I was gifted a copy of the unabridged audiobook version of Blood Secrets from Valancourt with no expectation of a review. I’m doing one anyway becauseI was gifted a copy of the unabridged audiobook version of Blood Secrets from Valancourt with no expectation of a review. I’m doing one anyway because that’s what I do. Thanks Valancourt!
When things begin, Irene is currently on trial for murder. The story immediately shifts back to a time when Irene was a college student without a worry in the world. She was beautiful, thrived on attention and had her pick of sporty guys. When a new guy arrives on the scene, one decidedly not her type (he has skinny legs and dresses funny), who treats her with indifference, she decides she must learn more about him and insinuates her way into his life.
The rest of the story is a big delicious simmering stew of super nasty little secrets and I loved it because, well, I might be a little nosy.
Blood Secrets is more of a dark family saga than a straight up horror novel but there is evil here, for certain, and I felt pretty damned uneasy through all of it. It twisted and turned me all around and I could not stop listening. I love nothing more than a book that surprises me, has great characterization and dishes out its secrets in small steady doses. This one does all of that.
My only caveat has to do with the narration. The narrator was a bit stilted and way too sing-songy in her delivery. I kept hoping she’d ease into the reading and work out the kinks but it didn’t really happen. Her reading style also felt very old-fashioned to me. I don’t know if this was done deliberately because the book was originally written sometime in the ‘70’s but it didn’t really work for me. Still, the strength of the book kept me and held me until the very end and I can easily recommend it.
Finders Keepers is about a long ago crime and a boy who unwittingly gets himself in trouble with a murderer when he uncovers buried treasure and doesnFinders Keepers is about a long ago crime and a boy who unwittingly gets himself in trouble with a murderer when he uncovers buried treasure and doesn’t keep it a secret. Characters from Mr. Mercedes make an appearance but they’re not a huge part of this one.
I enjoyed Finders Keepers but not quite as much as Mr. Mercedes. The villain here didn’t interest me nearly as much as Brady. Brady was a weirdo who loved his mama a wee bit too much and I found him interesting. Morris here is just an entitled, spoiled, rich brat who messed up his life because he takes everything he wants even when it doesn’t belong to him. This did not interest me. It just made me disgusted with his sorry ass.
I feel like copying and pasting my words from my Mr. Mercedes review and, because I’m a lazy slug of a reader and would rather be reading right now, I think I shall plagiarize myself and change up a word here and there like all the best plagiarists do.
What we have here is a tense thriller, light on the horror, high on the suspense. I’m more a fan of the horror than I am of the thriller and this one won’t change my mind. It’s a little overlong but it’s a King book. What do you expect, people? Lots of pages fly by without much of anything really happening if you stop to think about it. But at least they fly by because King has a way with the words. The end made me happy enough and the characterization is decent. We’re supposed to despise the villain and despise him I did so I guess it works. As I mentioned, Morris is a miserable waste of a human who can’t own up to his mistakes. I find that type boring but that’s just me. He’s an ok #1 crazed fan type, I suppose, but he is nowhere near the level of Misery’s Annie Wilkes. If you haven’t read Misery you may love this. Will Patton, as always, reads every page fantastically. Oh yes, he does. He needs to read all of the horror books. That man knows how to bring a story to life and voices the ladies without making them sound silly.
I hate rating these things but I’ll explain because someone will likely call me out at some point.
I’m giving the production a 5 and the story a low 3. This, to me, means I liked it the way I like a Reese’s when I can’t run out to Trader Joe’s and buy a genuine peanut butter cup .
I’ll settle on something just below a 4 but I’m not rounding up for anyone. ...more
I grab almost every audio available to me and prefer to go in blind when I can. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t and I end up with nightmI grab almost every audio available to me and prefer to go in blind when I can. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t and I end up with nightmares (I’m pointing at you, Daddy Love by Joyce Carol Oates). When I started American Housewife, I had some vague memory of someone somewhere saying it was a memoir and I started reading it with glee because these people were horrid and I love nothing more than reading about horrible, snooty people doing horrible things to each other (and, if true, all the better!) but alas my brain failed me once again. I soon realized it’s actually a fictional collection of short stories, vignettes and “lessons” – mostly sarcastic lessons on how to be a proper southern lady. Lessons I obviously have no use for! None of them are true stories either. Ah well.
I’m not going to rehash all of the stories and such with a plot synopsis because I am lazy and mostly because I did not take notes. So off the top of my head, I’ll tell you a little about the stories that stuck with me long enough to be written down here.
