Sunday, July 26, 2015

Review: Galgorithm

Meet high school senior Shane Chambliss. He is the "Hitch" or dating guru of Kingsview High School. He created the "galgorithm" or at least he said he did. Is it real? Does it work? Can a guy get a gal with an algorithm? It's not math, people. It's about building confidence of who you are and reaching for what you want.
The title Galgorithm was very clever. The plot I read reminded me a lot of the movie Hitch. I was very curious to see how and if they could be compared. (I have enjoyed watching Hitch on various occasions.) Yes, they share similar ideas, but they are independent of each other. The basic similarities are that there is a dude - Hitch and Shane - who want to help other people with their dating lives. Both end of up in very different situations, but both of their "businesses" are uncovered and ciaos ensues. It boils down to - did they do the right thing? Were they helpful? Did they create more hurt then love? Are they able to find a love interest of their own. As Shane's dad said to his son, "True love takes time." Overall their tips, "tricks," and advice were meant to help build a relationship and not tear it down. I enjoyed this YA read. It was good to hear a story from a guys point of view.

One off-balance storyline was the relationship with Shane and his math teacher, Bob Kimbrough. Mr. K comes to Shane for dating advise. Shane is uneasy at first but helps him out. I just can't picture a teacher asking dating advice from a student and then sharing the results of the advise. Yes, it is slightly amusing and necessary for the story, but it's just weird.

Jacques Roy read Galgorithm. I really enjoyed his voice and he was very believable as Shane. He also gave the other characters different voices by his inflection and tone of voice. I could hear the different personalities in each person. Timing of the text was also spot on. I would listen to Roy again.

Music was at the beginning and end of the audiobook. It was jazzy and smooth and I felt that it fit with the book.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Simon & Schuster Audio!

Audio Book Details...
Galgorithm by Aaron Karo
Read by Jacques Roy
Produced by Simon & Schuster
Number of Discs: MP3 download
Total Time: 6 hours, 26 minutes
Release Date: May 2015
ISBN: 9781442387829

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: Island of Shipwrecks

Haunting and beautiful music begins the audiobook. Artimé and Quill are still at odds with one another. Island of Shipwrecks continues the story from Island of Legends (book number four). I would highly, highly recommend reading the Unwanteds series in order. Each book packs so much activity, emotion, and adventure in each book. When one book ends, I'm at the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment. (Island of Graves is next and it is coming out in September 2015!)

Island of Shipwrecks (Unwanteds #5)The Island of Shipwrecks is a new island that Alex and his crew discover. They sail toward it, only to find they are trapped in it's pull toward terrible rocks. They survive and meet the people who survive on the barren island. Meanwhile, back in Quill, Aaron is looking for away to still remain ruler of all. He goes to the Quillitry to seek assistance and is surprised by the presence of a leader who survived the first battle. Those are just a few opening details I think are all right to share without giving away too much. The Unwanteds is a series that I want to share all the information, yet none at all because they are so good. Oh my heart! I cannot wait for Island of Graves!

Steve West returns to read Island of Shipwrecks! Huzzah! I thought the voices were consistent with the previous titles he has read in the series. A couple a words in the text sound a little different because he's not originally from the US, but it never takes away from the story. I just want to repeat how he says it, then follow up with how I pronounce it. Quite amusing. (And I'm glad I ride only by myself as I talk back to the audiobook.) I am excited to share that Steve West finished recording Island of Graves, so the next book should sound wonderfully consistent. Again, huzzah!

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Island of Shipwrecks by Lisa McMann
Series: Book 5, The Unwanteds
Read by Steve West
Produced by Simon & Schuster
Number of Discs: 8
Total Time: 10 hours
Release Date: February 2, 2015
ISBN: 9781442377523

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Review: What I Learned From a Penguin

Fat Freddy, the penguin, made a life changing impact on Daniel Amen. Amen shares his story about this realization in a lyrical story. It's a children's book, but the message is truly for readers of any age. It's about looking for the good and building on the positive over the negative. Amen and Payne shared a fun story with a serious message. If you want to help people, you need to be positive and emphasize the good behavior over the bad behavior.

