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Debra Marsh

Sandy, UT United States
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 24
  • ratings
  • How to Be Popular

  • A Novel
  • By: Meg Cabot
  • Narrated by: Kate Reinders
  • Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

Do you want to be popular? Stephanie Landry does. That's why this year, she has a plan to get in with the It Crowd in no time flat. She's got a secret weapon: an old book called (what else?) How to Be Popular.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Quick, fun read

  • By Debra Marsh on 12-11-12

Quick, fun read

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

Reviewed: 12-11-12

Where does How to Be Popular rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I am rating it 4 starts as compared to other books of its type. It is a fun quick read.

What did you like best about this story?

I like these light, fun books by Meg Cabot. They end more happy than is really believable, but I love a positive ending, even if I have to overlook a few plot holes.

"How to Be Popular" is about a young teenager who decides she wants to integrate herself into the popular crowd in school. Her inspiration is a book she finds entitled "How to Be Popular." Her intelligence and resourcefulness allows her to accomplish this feat; however, she runs into situations that force her to chose between remaining popular and staying true to her own sense of right and wrong.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

One thing I like about Meg Cabot is her ability to create characters. Her secondary characters are often superficial and stereotypical, but her main characters are always likable and well fleshed out (although they often are similar to the protagonists in her other books). Ergo, I really liked the main characters in this book. However, the female protagonist, Steph, did a few things I found a little distasteful. She actually spent many an evening watching her male friend dress and undress via some binoculars. I found myself a little uncomfortable with this voyeuristic behavior. I also felt that there were some actions on the part of minor characters that were not well explained.

Any additional comments?







1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Sweet Talk: A Novel

  • By: Julie Garwood
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 948
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 857
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 853

When FBI agent Grayson Kincaid first encounters Olivia MacKenzie, she makes quite an impression. The beautiful, tough young attorney has stumbled into the middle of an FBI sting operation and reduced it to chaos. Months of surveillance and careful planning down the drain, Kincaid’s partner is furious and lets Olivia know that she’s ticked off the wrong guy. After all, he’s FBI. But Olivia isn’t intimidated by his partner’s bullying because she’s something even scarier...she’s IRS.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Please...More!

  • By Elizabeth on 03-01-13

Not Garwood's best

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

Reviewed: 11-27-12

Any additional comments?

I rated this book on how I felt it ranked among other books of its type. I enjoyed it but not as much as other Julie Garwood books. It may have been partially due to the narrator. Her male voices, and her reading in general, seemed somewhat stilted and unnatural to me.

The overall plot was good, and I liked the characters. The action, however, left much to be desired. I kept waiting for something else to happen, a twist, or something unexpected. Instead, the climax and resolution was more of a series of ho hum events, one of which didn't really center on the main character.

It was, nevertheless, a nice diversion. I assume Garwood will continue writing about this groups of friends and, hopefully, future novels will be more centered and gripping.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Teen Idol

  • By: Meg Cabot
  • Narrated by: Elisabeth Moss
  • Length: 6 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

High school junior Jenny Greenley is good at solving other people's problems, so good that she's the school newspapers' anonymous advice columnist. But when 19-year-old screen sensation Luke Striker comes to Jen's small town to research a role, he creates havoc that even levelheaded Jenny isn't sure she can repair...especially when he asks her, and not Jenny's Luke Striker-groupie best friend, to the Clayton High Spring Fling.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Light and Sweet

  • By Debra Marsh on 11-27-12

Light and Sweet

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

Reviewed: 11-27-12

Any additional comments?

I thought this book deserved 5 stars when ranked against other books of its kind. It was an easy, light read that still conveyed a great message. The heroine in this book learned to take an active stance against injustice in her school. She managed to stop some bullying and along the way find some romance. I think the message is a good one for both youth and adults. What injustices are present in our world that we just accept as part of life? We, like the main character in this novel, may find that we can do a great deal of good if we only put our minds to it.

  • Divergent

  • By: Veronica Roth
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,339
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,988
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,188

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It's not for me. Loved it anyway.