“The Wainscotting War” was the first real short story in the collection and I thought it was the best. It should’ve been stuck somewhere in the middle because I kept expecting the rest of the tales to have the same snarky magic and, except for brief glimpses, they didn’t. It’s about two housewives who go to great lengths to out insult the other in an email war over redecorating a hallway. It’s wickedly dark and funny in the evilest of ways and I LOVED it.
“The Fitter” is about a woman who is married to the most wanted man in all the land. Wanted by the woman-folk, that is. He can look at a woman’s chest and instantly find her the perfect bra, one able to perk up the saddest pair of droopy breasts without surgery. He’s been able to do this since he was a kid which is kind of creepy, if you ask me, but he’s managed to make quite the living off of his magical skills, yet another reason the ladies are all after him. His current wife, also his assistant in the business, has to fend off the hussies vying for his attention. I felt for her, I truly did. It was a little sad but I’m not going to tell you why (unless you send me some chocolate).
“Welcome to Book Club” mostly annoyed me, truth be told. I thought it was trying just a little too hard to be witty and obnoxious and mostly succeeded in just being obnoxious. To be a part of this exclusive “book club” means you must give up your identity and . . . other things. The narration was good but the story didn’t work out for me.
“Dead Doormen” was ghostly, morbid and a little ghastly. That I can work with.
“Dumpster Diving with the Stars” nearly bored me to death. It was about some ridiculous reality tv show. It was overly long and not at all interesting or witty to me. Not helping matters was the monotonous narrator. I never thought it would end but fortunately it did.
Did I mention the stories are read by alternating narrators? That’s a very good thing in this case.
“Pageant Protection” is a twisted little story about a woman who makes it her mission to give pageant girls a lifestyle “do-over”.
“I Sold My Soul to Tampax” is the last story and I don’t think this is the title but it’ll have to do. My brain has shut down for the day. It’s about a writer who apparently didn’t read the fine print on her contract and faces what is probably every writer’s worst nightmare. It was pretty much all over the place and felt a little rushed and the protagonist seemed like a dimwit for allowing any of this to happen at all.
Most of the stories fall into the “entertaining at some point” category with only one that really stood out which is unfortunate seeing as it was the first actual story in the book and set me up to expect the rest to be even better. The others weren’t as nasty as I’d hoped and weren’t really “laugh out loud funny” but maybe my sense of humor has skedaddled off with what’s left of my memory. If you want to read about a bunch of awful ladies that have ugly thoughts, dark edges and haughty ways give it a go. You probably won’t like any of these people but you might like reading about them.
If nothing else, I learned that:
“Taxidermy is the new decoupage."
Who knew? Perhaps I’ll have to take it up in my old age. Looks like it could be useful!
*There may be mild spoilers but everything I write about happens early on. I've left out the truly terrifying spoilers. You'll have to read the book y*There may be mild spoilers but everything I write about happens early on. I've left out the truly terrifying spoilers. You'll have to read the book yourself to discover them ;)
This is an oldie, the original copyright says 1983, and I had my doubts that it would be one of those hidden gems but I read it anyway.
You should probably know going in that things happen within this book that are not okay by me. There is some dubious consent, some unfair and ugly name calling, and some unpleasant slapping of all the cheeks. The hero is also a classic alpha-hole and the virginal heroine sees him as a stand-in daddy figure. Don't say I didn't warn you.
I pretty much knew I wasn’t in for sweet and romantic very early on when the “hero” says, “I will do as I please and YOU will do as I please.”
Believe him because he means it.
Megan has been the ward of 36 year old Justin, Lord of Sexton or Weston or somesuch. Anyway, he is a big shot in society and has loads of money and power and pretty much had zero to do with orphaned Megan for the twelve years she has been his responsibility. He’s simply shipped her off to boarding schools and sent her an impersonal gift during holidays. Now she’s 17 and has been tossed out of school for the third time or so and has decided that she is not going back and is staying in one of Justin’s homes. He decides to finally take some action and deal with his defiant, violet eyed minx all by himself!
But he’s not prepared for what he finds. He first spies her dancing like a hussy with his servants. He is ticked off and decides to take a bath before he fires everyone. It's then that she bursts into his room and spies his nakedness and feelings, well, they are awakened . . . She, apparently, grew up a whole bunch in the two years since he’s last bothered to see her and when they are forced to spend a lot of time together, for reasons, he simply can’t resist her lovely young flesh and seduces her. He is a virile man and he has needs, after all. This might be all well and good if he wasn’t married(!!) and an alpha-hole but he is who he is and naturally he lays the blame on her seductive little body. Even though he's old enough to be her dad and should know better. She freaks out when discovers he’s married and terrible things continue to happen until the very end of the book.
