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  • An American Marriage (Oprah’s Book Club)

  • A Novel
  • By: Tayari Jones
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden, Eisa Davis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,181
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,085
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,050

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to 12 years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved the Story, but...

  • By Lisa N. Haynes on 03-01-18

Real and Raw

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

Reviewed: 02-05-19

I have seen this book on so many lists and I have gotten so many recommendations. I understand why.
This story follows a young African-american couple as they navigate marriage and the criminal justice system.

I'm going to admit, I did not like any of the characters. They were all messy, irresponsible and reckless. However, that's what made this story so real. Celestial and Roy were put in impossible circumstances and you can't imagine that anyone (even in a stable relationship) would always act as rationally as people would expect. There is a bit of a love triangle but I will not spoil the story for those who have not read/ listened to it yet. Overall this was a great story that explored very complex issues about Race, marriage, Classicism, Incarceration and Loyalty.

Sean Crisden was amazing as usual. His voice fit Roy and Andre perfectly. Eisa Davis was also a convincing Celestial. Both spoke in southern drawls and captured their character's attitudes.

  • Caraval

  • By: Stephanie Garber
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,164
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,023
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,028

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful - and cruel - father. Now Scarlett's father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the faraway once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year Scarlett's long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval's mastermind organizer, Legend.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • If I were a Caraval player I'd ask for a refund.

  • By Bookworm on 07-18-17

Don't Forget, It's just a game

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

This is an epic adventure of love, magic, fantasy, wild costumes and a good amount of suspense.

Scarlet and Donatella are two sister caught in the Caraval Game. When Donatella goes missing, Scarlet has to find her, while also playing the Caraval. The rule of the game is to solve the mystery and to never forget that it's just a game. Unfortunately, it is very easy to forget. As Scarlet plays, she finds it difficult differentiating between what is real and what isn't

Like Scarlet, I felt myself being swept away. It is very easy to do so. What made this story so easy to believe was Scarlet's naivete and her undying love for her sister. She had no problem following rules and giving things up to give her sister a better life. Her desperation was almost tangible. Of course, there's the magical fantasy of Caraval; but this is more of a whimsical backdrop to an intense love between two sisters. I will definitely be continuing the series.

Rebecca Soler was a great narrator. She very accurately captured the mystique of the story

  • Some Sort of Happy

  • Happy Crazy Love, Book 1
  • By: Melanie Harlow
  • Narrated by: Nelson Hobbs, Lucy Malone
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 515
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 486
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 485

I almost didn't believe it was him. In high school, Sebastian Pryce had been an aloof outsider who kept to himself. But now, 10 years later, he's back and unusually attractive. With muscles in all the right places and hands that know exactly what they're doing, Sebastian is everything I didn't know I needed. And while he isn't exactly friendly, he has a magnetism that draws me in.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Expertly read, great story

  • By KathyD on 02-24-16

Mental Health

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

Skylar and Sebastian had such a sweet story. Both went to the same high school. However Skylar was more popular and Sebastian was the "class weirdo" because of his mental health issues. However, Skylar wasn't a bully to him. They both moved on with their lives, experiencing ups and downs. They reunited at very interesting times in each of their lives.

I though this was a great story that accurately depicted struggles with Mental Health. I felt at though the author really did her homework. She humanized something that a lot of people don't get. I like that Skylar didn't try to change him but she adapted with him. Both people grew and learned together.

I love Nelson Hobbs. His performance was great. Lucy Malone is also pretty good.

  • Guardian Angel

  • Callaghan Brothers, Book 5
  • By: Abbie Zanders
  • Narrated by: Aiden Snow
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118

No one has been able to break through the icy shield Kane Callaghan has built around himself. No one except the tiny, stubborn woman willing to sacrifice herself for him. She haunts his dreams, but he has no idea who she is. Where she is. Or if he'll ever see her again. Rebecca Harrison spent the last 12 years with humanitarian relief organizations, travelling to some of the hardest hit areas of the world, but none has ever affected her as much as that tiny village in Africa. Because of him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic!!!

