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Summer Layne

Washington, DC
  • 83
  • reviews
  • 166
  • helpful votes
  • 97
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  • I Owe You One

  • A Novel
  • By: Sophie Kinsella
  • Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,033
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 948

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first”. And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. When a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees - she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Ugh

  • By Anonymous User on 02-08-19

Unbearable

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

Reviewed: 03-25-19

Is this even Sophie Kinsella?! An absolutely ridiculous plot - if one can call it that - with unlikeable characters. Worse ... I might have been able to stick it out except for the narrator. Every woman has a girly, fade-away voice ... every male has a snotty, grating voice. I simply couldn't take any more. This is one I'm returning.

  • The Secret Keeper

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,877
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,772
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,772

England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kate Morton (and Caroline Lee) does it again!

  • By Maria on 10-20-12

Tedious and Overwritten

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

Reviewed: 03-07-19

Kate Morton's propensity for stretching out a 'scene' ... with minute descriptions of every facial expression - and body movement - and flitting thought of the characters ... is bearable in small doses, but tedious to the point of exasperation when bundled into every chapter.

Despite the above, I've listened to her other novels with moderate enjoyment - more background entertainment for other tasks, rather than the main event. However, 'The Secret Keeper' dropped below tolerance levels by featuring a highly unlikeable, narcissistic protagonist.

Then there's Caroline Lee - a narrator who, in other works, I've particularly enjoyed. But here - she's simply annoying ... too 'precious' in her cadences ... too exaggerated in her assumed accents ... and far too slow in pace. Both she, and Morton, are skating a little too close to twee.

In sum ... I couldn't finish listening. Too slow. Too embroidered. Too lacking in winsome characters.

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 41,286
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 37,367
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 37,196

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

Stretches Credulity - Redundant - Poorly Edited

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

Reviewed: 02-27-19

Sorry ... but this book simply stretches credulity on so many levels - impossibly hyperbolic. And numbingly redundant - the same scenarios played out so many times, the static self-analysis did not move the author forward, and it went on forever.

One could fast forward past chapters, press 'play' ... and chances are you'd be listening to the same events, the same introspection, the same descriptions. By Part Three, I was twitching. Where were the editors?!

The death-defying accidents that befell family members were also redundant to the point of ridicule. Melting flesh, brains spilling out of holes in the head ... and yet, cartoon-like ... the characters somehow bounce back to life as feisty as ever. Yes, even the father whose body was enveloped in an inferno ... "inhaling flames" mind you ... rebounded and, oh by the way, despite his incinerated lips, was able to speak, lecture, pontificate, preach on and on and on.

I could not finish. And I didn't miss much. When I bid them all adieu, the cast of characters were replaying scenes I'd 'read' many hours ago.

  • Friends Like These

  • By: Sarah Alderson
  • Narrated by: Ellie Heydon, Jasmine Blackborow
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 258
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 248
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 246

We all know someone like Becca. She has the job everyone wants, a designer wardrobe, a hot-shot lawyer boyfriend, holidays to exotic locations. And she flaunts her perfect life all over social media. It drove her colleague Lizzie mad, but she couldn't stop looking. They were never really friends - and yet Lizzie knew everything about her. Or did she? When chance and a terrible mistake pull Lizzie back into Becca's orbit years after they lost touch, she'll realise that you can't always believe what you see online...and that finding out the truth might be the worst thing you can do.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant! Loved It!

  • By Wendi on 02-19-19

Recommend

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

Reviewed: 02-07-19

Unlike the myriad, mediocre "psychological thrillers" that are flooding the market, this novel actually grabbed and held my interest - with an unusual plot and unexpected twists ... all delivered by stellar narrators. Seriously, these two women took it to the next level - they WERE their characters.

Like some other reviewers, I do think that the latter part of the story was weak and rather unbelievable ... but still, just suspend disbelief and enjoy the edge-of-your-seat entertainment.

Highly recommend!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • White Lies

  • By: Lucy Dawson
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,409
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,126
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,119

A darkly gripping domestic drama about secrets and lies. When you have everything, you have everything to lose.... Alexandra Inglis is a respected family doctor, trusted by her patients to keep their most intimate secrets. And if sometimes the boundaries between duty and desire blur...well, she's only human. But when Alex oversteps a line with Jonathan, one of her patients, she knows she's gone too far.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kept me guessing!!

  • By ROBIN on 05-26-18

Highly Overrated

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

Reviewed: 01-02-19

The premise is absurd.

The narrator is annoyingly overdramatic - playing to the second balcony.

The writing is pedestrian. The pace is slow-slow-slow, and - basically - nothing happens. It's a he-said she-said he-said she-said ... dragging on to a series of "surprises" at the tail end of a non-starter. At that point, one really doesn't care.

If you have high standards and expect a "gripping psychological thriller" when promised one, this will not meet them. Full stop.

