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Publisher's Summary

Melissa Bank's runaway best seller, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, charmed readers and critics alike with its wickedly insightful, tender look at a young woman's forays into love, work, and friendship. Now, with The Wonder Spot, Bank is back with her signature combination of devilishly self-deprecating humor, seriousness, and wisdom.

Nothing comes easily to Sophie Applebaum, the black sheep of her family trying to blend in with the herd. Uneasily situated between two brothers, Sophie first appears as the fulcrum and observer of her clan in "Boss of the World". Then, at college, in "The Toy Bar", she faces a gauntlet of challenges as Best Friend to the dramatic and beautiful Venice Lambourne, curator of "perfect things". In her early 20s, Sophie is dazzled by the possibilities of New York City during the Selectric typewriter era, only to land solidly back in Surrey, PA, after her father's death.

The Wonder Spot follows Sophie's quest for her own identity: who she is, what she loves, whom she loves, and occasionally whom she feels others should love, over the course of 25 years. In an often-disappointing world, Sophie listens closely to her own heart. And when she experiences her 'Aha!' moments, her own personal wonder spots, it's the real thing. In this tremendous follow-up to The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Bank again shares her vast talent for capturing a moment, taking it to heart, and giving it back to her readers.

©2005 Melissa Bank; (P)2005 Penguin Audio and Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Fans of the megasuccessful Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, rejoice. Bank is back with an equally entertaining novel....Engrossing, engaging; it's a wonderful return for Bank." (Publishers Weekly)
"Another engaging, ruefully funny saga of a young woman growing up without ever quite fitting in....Very appealing." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    9
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    15
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    10
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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    4
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    6
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    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
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    2

Story

  • 3.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3
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    4
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    3
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    1
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Carol
  • Spring Hill, FL, USA
  • 06-06-05

The Wonder Spot

I'm not sure if I should give this book 1 star. I dragged on and on. 10 or so hours of nothing interesting. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen. If I were not captured in my car for an 8 hour drive I would have just deleted the book. Sorry -- It was just plain boring- the reader(the author) sounded bored reading it as well.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Donna
  • brooklyn, NY, USA
  • 06-08-05

A wonderful listen

I'm not generally given to writing reviews, but having just this minute finished "The Wonder Spot" and wanting to prolong it a few minutes more, I couldn't resist. This is a lovely, smart, funny work, and the author's read was at first disconcerting (she's a bit low key) but ultimately perfect. I highly recommend this audiobook.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Colleen
  • Paradise, CA, USA
  • 07-15-05

Better Than Dead Air

Boring. Insipid. Pointless. Endless. Every now and then there would be a brief moment of wit, of illumination, and I would think, Ah! HERE we go! but then it would sink back into interminably meandering prose describing mundane daily activities and observations of meaningless minutiae. Where was this dismally disjointed story going? As it turned out, nowhere....but it was better than dead air.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

One long torturous monologue

And the bland, single -pace narration didn't do it at favors. Save your credit for something less egotistical.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

It's just a story about Sophie......very simple

What did you love best about The Wonder Spot?

I loved Melissa Bank's book "A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing" and have read it many times. I now love this one too. I love the simplicity, the slight sarcastic humor, the situational details......I just love how she writes, and now I love how she speaks!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Wonder Spot?

I cannot pinpoint one incident. I loved it all, the way it flowed.

What about Melissa Bank’s performance did you like?

I enjoy people's voices that don't go all over the place and hers, to some, may be a bit monotone. But in life, I find I love that in people, especially if they are saying hilarious things with no reaction. Hard to explain. I love her voice and could listen to this book over and over just for the steady flow and clarity of tone.

Who was the most memorable character of The Wonder Spot and why?

Of course I love Sophie the most. But I also enjoyed her brothers.

Any additional comments?

This is not an adventure or thriller or even a complex story. To me it was a simple story of a girl who grows up into a woman and some of the things she went through to get where she was going. As a woman, it just felt good to hear life situations without a lot of action and details of horrible things.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sisyphus

Would you try another book from Melissa Bank and/or Melissa Bank?

It depends. If there is some direction to the story after a few chapters, I might take a chance.

Has The Wonder Spot turned you off from other books in this genre?

Nope. They're all different.

Which character – as performed by Melissa Bank – was your favorite?

None.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Wonder Spot?

I would rearrange, add and introduce some comphrension to the story.

Any additional comments?

Sisyphus. Circular. Goes nowhere. Confusing plot--is there a plot? Disappointing. Some direction needed as the story lost me. I'm not sure why it was written.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Nicole
  • Playa Vista, CA, United States
  • 12-16-12

What a let down

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Books that have a title that mean nothing are useless.

What was most disappointing about Melissa Bank’s story?

Was waiting for some meaning or a point. Never happened.

Would you be willing to try another one of Melissa Bank’s performances?

Not sure.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

  • Overall
  • Nicola
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • 05-18-06

A good listen, but ...

I enjoyed the wonder spot, but it is definitely not as good as Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing (which was excellent). I thought the narration could have used some enthusiasm to bring the book and characters to life. In the end I finally got the point, but it took a while to get there. Overall, I would say it is a good listen, but not great.

  • Overall
  • Anne
  • claremont, CA, USA
  • 09-21-05

the world is full of sophies

I guess this book falls into the "love it or hate it" category. I vote with the former. I was caught up in the trials and tribulations of Sophie, her family and the friends and lovers that weave in and out of her life. I thought about this novel and its characters long after I finished it, and in what I consider hight praise for a book, I wished it hadn't ended. All of our lives are made up of just those few "aha" moments.

  • Overall
  • Joan
  • Magnolia, MA, USA
  • 08-14-05

Worth the Time?

I am having technical difficulty downloading Part II and I seriously wonder if it's worth the time. While there is some great humor in this book, the plot (is there one?) is pointless or so it seems. The narrator is boring and it's her novel! I'll probably listen to the entire novel for the humor, but not for any onther reason.