As my fellow librarian friend Lauren Woody said it best: "If you think Amy Poehler is a magical comedy goddess (I do) and make it a point to see and rAs my fellow librarian friend Lauren Woody said it best: "If you think Amy Poehler is a magical comedy goddess (I do) and make it a point to see and read everything she touches (I do), then you will thoroughly enjoy this (I did)."
I spent a wonderful week with Amy as my imaginary best friend listening to perform her audiobook while driving my car. Poehler's best medium is just that performing. That's why the AUDIOBOOK is essential listening. I agree with some critics that writing style is not the most mind blowing. Yes, it is choppy and some more eccentric bits fall flat. And sure her life advice is hackneyed. But, I got to listen to Amy tell me that ALL this with honesty, sincerity, and that infectious cackle. I fully admit that I'm probably not the most impartial reviewer since even if the book is about a "B" , Amy will always be for me "A +++" performer.
IF YOU LISTEN TO ONE AUDIOBOOK THIS YEAR LET IT BE THIS ONE. It some great elements : celebrity voiceovers, fun little audiobook only jokes, a live UCB taping, goofy conversations with her friends like Seth Myers and writer Michael Schur, background music during the time travel part and best of all Amy singing and laughing.
Delightful story. Ablie is a realistic and relatable main character; I was really rooting for his happiness by the end. I liked the narrator for the aDelightful story. Ablie is a realistic and relatable main character; I was really rooting for his happiness by the end. I liked the narrator for the audiobook (especially with Mom and Grandpa Park characters) but there are these weird long pauses between chapters that caught me off guard more times than not....more
**spoiler alert** I hesitated reading this book. I was concerned because it seemed like a tall order for the author to pull off. J. C. Carleson is a w**spoiler alert** I hesitated reading this book. I was concerned because it seemed like a tall order for the author to pull off. J. C. Carleson is a white, American author, and I was worried that the authenticity of young, sheltered Middle Eastern girl's voice would be compromised.
However, I found the audiobook engaging. Laila's story is complex: her father was a dictator, murdered by her religious fanatic militaristic brother, and now along with her brother and mother she has been exiled to the American suburbs. Carleson's writing comes alive with Meera Simhan's narration. Laila's turns of phrases are both sharp and flowery, a believable articulation for highly educated, observant, ESL speaker. Carelson doesn't specify Laila's country of origin. This choice originally worried me, but in the end I believe it gives the plot and characters' greater universality. (Also probably former CIA spies like Carelson have some sort of gag order on specifics.) The portrayal of the American girls was a little lacking, but the other secondary characters like Amir and Yasmin (Laila's mom) are well fleshed out. Laila has many common new immigrant experiences. My favorite scene is the when the bomb threat is called into Laila's school. The American students are thrilled because it means calling off classes. Layla and her friend Amir find the idea of this sick and twisted. This juxtaposition reactions perfectly describes two different world views.
The ending leaves a lot of questions.... in a good way. Who will Laila become when she returns home? Laila has some power coupled with her idealistic nature, but how will she be shaped by the reality of war ravaged homeland, family loyalty, and other unforeseen events of her life?
The REAL TRUE highlight of this audiobook was definitely the end which Carleson and Dr. Cheryl Bernard, an expert in international relations and women's issue, both read their own commentary. Carelson's author's note really added value and backstory that I found helpful in digesting the story. AND OMG. Cheryl Bernard's essay was amazing. First off, I just fell in love with her delivery: is oozed confidence, poise, and wisdom. Bernard describes the mixed up life of Pakistan politician Benazir Bhutto and other famous (infamous) female politicians. She made quite a case for the importance literature and the arts as a necessary part of understanding the complexities of a globalized world. Her main point was yes, of course study your masters of your field but life is full of messy human relations randomness. It with this mucky of human reality that the lesson of literature truly offer understanding and comfort. A great message for teens and frankly everyone.
Overall, I think this Laila's voice and the book's interpersonal nuances will stick with me....more
A character driven novel which such rich secondary characters. J. B. Adkins narration truly embodies the personalities to Ali , his family, friends anA character driven novel which such rich secondary characters. J. B. Adkins narration truly embodies the personalities to Ali , his family, friends and neighborhood....more
**spoiler alert** Fantastic character voices with back and forth narration, good pacing, and realistic yet hopeful ending. The audiobook narration rea**spoiler alert** Fantastic character voices with back and forth narration, good pacing, and realistic yet hopeful ending. The audiobook narration really gave great life to both Autumn and Adonis. I don't give it a full 5 stars because while I liked that Adonis and Autumn got together, I didn't like that it was secret relationship. That doesn't seem like a healthy choice for either of them....more
Would you believe me if I told you this was my first multi-cast audiobook ever?!?!?! It was a bit of sensory adjustment to all the music and multipleWould you believe me if I told you this was my first multi-cast audiobook ever?!?!?! It was a bit of sensory adjustment to all the music and multiple voices. I wasn't crazy about the kids voices/acting, but overall I thought it was nice adaption. Lots to say about the book itself but basically it boils down to... holy balls, Batman this book is dark, engrossing and unique. I think most kids would and do love it....more
Lyle Lovett was the match of the century for this audiobook book. His slow Texas drawl goes oh so well with the narrator's voice, setting and characteLyle Lovett was the match of the century for this audiobook book. His slow Texas drawl goes oh so well with the narrator's voice, setting and characters. Even still I struggled in the beginning with all the character and setting development and no action (okay, maybe there was action I just don't remember any action) It took me a while to just settle into the world and author's style. Appelt makes you put a lot together and read/listen closely because she often takes you on these little side stories that sometimes make sense in the end. It would be a real good choice for roadtrip through the Deep South. I was peeved but a lot of little things that kid readers probably don't care about (Why is Chap not in school? He can't still believe at 12 that coffee will grow hair on your chest, that's a six year old belief, right !?!)I didn't really emotionally connect with characters which was fine because I loved their names and personalities. I also, didn't feel it was a "romp" in the sense I was accustom to reading - maybe it was the drawl? It deserves a closer reread on my part, but overall it was enjoyable, full-realized and used beautiful language. Side note the ivory bill wood pecker makes another literary debut! See Where Things Come Back and The Race to Save the Lord God Bird. ...more