📚 Cress by Marissa Meyer

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The Lunar Chronicles #3

Description⎮Reviewed Dec. 2016

Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Length: 15h 40m
Publisher: Macmillan Audio⎮2013

4 ★ Audiobook⎮I feel exhausted after completing this book! It’s so full of action that reading it felt like trudging through knee-high snow. It was kind of difficult to get through because of the carousel of POV and geographical changes. Meyer throws so much at the reader that not even the enormous length of this book could make up for its whirlwind of a storyline. It probably should have been split into two volumes to give the reader time to digest it all. I’m still experiencing severe reader’s overload… With all of that said, this book was still very exciting. But I’ll need a lot of time to process its events before even considering starting Winter. ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible

📚 Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2

Description⎮Reviewed Dec. 2015

Narrator: Kristine Hvam
Length: 15h 21m
Publisher: Hachette Audio⎮2012

4 ★ AudiobookI thought the story itself was good, but not great. I definitely did not enjoy it as much as its predecessor, largely due to the new setting and and cast of characters. I can’t even tell you the number of times I had to refer to this book’s wikia page to keep characters/chimera races straight in my mind. The total plunge into the chimera world was a bit overwhelming. I did find myself liking Zirri quite a bit, though. And I really appreciate the way this author writes her female characters. They all have spunk. 

Narration Review: This story felt so different than the first installment. It took place in a different world, with several new characters and new races of characters. I’d say I was probably confused 45% of the time during this. The point-of-view changes were too frequent and numerous and without any audible indication that a change was taking place. The physical book probably had a visual indicator whenever there was about to be a POV switch, but the audiobook had nothing. Other audiobooks have used some sort of sound effect to indicate a new POV. The lack thereof in this particular audiobook significantly hindered my ability to fully enjoy this story. Overall, I would say that if you are choosing between the physical book and the audiobook, definitely choose the physical book (unless you plan on paying excruciating attention to detail). ♣︎

$ Available at The Book Depository (paperback), Audiobooks.com and Audible

📚 Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Description⎮Reviewed Sept. 2015

Narrator: Rebecca Lowman; Sunil Malhotra
Length: 8h 56m
Publisher: Listening Library⎮2013

4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮In retrospect, this was quite possibly my favorite read of September! Beautifully told; it’s amazing that a book that addresses such a triggering topic (abuse) could still give me the “warm fuzzies”. Rowell does an excellent job of using the beauty of the main characters’ unlikely friendship to balance the harsh reality of familial neglect and abuse. I liked this so much better than Fangirl. Rated 4.5 because the ending felt rushed and lacking at the time of reading (I wanted more!), but I’ve come to terms with it now. ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible

📚 City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

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The Mortal Instruments #3

Description⎮Reviewed Dec. 2015

Narrator: Natalie Moore
Length: 15h 21m
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.⎮2009

2.5 ★ Audiobook⎮Let me start by saying that if you have a deep affinity for this series, you probably won’t want to read this review.—
This was very nearly a DNF (did not finish) for me. I cannot tell you the number of times I stopped listening out of pure agony and frustration, only to pick it up again later out of a compulsory need to finish something I had begun. This book was so far below my maturity level that I actually felt insulted while reading it. As a 27-year-old, I do realize that I am most likely not in the target audience for the majority of YA books. However, skilled authors often have a way of making books appeal to a wider audience than those to which it is marketed (Harry Potter, for example). This series is so annoyingly juvenile that, try as I might, I simply could not stand it. I would guess the target reading age is 11-14. I wish I had known that beforehand. I am so upset with myself for wasting such a large amount of time to get through this. For me, this entire series and author are insanely overhyped. The plot is incredibly predictable, the writing is bland (at best), the protagonist is whiny and immature, and the romance is all kinds of problematic (and icky). But the worst thing is that underneath all of that, the basic premise of the story actually had promise. There were a handful of times that I thought I saw a glimmer of hope, only for it to be extinguished by another disgustingly mushy Clary/Jace moment. I really feel like this series would have been so much better without those two characters. They are so poorly written and I can’t help but feel as if the author could not decide what to do with them. With that type of incesty storyline, the author has to really commit to it 100% (a la Game of Thrones). The way this author does it seems totally amateurish and underdeveloped. Basically, I persevered through the first two books based on the hype that this series receives and hoped that it would improve. Unfortunately, it did not and I think I would have to be truly desperate for something to read to ever give the rest of the series any of my time.

