Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Armchair Audie Review: Wedgie & Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors narrated by, Johnny Heller and Maxwell Glick

Wedgie & Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors narrated by, Johnny Heller and Maxwell Glick
Published by Harper Audio

I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure what to think of this book at first, I thought it skewed younger than middle grade closer to chapter book. However, with that being said Oh my goodness this is a cute book, I would recommend this to your little ones this is a great road trip book the whole family can enjoy.

Johnny Heller is so fabulous as Gizmo the furry potato, Gizmo is determined to take over the world and Heller’s narration is perfection and in all honesty I think I am Gizmo when it comes to how he feels about humans.
Maxwell Glick’s narration of Wedgie is just as fun in a different way Wedgie is so sweet and just wants people to love him and just really wants to be friends with Gizmo but Gizmo thinks he will spoil his plans for world domination.

This is a cute story of a newly blended family where everyone including the animals is trying to find where they fit. Told by the Guinea Pig  (but don’t call Gizmo that) and  a dog that may be a corgi this story made me laugh out loud especially Johnny Heller’s narration. I highly recommend this one on audio!

4 Stars


Monday, March 12, 2018

Armchair Audies review: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya narrated by the author

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya narrated by the author
Published by Listening Library

I liked this family and understood their fight against gentrification and to keep their neighborhood what it had been. Abuela's restaurant was a place I really wanted to go I wanted to visit the restaurant and get to know the Zamora family. This kind of had the same feel as One Crazy Summer I know I don’t usually like comparing books but there is this family feel that was similar to me. The bad guy in this book will make you so mad he’s kind of a mustache twirling kind of guy and I loved that this family and came together to try to save their neighborhood from him.

The narration by the author was good especially for an author (sorry but the majority of authors shouldn’t narrate) However this author does a good job he has some good voices and accents. And did a good job at conveying the emotions of Arturo.

Bonus recipes at the end to try with your kids!

3 ½ stars

Friday, March 2, 2018

Armchair Audies: See You In the Cosmos by Jack Cheng narrated by, Kivlighan de Montebello and a full cast

SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS  by Jack Cheng Read by Kivlighan de Montebello and a full cast, including Brittany Pressley (as Terra), Graham Halstead (as Steve), Michael Crouch (as Ronnie), and Jason Culp (as Zed). Additional narration provided by Therese Plummer, Susan Bennett, Dan Bittner, Pete Larkin, and Courtney Shaw
Published by Penguin Random Audio

Kivlighan de Montebello— as Alex this young man carried this book his narration was so well done and authentic I believed every word he said. He was so smart in so many ways yet some things were a bit out of grasp (read the book you’ll know what I’m talking about) but he is just 11 years old and sometimes you forget that. The narration was superb, he has a heck of a future him!

Brittany Pressley—as Tara was the 2nd biggest character in the book her narration was well done too and the two played off of each other well she brought the emotions to life.

Graham Halstead (as Steve), Michael Crouch (as Ronnie), and Jason Culp (as Zed) All these guys did a really nice job some had bigger parts than others but all were very good.

(Thoughts from early in the book)-Sound effects the bleep when there is a new message is a little off putting I keep trying to find the device it’s coming from. This feels more like an audio drama with the sounds affects and all the different voices.
 I did get used to the beeps but this is more of an audio drama with sound effects and different voices, voices that sound like they are on the phone or in the next room and each person was voiced by a different actor.

The story is sweet and sad at times. This is one of those books that could be a Newberry because of the mom and Alex’s adventure all by himself. The older I get the more I find these stories about these small children traveling by themselves and no one seems to notice or care more disturbing than cute. But that is just me I guess.

This was a good story and this kid is way older than his years and he was able to find some adults that helped him out. I did enjoy this book and the story.