  • By John & Rhona Fall on 08-24-17

Exactly What I expected

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

Reviewed: 10-30-18

Out of all the Callaghan brothers I was the least interest in Kane. The book only exacerbated that disinterest. I was having difficulty connecting with Kane in the other book. I was having even more difficulty while listening to this book. It's not to say that The story is boring. Rebecca is an amazing woman. She is strong, generous, brave and loving. I had a lot of respect for her but I have no idea what she saw in Kane. He was a big boring lock of ice to me. At times, I wanted to hear more about her backstory and why she was doing what she was doing instead of this "love between her and Kane"

I have no complaints about Aiden Snow. the series wouldn't be the same without him.

  • Wild Card

  • North Ridge Series, Book 1
  • By: Karina Halle
  • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese, Alexandra Shawnee
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

As the man in charge at Ravenswood Ranch, Shane Nelson has never been afraid to get his hands dirty. His sculpted physique isn't the product of a gym, but of years of hard labor under a relentless sun. His straightforward, alpha tendencies come from a man who knows what he wants and goes after it - and what he wants is Rachel Waters. He's never stopped wanting her. They were childhood best friends, then teenage lovers who evolved into soulmates. But on one fateful night, Shane made a grave mistake, breaking both their hearts in the process. Now, after six years, Rachel is back.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Loved it!

  • By Jessica Counts on 07-29-18

Canadian Cowboy love

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

Reviewed: 10-30-18

I read this book before I listened to it. Wild Card is a great second chance romance between two childhood friends. I really felt the love between the two characters. Shane was a serious rancher working at the family farm. He lived a rugged, country lifestyle with his family. Rachel was a young career woman living in Toronto with a checkered past. Admittedly, she created a new life for herself far away in a big city that wasn't exactly making her happy. Shane and Rachel were childhood sweethearts. They were forced to breakup because of unfortunate circumstances. The reunite because of other unfortunate circumstance and Shane admits that he never stopped loving Rachel. He then goes on to mend what was broken between them.

I think that the audiobook fell short because of the narrators. I felt as though they didn't fit the characters in the book. Shane seemed so serious and quiet and Alexander Cendese had more of a playful tone. Where as Alexandra Shawnee was more serious She seemed older than the mid twenty-something Rachel. I also thought their imitation of male/ female characeters were a bit odd. It seemed like a disconnect between the story I read and the story I heard (based on the delivery)

Ultimately I liked Wild Card but I'd skip the audiobook and just read this one.

  • What the Hell Did I Just Read

  • A Novel of Cosmic Horror
  • By: David Wong
  • Narrated by: Stephen R. Thorne
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,332
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,324

While investigating a fairly straightforward case of a shape-shifting interdimensional child predator, Dave, John, and Amy realized there might actually be something weird going on. Together, they navigate a diabolically convoluted maze of illusions, lies, and their own incompetence in an attempt to uncover a terrible truth they - like you - would be better off not knowing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please fix the audio

  • By Chris Bell on 10-03-17

Typical David Wong but not my favorite

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

Reviewed: 10-30-18

Let me just start by saying I love David Wong. I loved John dies at the end and This Book is full of spiders. With that being said, this was probably the weakest book in the series. While the first book set the tone of the story and world well, The second book perfectly elaborated on a preexisting story.

What the Hell Did I Just Read Uses the same humor and strangeness as the other novels in the book. Wong did not stray from the formula at all. There's drug usage, sex jokes, dark humor, ridiculousness at all turns, and very creepy monsters. I think that you could listen to this without listening to the other two. However I think this wasn't the strongest book in the series

Stephen R. Thorne narrated the first book in the series. He did a great job capturing the dry/ sarcastic attitudes of John and David. It was great to have him back as the narrator.

