%ing Skye dating a douche; another one was, like, a Buddhist or something so I cut them some slack for their earlier douchebaggery. I became somewhat of a fan and still remember where I was when I heard Yauch died. I also remember posting "and then there were two" on FB. No, I've no idea how many likes it got.

Yauch's presence is still very much felt in this book and it's clear how much they continue to miss him. It's also clear how 'outside the box' he pretty much always was.

That does not, however, mean that he wasn't just as much of a crazy mofo as his two cohorts and this book is packed to the gills with one ridiculous and outlandish story after another of these three punk kids running around NYC and having a blast doing it. Along the way we're treated to a history of NYC during the late 70s/early 80s where things like CB/GB and Danceteria were part of the landscape and names like Jean Basquiat, Andy Warhol and the Butthole Surfers are mentioned in passing.

This book is epic in scope. I was blown away by all the details. How they remembered all of it down to playlists and outfits that people wore... Incredible. They take time to pay tribute to everyone who helped them become who they are and not just people like Russell Simmons or Run DMC but the guy who helped them make Polly Wag Stew, Dave Parsons. Dave who would later run into Yauch and had come out as trans but also had cancer and wanted to live out her days in the body she was meant to have. And Yauch made it happen.

The stories are mostly hilarious or weird or weird and hilarious, like, Yauch and Mike D had an apartment with an asphalt floor!

AN ASPHALT FLOOR FFS!

AND it was above a brothel! And they didn't know it was above a brothel until they got their first electric bill and were, like, we're gonna have to move out. #priceless

So the super calls and asks if they'd gotten their bill, they say 'yes', the sup says the downstairs neighbor will take care of it since he's using your electricity. Awesome. They go down and IT'S A F&^%ING BROTHEL!

I laughed so hard because how do you miss that? But then the story got better because Ad-Rock goes on to say how he was scarred for life since every time he went over to their apartment he'd seem to catch Mike D in the bath. The bath that was in the kitchen! So whenever he got thirsty or hungry he'd get up, do the reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaach to the fridge and show all his bits before getting back into the tub.

(a) I thought the NYC/tub in the kitchen thing was an urban legend
(b) one of their mom's when they saw the place was, like, "oh, you can put a piece of wood over it to give you more workspace!" WHAT EVEN?!?!?
(c) THE FLOOR WAS F&^%ING ASPHALT! Like, if you walked around barefoot, you'd have black feet in 2.4 nanoseconds.

That's just one story amongst a million, all of which had my face doing some calisthenics.

And what made all of these anecdotes even better was the INSANE number of celebrities that narrate. I went into this blind so I figured it would just be Ad-Rock and Mike D trading off.

N.O.P.E.

There are appearances by Ben Stiller, Elvis Costello, Jon Stewart, Bette Midler BETTE F&*%ING MIDLER!, Tim Meadows, Steve Buscemi, John C. Reilley, Nas, Snoop, Rosie Perez, Wes Anderson and a bunch of other people, some of whom I knew and some I didn't. I gotta tell you, though, I legit lost my s@!t when I heard Wanda Sykes' voice come through my speakers.

Wanda Sykes could make fart noises and just say the word "Weimaraner" for, like, 15-20 mins and I'd be in stitches. Her voice and cadence crack me the f&^% up, so biased. I also loved Will Ferrell's chapter where he reads a review of, I think, Ill Communication that is the funniest thing ever. The guy's making soup and talks about making the soup more than the album and Will delivers it deadpan. HILARIOUS!

I also really like Amy Poehler's reviews of their videos chapter and Spike Jonze's chapter where he describes photos he took of the Beasties and every one of them is "the best photo ever". It was cute. But really, all of them did a fantastic job and a lot of times they were laughing right along with the stories or Mike D would cut in on Ad-Rock's story and vice versa. It's plain as day they were having a good time with it and that was infectious.

The only weak point for me was when they got on a tear about listing artists that were either influential or some DJ would spin at "x, y, or z" place and that's fine. It is a music book but listing 50+ artists is overkill. And the chapter devoted to Roy Choi's recipes. That didn't translate well to audio.

However, the book is a lot like their albums-some songs speak to you, some don't, some are weird and some you're like...

DAFUQ?

So it's fitting their book would be the same.

Overall a 4.5 star listen and I would recommend this to anyone who's a fan of the Beasties (obvs) but anyone who's a fan of music as this is an insightful account of the genesis of hip hop and rap music. It really is musical anthropology and I learned quite a bit about the process and the business and was amazed these three just went for it and let the chips fall where they may on numerous occasions. Something that actually turned out to make them pioneers in many things music related. Also, if you love 80s NYC culture, you'll prolly get a kick out of this as well.