It’s too bad Justin had such a magical manroot. Megan likely would’ve had a much easier time noticing his faults and moving along with her life if he had been a dud.
But alas, it wasn’t meant to be and that body of hers continued to betray her wishes. The poor child.
“You’re a little bitch.”
Now some people may find those words seductive because this book gets five stars from many readers but I guess I am not one of them. It's only getting a 2 1/2 from me.
This book made me crazy mad and was all kinds of wrong but I only have myself to blame because I kept reading it. Justin was a jealous, despicable beast and nothing anyone says in his defense will ever change my mind and, yes, I read it to the very end because I couldn't stop myself.
I listened to this as an audiobook and the narrator was a guy that put on a snooty voice that suited Justin perfectly. I typically don’t enjoy male narrators in a romance but he even did okay with Megan’s voice too. If you must listen to this, I’d say listen to this version narrated by James Clamp. ...more
I picked this audiobook up blind at a local library sale because I recognized the author name and, well, I’m not one to leave a cheap audio sitting onI picked this audiobook up blind at a local library sale because I recognized the author name and, well, I’m not one to leave a cheap audio sitting on the sale table. Maybe this experience will teach me because right about now I’m feeling like I’ve been punched in the heart.
For those who remain unaware, as I was, and would like to remain that way, you may not want to read any further (though I don’t at all recommend this unless you want to send yourself into a debilitating state of depression). I thought I was tough enough to handle anything. Turns out I was not.
This book is about child abduction and does not flinch away from the pain, brainwashing, torture and tragedy inflicted on an innocent five year old for six years by a man who is a monster posing as a preacher. It’s also about the fallout that emotionally ruins the boys’ parents, who at the beginning of the story are deeply in love and very happy, but slowly begin to drift apart from the despair.
If you are feeling just a wee bit too happy with your life and want to tone it down, oh about a zillion notches, this story will do the trick. It is awful. Not the writing but the subject matter. I can almost guarantee that when you finish, you’ll feel worse than this:
I think I am traumatized. I honestly do not know how to rate this story. Devastating things happen in it that will haunt me forever but the writing and the emotions it evokes force me to give it a four and ½ but I can’t really recommend it. If you have children, dogs or a heart you may want to steer clear of it. ...more
Will Patton reads this audio! It’s getting all the stars because I love the way that man tells a story.
The book begins with one jerk ruining the day oWill Patton reads this audio! It’s getting all the stars because I love the way that man tells a story.
The book begins with one jerk ruining the day of many because he can.
Things start out awfully when a maniac named Brady decides to drive a Mercedes into a crowd of innocent job seekers because he feels like it. People die. But Brady is not completely satisfied with his day’s work of murdering the innocent. Now he’s focused on tormenting the now retired officer who was unable to close the case.
Brady, who is somewhere in his 30’s, isn’t quite right in the head but is functional enough to work two jobs that still leave him ample time to play out his murderous scenarios. He lives with his drunken momma who he may love a wee bit too much but that’s none of my business . . .
What follows is a tense thriller, light on the horror, high on the suspense, with a wee bit of a quickie romance thrown in for maximum emotional impact. Gah, if you’ve read King before you probably know how that ends and that’s all I’m saying. I’m more a fan of the horror than I am of the thriller but I very much enjoyed this story from beginning to end. It’s a little overstuffed with what seems like endless and pointless detail here and there but it all comes together very nicely in the end and the characterization is top notch. King most definitely has a way with the words and Will Patton reads them fantastically.
“Life is a crap carnival with shit prizes.” ― Stephen King, Mr. Mercedes
This was the perfect palate cleanser after the last horror show of an audio I finished.
I was a little worried when I began and feared it would be supeThis was the perfect palate cleanser after the last horror show of an audio I finished.
I was a little worried when I began and feared it would be super sad. It says it is about the life lessons learned from the world’s greatest golden retriever, their Tara, who died too young of cancer, and inspired the couple to start rescuing old and unloved dogs. And there are life lessons here but much to my delight, this book tells more about the couple’s current menagerie and is just as humorous and self-deprecating as Dogtripping. Now they have 20, 30, 40? (I just couldn’t keep track) because one is never enough!