Narration Review: As for the audiobook, this narrator’s voice had very little inflection or emotion. She sounded about as bored with the book as me.♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible

📚 City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

1582996The Mortal Instruments #2

Description⎮Reviewed Oct. 2015

Narrator: Natalie Moore
Length: 12h 20m
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.⎮2008

3 ★ Audiobook⎮I’m giving this up three stars because I didn’t exactly abhor reading it, but I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it either. I can’t seem to form an attachment to any of the characters, not even Clary, whom I’m assuming is supposed to be the main character. At times, I can’t stand Jace and I don’t think I could ever ship him and Clary, with or without the twist that everyone sees coming. Something must be wrong with me, because Valentine is the most interesting character thus far. I’m sincerely hoping that this series gets better as it goes on (it has to, right?). *Crosses fingers* The popularity of this series is basically the only thing encouraging me to continue, because the story just does not. Needless to say, I’m not itching to pick up the next installment, even if I already own it. ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible

📚 Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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The Lunar Chronicles #2

Description⎮Reviewed Oct. 2015

Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Length: 11h 19m
Publisher: Macmillan Audio⎮2013

3.5 ★ Audiobook⎮This installment was good, but not great. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Cinder. The thing is, I still really don’t know who Scarlet is as a character. That seems important given that the book is named after her. Maybe this was by design and more of her personality will be revealed in Cress. I feel like Scarlet and Wolf were underdeveloped. Capt. Thorne, on the other hand, was written so that I have a clear image of his personality and have grown attached to him throughout the book. His interactions with Cinder were very enjoyable and provided great comic relief. I’ve heard that the next installment is the best in the series thus far and can’t wait to get to it. ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible

📚 Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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The Lunar Chronicles #1

Description⎮Reviewed Oct. 2015

Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Length: 10h 6m
Publisher: Macmillan Audio⎮2012

4 ★ Audiobook⎮I listened to about a fourth of this last year and put it down because I wasn’t it in the “right place” mentally for it. I don’t know what that means either… But I am so glad I gave it another shot. This time when I picked it up, it was insta-love! Now I am super into this series and plan to pick up Scarlet immediately after finishing Cinder. This was such an enjoyable listen and the audiobook narrator was great. ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible

📚 The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

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Bloodlines #6

Description⎮Reviewed Dec. 2015

Narrator: Emily Shaffer; Alden Ford
Length: 10h 9m
Publisher: Listening Library⎮2015

5 ★ Audiobook⎮If not for the epilogue, this would have been a solid 4.5 star book. But the sheer perfection of the ending bumps it up to 5 stars. That epilogue hit me right in the feels. Without giving away anything too specific, let’s just say that there was an engagement and a baby, all in the epilogue. If that’s not enough to elicit a squeal, I don’t know what is! It was everything I could have ever asked for as an ending to this series. Only now it has made me crave a seventh installment or maybe a novella… Anything, really. I just need MORE. I’m not ready to say goodbye to the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines world! ♣︎

$ Available at The Book Depository (paperback), Audiobooks.com and Audible

📚 Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

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Bloodlines #5

Description⎮Reviewed Nov. 2015

Narrator: Emily Shaffer; Alden Ford
Length: 10h 41m
Publisher: Penguin Audio⎮2014

4.75 ★ Audiobook⎮I can’t believe I’m giving a book in this series 5 stars. Especially when my last five star books were Illuminae & The Scorpio Races. Don’t get me wrong, Silver Shadows was nowhere near as amazing as those two, but my enjoyment level while reading this was nearly as high. I think I would feel more comfortable giving this book 4.75 stars instead (because apparently now I rate books on a .25 scale…). It wasn’t “amazing” as a whole, but parts of it definitely were thrilling. This was the best book in the series thus far and it made me eat my earlier words about the series not having enough action. Readers that were loyal throughout the slower-paced first four books were definitely rewarded for sticking it out. ♣︎

$ Available at The Book Depository (paperback), Audiobooks.com and Audible

📚 The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

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Bloodlines #4

Description⎮Reviewed Nov. 2015

Narrator: Emily Shaffer; Alden Ford
Length: 12h 4m
Publisher: Penguin Audio⎮2013

4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮I feel like I zoomed through this book. This entire series is incredibly easy to read and doesn’t require much effort to keep up with the plot. I was easily able to play this audiobook during my daily activities without much interference to either. Some audiobooks require a lot more concentration on the listener’s part and aren’t a good fit for multitasking. Although, I did stop what I was doing towards the end because it got so exciting. This cliffhanger ending almost makes up for the slow pace and lack of action in the other books. This is the best installment in the series thus far. I will be starting the next one immediately!

Narration Review: I enjoyed the new dual narration style and thought it added a lot to the overall audiobook experience. However, my biggest complaint about this particular audiobook is the mysterious disappearance of Adrian’s accent…♣︎

$ Available at The Book Depository (paperback), Audiobooks.com and Audible