Friday, July 19, 2013

Because I tend to get over-zealous with my audiobook listening and neglect to write thoughtful reviews for every single one I've completed, here are a few mini reviews to catch you up on what I've been listening to lately:

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Title: Bittersweet
Author: Sarah Ockler
Narrator: Ariadne Meyers
Series: n/a
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last...

I've had this book on my shelf since I got a finished copy at ALA Midwinter 2012.  I'd heard great things, but I just hadn't gotten around to it yet.  Then I read/listened to Ockler's newest book, and I knew I had to make time for Bittersweet.  And magically, it arrived on audio shortly thereafter.

I'm rating this book the same as I did The Book of Broken Hearts, but in all honestly, I think I liked this book better.  The narrator was great, and she sounded just as I'd expect a Hudson-like character to sound:  independent but also a little whiney.  And for some reason, I always find myself really digging stories centering around a figure skating career.  My sister was always the one who watched those competitions, but somewhere along the way, I must have developed a taste for the sport myself.  Though, it probably does help that there are hot young hockey player studs in this book, as well.  =)

My only real complaint with this story, as with may contemporaries, is the use of miscommunication to further the plot or draw out the story.  So many misunderstandings and hurt feelings could have been avoided if the characters would have just talked to each other.  Aside from that, I really enjoyed this audiobook, and I'll definitely make it a point to read Sarah Ockler's other books.

Rating:   photo 4-1.png

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Title: If I Should Die
Author: Amy Plum
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Series: Revenants, book #3
Publisher: HarperAudio
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

When it comes to this series, I just have to admit that my reading tastes have changed a lot over the last couple of years.  I loved Die for Me when I read an ARC all those months ago.  It was one of the first ARCs I'd ever received, so maybe that had something to do with my excitement, too.

The idea behind this series is intriguing, even now.  It's just the follow-through, I think, that just didn't do it for me.  That, and a big ole fake-out when it came to the romance.  Gah, and that cliffhanger at the end of Until I Die just about made me lose my shiz.  Because you just knew how things were going to play out, and pretend killing off a main character just doesn't fly with me.

Oh, this was the first book in this series that I listened to, though, and I have to say, I did enjoy the narration.  I liked Julia Whelan's narration of Flat-Out Love, but I truly enjoyed this narration because of all the French pronunciations that I just know I butchered the first two go-rounds with this series.  Whelan's French was just lovely.  It almost made up for the general blah-ness of the actual story.

Rating:   photo 3-1.png

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Title: The Nightmare Affair
Author: Mindee Arnett
Narrator: Cassandra Morris
Series: The Arkwell Academy, book #1
Publisher: Audible, Inc.
Publication Date: July 9, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

I think my biggest problem with this novel was that it read at a much younger level than I was expecting.  I loved Rachel Vincent's take on mara or Nightmares in her Soul Screamers series, and I guess I was hoping this would be similar, but on a much grander scale since the Nightmare was the main character in this story. But, alas, it was not to be.

Unfortunate that the story didn't quite live up to the awesome cover. Because I do LOVE that cover.  Very reminiscent of the cover of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan.  Unlike with SRB's book, though, it was relatively easy to figure out where this story was headed, who the culprit was, and how it all came to be.

The narration was also performed by the same (young) narrator as Tiger Lily.  I think that probably also gave the story more of a MG feel than intended.  Even so, I'm still intrigued enough by the Nightmares and the school for magickind that I'll pick up subsequent installments.  But I'm much more excited for Mindee Arnett's Avalon.  How awesome does that book sound?

Rating:   photo 3-1.png 1/2


  1. I know what you mean-- the whole "misunderstanding that could have been cleared up with a simple conversation" is present in a lot of romance books...

    1. Oh --- forgot to add that I am listening to Tarnish -- SO good :)

  2. I am so behind in the Revenants series. I didn't love the first book though. Not sure I will bother going back. And I really need to check out Sarah Ockler's work! :)

  3. Seems like everyone loves Bittersweet, so there must be something great about it. I didn't quite finish the Nightmare Affair, the romance was a bit cliche. I own the Revenants series but have yet to read it. Great mini reviews :)


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