This book felt like reading a sequel to Dogtripping and that made me unbelievably happy. When I finished Dogtripping I was sad only because it was over. Finding this book was like a wish come true. Some of the stories were a little familiar but ask me if I care? I do not and I will not say anything negative about this book. We learn more about some of the dogs that were mentioned in Dogtripping as well as a bit more about their beloved Tara. It takes place after they’ve moved their California dogs to Maine. And surprisingly the dogs, all of the dogs,very unlike me or my dogs, love the cold weather.
I love reading about people who go to great lengths to save unwanted, unadoptable, sick and miserable dogs and make their final years happy and comfy. If you’re a dog lover you’ll love this book but personally I need to stop reading these before my husband and I become these people.
Some books just aren't meant for you, you know? You can't please everyone and all that. I promised myself I would stop reading books that weren't thriSome books just aren't meant for you, you know? You can't please everyone and all that. I promised myself I would stop reading books that weren't thrilling me this year because my tbr pile is scary high. I'm sad to say this is one of them. I've listened to more than half of the audio now and I'm calling it quits. The two of us just didn't connect and I'll tell you why (because that's what I do).
1. The opening cruise scene feels like a porn movie come to life. A swinging couple meet two naive exhibitionist virgins ready for fun. Yeah. I think I'm the wrong target audience for this. I need a little romance in my erotica or at least a monster. He doesn't even have to be sexy. But this had neither. I am sad.
2. The book constantly switches from 1st person POV to 3rd person POV. It was distracting and a little confusing at times because I couldn't always figure out who had just walked into the scene. Where the hell had she come from? Oh wait, that's just Lexie. My brain, oh how it hurts.
3. It reads like a diary of boring daily events instead of a fun adventure. Two young, beautiful friends meet people, make food, walk around naked, go swimming, talk cars, play mini-golf and have some sexy times. There didn't seem to be any plot or point and that might be okay if it wasn't all so boring. It could be me. I'll admit that. I'm spoiled by years of reading and I'm not into cars or mini-golf or spoiled young ladies bitching about how controlling their absent "parental units" are. Boo hoo hoo. Move out then, you lazy creatures. But, hey, if that's your thing go for it!
4. I know people don't pick up a series called "All American Exhibitionist" looking for a read that's going to change their life (or do they?) but I at least hoped for a smidgen of humor and/or character development or something vaguely interesting to happen. I found myself tuning out so I'm shutting it down for good.
Please don't tell me I'm missing all the good stuff by not finishing because I'm sticking my fingers in my ears.
I agreed to review this audio book for audiobookblast because it sounded dark and haunting and emotionally heart-wrenching but it wasn’t any of thoseI agreed to review this audio book for audiobookblast because it sounded dark and haunting and emotionally heart-wrenching but it wasn’t any of those things for me and now I feel like a jerk because I didn’t like it very much. If I’m being totally honest, I didn’t even want to finish it but I did even though I had a few moments where I feared this may be in my future.
This cheating story line and the way it was presented made me angry instead of sympathetic. There is no other way to say it. I was crazy mad at Sebastian throughout most of the book. He was weak and pathetic when he was young and he weak and pathetic when he became an adult. Reading about him trying to keep his cake and eat other sexier cake too made me a little queasy.
Now, I can hear you all saying, “You dumbass. This is a book about cheating! How dare you complain about the cheating?!” Well, to that I say read Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane. That there is a character you will sympathize, empathize and feel everything for, unless you are heartless. Chase’s story will rip your heart to shreds even though he cheats. This guy Sebastian?
I thought he was spoiled, selfish and weak and couldn’t own up to what he truly wanted and he didn’t feel any guilt! I kept hoping he would get caught and his dick would get lopped off. If you are going to write a book about cheating please make it dark and painful and make me feel something other than anger for the jerk doing the cheating. Because, you know, it’s all about me.
Now there were some positives for me or I would’ve quit it. The narration was oh-so-good, truly excellent. Sierra Kline’s voice was seductive and perfect for this story. She performs the crap out of this book without going over the top and she makes the words come alive, even when those words were making me nuts. Ysa’s backstory was traumatic and I understood her more than any of the other characters. She’s broken and has to put herself back together. I got her. Her story was the reason I kept going. I could’ve totally done without the Sebastian/Julia characters altogether. That would’ve changed the story only for the better. For me, anyway.
So, what else? It is super long, there are too many filler scenes and there is far too much back story. It needed a little trimming, perhaps 200 pages or so, if you ask me. Oh, and it’s very explicit. The sexy scenes are sexy and well written but . . . but . . . but (there is some butt too, if you pervs were wondering), as I said in the beginning, the erotic bits began to make me feel a little sick in the belly what with all of the sneaking around and that makes me sad. You may think differently. Most of the reviewers do. ...more
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com." I"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com." I'm sure they're regretting it now.