  • By Grant on 05-24-12

Better than Hunger Games

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

Reviewed: 11-24-12

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book and its sequel Insurgent. The heroine, Tris, is complex and therefore, for me, quite realistic. She sees herself as cowardly and selfish, yet she demonstrates incredible bravery and selflessness. Just like Tris, I think we all are a mixture of many strengths and weaknesses and react differently given different circumstances. Her romantic interest, Tobias, is also very complex and interesting. Through the adventures they share, they learn about themselves, one another, and life.

I also enjoyed the setting and the storyline. I find various author's visions of a post democratic America interesting. I loved the Hunger Games and Suzanne Collins' interpretation of a post-apocalyptic America. However, I liked Veronica Roth's even more. I found Divergent and Insurgent much more thought provoking. Tris grapples with the concept of bravery and what it means to be brave. Ultimately she realizes that sometimes being selfless is the highest act of bravery. She also learns that being brave doesn't always exonerate yourself from feeling guilt.

I also like the factionalized society that Roth brings to life. Our current society may not be as physically factionalized as Tris and Tobias', but we nevertheless pick like minded people to align ourselves with. What often comes next is ridicule and even hatred of those who believe differently. Like Roth's world, we even go so far as to start killing those who believe differently than ourselves.

Again, I found much to think about why listening to and enjoying both Divergent and Insurgent. I anxiously await the release of the next book in the Trilogy.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Insurgent

  • Divergent, Book 2
  • By: Veronica Roth
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,181
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,732
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19,860

One choice can transform you - or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves - and herself - while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Decent but not as interesting as Divergent

  • By Lore on 03-08-14

Loved it!

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

Reviewed: 11-24-12

Where does Insurgent rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Insurgent is one of the best books I have read.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed Divergent and its sequel Insurgent. The heroine, Tris, is complex and therefore, for me, quite realistic. She sees herself as cowardly and selfish, yet she demonstrates incredible bravery and selflessness. Just like Tris, I think we all are a mixture of many strengths and weaknesses and react differently given different circumstances. Her romantic interest, Tobias, is also very complex and interesting. Through the adventures they share, they learn about themselves, one another, and life.

I also enjoyed the setting and the storyline. I find various author's visions of a post democratic America interesting. I loved the Hunger Games and Suzanne Collins' interpretation of a post-apocalyptic America. However, I liked Veronica Roth's even more. I found Divergent and Insurgent much more thought provoking. Tris grapples with the concept of bravery and what it means to be brave. Ultimately she realizes that sometimes being selfless is the highest act of bravery. She also learns that being brave doesn't always exonerate yourself from feeling guilt.

I also like the factionalized society that Roth brings to life. Our current society may not be as physically factionalized as Tris and Tobias', but we nevertheless pick like minded people to align ourselves with. What often comes next is ridicule and even hatred of those who believe differently. Like Roth's world, we even go so far as to start killing those who believe differently than ourselves.

Again, I found much to think about why listening to and enjoying both Divergent and Insurgent. I anxiously await the release of the next book in the Trilogy.

  • Hello, Darkness

  • A Novel
  • By: Sandra Brown
  • Narrated by: Victor Slezak
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 869
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 768
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 772

Since moving to Austin to ease the pain of tragic mistakes, Paris Gibson has led a life of virtual isolation, coming alive only at night when she hosts her popular radio show. Then one listener - who identifies himself as "Valentino" - tells Paris that the girl he loves jilted him because of Paris's on-air advice. He intends to exact revenge by killing the girl and then coming after Paris. Desperate to stop the sinister Valentino, Paris enlists the help of the police - including crime psychologist Dean Malloy, the very man she had hoped never to meet again....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Mystery That Will Keep You Guessing...

  • By R. Pontiflet on 10-15-15

Good but not Great

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

Reviewed: 10-01-12

Where does Hello, Darkness rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I enjoyed listening to this Sandra Brown romance mystery. It was not overly erotic and had a good story line. It was not as good as Brown's Envy or other similarly themed books but was still enjoyable.

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

I like Victor Slezak as a narrator. He does a good job of telling the story without sounding phony or down right weird by trying to imitate women's voices.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful