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review 2019-02-08 22:20
3 Out Of 5 STARS for Freefall by Jessica Barry
Freefall - Jessica Barry



๏ ๏ ๏  Highlights ๏ ๏ ๏ 

Survivor Story
Airplane Crash
Mystery Suspense
Dual POV's



With Narration Performed by Hilary Huber, Karissa Vacker and Macleod Andrews


๏ ๏ ๏  My Thoughts ๏ ๏ ๏ 

I couldn't really connect with the characters and I believe it's totally due to the narration...I don't know why this happens in audiobooks, but when a lot of the story is told in flashbacks, you need a way to let the listener know when you're changing from present to past...I'm not sure what needs to be done, sometimes a narrator can change their voice subtly to let you know...or at the least, you could have a significant pause before you jump from one to the other.  Whether this is the fault of the producer, the Author or the Narrator, something has to be done about this.  
Sadly, I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on, and this could have been something I really would have liked otherwise...as it is...I thought it was an okay listen.  Despite this, the other two narrators (Vacker and Andrews) were fairly good. But overall, this lacked something for me...from the lackluster mystery to the overly slow reveals, I just wasn't that into it...

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 




๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 


Plot⇝ 3.5/5
Narration Performance⇝ 3/5
Characters⇝ 3/5
The Feels⇝ 2/5
Pacing⇝ 2.7/5
Addictiveness⇝ 3/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 3/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 3.5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 3.7/5
Originality⇝ 4/5
Ending⇝ 3.8/5 Cliffanger⇝ Nope. 
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝  It's Blue...I like Blue and if you look closely you can see some clouds.  I like the cover more than the story...
Setting⇝ The Rocky Mountains, California, and Maine
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
๏ ๏ ๏

๏ ๏ ๏ Links ๏ ๏ ๏


Kindle eBook | Audio

Add to Goodreads | Add to Booklikes 

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


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review 2019-02-04 02:16
The One and Only Ivan
The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao,Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan is a great a book for older students it dives into issues that they need to be aware of. This would be a great book to incorporate shared reading and discuss the vocabulary throughout the book. Another great activity would be using an anchor chart that displays each place Ivan lived, students will write down on sticky notes details about each location. 


Lexile 570L

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review 2019-02-03 21:05
3.3 Out Of 5 STARS for Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda
Pitch Dark - Courtney Alameda



๏ ๏ ๏  Highlights ๏ ๏ ๏ 

Adventure in Deep Space
Diverse Cast of Characters
YA Romance
A Stand-Alone

๏ ๏ ๏  My Thoughts ๏ ๏ ๏ 

If only I could have listened to an audiobook of this...I believe I could have liked this a little more.  Of course, it would need to be the right narrator, especially for Laura's POV.  Someone who can pull off an authentic Spanish accent.  Plus, I prefer Science Fiction in Audio format. 

I mostly liked the characters and I liked the overall story (well, some of it anyway) and the atmosphere created, it was downright scary and gruesome at times.  A glossary of words used in this futuristic world would have been appreciated too because sometimes I was stumped on what some things were.  Sadly, that sort of thing just pulls you out of the story and lessens one's enjoyment of the story, overall.  That coupled with the difficult to follow action scenes and the lackluster ending is what brought my rating down.


๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 




๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 4/5
Main Characters⇝ 3.8/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 3/5
The Feels⇝ 3.5/5
Pacing⇝ 3.7/5
Addictiveness⇝ 3.5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 4/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 2.8/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4/5
Originality⇝ 3.8/5
Ending⇝ 3.5/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝  Love it...
Setting⇝ Deep Space
Source⇝ Kindle eBook (Library)
๏ ๏ ๏

๏ ๏ ๏ Links ๏ ๏ ๏

Kindle eBook | Goodreads | Booklikes 


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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review 2018-12-09 02:13
Alter By Jeremy Robinson
Alter - Jeremy Robinson

A story about what happens to an everyday, normal guy who is accidentally thrust into an unforgiving environment and the changes he undergoes as he tries to adapt. It is visceral and sometimes depressing, but it is a story of survival.