I had to DNF this little audio two hours in because my poor, abused and confused ears could not take another second of this narrator’s voice. This has to be, hands down, one of the most painful narrations I have ever had the displeasure of listening to. All of the characters, even the menfolk, sound like perky twelve year old girls. The narrator doesn’t make even the slightest attempt at altering the voices so the reader knows who is speaking. The cadence is also all wrong. She puts emphasis on the wrong words and stops and starts in the strangest of places.
But that's not all. I might’ve been able to continue if the story weren’t all . . .
Maybe it’s just me. Feel free to judge for yourownself. Here's the plot so far as I know it. The heroine is Charlie and she is 26 years old. She has her own home, has overcome a battle with anorexia and now has a very dependable job as an urgent care nurse and fill-in ER nurse. I mean, you need to have your wits about you to keep that kind of job, right? I know for certain I couldn’t do it. Anyway, she has an older brother, by 10 years or so, who oversees every aspect of her life. This includes disciplining her for any perceived misbehavior. With his hand. On her bum. This is not incestuous or for titillation on his end but purely disciplinary (honestly I’m not 100% certain about that because it's just plain weird to me) and though she fears it, she allows it. Did you miss the bit where I mentioned she is 26, has a job and her own home, fears the spanking and yet she allows it?! What the hey?
So, now she’s met a police officer who she has the hots for and he’s a not-in-a-sexual-way bum smacker too. Now what are the odds of having that kind of luck, eh? If I were her, I’d be playing the lottery. She’s also a “lovely” little liar and she isn’t very good at it, thus resulting in the constant need for spankings on her “swells”. She’s also the type of gal who “wants a prince to take care of her”.
Ugh, I tried people but I just can't with this one.
Audio available for review via Audio Book Blast. Check it out here!
Two wise cracking lower level thugs take on the job of transporting a so-called wAudio available for review via Audio Book Blast. Check it out here!
Two wise cracking lower level thugs take on the job of transporting a so-called werewolf named Ivan to a wealthy weirdo who wants him for nefarious purposes. The two figure it’ll be easy money. There’s no such thing as a real werewolf, right?
Things go awry, as they will. This is a novel written by Jeff Strand after all. Blood is shed and sarcasm is spewed hither and fro (along with a few body parts) as our tenacious thugs make one dumb move after another. It’s funny, they reminded me a little of those loveable nitwits from Home Alone at points, but it’s also brutal. This is a black comedy and I’m still not over an early scene involving dogs and probably never will be.
But that’s my problem.
Anyway, despite my sadness about a particular scene, the writing and the spectacular narration had an insidious power over me and I kept going, even when it took me to places I didn’t particularly want to visit. The story was nuts and the narration one of the best I’ve listened to in a good long while. He gave each character their own distinctive voice, didn’t go all fake falsetto on the women characters and really brought the scenes to life. Even when the story dragged here and there, I never found myself dozing and I credit that to the narrator.
I’d give the story a three and the narration a five. Guess I’ll have to settle for a four.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."...more
If you haven’t read “You”, stop right here and get to work on that. Hidden Bodies is a direct sequel to “You” and they really must be read in order. TIf you haven’t read “You”, stop right here and get to work on that. Hidden Bodies is a direct sequel to “You” and they really must be read in order. This is a little spoilery so if you prefer knowing next to nothing, I'll add in the spoiler tags.
Here again we catch up with Joe who is as nutzo, murderous, hateful and lovable in his own weird way, as ever. He is just living his life, working in a bookstore, minding his own business and occasionally worrying about a mug of urine he accidentally left behind after doing something terrible. One fine day a lovely, leggy blonde named Amy walks her way into his life and they fall in love. She is perfect. She gets him. But then, as will happen – especially if you’re Joe, (view spoiler)[ she betrays him. He rages. He gets those murderous feelings again and follows a trail to Los Angeles to get his murder on because his heart is BROKEN.
But he gets sidetracked.
He starts dating, he gets an apartment, he makes friends, he even logs onto Facebook. All of this is done simply to look legit, of course, not because he has a secret dream to become a normie. Eventually more terrible things happen, people piss him off and he contemplates murder, sometimes following through with it, sometimes fumbling. It is so hilarious to me that Joe always comes to the conclusion that murder is so much easier than dealing with (or ignoring) someone’s shit.
How can you not like Joe? Or is it just me?
