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Lori

St. Petersburg, Florida
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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-10-18

Nothing new here

First, I have not read the Harry Potter series. I haven't even seen the movies, except maybe one, so that wasn't why I chose this book. I had heard really good things about it, so decided to give it a go. While the story is interesting enough, it never really engages the emotions. You just stand outside and watch this shit unravel in a rather formulaic way. It's also nothing new. We get it. Poor people, rich people, bias, blah blah blah. To have it all be so stereotypically dismal is rather boring. Then again, to have it all be too inspirational would have been as dull. So, I guess I was hoping for something fresher? more innovative? just something I haven't heard a 100 times before? I don't know. It's one of those books I bought awhile ago and wish I had read earlier so I could return it, as I know I will never revisit it.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-31-18

Terrible narrator!

The narrator reads this with no expression at all. It's all monotone. The stories aren't bad. I'm interested to see what comes next, so it's a good study aid, but I want to hear it the way it might sound in reality.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-30-18

Publisher's summary doesn't do it justice

I laughed through the whole thing and it left me with a big smile on my face when it ended. This book is funny! I'm glad I didn't read the publisher's summary too carefully. I bought this in one of the sales and was on a buying binge as retail therapy. Had I read too closely, I wouldn't have bought it and never would have met all the only-quirky-enough-to-still-be-down-to-earth characters and got more therapy from this buy than I would have imagined. If you're in a bit of a slump, this book might be just the thing to get you smiling again. Even if you're not, it's good for a few belly laughs, and who couldn't use a few of those every day? I recommend it. And it's perfectly narrated by Ari Fliakos, who can even do women's voices.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-14-18

Is there such a genre as Comedy Suspense Thriller?

Amazon lists this under Mystery, Thriller, Suspense. Goodreads calls it a Psychological Thriller. Audible categorizes it as Horror. I have to admit, I was riveted and spent my entire Saturday morning listening like it was a 1940s radio show. But! I would categorize it as comedy. I laughed throughout this ludicrous novel. Yes, there was a mystery. Yes, it was suspenseful. But Erin is such an idiot that it was just really funny after awhile. Her husband was baffled by her behavior, and that made it funnier. So, while this wasn't what the author intended, I found it an enjoyable listen. If you can suspend expectations for a bit and maintain a sense of humor, this might be worth your time. If you're wanting a believable suspense thriller, this probably isn't going to suffice. Narration was great!

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-10-18

Really? 22 hours and no answers??

I've been listening to this thing for nearly 6 weeks. I should know better. If I'm not listening, I'm just not that into it. It was so good to begin with, but after getting over halfway through, I started to suspect it was going nowhere. Unfortunately, I was right. There were too many places where people's actions were really out of character, and then at the end there were WAY too many unanswered questions. Sometimes that's a good thing. It allows you to fill in the blanks for yourself. But this one felt like it needed to be answered, if in no other way than a quick epilogue. But if I'm going to spend nearly 22 hours reading about people, I damn well better get the whole story! Well, now thinking about it, I'm getting mad! Hmph. On to the next one! Oh no. Not a Pessl book. I hear they are suspense/thrillers, and I'm too afraid I'll end up at the end wondering who? what? where? when? WHY????!

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-01-18

Underwhelming

It might be too early for me to review this one. Maybe it will live with me longer than I anticipate. I loved the first 7 hours, then I didn't anymore, and I can't say why without spoiling it for others. It's just that it got a bit too tragic without ever feeling like Robert (the main character) was enough affected by it all. Also, the character development seemed a bit lacking to me. The characters came to us fully formed, but with no background as to how they were as awesome (or not so awesome) as they were. Robert, after awhile just seemed like a whiny little naysayer at every turn. Where was his sense of adventure?? He was always the one saying, "No! What are you doing?! Come down!" or "No, I don't want to. Let's do (this boring thing)." It just didn't seem real that he would be such a curmudgeon at such a young age, in spite of the things he went through. And we never know why Nathan was such a strong individual at such a young age either. So, in spite of being entertained, I'm underwhelmed. I do love Ari Fliakos! His narration is always a hit!

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-06-18

Less than engaging

This sounded like it would be WAY more fun than it was. There were three things going on in this book. First was the present day story of Claire and her struggle against being ostracized by much of the art community. Second, we get flashbacks to three years ago and the relationship which was the cause of her ostracism, and third, we are read letters about Degas from the late 1800's by the founder of the Gardner Museum. While the story kept me listening, the romance was irritating and unconvincing, the friendships not really understandable, the characters unlikable (the only one I liked was the lawyer from Jake's), and so many other irritants I can't talk about without giving away too much of the story. I kept asking, "Why are they doing this now BEFORE checking out Claire's claim about this incredibly interesting thing that ANYONE would be dying to check out?!" Part of my irritation at this book was the narrator. While I loved Xe Sands reading of "Euphoria," I don't think she was the right person to narrate this book. Her men's voices were just awful, each one sounding mostly the same and like they had just gotten out of bed, were still extremely tired and thought far too highly of themselves. It didn't matter what they said, they were truly cringeworthy. I wish I had listened earlier so I could have returned it.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-18

A story as unique as its main character

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. Quirky, sweet Frank, rational, low-drama Alice, sad and prickly Mimi, now-you see-me-now-you-don't Xander, and the solid Mr. Vargas all contribute to an unstoppable listen! While set in the modern day, it has that old-fashioned Hollywood feel to it. It also has a great story-line. There's a bit of mystery over Frank's father, there's suspense over the book Mimi is (or isn't) writing, there's that OMG! moment when you think all is lost, there's not too much romance to make me roll my eyes, and there's the perfect kind of ending that is just enough tied up to let you know what you need to know, but lets you fill in the rest for yourself. I think I got this on sale, but even if I'd have paid a full credit, I would consider it well spent! Great narration by Tavia Gilbert, as well. She had different voices for all the characters and they all worked!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-14-18

Model of perfectly imperfect parenting

Yes, this was a bit too neat, and our world is in no way as ideal as the one Poppy lives in, but that's what I liked about it. I think these stories that showcase maturity and kindness, as well as the struggle people have with being mature and kind and open to seeing things from a different perspective are what we need to normalize difference. The book does a fantastic job of showing the beauty of an imperfect but loving family and how they all fell apart and then rallied to bring it back together. The book sort of has five coming-of-age stories in one because we get to see how all the children in the family grow up and change after Poppy arrives. Narration was okay. I didn't like some of the voices, but appreciated the effort.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-01-18

The jacket has all the info you really need

I bought this book both in the hard copy and audible (because the hard copy was such tiny print), and listened while I read. This was a hard slog. If you read the jacket cover, you have all the information you need to apply what this book has to offer. If you like having things elaborated on, then yes, read the book, but know that it is going to be long and repetitive. While there are some inspirational stories, most of it has to do with sports or music professionals. There are some examples of college students using this for study, but for the most part, being someone now focused on elementary education, there wasn't a whole lot that I felt was applicable to that arena. Also, being someone who is a lifelong learner, I feel that the jacket cover information was enough, so long as you really read it and take it in. Not sure it was worth the purchase of either one, let alone both, but there were a couple of quotes that hit home.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful