Throwback Review: The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon .. the series is still a favorite.

The Hell You Say (Adrien English Mystery, #3)The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think the mystery in THYS was stronger than the previous book but still kind of convoluted, as that seems to be a running theme in this series. It allows for a pretty lengthy investigation to occur before the resolution and thus plenty of time for Jake and Adrien to have their relationship drama. Except this time there wasn’t much to these two. The scenes they did have were dramatic and stunning, which kind of made me want to cry that there weren’t more. Jake breaks up with Adrien late in the book but the writing is on the wall almost from the start. It’s clear these two are not “together” in the strictest sense and it’s not surprising when the final confrontation happens. Thus we meet a new love interest for Adrien, which is nice, and his new overwhelmingly blonde and perky sisters in law in between him running around trying to solve a satan-worshipping case. It’s a good book and the personal relationships Adrien has steal the show with a mildly interesting, if convoluted, mystery as the backdrop. Once again the narrator is really the shinning star with both Adrien as a great character and Patton being an excellent narrator. Continue reading

Review: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver .. why must authors be so inconsistent?

Vanishing GirlsVanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

— warning this post contains spoilers —

This definitely goes into the category of “I suffered so you don’t have to” books. I usually like Lauren Oliver’s books but not always. I think Rooms was boring and pointless, although I really liked Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy. I thought Panic was “eh” with moments of greatness. Unfortunately Vanishing Girls is closer to Rooms in the pointless and ridiculously loquacious writing than it was to the books I actually like of Oliver’s. I’m frustrated by the change in her writing to awkward and unpleasing analogies and the over use of cliché plot points that other books have done better and more successfully. I can’t say I loathed Vanishing Girls but I did hate on it pretty hard. I wanted to quit so many times but I also wanted to see if I was right about everything (sadly I was. STOP BEING PREDICTABLE!). Even die-hard fans should avoid this one. Continue reading

Review: Tigerland by Sean Kennedy – great narrator and good sequel!

Tigerland (Tigers and Devils, #2)Tigerland by Sean Kennedy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although I struggled with T&D on the re-read (or re-listen on audiobook?), I really liked Tigerland. I had to get over a few niggles (channeling Jenre with that word) but I actually liked it more than T&D this time around. This definitely was helped by the change in narrator. This time around the narrator was Aussie and helped add that quintessential flavor to the story. Plus he got Simon’s melodramatic voice so spot on. There were even tiny quavers and hiccups. I can’t really praise this narrator enough, he did a fantastic job with Tigerland. That said, I also felt as if I could envision Simon and Declan’s relationship much better. I saw more of their banter and how they reacted to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I could finally appreciate what Declan saw in Simon that was worth putting up with his very difficult and overwrought personality. Continue reading

Throwback review: Secrets by Jordan Castillo Price audiobook version – SO GOOD!

Secrets (PsyCop, #4)Secrets by Jordan Castillo Price
My old rating: 4 of 5 stars
My new rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

As long as Gomez Pugh reads the Psycop series I will listen to them. After each one I beg for more so I’ll continue the same trend – please do the whole series! This has definitely become one of my favorite audiobook series up there with Harry Potter, Iron Druid, Adrian English, Mercy Thompson, and Jane Yellowrock series. So so good. I keep raving about the narrator but it’s not that often you come across a truly spectacular narrator that elevates the book themselves. Just like the other narrators, I’ll read anything Pugh narrates.

But enough about Pugh, if there can ever be enough good things said. Secrets is a fun book with a nicely plotted mystery and good relationship development. Lisa is back, yay!, to team up with Vic and help solve a rape case Jacob and Carolyn are working on. The mystery this time allows all four characters to be present for the majority of the book in a nicely paced way that keeps the book focused and interesting. Additionally Jacob and Vic’s relationship has some good developments and the heat is definitely turned up when Jacob’s considerable focus centers on Vic. I found the story delightful and fun to read. I’m appreciating how the books get longer as the series progresses. I’m pretty impatient to get the entire series so I can listen to it often. Secrets has the strong writing, witty dialogue, and hot sex scenes that showoff JCP’s excellent writing and timing. It’s as good as the first book and definitely has the series hitting its stride. Read it!

