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Search tags: 3point5-star-read
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review 2017-12-02 22:52
If only the story could have lived up to that beautiful cover.
The Sandcastle Empire - Kayla Olson


Book Title:  The Sandcastle Empire

Author:  Kayla Olson

Narration:  Andi Arndt

Genre:  Dystopian | YA

Setting:  A Mysterious Island

Source:  Audiobook (Library)



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Plot:  3.5/5

Main Characters:  3.7/5

Secondary Characters:  3.2/5

The Feels:  3/5

Pacing:  3/5

Addictiveness:  4/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  4/5

Book Cover:  5+/5

Narration:  5/5

Ending:  3.8/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope.

Steam Factor 0-5:  1

Total:  3.5/5 STARS - GRADE=B-




The Sandcastle Empire was both languid and quick moving.  Sort of like everything is draped in a heavy fog.  The writing and Andi Arndt's narration gave most of the book this warm, fluid, and free-flowing feel.  Until an action scene and then I found it difficult to keep up and comprehend the quickness of them.  The dystopian world that this depicts has the potential to be so complex but isn't really fleshed out enough and neither were the characters, unfortunately.  Mostly, it just left me feeling like I wanted more than what I got.


I've read that this is being made into a movie…it's possible, with the LOST-like island and its many pitfalls, that it might do well on the screen.


Will I read more from this Author This is her debut, I believe, so I might.  Especially, if they have such breathtaking covers…they pull me in every time.


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review 2017-10-21 15:24
You know that saying keep your friends close and your enemies closer…
13 Minutes - Sarah Pinborough



Book Title:  13 Minutes

Author:  Sarah Pinborough

Narration:  Rosie Jones

Genre:  YA, Mystery

Setting:  England

Source:  Own Kobo Audiobook




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Plot:  4/5

Main Characters:  2.5/5

Secondary Characters:  2.5/5

The Feels:  3/5

Addictiveness:  3.7/5

Theme or Tone:  3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  3/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Mystery:  5/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  3/5  Could have been better.

Ending:  4.7/5  Cliffhanger:  nope

Steam Factor 0-5: 4

Total:  3.5/5 STARS - GRADE=B-




The first half of this book reads like Mean Girls, with a British flair, and the second half turned out to be a very clever mystery.  I didn't see it coming, at all.  This is by far, too promiscuous for YA, though.  It has explicit sex scenes between a 16 and a 19-year-old.  That's just eww, between that and the catty little bitch characters, I almost DNF'd this.  I'm glad I didn't, because ultimately, despite not liking any of the characters, this was mostly a worthwhile listen just for the mystery alone. 


The narration would have benefited from another narrator, to differentiate between the two different female voices because it was difficult to keep it straight whose head you were in.


Will I read more from this Author?⇜  Probably not…



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review 2017-09-22 23:53
A memoir about apple farming and all the pesticide woes...
The Orchard: A Memoir - Theresa Weir



Book Title:  The Orchard

Author:  Theresa Weir

Narration:  Ellen Archer

Genre:  Memoirs

Setting:  Iowa (I think)

Source:  Audiobook (Library)




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Plot:  3/5

Main Characters:  3/5

Secondary Characters:  3/5

The Feels:  3.7/5

Addictiveness:  3/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  3.5/5 

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope

Steam Factor 0-5:  1

Total: 3.5/5 - GRADE = B-





I don't read much non-fiction…I only decided to read this because of a reading challenge, it was also a short listen and the library had it on audio, so it was a winner in that aspect…because it didn't suck. 


Overall, there are some aspects to this story that could have been done differently to make the story more interesting, like some unfinished thoughts and glossed over parts of her life, that could have been explored more.  It's also told in a really somber voice that I never fully connected to, at least not until the very end, and seriously, something about the ending just clicked with me.  I believe it was the situation with her mother-in-law-from-hell that she had going on, I can relate, after all.  I even teared up, a little.


Will I read more from this author?  I don't know, most likely not.  I even own a book by her on my Kindle…it was a freebie.


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review 2017-08-21 23:38
For me...this wasn't the follow-up I expected...
Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity series, Book 2) - Victoria Schwab

Title:  Our Dark Duet

Author:  Victoria Schwab

Narration:  Therese Plummer

Series:  This Savage Song #2

Genre:  Fantasy, Dystopian, YA

Setting:  Verity & Prosperity

Source:  Audible Audiobook


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Ratings Breakdown


Plot:  3.3/5

Main Characters:  4/5

Secondary Characters:  3/5

The Feels:  3/5

Addictiveness:  3.5/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  3/5

Backdrop (World Building):  3.5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  4/5

Ending:  3/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope

Total:  3.5/5 STARS



My Thoughts


I loved and devoured This Savage Song, and I wanted to love this too…but…I just couldn't do so.  Too many characters to keep track of and a less than stellar plotline bogged this down.  It just ended up leaving me confused I even tried rewinding and relistening and I still couldn't stay in the story...and don't even get me started on that ending.  


Will I read more from this Author⇜  Since I already own some of her stuff, I'm sure that I will…


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review 2017-01-09 15:43
Rule by Jay Crownover
Rule - Jay Crownover

Book Title:  Rule

Author:  Jay Crownover

Narration:  Sophie Eastlake & Michael Rahhal

Series:  Marked Men #1

Genre:  New Adult, Contemporary

Source:  Audiobook (Library)




⇝Add to Goodreads⇜







Right Kind of Wrong by Leann Rimes♫  --The end of this audiobook recited a list of songs that would be the soundtrack, but I'm picking this one…because it kind of fits how Shaw thinks about Rule.  If only I liked this book as much as I like this song…






⇝Ratings Breakdown⇜


Plot:  3.5/5

Characters:  4/5

The Feels:  3.5/5

Addictiveness:  2/5

Theme:  4/5

Flow:  4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  3/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  4.5/5

Ending:  3/5  Cliffhanger:  No


Will I continue this series?  Idk, I have all the books in this series on my wishlist on my library website.  So, maybe…the second book is about Jet and Aiden, and they might be interesting.






⇝My Thoughts⇜


This could be a case of It's not you, it's me…and maybe, I'm just feeling burned out on this type of romance right now. 



This was good, just not overly memorable in a sea of New Adult.  If I had read it a couple of years ago, I would probably given it 5 Stars.  The characters were super likable and it's low on angst, or maybe it had angst…and I just didn't connect with it?   I think that might be it.  Seriously just had an a-ha moment.  As for narration by Sophie Eastlake & Michael Rahhal…it was well done and I don't think I've ever heard them so they were fresh voices for me.


⇝Sex Factor⇜ I'm rather in a funk when it comes to sex scenes lately, whereas, I get really upset, if the book just has a lot of sex as plot filler.  This particular book tips the scales towards too much sex, but not excessively so.  They are mostly well written, though.



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