Anyway, during all of Joe’s pretending to have a life and to care about things, he meets Love, who actually turns out to be the woman of his dreams and he seems to forget all about his plans for Amy. He pals around with rich folk and writes screenplays. I’m not sure how I feel about this part, an enormous part, of the story. Wait, yes I am. It bugged me. It bugged me a whole bunch. The Joe I knew from "YOU" had a one track mind. He was obsessed. He was the master of obsession. He was so good at it. The Joe here is a super forgetful fellow and easily thrown off track. Joe, remember Amy? Amy MUST PAY. I wanted Amy to pay but Joe was too busy finding love. Ugh.
In the end, though.
And I, for one, am thankful for that. (hide spoiler)] Because Joe is a sarcastic bastard and promises that he would never hurt an innocent animal, I’m giving this book a 3 ½ (rounding up to 4) and I’ll be reading the next one. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book features a heroine who is a grief counselor for pet owners but who also suffers from debilitating panic attacks. Don't ask me why I decidedThis book features a heroine who is a grief counselor for pet owners but who also suffers from debilitating panic attacks. Don't ask me why I decided to read this next when all I wanted was a happy book. I am easily seduced by cute puppies and didn't bother to read the synopsis. Cute puppies? How could it possibly be sad? So it’s my own damn fault, as usual, and I only have myself to blame.If you’ve ever loved and lost a dog this one has the ability to bleed you out by a million small cuts. Heed my warning and go in prepared. Also, those adorable lab puppies on the cover? Well, they aren’t in the book.
Yeah. I was taken in by trickery. Don't be like me.
Despite all of that, I could not stop listening for the life of me.
In the end, it wasn’t as sad as I first anticipated. It lightens up and turns into one of those decent reads that aren't too meaty nor too fluffy and, though hard to put down, may not be remembered come tomorrow (if you’re anything like me, anyway).
It’s mostly about a lost pup and two lost souls, recovery and building relationships. There’s lots of doggie goodness and there is a smidge of romance tossed in but it never takes over the story. This author really knows her dogs and grief and anxiety disorders and I truly enjoyed reading it even if it did ruin my mascara a time or two.
The narrator though? Nope, she wasn’t my favorite. At times, far too many times actually, her narration came across as someone being overly cautious to enunciate each word correctly. It felt unnatural and instead of falling into the story, I was more focused on her diction. Once she gets into a rhythm she does a fine job with the characters but time and again the stilted reading came back to haunt me. I hate when that happens. ...more
Okay, so the many five stars all around on this here book page were warranted. It’s a heartbreaking, painful read. It’s also full of faith, strength,Okay, so the many five stars all around on this here book page were warranted. It’s a heartbreaking, painful read. It’s also full of faith, strength, kindness and perseverance. I’m very glad I gave it a listen. The narrator is terrific and emotive and has the ability to draw you into the time and place instead of taking you out of it!
Corrie ten Boom is a 40 something spinster at peace with her quiet life. She is a watchmaker in her father’s shop and lives with her older sister and their kind father. She never expected to become embroiled in an underground revolution but when German soldiers invade her homeland and friends and neighbors start to disappear because they are Jewish or lending Jewish families safe harbor, she can’t stand by and do nothing. As conditions become increasingly worse for the unfortunate people in her beloved town, she decides to put her life in danger in order to save those of others. Her family has a hidden room built and they take in the desperate. Eventually she is imprisoned, along with most of her family. She recounts the long, grueling days of hellish conditions in prison and in concentration camps. The sickness, the starvation and the everyday cruelties inflicted.
I’m not religious but these characters are and they walk with a strong belief and unwavering (for the most part) faith and a gratitude for everything, even ants and fleas, yet I never felt preached at. Their faith makes up a big part of who they were and how they managed to make it through the inhumane conditions. If you read this account, it will leave a mark on you for certain. It’s not a book I will easily forget. ...more
Dumplin’ sounds like a sweet little nickname when one is five but no teen wants to be called a lump of dough by their mom in front of their cruel peerDumplin’ sounds like a sweet little nickname when one is five but no teen wants to be called a lump of dough by their mom in front of their cruel peers.
Willowdean has the unfortunate luck of having a clueless mom who does just that and can’t seem to figure out why her “Dumplin’” is so moody. Ah, the dramatic life of a teen.