  • A Man Called Ove

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,173
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57,802
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57,699

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Laughed and I Cried

  • By Bill on 08-22-15

4.5 Man, I love a grump! Stars

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

Reviewed: 02-14-19

And Ove, if there were a remote island/country full of grumps, would be crowned Emperor.

But not with a ceremony. He hates that sort of nonsense. If there's a parade I sincerely hope the vehicles are all Saabs otherwise it's going to get ugly in a hurry. And for Pete's sake I hope there's not a crown because that is not going to go over well.

He made me laugh so much, though. So much!

Yeah, he's stubborn as a mule. Yeah, he's maybe a bit misogynistic.

But he's fundamentally a good person who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Be prepared to get called an idiot for not having a shirt and possibly for him to show up on your doorstep with a sewing machine, thread and fabric (because he has all that in the garage, I promise you) so your dumb ass never goes without a shirt again and that's precisely what made me love him.

Be forewarned that there is a melancholy undercurrent as Ove, a man who has survived numerous losses, suffers the loss of his beloved wife which turns out to be one loss too many. His despair overwhelms him to the point that he's determined to join her by committing suicide only life keeps getting in the way.

All these characters were incredibly vivid and the way they all rally around Ove was heartwarming AF. Especially the little girls next door who think Ove is a rainbow wrapped in sunshine.

George Newbern's delivery of Ove was pitch perfect and he differentiated all the characters wonderfully. Even the cat.

Recommend to those who are in need of an uplifting listen. Undoubtedly I'll need a rainbow wrapped in sunshine again in my future and I'll have this at the ready when I do.

  • Less

  • By: Andrew Sean Greer
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,605
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,331
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,323

You are a failed novelist about to turn 50. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: Your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes - it would be too awkward - and you can't say no - it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. Question: How do you arrange to skip town? Answer: You accept them all.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Endearing, funny, but sometimes overly clever

  • By Lili on 07-30-17

who's spoony?

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

Reviewed: 01-31-19

I'm prolly going to get a lil spoony. (I laughed every single time Arthur referred to himself thusly. Maybe that's part of what makes Arthur so appealing to me. And I'm probably definitely sometimes magniloquent.)

So, in short... I LOVED IT!!!

I'll be totally honest, I tried to listen to this a couple months ago and abandoned it because I couldn't figure out WTH it was about. But I gave it another go and I'm so fucking glad I didn't cheat myself out of this book. It's not a romance, it's more a tale of an aging protagonist and how he traverses life told with a magnificently comedic bent that's on the dry side.

I haven't laughed this hard in a minute. Greer's writing is witty and smart and funny.

I could wax on about Arthur Less until I'm blue in the face and yes, he is just an ordinary guy. There's nothing particularly exceptional about him; he's a writer whose had some success. He's the former lover of a famous poet and he's not got a high opinion of himself. But everyone around him seems to believe otherwise and their actions speak to that. He's lived a life, the good and the bad. He's been selfish and selfless, loved and lost. He's also retained a childlike innocence and naïveté at 50 that endeared him so to me.

Arthur, to avoid going to most recent former lover's wedding, embarks on a trip around the world. He gets into the most ridiculous and absurd predicaments but somehow, some way things just work out for him.

Hilarity ensues. It really does. The whole German section was comedy gold. But every destination had its moments. All the people he meets burst off the "page" and Greer is a wordsmith. He creates atmosphere and ambiance with a sagacity and precision that transported me to each destination.

And the fact that THIS BOOK won a Pulitzer?

The Pulitzer peeps might not be as stuffy and uptight as I previously envisioned if they can award this book about a gay middle aged man struggling to come to grips with turning 50 and being alone while on a makeshift trip around the world so he doesn't have to RSVP lamely to his ex-lover's impending nuptials their highest honor.

It is mostly gay lit but it does have a squishy marshmallow ending that made me incandescent and now I'm sharing my incandescence with all the peoples.

Robert Petkoff was splendid! Splendid, I say! His delivery for each and every one of these characters was perfection from accents to genders to fractured German... S.P.L.E.N.D.I.D! I will now be looking for other books he has narrated.

I will most definitely listen to this again and would recommend it to everyone. I would also say, read other reviews. There is quite a bit of disparity and those reviews also have merit. But for me, Less went straight to my 2019 favorites list.