  • Confessions of a Shopaholic

  • By: Sophie Kinsella
  • Narrated by: Emily Gray
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,010
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,086
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,087

Sophie Kinsella's debut is a romp through the perils of shopping and spending, spending, spending! Becky can't resist a sale, and she's only a little overdrawn on her VISA. Readers will laugh aloud at Becky's retail adventures as she finds new and creative ways to relieve her increasingly credit card debt. Emily Gray's narration bounces along with Becky and her buying whims, while delivering a humorous account of what happens when credit goes bad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • shopaholic fun fun fun

  • By M. on 08-26-03

One Long, Tedious, Annoying Book

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

Reviewed: 12-14-18

The protagonist is unbearably immature and unlikable, and the entire plot revolves around her compulsive overspending, avoiding creditors, and delusional attempts to make money.

She’s not cute; it’s not amusing. The premise is simply ridiculous and annoying. How this book led to a series revolving around such a character defies credulity.

  • Dr. Katz: The Audiobook

  • By: Jonathan Katz, Laura Silverman, H. Jon Benjamin, and others
  • Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230

The doctor is back with a whole book of sessions from guests like Jon Hamm, Louie Anderson, Susie Essman, Gilbert Gottfried, David Mamet, Wanda Sykes, Marc Maron, Reggie Watts and a slew of others. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just beautiful!

  • By Oscar Slovak on 08-16-18

Tears of Laughter

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

Clearly, if you're thinking of purchasing this book, you're familiar with Dr. Katz and most likely loved the show. Like me, you may not want to risk tarnishing the memory (Arrested Development, I'm looking at you).

I'm here to tell ya ... this audiobook actually takes it to the next level. My incredulous delight was a gift I wasn't expecting. A wide variety of comics, each with their own unique spin on life, was a spirit-lifting release.

Highly recommend - it's a no brainer. Be prepared to laugh out loud. Often.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • While You Were Sleeping

  • By: Kathryn Croft
  • Narrated by: Julie Maisey
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,045
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 976
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 979

Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and 11-year-old Spencer. But her happiness is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour Lee Jacobs' bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse - he has been stabbed to death. Convinced she didn't kill Lee, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Croft does it again! Outstanding British Mystery!

  • By Karen Ross on 12-06-17

Like Mystery Science Theater for Audible listeners

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

For those who appreciate the premise of MST3000 - then this could be your Audible treat. For those who aren't familiar with the premise - a scientist and two robots are forced to watch actual Grade B movies, in real time, and spend the entire time cracking jokes, talking to the screen, and simply reveling the corniness. And much hilarity ensues ...

This is how I decided to enjoy While You Were Sleeping ... because, otherwise, it was a groaner of amateurish writing, stock characters, implausible conversations, and a narrator with a nasal, downmarket accent ("roite" for "right" ... "loine" for "line" etc etc).

At first, disappointed with my selection at the beginning of a 5-mile walk, I felt desperate. But then, as I was forced to listen for want of anything else, I found myself talking back to the characters, narrating the scenes myself, applauding implausible decisions with great enthusiasm ... and it turned into quite an enjoyable morning.

To be serious, however - my second paragraph stands as my review. There is better out there. But it's increasingly difficult to find...

  • Watching You

  • By: Lynda Renham
  • Narrated by: Rosie Akerman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 34

Ewan Galbreith is out of prison. Libby Owen is scared. Fifteen years earlier she saw Ewan murder her aunt and uncle with their own shotgun, and now he's coming for her. Watching You is an edge-of-the-seat thriller with intriguing characters, an enthralling story line, and a shocking ending.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping and Well Narrated

  • By T. Winter on 08-01-18

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 07-28-18

Both the author and narrator let me down on this one. The storyline is formulaic, and tedious. The narrator really overdoes the florid drama of every line - so disappointing, since until now I'd considered her perfect for the genre. Not so much, with this one.

Stayed with it, because I was out of credits. But definitely not up to the standards I've come to appreciate from both author and narrator. Most unfortunate.

  • Perfect Weddings

  • A Romantic Comedy
  • By: Lynda Renham
  • Narrated by: Karen Cass
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

Amy Perfect is the crème de la crème of wedding planners, so who best to plan Georgina's wedding? Except that the man Georgina plans to marry is the same man who jilted Amy three years ago. Will her plan to give Georgina an imperfect wedding backfire? Is this the chance for Amy to win back the love of her life, or will insufferable Ben put a spanner in the works?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Light and fun.

  • By Ellen Zelda on 04-02-18

Delightfully Amusing

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

Clever writing, witty comments and effortless narration combine in a lighthearted read, perfect for the lazy days of summer.

Many of the situations are highly improbable - but are reminiscent of what was once called a madcap comedy ... think "I Love Lucy" with a more sophisticated point of view.

Karen Cass brings each character to life - all most amusingly - and seamlessly transitions from one to the other in the course of one conversation .... no mean feat!