  • Jane

  • By: Michelle N. Onuorah
  • Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103

Jane Daugherty has survived what can only be described as the childhood from hell. She has vowed to build a new life, and at 24 years old, she is fulfilling this vow, successfully working as the youngest tenure-track professor at the University of New York. Jane's life takes an unexpected turn when she is reunited with the childhood friend she protected in foster care. Alexa Masterson introduces Jane to the family that adopted her, a family that includes her older brother, Aiden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome and uplifting

  • By natasha on 03-21-18

I wanted to like it

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

Jane is a beautiful story about a young black woman with a troubled past falling in love with the adoptive brother of her best friend. Jane is such a strong a resilient character and I really wanted to see her succeed. However I found her very difficult to like. She seemed to used her history as an excuse to mistreat people who were trying to help and love her. Aidan was far from perfect as well. He wasn't the best listener and at times a bit callous. They got into so many squables that I almost wanted them to not work out. Jane had some serious problems with intimacy that she needed to work on. Arguably, this was not a good time for her to start a relationship. Alexa was my favorite person in the book. She was multidimensional, loving open, honest and she didn't judge people for not sharing the same beliefs. For me she was the most dependable character in the book.

Just a heads up, Christianity has a strong presence in this book. For me personally, it was a pleasant surprise (being that I am a christian),however I can see how it might catch one off guard. I will say it was beautiful and different seeing faith being a part of two character's journey to growth as individuals together. I feel as though this should be marketed as a christian romance.

The narrator was just okay. She made Jane seem whiny.

  • Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe

  • Cupcake Café Series, Book 1
  • By: Jenny Colgan
  • Narrated by: Michelle Ford
  • Length: 12 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 554
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 515
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 515

Issy Randall can bake. No, Issy can create stunning, mouthwateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe's bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. She's much better at baking than she is at filing, so when she's laid off from her desk job, Issy decides to open her own little café. But she soon learns that her piece-of-cake plan will take all of her courage and confectionary talent to avert disaster.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lovely story, well narrated

  • By Madelyn on 10-23-15

A feel good romcom

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

Reviewed: 09-30-18

This story was so charming. A young woman gets fired from her corporate job and decides to open her own bakery/ cafe using her grandfather's recipes. There are real recipes featured in the beginning of the chapters that are later relevant to the story. The descriptions were so mouth watering. I also loved the characters. They were lovable with realistic motivations. I felt like this was something that could have happened to my friends. Cupcake cafe also managed to to ugh on serious issues will still managing to be lighthearted. But I think that why I found this story so relatable. They dealt with their problems as a family.

Although it is in the romance category, I would describe this more as "slice of life" with a romance on the side. The story did not revolve around the heroine finding love, but more about finding herself and rebuilding her life.

Michelle Ford was wonderful. I adored her charming British accent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

  • By: Charlie N. Holmberg
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 674
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 593
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 596

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn't know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from. When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch's gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

  • By Jonas Lee on 07-28-16

Interesting but not my favorite

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

Reviewed: 09-30-18

I listened to the another of the author's books (the 5th doll) and I was absolutely obsessed. I fell in love with the style of fantasy that Holmberg presented. When I listened to Magic Bitter, Magic sweet, I felt a bit underwhelmed at the end. I think that the author has created an interesting universe and mythology. However, I feel as though I came in to the middle of something. There's so many missed opportunities. Ideally, this could be part of a series. I would recommend listening to this before the 5th doll as to work up to it. Going from that to this left me disappointed. However I will still continue to buy Holmberg's work

Kate Rudd was very emotional. She bought a lot of passion and variety to the story.

  • Vicious

  • By: L.J. Shen
  • Narrated by: Savannah Peachwood, Christian Rummel
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,069
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,910
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,914

They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it's true. The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. He is a brilliant lawyer. A skilled criminal. A beautiful liar. A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover. Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn't leaving until he takes me with him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THE PERFECT BLEND OF EVERYTHING I LOVE

  • By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 06-04-17

Not really feeling the love

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

Reviewed: 09-15-18

Although this is sold as a romance, I didn't find much romantic about this story. Vicious is a bit of a sociopath. He says and does whatever it takes to get what he wants and he doesn't care how his behavior affects those around him (even people he claims to care about). His behavior and attitude does not scream love to me.

I am a big fan of Savannah Peachwood. I enjoyed her narration. This is my first time hearing Christian Rummel. He sounds a bit like Sebastian York. He was a perfect fit for Vicious.