  • P.S. I Spook You

  • By: S.E. Harmon
  • Narrated by: Noah Michael Levine
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97

SSA Rain Christiansen used to be the agency's golden boy. It just takes one moment of weakness, one tiny paranormal sighting, and all of a sudden, he's the agency's embarrassment. His boss gives him one last chance to redeem himself - go down to Brickell Bay, play nice with the local police, and leave the ghost sightings behind. Rain is determined to do exactly that, even if it kills him. Cold-case Detective Daniel McKenna's latest investigation is going nowhere fast. Daniel is glad to finally have the FBI help his department requested, even if it does come in the form of his ex. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved, loved, loved! Please just give me more!

  • By Annika on 11-13-18

not really that spooky

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

Reviewed: 01-31-19

I'm not wild about ghosts and the paranormal but I truly enjoyed this author's Rules of Possession series and I remember how much everyone cooed over this one when it came out so I went for it when it came out in audiobook and I'm glad I did. S.E. Harmon's voice resonates with me in its slanginess and occasional kookiness. I know I'm going to snortle at least once every time I read one of her books.

This one started off a bit slow but soon caught its stride and we synced up when I discovered that Rain is kind of a grump. I do love me a grump. I'd probably be a bit grumpy myself if ghosts started popping up all around me asking me to do their bidding which in turn makes all the living people around him think he's certifiable.

Fresh off some forced leave he's sent to work on a cold case in his hometown where his ex is a member of the local PD. I'm not sure Rain even realizes that he's ready to fully "come home" until he gets back to Brickell Bay. Danny and all his family make for a potent cocktail of enticement, but bridges need to be mended and amends made before Danny's going to give him the keys to the kingdom again. And I liked that.

The story is told through Rain. I actually would've liked Danny's perspective in a few instances but overall I liked Rain and his grumpiness. He's insightful and I enjoyed discovering right alongside him just how much he misses home and all that that entails.

The sex and chemistry between them is out of this world. I had to rewind a couple parts. For science. I may have to rewind the whole book in the future for purely quality control purposes, of course.

This case is compelling as well and kept me on my toes with twists and turns and the odd ghost popping up now and then to "lend a hand". Perhaps this will turn into a series since the ending kind of seemed to leave it open to that possibility. I, for one, would be happy to go on some more adventures with Rain, Danny and the ghost gang.

Noah Michael Levine is new to me and did a good job with the voices. He has decent range, though all his female voices sounded alike to me, but he did well differentiating the male characters and hit the sweet grumperton spot for Rain, so I will definitely listen to him again.

Recommend to paranormal and second chance romance fans.

A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • From Lukov with Love

  • By: Mariana Zapata
  • Narrated by: Callie Dalton, Teddy Hamilton
  • Length: 14 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,748
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,616
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,614

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one. After 17 years - and countless broken bones and broken promises - she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close. But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she's spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • New Favorite MZ Slow Burn

  • By Brittany M on 05-13-18

Zapata knows how to deliver the feels, I tell ya.

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

Reviewed: 01-03-19

Were I to rate this on how the ending made me feel it would be 5 stars. No doubt. However, there's this pesky little thing called Kulti that I always compare everything of hers to and this fell short of that, though I still did really like it.

And she did a follow up! Kinda. Sorta. Jasmine is Ruby's sister from Dear Aaron; not necessary to read that before this, though.

It's no secret that MZ has a formula. Sure she changes up some of the details but you can bet the farm she's going to slow burn the becreepis out of you. There will be conflict. The female protag will have some sort of body/self-image issue. There will be family drama of some sort.

It's a good formula. A solid formula. I dig her formula. I especially dig it when she goes enemies to lovers like she did here and in Kulti and in Winnipeg.

But... you knew it was coming... that formula does have l'eau de one trick pony wafting off of it. The pony's still cute as all get out and will usually worm it's way into the feels zone but... still.

I like Jasmine. Just not as much as I loved Sal. And, p.s., she sounded A WHOLE LOT like Sal.

Ivan... *scratches head* IDK I feel like even though all of Kulti was told through Sal that I still got Kulti, y'know? Ivan was like a ghost image of Kulti. Even though I could tell he had feels for her, I still really wanted (and at times was frustrated by not getting) his POV which was something that wasn't problematic for me in Kulti.

Though it could've been that I wanted to hear more of Teddy. Because Teddy.

I also was frustrated by there not being a whole lot of competitive events which is also prolly on me since I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to figure skating.

