The Mystery of Hollow Inn

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The Mystery of Hollow Inn, written and narrated by Tara Ellis

Rating: 3.5 stars

Narrator: 3 stars

 

The Mystery of Hollow Inn is one of the many books on my 2016 Books to read list.  This book also satisfies one of my challenge books for the Mount TBR challenge. I am trying to “clean up” my TBR pile, though it seems to be ever growing.

This book was cute, and I feel for the age it is targeted towards, it will be enjoyed by its readers. At a certain point in this book, I was thinking to myself, this sounds awfully familiar….and then I kept laughing to myself thinking “those meddling kids…” Know where I am going with this? Yes…all they needed was this beloved childhood dog:

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By the end, I was literally waiting for the villain to say this. I was a bit sad he didn’t, but I am sure that is copyrighted. The story line is appropriate, it is a quick read/listen. Sam was a smart cookie, and it sounded like she will have great stories to tell her friends after her little vacation.

I want to point out…who in the world would send 2 12 year olds out on their own on a 10 hour bus ride?! Seriously! That is my big qualm with this book. This book felt a bit Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew to me, but I feel like it is supposed to be a more modern take on Nancy Drew. I think it is appropriate with the current times. I also like that both kids talked about the pressure they felt with technology, social media, and texting. Twelve year olds do not really need to be doing all that anyways 😉

Fairy, Texas

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Fairy, Texas by Margo Bond Collins and Narrated by Melissa Moran

 

Rating: 4

Narrator Rating: 4.5

I was given a copy of this audiobook free through Audiobook Boom in exchange for my honest review.

It has taken me a little while to get to this book. It was provided free to me for an honest review. I am a little sad I put it off for as long as I did. To tell you the truth, I am not sure what feelings I had going into this book. I was prepared for maybe it not to be so good. Here is why, lately, I have been getting some not so great free audiobooks. Either the story is falling short, the narrator was all wrong, or even the audio quality was not so great. These are the 3 areas that make audiobooks so iffy for some stories. So let me sum it up, the story was good, the narrator was good, and the quality was good.

As far as the story line, this book is original. I thought the characters were pretty good, though some aspects of the story line may need some tweaking (I feel, without giving any spoilers, the Main Event could have been a bit more clear or explained; also there are times I really didn’t seem to follow because explanations were provided adequately to Laney). I thought there were some areas that could have used a little more “umph,” for example, the kisses or the friendships Laney  was establishing (I thought she had anyways, but it didn’t always portray or come off that way, which I think was the point but not always clear). I did like that the main character Laney took everything that was thrown with her in stride. I felt the relationship between Laney and her new step sister was a little over dramatic and over the top. I may not be the best person to respond on that due to not having experienced a step sibling, but it felt really forced. I feel there were some vital bits of info that was left out of the story, but I am hoping it is in the next book. So why did I give it 4 stars? I REALLY found myself enjoying the story brought to life through the narrator. She was really great. I loved the Texas accents. Sometimes the male voices kind of blurred together, but other than that I really enjoyed it. I found myself looking if book 2 was already released (it is not ,on audible anyways).

I do recommend this book. So if you are looking for a quick listen, and want something original, and a new spin on things Fairy, then I do suggest this book. I am looking forward to, hopefully, getting more into this Ether, and learning more about this whole other species living right in the midst of a tiny Texas town!

In A Dark, Dark Wood

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In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, Narrated by Imogen Church

Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

Narrator Rating: 5 stars

I have been wanting to read this book for a while, and when I discovered it was narrated by Imogen Church, I wanted to give it a go that much more. I decided to listen to the story because Church is a great narrator. I enjoyed her in Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach, so I wanted to hear her bring Ware’s novel to life. She did great for Nora.

I didn’t like Nora. Her character is whiny, and not confident. Flo was bat shit crazy, Nina was funny, Tom was not memorable, and then we have Clare. The one who knows all the secrets. Nina and Nora’s friend in school, Nora split ways when she was 16 after a bad break up, which, during Clare’s bachelorette weekend, after not seeing Clare in 10 years, Nora finds out Clare is marrying Nora’s high school sweetheart. The start of a great weekend away yes?

The bachelorette weekend is taking place in the middle of nowhere, in a glass-ish cottage where there is no cell phone service at all. (Because THAT isn’t a bit of foretelling, is it?) Flo goes absolutely crazy through the weekend trying to make sure everything is perfect, but it’s not is it? Because someone gets murdered. And then we end up to the beginning of the book where Nora is trying to figure out and regain her memories about what happened that night.

The book goes back and forth: from the happenings of the weekends and back to Nora in the hospital. Ultimately, I wished this story was more than what it was. I felt like I was robbed from great potential. This story could have gone so many different ways, the end was a bit of a let down. I can, however, say that Imogen Church narrates this role amazingly. Church is made to voice this type of character and story.

