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review 2020-12-20 18:59
Swing by Kwame Alexander
Swing - Kwame Alexander,Mary Rand Hess
Again the narrator is the author. If you read my review for Solo, you will know my feelings on this already. I have to say though, I felt like there was better separation and pauses in his narration, so it didn't meld together as much as the first book I listened to. So that was good, at least for me.
In this story we follow Noah, (Swing), around. We follow him all over the place too. Seriously, this story was everywhere and nowhere at once. Just when I would get pulled into whatever was happening around Noah, it would then flip to something else. I was mildly frustrated.
I really hoped for music in this one like Solo had. This story wasn't about a musician though so it would be weird to have a song in the middle of the story. Instead, the author added music at the end of the parts. It was a pleasant surprise and had me bouncing, chair-dancing along. It also fit with the story, but I won't tell you how.
I appreciated the part sparking on why #BlackLivesMatter 
We need to understand what happens, and reading about it is a perfect to get through to someone like me. I hear you, and I stand with you.
I look forward to more from the author. I think I will steer away from audio though and go back to the printed word.
Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2020/12/swing-by-kwame-alexander-64.html
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review 2020-12-19 19:13
Solo by Kwame Alexander
Solo - Mary Rand Hess,Kwame Alexander
I listened to the audiobook version. I liked the story but didn't care for the author being the narrator. I felt like his voice was pleasant, but often I felt like his voice all blended together while he was narrating. So he would say a chapter title and go right into the story, but I wouldn't have known it was the title without looking. I was like, 'why is he saying a random word', then I realized he was saying the title. It just all mashed together.
That's the thing with audiobooks, and also why I don't listen to them more. Narrating is such an important part. Between keeping the reader, or listener, engaged, to having tones that split the story and keep the confusion to a minimum, it is a hard thing to do. 
Let's focus on the story now. 
A coming of age story of sorts. This guy, Blade, is a musician and he finds out he is adopted. It is a balancing act of what he knows and what he doesn't. The author does a great job of keeping you glued to the story. You want to know what happens.
My favorite part is the songs that are sung. So this is where I appreciate the audiobook more than print. If I read the print book, I wouldn't have heard the great songs that were in the story. I was surprised, since I've never come across such an interactive audiobook. It was delightful and added to the story immensely.
I have the next book, Swing, on audiobook as well. I so look forward to listening to it. I just hope it has songs on it too!
Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2020/12/solo-by-kwame-alexander-63.html
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text 2020-01-29 08:19
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review 2019-11-18 21:43
Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged - Leonard Peikoff,Ayn Rand

I read this when I was younger and did not enjoy it even then when I understand many people are captivated by the ideas it presents. I would have just forgotten about it like so many other mediocre books in the past, but my current employment brought it to my attention again. 


Both our CEO and company president claim this book as one of their favorites, one that influenced them. They think it is profound, they think that it is full of "truth" God help me, they really do. 


So I determined that I needed to revisit it, give it another chance. It was worse than I even remembered.


Not only is it full of misguided, fear-inducing "othering" of those with a different type of contribution to make or those with a differing set of values, but it is also just plain bad.


I am not someone who needs to like the characters in a narrative in order to enjoy or even love a story. I mean, F. Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite author, and he rarely writes anyone likable. But the main characters in this book are a child's idea of 



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review 2018-03-08 13:19
Solo (audio)
Solo - Mary Rand Hess,Kwame Alexander
I listened to this novel and I enjoyed the intensity and the determination within the main character. I thought this was enhanced by the narration of this novel as I could feel the emotions through the characters voices as I listened. I enjoyed the story as there were many excellent points within it but I didn’t feel a great connection to any of the characters. Written in verse, this YA novel offers a bit of everything.
It’s Blade, he’s a 17-year-old rock star but his family life is not all that glamorous. His mother died when he was a child and his father is an alcoholic whose behavior and pictures rock all the tabloids. I was even embarrassed reading about his adventures. Blade’s success runs in his blood and Blade has this attitude that follows. Life was great for Blade until a family discussion gets heated and words fly. Those words fall on Blade’s ears and they stick! His world has now flipped over and turned upside down. I think what I enjoyed most about this change is the question: what has become of Blade? Before, we had the self-confidence rock-star Blade and now suddenly, we have Blade, the fish-out-of-water? Why? Within a few minutes Blade has changed.
Blade tries to come to terms with what he knows now but his past is still following him. I found the ending okay but I really enjoyed the ideas and notions that the book provoked in me as I read.


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