Before it sounds like I hated the thing, which I absolutely did not, I will say Callie and Teddy go together like peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese. I absolutely loved how this was produced with Teddy doing all the Ivan speaking parts even though there's no Ivan POV. IDK how they did it but it sounded like they were together recording it and I loved that. They're both phenomenal in their abilities and they both bring it every time which has made them staples for me in the audio game.

Recommend to MZ fans.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nowhere Ranch

  • By: Heidi Cullinan
  • Narrated by: Iggy Toma
  • Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 587
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 564
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 562

Ranch hand Roe Davis absolutely never mixes business with pleasure - until he runs into his boss, Travis Loving, at the only gay bar within 200 miles. Getting involved with the ranch owner is a bad idea, but Roe's and Travis's bedroom kinks line up against one another like a pair of custom-cut rails. As long as they're both clear this is sex on the side, no relationship, no interfering with the job, they could make it work

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Don't listen to this one in Public. Whew.

  • By JC on 06-26-15

fantastic in any format

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

Reviewed: 12-18-18

I had sort of a “light bulb” moment around the middle of this time through: every time I read, or in this case listen, to this book it happens to me all over again. Not many books can do that.

I know errrryone talks about the kink. I did. Make no mistake, it is kinky AF, filthy kinky, but right alongside the kink is a powerful love story not just between Roe and Travis but Roe and the community of Nowhere Ranch. From the start Roe says, “this is the story of me finding home” and that’s what resonates with me every time. I’m a sucker for the making a home trope and HC is a master of her trade.

Roe is one of those characters that gets under my skin because he’s been beaten down by life, his family and misguided religious ideologies into thinking that he’s nothing. He reminds me of a beaten dog that desperately wants love and affection but has been abused one too many times for him to trust in anything or anyone. Were he just born to accepting parents who knows what he could’ve been but because of their zealotry he’s been forced to survive life rather than prosper in it, living a solitary existence, never trusting anyone and skipping town whenever things get to be too much.

Until Nowhere Ranch, Nebraska, and Travis Loving come along.

The entire story is told through Roe but it’s my belief that Travis got a pretty good read on Roe early on and waited him out. Like coaxing the beaten dog out of hiding, never spooking him with too much heaviness or expectation. A Roe whisperer, if you will. Always enticing him with the good treats e.g. kink and nice kitchen. But all along I think Travis had an endgame of Roe sticking around forever.

Every time they get their forever it gets me in the feels. Yeah, maybe it is a little Disney but I loved Hayley and that plotline the first time and I loved her and it again this time. I’m of the opinion that if anyone deserves some Disney in their life it’s Roe and seeing him get his taps into my inner squishy marshmallow every time.

Iggy Toma did Roe proud. Nowhere Ranch remains on the all time favorite list.

  • Blame It on the Mistletoe

  • By: Eli Easton
  • Narrated by: Jason Frazier
  • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 361
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 351
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350

When physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they're both in for a whole new education. Mick looks out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends. It's all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the “best kisser on campus”.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If Jason read school textbooks,grades would go up!

  • By Ruth on 11-15-14

I'm going to be a voted off the island after this

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

I can feel it.

But... I didn't like it. Parts of it were cute but overall... not a winner.

I think we can all agree that Easton's bread and butter is the coming of age trope. It's hard to top her for the straight guy figuring out he's maybe not so straight plot line but that bar (for me) is set at Superhero. Five Dares is a close second.

This didn't even get close to unseating those. And when it comes to her Jingletime stories... it's Unwrapping Hank all day, every day.

I get why Mick is attracted to Fielding. I sooooo get it. He's adorkable, eager and earnest, like a puppy. How can you not love a puppy? A puppy who can make an R2D2 snow sculpture even.

Mick though... nope!

Mick is circling the dickish block AND he's a snoozefest too! Field is way too good for him. I will grant that he's diligent when it comes to ensuring Fielding doesn't just start freebasing cheese puffs and he leaves the house occasionally but that alone did not make him Fielding's soul mate in my eyes.

A personal trainer could do the same and without the dickishness to boot.

As far as Jason Frazier goes, I like his voice but his "sexy" voice is a bit heavy handed at times. A couple times, I was, like, you're talking about macaroni, bro, ease up. Granted when it's warranted it can melt butter at 30 paces but use it wisely. Once I thought I was going to have to go in and perform CPR with all the breathiness. #giver

Feel free to ignore me and my Scroogles McHumbugerton review and read the eleventy-seven majillion other favorable ones on here.

Meanwhile, I'll be over here in the box of shame.

