Tag Archives: audio book

Review of The Fine Art of Keeping Quiet, by Charity Tahmaseb

I won an Audible copy of The Fine Art of Keeping Quiet, by Charity Tahmaseb, through AudaVoxx.

Description from Goodreads:
Sometimes staying silent is the biggest lie of all.

Sophomore Jolia does the one thing no one expects from the girl who has perfected the art of keeping quiet.

She joins the speech team.

Jolia can’t confess the real reason–not to her best friend, her new teammates, or even to crush-worthy rival Sam who offers to coach her in secret.

Keeping quiet might be the easy way out, but when what Jolia doesn’t say starts to hurt those around her, it might just cost her a best friend, her spot on the team, and even Sam.

But she isn’t the only one with a secret. It’s going to take words–her words–to make things right.

If only Jolia can find them.

This had many of the elements of contemporary YA literature that I dislike: the pretty girl who doesn’t know she’s pretty, the boy who solves her problems and gives her her confidence back, all the girls outside the main character’s circle were horrible, etc. (Well, so was her best friend. That girl should have taken long walk off a very short pier. She was horrible, but forgiven without even apologizing and I was angered by it more than the other mean girls.)

Despite having plenty of elements I disliked, it was also smart and witty, had a clean narrative voice and relatable high school experience. All of which I enjoyed. Additionally, Ashley Klanac did a good job with the audiobook narration. So, end the end I enjoyed listening to The Fie Art of Keeping Quiet, even if I sneered at certain bits of it.

Review of Sunshine Walkingstick, #1-3, by Celia Roman

Last year, I requested and listened to GreenWood Cove, by Celia Roman. Then, the narrator Rebecca  Winder contacted me about reviewing the next two books in the series, The Deep Wood and Cemetery Hill. As I enjoyed the first one, I agreed.

Greenwood Cove:
Technically this is a review from last year, but I’ve pasted a copy here so that all three can be together. 

I quite enjoyed this, both the story and the narration of the Audible. I struggled at first with Rebecca Winder’s version of a rural accent. It, combined with Roman’s phrasing, came across as artificial at times, more of a stereotypical mountain-speak than anything realistic. But I got used to it eventually.

I generally liked this. I liked the characters, the mystery and the romance. But I struggled at times feeling like the romance overpowered everything else and, well, this really doesn’t feel like a first book. The characters have a lot of history and a certain amount of background is left unexplained. I kept feeling like there must be a prequel out there somewhere. (There isn’t as far as I know.) Some of this feeling probably would have been ameliorated by fleshing some of the plot points out a bit and bringing her whole paranormal investigation into the open earlier. As it was, I wasn’t even sure she’d had paranormal cases, outside of her lost son, before the events of the book, until it was finally mentioned toward the end. It felt like yet one more thing readers were just supposed to know already.

All the same, it was a fun read. There was a certain amount of humor and I’d be open to continuing the series.

The Deep Wood:
Again, I enjoyed my time with Ms. Sunshine Walkingstick. This isn’t a book of fast paced action, but more of slow developments and strength of character. I happen to enjoy that, but if you’re looking for shootouts and car chases, or dramatic clashes of humans versus monster, you’ll be disappointed.

What I like most is Sunshines voice. She’s…Appalachian I suppose is what I’d call it. In the first book I struggled a bit with it, but here I quite enjoyed it. Both the way Roman wrote it and the way Winder voiced it. Maybe it just took getting used to.

While I understood Sunshine had trust issues, I eventually became confused about why she was so unable to recognize Riley’s intentions toward her. He’s certainly not hiding his feelings. The whole this is starting to stress the bounds of credibility. Similarly, considering the events at the end of the book, I’d have expected to see a bit more stress on his part.

All in all, however, I very much enjoyed this and am looking forward to book three.

Cemetery Hill
I think maybe this series is just getting better, though it’s getting to the point that reviewing each individual book becomes difficult. After all, the voice, characters, world, etc is all the same. I liked it in the past two books and I still like it here. This particular mystery and monster didn’t seem quite as important as some of the past ones, maybe because it’s a middle book.

I’m still finding Sunshines resistance to her relationship with Riley a bit too much to believe. But I appreciate that the reader sees Riley’s frustration with this.

All in all, I’m still all in for Sunshine Walkingstick and look forward to future books. I think I’ll stick with the audio too. Winder is still doing a lovely job.

Review of Invading Nirvana: a Chicagoan in the City of Angels, by Kevin Theis

I won an audio copy of Kevin TheisInvading Nirvana through Dab of Darkness.

Description from Goodreads:
Chicago theater veteran Kevin Theis, co-author of the cult classic “Confessions of a Transylvanian: a Story of Sex, Drugs and Rocky Horror,” presents: “Invading Nirvana: a Chicagoan in the City of Angels” the story of one actor’s quixotic odyssey into the heart of the entertainment industry: Hollywood, California.

From the early preparations for his trip to La La Land to his search for representation, his encounters with the famous (and soon-to-be famous) as well as his deep-dive exploration of this unique and fascinating city, “Invading Nirvana” is a must-read for anyone considering moving to L.A. to pursue a dream of breaking into show business.

The author is both candid and unsparing in his description of the industry, the city of Los Angeles and the challenges of being a performer in Hollywood looking for work.  Casting agents, pay-to-meet workshops, the comedy club scene, film and TV auditions as well as a peek inside the audiobook world; every aspect of the entertainment industry is thoroughly examined in this hilarious and comprehensive look at life as a professional actor in Hollywood.

This is one of those books I had to look at in my Audible account and wonder how I ended up with it. I mean, I know I won it through a Dab of Darkness blog giveaway. But what was I thinking to even enter? I have almost debilitating stage fright. The thought of becoming an actor is tantamount to hell for me. So, how did I end up listening to the story of a 50-year-old veteran actor’s move to Los Angelous to pursue his acting career? Honestly, I’m not even sure.

But surprisingly enough, I found it interesting. Interesting in a detached, ‘I have NO INTEREST in doing that’ sort of way. But interesting all the same; kind of a ‘how the other half lives’ experience. The other half being people who don’t pee themselves at the thought of standing in front of a crowd.

Theis has a self-deprecating humor that I appreciated and I found myself invested in his journey. I also found myself shocked at how many people he knows. At one point he had a chapter dedicated to how many people took him out to lunch during his 3 months in LA. I’m not being facetious when I say, I literally don’t think I even know that many people!

Not only am I not interested in acting. Prior to listening to this, I’d of told you I’m not remotely interested in LA. Big cities? No thank you. But all the history was fun. Again Theis made it so.

All in all, you might not be surprised to find that I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. Even my hesitancy to listen to an audiobook narrated by the author himself proved unfounded. Theis spoke a bit too fast for my liking, especially in the beginning (which I listened to at .75 speed, which I hate doing), but it eventually slowed down and I enjoyed his banter-like narration. Invading Nirvana was a surprise win for me.