Very different from the author's other books, but I am sure it had a lot to do with the medical issues he has been going through lately. Maybe Jeremy saw a little of himself in the main character. Whatever the case, you can tell he put a lot of his soul into it.


An enjoyable read and recommended. 5 stars.

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review 2018-12-01 03:04
Heart-warming and Funny Bone-Tickling
The Summer Holidays Survival Guide - Jon Rance

‘Oh, Dad, how little you know,’ said Liv, her head returning to her phone.


How little I know. I have a feeling this one cold, hard sentence, uttered from my twelve-year-old daughter’s lips, might sum up my life.

Ben Robinson is an art teacher, in his mid-40s, and is trying to figure out how he'll survive the upcoming summer holidays -- 6 weeks with his three kids, and a marriage who's spark is gone out (possibly for good). Oh yeah, and an aging father with dementia moving in with them, rather than a nursing home. Meanwhile, he's trying to prepare for a half-marathon, which is about a whole marathon more than he's ready for.


We get a day by day (or close to it) account of how this goes for Ben. The short version is: not very well. Particularly in the beginning. Ben meddles in his fifteen year old son's love life (with some really bad sex tips -- all of which I'm considering passing on to my kids), cannot understand his twelve-year-old daughter's social media life (and nascent pubescence), and derails his eight year old son's summer plans without trying. Things go downhill from there, really.


His dad is having trouble remembering that he doesn't live in the same home, or that his wife has been dead for a few years -- this is a source of strain for both Ben and his father -- and the relationship becomes strained. Ben is having trouble seeing his father this way, and his father is having trouble being this way. Both are trying their best, but this

Speaking of a strained relationship, the number of things wrong with his marriage keeps growing, and every thing that Ben tries to do to fix it just makes things worse. He and his wife aren't communicating well -- one of those problems that keeps feeding itself and growing worse.


Throw in an accidental participation in an anti-Brexit demonstration, a road rage incident leading to social media notoriety for one member of the family, teen romance problems, summer-altering injuries, and well -- clearly, someone needs to write a survival guide.

As Ben and his family try to get through their struggles intact -- and maybe even better than that -- there's plenty of fodder for humor. There's a lot of heartwarming material, some real laughs and more than a few chuckles. There's some really effective writing and characterization.


However, there's also Rance's need to go for the big laugh. And here, he basically turns Ben into Basil Fawlty -- with all the wild schemes, failing schemes, shouting, misunderstandings and slapstick involved. I don't think any of these scenes or moments worked for me. When he's going for subtle laughs, or those that grow from character, I really enjoyed it. When the subject matter is serious (or at least non-comedic), Rance is really strong. It's when he's obviously trying that he falters.


‘Marriage,’ said Dad. ‘There’s always ups and downs. You just keep riding it, son. It’s like a rollercoaster. You can’t get off, so you just hold on, and do your best to enjoy it.'


‘I’m holding on for dear life, but life is harder than it was, Dad. The world has changed. The rollercoasters are bigger and scarier now. The drops are bigger, the hills higher.’


‘Oh tosh. The world might change, but people don’t. Love is still love, clear and simple. Don’t blame the world for your problems, son. Hold on tighter. Love stronger.’


That's one of the more earnest moments -- and there are plenty of them in the latter part of the novel, all set up well in the early part -- and it shows the heart of the book -- and there's plenty of heart. Rance won me over, and got me to put more of his books on my list because of these kind of moments, and the genuine laughs I got from the smaller moments, I've got more of his stuff on the TBR.


It's a nice, pleasant book that'll tickle your funny bone and warm your heart.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/11/30/the-summer-holidays-survival-guide-by-jon-rance-heart-warming-and-funny-bone-tickling
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