Monday, November 23, 2015

Review: Ana of California

Andi Teran created a new twist on the classic tale, Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. Ana Cortez from L. A. is on her last chance. She is sent to Garber Farms in Northern California run by siblings - Abbie and Emmett. She needs to participate in their (new) farm trainee program for the summer. Can she survive farm life after a rough life in the city? Will Abbie and Emmett send her back after the first day?

Ana of California reviewed by Adolescent Audio Adventures
The Anne of Green Gables series is one of my top classic books to read. I fell in love with the books when I was young and adored the movie version with Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie (except for The Continuing Story). I was intrigued by someone taking this classic tale and giving it new life in a modern setting. After listening to Ana of California, I'm kinda at a loss for words. It was ... a long story.

Recreating or rewritten a classical story isn't easy. Props to Teran for giving it a go! I could pick out different pieces of the original that were a part of this story, but it was more mysterious and dramatic than the original. Everyone having a backstory with secretes played a large part in those elements. Issues/struggles that are a part of the story include gangs, drugs, drinking, and sexual orientation. There is a bit of romance in Ana's life as well as Abbie's. Other topics include death, friendship, fostering, and farming. The story ends on a positive note with an opening for another book if Teran wants to follow up with more about Ana or Garber Farm. I am fine with this as a standalone story and don't need a continued story. I was a left with a 'meh.'

Andi Teran read her own story. I was a bit nervous to hear an author read their own tale, but Teran nailed it. I really enjoyed listening to her voice. She did well giving each character their own voice. I think my favorite character voice was Ana's social worker, Lupe Saucedo. Dreamscape did not add any music underneath the story, but kept it was pure narration except for someone else stating when the CD ended.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Dreamscape Media!

Audio Book Details...
Ana of California by Andi Teran
Read by Andi Teran
Produced by Dreamscape Media
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 8 hours, 47 minutes
Release Date: June 2015
ISBN: 9781681411927

Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: Switch

Switch is the second companion novel to Savvy. (The other novel is Scumble.) Switch takes place years after Savvy and Scumble and it is a standalone story. Characters from the previous novel are mentioned, but new (and grown) characters are in the forefront.

SwitchIt's been several years since I enjoyed the Savvy audiobooks. I didn't set the stage by listening to the previous titles. I just jumped right it and it felt like welcoming an old friend back. The storytelling voice of Ingrid Law was strong then and it continues to her latest title! It was so much fun to go back and visit the Beaumonts in Kansaska-Nebransas although they didn't stay their long. A family trip was needed to bring home Grandma Pat. Grandma Pat lives in Colorado and she has Alzheimer's (or Old-timer's disease) and needs assistance. The family packs up to go bring Grandma home, but it's a rough trip after Gypsy recently got her savvy and a switch. Unfortunately (or fortunately) a switch also happened! Everyone's savvy was switched!

It was a riotous adventure for the young Beaumonts. Samson, Gypsy, and Tucker along with new friends in Colorado end up traveling all around Denver in a snowstorm. Quite a dramatic story! But it was sprinkled with humor, sorrow, memories, adventure, and whimsy. If you enjoyed Savvy or Switch, you should definitely listen to (or read) Switch!

For this third book, a new narrator is introduced: Abigail Revasch. I enjoyed listening to Ms. Revasch. I think she captured the youthful voice of Gypsy as well as her family of various ages. I would listen to Revasch again.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Switch by Ingrid Law
Series: Book 3, Savvy
Read by Abigail Revasch
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 6
Total Time: 7 hours and 26 mins
Release Date: September 2015
ISBN: 9781101925690
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