Cupcakes vs Brownies

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Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Audible Rating:

  • Overall 4 stars
  • Performance 4 stars
  • Story 4 stars

Narrator Rating: 4 stars

 

I was given a copy of this book for free through Audiobookblast.com in exchange for my honest review. I have not been paid for my review. These opinions are my own. 

This book is a Middle Grade adventure of Karim, a young boy, who finds a Djinn’s lamp (the Djinn’s name is Zimmah). Karim wishes for the world to be a happier place, and WHAM! Everything is dessert. EVERYTHING. #Candypunk Though this world should be a happy place, there is a war going on between the Cupcake King and the Brownie Queen. Rewinding a bit, prior to finding the lamp, Karim overheard an argument between his mom and dad. Karim has gluten allergies. His father was supposed to pick up vegan gluten free brownies for his birthday his mom had special ordered, he forgot. So Father went to a different bakery, believed to be gluten free and brought cupcakes, which after mom swatted them out of his hands, engaged in a verbal altercation. Results? Dad asked for a divorce.

The Cupcake King is Karim’s father, but the King does not know Karim in the new setting. The Brownie Queen is Karim’s mother, and again, does not know Karim. Karim races through the story with his dog (turned into a Lion) trying to get Zimmah to turn the world back to normal, and that a world made of treats was not what he meant by Happy World.

Karim learns that his parents will always argue. Always. He learns through this adventure that he can be happy even if they are not together. There are a lot of lessons that Middle Grade kids can learn and take away. The lessons are presented in a fashion that are enjoyable and not in your face about what the issues are.

My only qualm with this story is that the story ended, the lamp was tossed in concrete to be buried, but there is a second book. It is not a traditional cliffhanger, just confusing. I do look forward to reading the next book though!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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Goodreads Rating: 2.5 stars

Narrator Rating: 4 stars

 

I was suggested to read this book by my boyfriend’s sister, in time for the movie. I want to first point out, I am not a fan of the writing style of the time period, and I have never really been a fan of Jane Austen. I do not even enjoy watching movies her books are based off of. However, I gave this a good shot. And I didn’t care for it.

My low rating is simply because I did not care for it. It did not wow me. But, I admit, it is because, as I said, I do not like Austen style books. So. This rating is skewed in that regards.

I did like the narrator. I think that is the only reason I  kept listening. She made it enjoyable. I was a fan of Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter so I was looking forward to the style. I think that his ability to blend in his story in the Austen style was good, so my rating isn’t necessarily because of him. He did a good job. I just didn’t like the overall story of Austen’s.

Son of the Mob

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Rating: 4 stars

Audiobook rating: 5 stars, Narrator: Max Casella

It seems like I have listened to more books than read lately, but with my current job, I need something to entertain me during the day. This story definitely brought the entertainment! I have to say, this book is one of those I don’t think I would have enjoyed as much if I had read it on my own. This book was made enjoyable by Max Casella.

This book is about Vince Luca, a high school student and the son of a major mob boss. Vince doesn’t want anything to do with his dad’s “legitimate” business endeavors. However, through a series of unfortunate events, Vince finds himself in the heart of his dad’s organizations!

This book is almost like a modern day Romeo and Juliet, but no suicides or deaths. Vince starts dating the daughter of the very FBI agent that has been trying to lock his dad up for the past few years. All the while, Vince does his best not to tell his new love who his dad is. Vince always hated being judged because of who his father was. All the while, Vince becomes a bookie without realizing it thanks to his older brother, the go to guy for those who owe his dad money, a normal boyfriend and the finder of the snitch infiltrating his father’s organization.

Max Casella made the entire book enjoyable. He nailed that New York/Italian accent that sucked you into the story line. I found myself laughing my ass off the whole way through this story. I am not saying it is the best thing I have ever read, but Max Casella made an okay book an awesome book.

If I stay

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Rating: 5 stars

Audiobook rating: 5 stars, Narrator: Kirsten Potter

This review will be short and to the point because if I say too much, I will give everything away.

I recently saw in one of my Goodreads groups that this book was considered “over-hyped.” I have to say that crushed me a little. I have come to realize, that there are stories I like because I listen to them through audibook instead of read them. Some narrators just captivate me and from the beginning. This book is one such book. I think I still would have liked it if I read it, but maybe not as much. I know everyone has different opinions, and I respect that. A book I love and give a high rating to, you may not like at all.

This book is a complete tear jerker and completely original. I have not read a book from the perspective of someone in a coma watching and hearing everyone around them and trying to decide if they want to stay or move on. I liked how the main character, Mia, has flashbacks of her life. The accident pretty much happens at the get go, so these flashbacks are the only way to connect with any of the characters.

This book is another book I think is more enjoyable as an audiobook. Kirsten Potter’s inflections were exactly right. She brings the right amount of emotions at the appropriate times.

All I can say is this-don’t listen to this book at work like I made the mistake of doing! Also, have tissue. And finally…I hope the movie brings this tragic story to life respectfully. This book is worth the read. Even if you find you didn’t like it, the experience of such beautiful writing is something you need to go through. Even more so through audiobook!