Willow has bigger problems than her nickname though. Her beloved aunt Lucy has recently died (due in part to obesity), leaving her alone with only her grief and her former beauty queen mom who not so subtly urges Willow to lose weight. Constantly. Mom is worried Wilow will end up like Lucy. Mom’s world revolves around the pageant and Willow, a self-proclaimed fat girl, has no interest in such things. But as the story goes along, things happen that shake up her self-confidence (and if you guessed those “things” were a boy, I’m sad to say you are right). So between the flagging self-confidence and discovering something about her last aunt Lucy that saddens her, she impulsively decides to enter the pageant and enlists a bunch of misfits into joining her.
Sounds kind of fun, right? And sometimes it is but mostly it’s not.
Much stuff and many things happen but none of them are earth-shattering, nor are they nail biting. If you’re looking for a lot of action this isn’t your book. This is a very “slice of life”, character orientated story. That’s my favorite kind of thing so I enjoyed it right away and the narrator was great, she voiced Willow as a teen and it didn’t sound fake. I thought, finally, a book was going to live up to its hype for me! But then Willow started driving me CRAZY and there were many times when I didn’t like her very much.
Let me explain. Willow is happy in her skin when the story begins. She’s a big girl and she is okay with that. She has a beautiful, thin best friend but because Willow is so confident, their physical differences never come between them. I was loving that story and I really enjoyed Willow’s outlook on life but then, alas, Bo happens and things start to devolve. He’s her crush and her co-worker and has a butt as juicy as a peach. He’s also gorgeous, slightly mysterious and apparently enjoys kissing her. But only in private. Uh oh. Willow is smart enough to see where this is heading (or at least thinks she is) and dumps him without explanation and then pines away for him while leading on another boy.
Her best friends says It best when she states, “You’re a shitty friend Will.”
It’s here that the more unsavory bits of Willow’s personality start to take center stage and show their ugly faces too much and the book loses a lot of its charm. Willow doesn’t always say things out loud but she most definitely skinny and fat shames, she’s jealous, self-centered, judgmental , insecure and unapologetically mean to her supportive best friend, to her mom, to Bo and especially to a sweet boy named Mitch (yeah, it’s a love triangle, shoot me now). Willow’s a teen and full of mood swings and ugly thoughts about her peers. I get it. We all have our undesirable moments but Willow had far too many of them for me. I thought she’d be above some of that shit and be a better heroine. Instead she’s just like all the rest. What could’ve been a meaningful read with a strong, unique heroine turned into just another ho-hum young adult novel. It does have its good points; it’s readable, funny, sweet and savage and real and there are some good messages there amongst all of the muck but I was hoping for something new. Something different. Something fearless. And I didn’t get it. Thus I can only rate this one a 2 ½ but I’ll bump it up to a 3 because I’m sweet like that.
Free on audio for those willing to review it. Find your copy HERE . You'll need to unzip the files before loading them into Itunes. It looks like it'Free on audio for those willing to review it. Find your copy HERE . You'll need to unzip the files before loading them into Itunes. It looks like it'll be free only for a few more hours....more
FREE audio production until November 4, 2015! Get yours here.
I am, most reluctantly, throwing in the towel at the halfway mark.
This started out so stFREE audio production until November 4, 2015! Get yours here.
I am, most reluctantly, throwing in the towel at the halfway mark.
This started out so strong and had so much going for it. Written by Joe Hill who is one of my go-to authors and voice work by my favorite clone Tatiana Maslany, Stephen King (hisownself) & the fabulous Kate Mulgrew but as someone who has not read the comics I spent much of it in a state of confusion. This would probably be a five star production IF read as a companion piece to the graphic novels. But as a standalone piece it just didn't work for me. It's very imaginative but I'm going to read the graphic novels before ruining any more of this story for myself....more
This is a tale about a young boy who isn’t like the rest. He can’t seem to find joy, emotional connection, or excitement in aTBR for Audio Book Blast.
This is a tale about a young boy who isn’t like the rest. He can’t seem to find joy, emotional connection, or excitement in any of the pursuits that occupy his peers. That all changes once he attends his first funeral and finds an insatiable lust for the dead.
This story isn’t called “The Loved Dead” for nothing!
I listened to this story as an audiobook production complete with spooky sound effects that added to the already creepy as hell atmosphere. The narrator spoke in a sinister tone but at times got a little whispery and was sometimes drowned out by the sound effects. He also stumbled a little here and there over the words. I caught it which is rare but good because it means the story hooked me. I’d advise listening to this version with headphones and not in your car.
I bet it’s terribly difficult suffering from necrophilia in the civilized world. You get a job in the morgue and there’s bliss, oh-sweet- bliss, but then you’re fired and must become a murderer to sate your needs. Can you imagine the bother, the additional stress, the covering up? Thus, I’ll have to give our protagonist a little pass for spewing out such overwrought lines such as “unbearable hunger of my starving soul” even though he reminded me a bit of that whiny fool from The Phantom of the Opera a time or two.
After some confusion about the co-authoring credits on the title, I did my usual 30 seconds of internet research and learned that this story was written by C.M. Eddy and revised by H.P. Lovecraft. It was written in 1919 and I imagine it was quite scandalous back then. But, now? Well I can only speak for myself, but I fear I am too jaded to get too bothered by the vaguely disturbing writings of a serial killing perv who enjoys purple prose. It had some creepy moments, to be sure, and I am certainly glad I am finished spending time in this guy’s head.
If you’re looking for something to get under your skin for 48 minutes this story might be meant for you.
*I received a free copy of this audio from the publisher/author/narrator in exchange for an honest review and that's what you're getting....more
I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher/author/narrator via Audio Book Blast in exchange for an honest review and that's what you're geI received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher/author/narrator via Audio Book Blast in exchange for an honest review and that's what you're getting.
Failure follows three teens around as they momentously screw up their lives. It’s kind of fun to watch this disaster because, let’s be real, none of them are very nice people. The boys have no respect for girls and the girl has no respect for herself. But I’m not here to judge . . .
So, based on the promise of an epic high and some potentially epic sex, the three agree to meet and perform an occult sex ceremony for a kinky old guy who wants to watch (so he says). Even when he whips out the “pain chains” they don’t get suspicious. Nothing bad could possibly go wrong here, right?
The story is written in such a way that I thought it was a sequel. It’s told by various character points of view and it flips back between the days leading up to the ceremony to the present day situation and I was very confused in the beginning. Perhaps that’s due to my listening to the story on audio or perhaps it’s due to my limited brain power? I don’t really know, but it all began to make sense eventually. The narration is great. Joe Hempel sounds appropriately young for the characters, doesn’t give the females a creepy falsetto and he gives the old man the sinister vibe he deserved.
It was quick, brutal and gory but nothing new or groundbreaking. Just some ugly people doing ugly things and getting their comeuppance. It kind of felt like an 80’s throwback with sex crazed teens doing what they do and a plot that felt achingly familiar. Still, I kind of liked that about the book! 3 ½ stars
There's nothing more to say here really. I'm throwing in the towel. I am on disc 3 and have been so completely zoned out I feel like I may have to go
There's nothing more to say here really. I'm throwing in the towel. I am on disc 3 and have been so completely zoned out I feel like I may have to go all the way back to the beginning. I don't know if I'm just distracted, completely humorless or falling into another slump but this book could not entertain me and I have far too many others sitting here to force it upon myself. The angel is indeed stupid as promised but so are most of the other characters (and there are MANY of them) and it's all a little too wacky/zany for my current pissy mood. ...more
Beautiful Creatures is a young adult fantasy novel about a sweet boy named Ethan who wants nothing more than to graduate high school and le3 1/2 Stars
Beautiful Creatures is a young adult fantasy novel about a sweet boy named Ethan who wants nothing more than to graduate high school and leave his small town life far behind.
But then a new girl named Lena moves to town and life gets much more interesting for Ethan.
They are drawn together despite their differences. Lena lives with her uncle who is the creepiest man in town and she drives his hearse. She is an immediate outcast despite her beauty. Her family is full of secrets. Ethan loves to read but is also very much a jock and does what he must to fit in. He cannot resist Lena and she cannot resist him. They can read each other’s thoughts and soon they are in deeply in love and enmeshed in a battle to save Lena from turning “dark” on her 16th birthday.
So there’s the gist. It’s not bad and it’s not horrible but it sure is far too long. At least 100 pages too long. I mostly enjoyed it but I have to admit that I absolutely did not find the psychic link between them romantic in any way. But I’m not 16 either. Honestly, though, would you want a love interest in your head, privy to your every thought? What if he wears some doofy hat to school and you don’t know how to tell him? Damn, guess you just did! What if he’s a bad kisser and you couldn’t shield your thoughts in time? Maybe I’m just an awful person but I think I’d spend most of my day wanting to fall off the planet
So, if you have many hours to spare while you’re doing dishes, supposed to be working or stuck in the car and you want to read about a boy who may or may not be too good to be true (Ethan takes his three aging aunties to church EVERY Saturday - he is such a good boy) you may want to check this out in audio. The production, eerie music and the narration are fabulous, even if the story may not have been. ...more