4 stars

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Armchair Audies: Refugee by Alan Gratz narrated by, Michael Goldstrom, Kyla Garcia and Assaf Cohen

Nominated for an Audie Award in the Middle Grade Category
Published by Scholastic Audio

REFUGEE by by Alan Gratz narrated by, Michael Goldstrom, Kyla Garcia and Assaf Cohen

This is the story of 3 refugees from 3 different time periods

Josef- narrated by, Michael Goldstrom- Josef our young boy who now needs to be a man, his narration was well done there were times on the ship where his voice showed so much emotion and Josef’s final scene… amazing!
Isabel- narrated by, Kyla Garcia -Ah Isabel traveling such a short distance yet so much going on in that time and Kyla truly brought all these characters to life. An excellent job at conveying the emotions, and there were a lot of them for this family!
Mahmoud narrated by,  Assaf Cohen – Oh sweet Mahmoud his story was very heartbreaking as you can see from the quote below. I think because this one is still happening it was the toughest of the three stories. Assaf’s narration of Mahmoud as with the other narrators truly brought the emotion of everyone involved.

 They only see us when we do something they don’t like...like pray. -----Mahmoud

This book is a must read for anyone wondering what it is like to be a refugee this shows Jewish refugees leaving Germany before the war, Cuban refugees fleeing Castro and  Syrian refugees fleeing the war there, all in different time periods running from different kinds of oppression and death but yet their stories are very similar. I think not just children should read this book I know a lot of adults who should read this as well.

A story very well told.

Honestly, I see why this book was nominated for an Audie Award the narration is excellent and I think this one will be hard to beat!

5 Stars

Monday, May 15, 2017

Armchair Audies Review: Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry

Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry narrated by the author

I was not one of the people that listened to Serial but of course, I have heard about the story, this book really gave a much more in depth look at this case and I can see why everyone was saying he is innocent. I was totally hooked on the story itself and will now be watching this case with interest.

                My thoughts on the narration:
I do wish that there had been a male narrator for the parts from Adnan’s prospective because it got a little confusing going from Rabia’s point of view to Adnan’s without so much as a tone change or saying Adnan at the start of his parts. The author did an okay job narrating this book but it was a straight read, which made it a little boring because she tended to get monotone for my tastes.

3 ½ Stars

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Armchair Audies 2017

It is almost time for the Audie Awards  so that means it is time for the Armchair Audies. This year I decided to do something completely different and picked the Non-Fiction Category and I found many of these books very fascinating. Starting next Monday I will post my reviews then will be getting together with Meg from Meg’s Book Reviews (and Recipes) and we will pick our winner.

See you next week!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall narrated by Jenna Lamia

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall narrated by Jenna Lamia

I loved this book…I loved all the characters and wish the book hadn’t ended!

I honestly fell in love with Polly and her daughter Willow these two had me laughing and crying both are such fantastic characters and I do mean characters.  When we first meet Polly she has a falcon on her shoulder during a school meeting, I loved the during this meeting there is a line that Willow says,

 “I was in fact a liar, I had told some lies and even worse some truths about my mother to my classmates, in my defense she was great fodder and this was years before she killed our neighbor.”

How can anyone resist that line? I had to know more about Polly and so does Willow. Willow is a late in life child and her father died before she was born so it was pretty much Polly and Willow against the world, yes, she had older siblings but they were older and out of the house already. We do meet them and I loved her brother Shel her sister is kind of an odd duck but that is to be expected.  I really enjoyed the scenes with Shel and the resolution of this storyline was very fulfilling.

Willow understands her mother is older than most of the kids but she worries most about her mother getting THE BEAR which in Polly’s world is cancer and this does make Willow a little anxious about Polly. Also Willow is really curious about Polly’s younger years all she knows is her mother has never gone back to her hometown and that something awful happened there and Willow is bound and determined to find out, just as determined as Polly is to keep her secrets.

Jenna Lamia’s narration was fabulous she was perfect as Willow and she also got to do some other fun voices like the Preacher at the end oh my that was great narration. Fabulous job.

Fans of CeeCee (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman)  Starla  (Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall) or Swan ( The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield) will love this book as much as I did. Southern fiction, funny and oh the feels.

5 Stars