An annonymous female narrator shares the introduction, then Daniel G. Amen picks up the dedication and the rest of the book. The women returns at the end of the audiobook to share additional information of the book and the publisher. There is a muscial bed beneath most of the story. The music changes to fit the story (about six different times). It's cheery and upbeat. I don't think it distracted from the story. It give this lyrical non-fiction book a little boost. Amen did well reading his rhyming lines. Sometimes rhymes can follow a very definite (and annoying) pattern when read aloud, but he emphasized it just right. I would be interested to hear him again.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Blackstone Audio!

Audio Book Details...
What I Learned from a Penguin: a Story on How to Help People Change by Daniel G. Amen & Jesse J. Payne
Read by Daniel G. Amen
Produced by Skyboat Media and Blackstone Audio
Number of Discs: MP3 download (1 part)
Total Time: 9 minutes
Release Date: February 17, 2015
ISBN: 9781481529556

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Review: Ms. Rapscott's Girls

A Mary Poppins type teacher who lives in a lighthouse? Read by Katherine Kellgren? Yes and yes!

Ms. Rapscott's Girls audiobook reviewed by Miss Pippi ReadsMs. Rapscott is the headmistress of Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents. She offers room and board to five students who arrive in (amazing) flying boxes. Along the way to school, one of the students goes missing and the other students must go out and find not finding her. It's a fun, mysterious, and quirky little story that listeners of all ages will enjoy.

I truly appreciated Ms. Rapscott's quiet dogs, Lewis and Clark. They were always present in the book, but they never took on the speaking roles. They were surprisingly believable as they assisted in the classroom, on the road, and in the lighthouse.

The story wraps up well with fun twists and turns that are similar yet very different from the magic of Disney's Mary Poppins. I would be satisfied with just this one book, but if there are more in the works I would be delighted to hear what's coming next! The girls were only at school for a short (but dramatic) time before they went on a school break. I hope everyone returns after break!

Katherine Kellgren is one of my favorite narrators! Without reading much about the story, I knew I wanted to listen to Ms. Rapscott's Girls. Kellgren did not disappoint. The most surprising moment was when she read in an American accent. I was completely shocked, because up until this book I have only heard her read in her European accents. It was an excellent narration. With six different female characters who shared the spotlight, it must have been difficult to differentiate between each character. Well done, Ms. Kellgren!

Audio Book Details...
Ms. Rapscott's Girls by Elise Primavera
Read by Katherine Kellgren
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
Release Date: March 10, 2015
ISBN: 9781101890660

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: I Will

The cover and the length of the I Will Nine Habits of the Outwardly Focused Christian interested me at first glance. The cover looks determined with capital letters and three bold colors - red, black, and white. The length of the audiobook is 3 hours which can easily be enjoyed during my short commute to work.

I Will: Nine Habits of the Outwardly Focused ChristianI was blown away by this short little book. It was packed full of good information about how to focus on God and others rather than yourself, while growing in faith. I'm never read (or heard) anything by Thom S. Rainer before so I didn't know what to expect from this non-fiction title. I enjoyed it so much! Before I finished listening to I Will, I was telling friends about it. Rainer talks about Christians in the Early Church, meeting together in small groups, praying, volunteering, corporate worship, as well as other topics. Every chapter ends with reflective questions. This would be a good book for a Bible Study or a Book Club. I would like to read I Will after listening to it. I want to underline, highlight, and talk to other people about this book. It brings to mind this Proverb in the Old Testament, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17)

George W. Sarris narrates I Will. Again, another first for me! Sarris is a new narrator to my ears and he has a wonderful voice. Sarris reminded a little of Bill Pearce from Nightsounds. It was the cadence of Sarris' voice, the inflections he used rather than pitch of his voice. I would definitely listen to Sarris again!

I received this audiobook for free from christianaudio for this review. 

Audio Book Details...
I Will Nine Habits of the Outwardly Focused Christian by Thom S. Rainer
Read by George W. Sarris
Produced by
Number of Discs: MP3 download (11 parts)
Total Time: 3 hours
Release Date: July 15, 2015
ISBN: 9781633892439
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