Old review…still relevant.
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Throwback Review: Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy audio – Liked but didn’t love it like last time

Tigers and Devils (Tigers and Devils #1)Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy

My old rating: 5 of 5 stars
My new rating would be: 3.5-4 out of 5 stars

DSP is a black hole for audiobooks. I just can’t seem to stop listening to them. It’s a nice way to revisit old favorites and I’m taking full advantage. On that quest when I saw Sean Kennedy’s fantastic T&D on audio I wasted no time getting it. It’s interesting that in the 5 years or so since I had read it my tastes have somewhat changed. Not entirely and SK is a great author but I found myself less forgiving of the main narrator this time around. You can read my full review below but here are some updated thoughts about the audiobook and re-read.

The narrator should have been Australian. Since Australia is basically a main character of the book I was disappointed the narrator was so generic. He does a good job but he makes Australia sound like some alien world he has no connection to, which is kind of unfortunate. Beyond that the story is just as engaging though it hit some of my dislike buttons hard. This time around I found Simon really annoying. He’s so insecure, petulant, and off putting that I kept asking myself why Declan put up with him. I still appreciated that the book showed 2 years of a relationship with both the highs and lows but I had a hard time getting them as a couple. I didn’t understand what Declan saw in Simon, especially since the narrator (Simon) kept asking the same question. Simon is so prickly, needy, and truthfully a wanker that it was hard to sympathize with him on occasion. I also struggled with Rodger and Fran’s alienation during the fight between Simon and Rodger as I was firmly on Simon’s side, but friendships do have ups and downs as well.

I almost quit listening a couple of times when Simon’s behavior made me want to drop kick him into the river never to be found. He’s so melodramatic and over the top that I wanted someone to tell him to calm down. He’d be an incredibly difficult person to live with and be in a relationship with, yet, I also felt as if he got shafted near the end with the big miscommunication. It seemed out of character for both men and frankly I was wondering how much rejection Simon was supposed to take from Declan and still keep trying. They do make up of course but the story shows very little of this before ending and I’d have liked to see them solidly happy again.

Overall it’s a good book, still an entertaining and engaging story but I didn’t “omg love” it like I did on first read. This is why I’m so hesitant to re-read favorites but that said, I’d still recommend it even now.

Old review but still valid!

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Review: Social Skills by Sara Alva – I’m probably the only reader that likes Jared more than Connor.

Social SkillsSocial Skills by Sara Alva

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok – Jared is not the ass everyone seems to think he is.
I picked this one up randomly on audiobook and found it very readable, or listenable (?). The story is decent with some expected turns and I liked seeing young adults act in immature but age appropriate ways. I thought the narrator, Andrew Eiden, was really incredible. He managed to capture Connor’s painful shyness very well with just the right breaks in his voice and hesitation. He also gave the other characters enough differentiation in the voices and inflection that I never got confused between dialogue and internal musings, which can happen with a lot of audiobooks. Mostly I was pleasantly surprised with this one and although it’s not necessarily a story I’d want to read/listen to again, I’m glad I read it. Continue reading

Review: Threshold by Jordan L. Hawk .. where has the magic gone?

Threshold (Whyborne & Griffin, #2)Threshold by Jordan L. Hawk

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Clearly I’m an extremely odd man out on this one. I haven’t read any reviews but just skimming the good reads page I can see a plethora of 4 and 5 stars so clearly almost everyone loved this book. Even those readers I tend to agree with absolutely loved this book so I’m left wondering what the hell I missed. I’m actually very serious about this – not trying to create discord but could someone please tell me what exactly I’m missing that everyone else loved? I want to like this! I think the author is a very good writer but somehow the plot just seemed ridiculous to me and the characters took a turn from adorable and charming to I hope the crab people kill them. I’m very sad about this and even more so considering I quite liked the first book in the series. Maybe it was the narrator. Continue reading