  • Stars & Stripes

  • By: Abigail Roux
  • Narrated by: J. F. Harding
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 456
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 454

Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have managed the impossible: a few months of peace and quiet. After nearly a year of personal and professional turmoil, they're living together conflict free, work is going smoothly, and they're both happy, healthy, and home every night before dark. But anyone who knows them knows that can't possibly last.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great new narrator!!!

  • By Christopher P. on 12-15-15

New favorite in the series!

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

Hand to god, I never thought I would love another in this series as much as Fish & Chips.

I was wrong. This is my new favorite of the series.

Ty and Zane were flufftastic with each other, maintained the banter that I've come to love and are still hot like burning between the sheets. Or in the supply closet. Or at the Alamo.

Bless 'em.

I also loved Harrison and Sadie was adorably precocious. Hells bells, even ole crotchety Earl Grady earned a brownie point with his acceptance of them as a couple.

Just the one, though. He's still on my shit list and if he lays a hand on my boy again... someone's feelings are going to get hurt.

But my favorite part was Ty with Barnum... 💞💞💞💞💞

D'awwwww!!! Little kitteh haz a crush.

The mystery didn't really hold my interest all that much but I enjoyed just listening to Ty and Zane have such a good time together in Texas on the ranch and doing all the Texan things all while falling a little harder for each other that I didn't mind.

Zane's mother I could've done without but she did have her moments. Not many but a couple so I'm hoping she'll de-pill as the series evolves.

J.F. Harding was SUPERB! Superlatives fail me for his performance. It was that good.

If you need a feel good read/listen, this is a good choice.

  • Love and Other Words

  • By: Christina Lauren
  • Narrated by: Erin Mallon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 652
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 607
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 607

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away. But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos - the first and only love of her life - the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve.  

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

  • By Cyndi on 04-13-18

SUPER pissed this didn't work for me

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

I feel cheated.

I read the blurb and everything!

This known each other since forever and then we finally fall in lurve trope is usually a slam dunk for me. Also, my recent record with CL has been superb but this... ugh, #headdesk

It really all boils down to Macy. I hated her. I really did. I *tried* not to but was unsuccessful.

I empathize with her losses. All of them sucked and sucked balls. No one should have to go through all that.

I also realize that people handle loss in their own way and when a person loses a parent at such a young age it has a lasting impact upon them and the trajectory of their development. I hand it to CL on her characterization; it stays true tonally throughout.

The problem was... I did not like her. There are times to reign it in and bite your tongue and then there are times when you need to put your big girl socks on and USE YOUR WORDS!

She's horrifically bad at using her words for someone who's perenially talking about words and reading words and asking El what his favorite word is. All that talk escapes her in the big moments and it frustrated the bejeepers out of me.

Every time I turned around she was hiding again, ducking El, ducking her friends, putting things off for a different day. It exhausted me and nuked any shred of enjoyment I could've potentially had.

The BIG SEKRIT goes on forever and ever and when it's finally revealed... no way. No way am I buying that it happened. It felt like a contrived conflict drawn out for the purpose of stringing me, the reader, along. I don't believe that would've or could've happened and even if it did freezing someone out that's supposedly your BFF for life for ELEVEN YEARS is preposterous!

Who does that?

El is a bright spot but I didn't love him either.

Erin Mallon, I will try again. I wasn't enamored by this performance but I have a feeling that I'm transferring my dislike of Macy to her and that's not really fair, though I will say all of her male voices sounded exactly the same and I tend to like narrators with range.

Obviously, my opinions are my own and YMMV but I wouldn't recommend this; however, one bump in the road won't prevent me from reading more from these authors in the future.

  • Winter Oranges

  • By: Marie Sexton
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146

Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who's sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he's secretly been in love with for years. There's only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn't a ghost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Maybe the best Holiday Audiobook This Year!

  • By Morgan A Skye on 12-23-16

boy do i feel like a pill

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

Reviewed: 11-28-18

This story started off GRRRRREAT! I thought it would be 4 stars, minimum.

It started to lose me when Ben and Jason fell in instalove. Sometimes I can deal with that trope; however, this was not one of those times. I tried to roll with it and there were definitely parts of it that I enjoyed.

Ben in particular. I loved him and his infectious happiness. It was *almost* enough to win me over but the last few chapters took a turn for the serious taking Ben's happy with it which in turn tanked my enjoyment of it.

I did and do continue to think this is a very clever idea. I just wish I had enjoyed it more than I did.

I also continue to be lukewarm regarding Nick J. Russo's narration. I have no rational reason for this other than his narration doesn't inspire any sort of feelings in me whatsoever.

Take with a grain of salt since I'm kind of a scrooge.