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Melissa

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A Sprinkle of Dystopia and a Shoveling of Drama

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-08-12

I liked The Farm by Joanne Ramos. I was sucked in, and found it rather exciting. The premise was promising, and the writing was rather good. What was most intriguing and refreshing was that Ramos deals with the concepts of class hierarchy and race playing such a big part of the dystopian concept of farming out children for the wealthy. Where it got to be a little too much for me was when the speculative fiction took a back seat to drama, as I found it to be dialed up to the "soap opera" level.

Fran de Leon does a great job in her performance as people from several different racial backgrounds. It's easy to go overboard with accents but de Leon played them with dignity.

If you're into historical drama...

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-07-28

And the usual class warfare of the 1800's, you'll love Belgravia. It's rife with identity politics, class discrepancy, and family secrets. Julien Fellows does it again, and this time, with some incredibly intriguing mother-characters (which can be extremely hard to come by in this day and age).

Juliet Stevenson delivers a stunning performance as narrator. For Downton lovers, this is one you won't want to miss.

My only critique of the story is that the world seems a little small. Generally speaking, historical fiction takes into account a lot of the world around the narrative that is central to the story, and while there is an attempt at this at the beginning, the sentiment of the thread is not carried through the entire story.

"I feel it, I see it...'

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-07-06

'And on some level I understand it completely."

In The Clay Girl, Heather Tucker gives us a brutally honest tale of Ari, a girl whose fantasy world needs to save her from her actual one, and I was blown away. I was hesitant when first starting the book because we start following the protagonist at such a young age, and the last thing I wanted was another Room situation (little kids in books, great, little kids as narrators, not so much). But I was quickly drawn in by Tucker's imagination and innovative prose.

If I were to explain this book I would say this: it's Anne of Green Gables (the personality) meets the Glass Castle (story) in 1970's Canada.

The book follows Ari in her struggles and triumphs through her childhood and teenage years. The book is tough but hopeful and full of heart. And Morgan Hallet does a great job of bringing the characters to life. All I can say now is I'm excited that a sequel is in the works.

"What the rust?"

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-07-06

I generally find fantasy and science fiction books very hard to listen to. The names are confusing, the ideas are convoluded, and the lexicons are hard to grasp. But somehow N. K. Jemison has built something real, tangible, and heartbreaking. The Fifth Season is a haunting tale of an oppressive society on the verge of collapse. The story follows three different points of view that build a world from ideas to manifestations.

Robin Miles delivers fantastic narration on top of the already great experience. If you pick this up, you're in for a wild ride of fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, and one of the most human experiences I've ever witnessed in it's genre.

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"Veiled by memory, tinged by dreams."

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-07-05

Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse is both a masterpiece and a mess of its own making. It breaks conventions and jumps deep into the psyche of the "modern" (early 1900s) family and their house guests. This analysis is what makes the book so incredible and so incredibly confusing. Part of me wonders if this would be a better read in physical format instead of audiobook format due to the fact that it switches perspectives but never seems to gaze upon the characters externally. I often found myself lost as to who was thinking what and when the perspective had shifted.

But, as always, Woolf is a master of prose and is worth reading for that reason alone.

Nicole Kidman makes for an immersive narrator, and has a very smooth voice that's easy to listen to. But unfortunately most of the characters were read in the same voice, making the narrative occasionally hard to follow.

A Good Time

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-13

A Room With a View by E. M. Forster is a classic. I remember watching the movie with my mother and laughing at the bathing scene (*wink wink*).

This novel is at its best when it's critiquing the British society class structure and at its worst when it intentionally or unintentionally mocks the reader for being too base. It is, at times, shockingly delicious is it's depiction of love versus status. The language and characters are fun and playful but where the book fails is when the writer becomes a Cecil-type himself, if you know what I mean.

Overall, a very entertaining read, but watch the movie to get a better idea of the "view" Forster is referring to.

Historical Friction

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-13

This series so far has been pretty fantastic. Moving through the War of the Roses and the Cousins War is fascinating and Gregory certainly does her research. She is great at exploring theories and giving human characterization to historical fact.

My only grievance about this book is that Gregory seems to repeatedly dwell on Queen Elizabeth's problems as if we, the audience, need more time for these moments to sync in. The repetition and convincing tends to grate on the listener's ears instead of provide intrigue.

Bianca Amato is wonderful as always. My overall verdict is that even after being five books in to a fifteen book series, I find myself seeking the sixth.

A Story of Poetry and Science

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-05-26

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is a fun adventure that sees two young people in New York City fall in love over a very enthralling, very busy day. While I cheer for the books diversity and race issues tackled in the book, I found it a little hard to believe the amount of autonomy these two teenagers were given under the book's circumstances. I did, however, love how all the threads of the story tied together and worked both for and against one another. And the intensity in which these characters exist bring a smile to my face that makes me reminisce about how deeply I felt about things when I was seventeen.

We're all a little bit awful

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-05-26

Liane Moriarty is so good at creative characters you immediately hate and gradually fall in love with. She is great at painting this perfectly fallible, awful, wonderful, relatable people whose lives are inherently human.

Truly Madly Guilty flows three sets of families on 'the day of the Barbeque' and watched their lives fall apart and then stitch themselves back together again.

I would have given a higher score to this book if Caroline Lee's performance of Vid, an Eastern European man, had been less stereotypical and offensive.

I would have loved a full cast performance of this book.

Enchanting ...

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-05-10

I read the White Queen by Philippa Gregory out of its intended order by mistake. I had been frustrated by the recounting of her third book, the Red Queen and wasn't sure what to expect, having to go backwards to read the second book. Fortunately books 2 and 3 of the series are so interconnected and take place at the same time that it doesn't actually matter what order you read them in. I found the White Queen to be the engaging, active, and enchanting story I was missing from its sister book.

Elizabeth Woodville was a largely disliked queen said to be a descendant of a water goddess. This retelling of her marriage to King Edward IV and her tumultuous reign as queen paints her in a more sympathetic, feminist light than what we've seen from historical accounts.

Both the story and performance were very engaging. Thankfully there were no changes of perspective or voice. Sometimes the storytelling favored plot points over characterization but overall this is a fun read if you like historical fiction.

Be warned: Audible Canada does not have the series listed in the correct order and does not have all the books in the series either, which is sad.