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Shona Booky Ramblings Lawrence

Corby, Northants
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 9
  • ratings
  • Behind Closed Doors

  • By: B A Paris
  • Narrated by: Georgia Maguire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,543
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,332
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,326

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie? Jack has looks and wealth; Grace has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows. Sometimes the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WOW !!!!

  • By M F Herbert on 23-04-16

well written and well narrated

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-12-17

I've previously read her Breakdown and loved it so I had a good idea of what to expect with this one and I wasn't disappointed. From the very first pages you realise that Jack and Grace's relationship is not conventional, but its not until later that you realise the full extent of the horror that is their relationship.

This book unfolds with alternating chapters that tell Grace and Jacks story both in the past and in the present. The chapters start roughly 15 months apart and by the end of the book that time frame between past and present is mere days... Neither the past nor the present was particularly nice for Grace, her tale is particularly harrowing considering to the world her husband is a fine upstanding member of the community, a champion for battered wives, so who would believe her?

I loved this. And I feel incredibly weird saying that given the content but its true. Paris has written a harrowing tale, one that promises awful things be done to its characters, but the horrors are implied rather than in your face awful... with the exception of Molly...
This is one of those books that I struggled to put down because I needed to know how Grace ended up in a relationship with someone like Jack, and how she was ever going to get herself out of this awful situation.

  • Beautiful Broken Things

  • By: Sara Barnard
  • Narrated by: Charlie Sanderson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

I was brave. She was reckless. We were trouble. Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns 16 Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie - confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives - beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious - and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne's past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hard to put down

  • By Shona Booky Ramblings Lawrence on 27-11-17

Hard to put down

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-11-17

I've heard people talking about this book for a while, having only heard good things about it, so when I finally got round to picking it up I opted for the audio version as it was narrated by Charlie Sanderson, I've listened to other books she's narrated and I love the emotion she brings to the story.
This is my first book by Sara Barnard though so despite the recommendations I really had no idea what to expect.

I loved Caddy right away, I think many years ago I was Caddy, longing to experience all the things the world tells us we should be experiencing, wanting to be more interesting, but not knowing how to do that. But I felt like Caddy was lost, looking for purpose. When Caddys best friend Rosie first introduces her to Suzanne Caddy is incredibly insecure, worried that she'll lose Rosie to the more confidant, more beautiful Suzanne. But when Caddy learns Suzannes secret she begins to realise that perhaps maybe there's room for another friend in her life.

Beautiful Broken Things was indeed a fantastic read, filled with the highs and lows of friendships, happy moments, sad moments, utterly heartbreaking moments and all the real moments in between. Barnard has given us an in-depth look at the lives of three girls who have more than just boys on their mind, despite Caddys determination to lose her virginity, and has gotten to the nitty gritty of Suzannes secret, but without sensationalising it or diminishing its impact. And without waving a magic wand and making it all better. I will certainly be looking to purchase a paperback copy for my shelf and will be looking out for more from Barnard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Someday, Someday, Maybe

  • A Novel
  • By: Lauren Graham
  • Narrated by: Lauren Graham
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 127

From Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, comes a witty, charming, and hilariously relatable debut novel about a struggling young actress trying to get ahead - and keep it together - in New York City. It’s January 1995, and Franny Banks has just six months left of the three-year deadline she set for herself when she came to New York, dreaming of Broadway and doing "important" work. But all she has to show for her efforts so far is a part in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters, and a gig waiting tables at a comedy club....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Warm, funny take on the life of a struggling actor

  • By S. Matthewman on 08-07-13

Fantastic book to slip into

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-11-17

I picked up the audio version of this book, I've been eyeing the book for a while and opted for the audio version because it was recorded by Lauren Graham herself. Im a bit of a fan, I loved her in Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. However i quickly realised that listening to Graham reading was a mistake... I couldn't help but picture Lorelai instead of Franny in the scenes. And it took me a while to shake off the ghost of Lorelai and let Franny tell her tale.

To begin with it felt a little Bridget Jones' Diary-esque, in the way that she mentions her Filofax pages as a way to mark the passing of time, but that was about where the comparisons ended.

I liked Franny almost immediately, but again that may be because to begin with my brain was seeing another character in her place. At times she felt so very naive and oblivious to the "definitely not boyfriend material" even when he makes it pretty obvious he'd like to be considered for that role... and the charming guy from acting class was so far up his own behind its a wonder he actually manages to see anyone else.

  • King

  • King Series #1
  • By: T. M. Frazier
  • Narrated by: Molly Glenmore, Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

Homeless. Hungry. Desperate. Doe has no memories of who she is or where she comes from. A notorious career criminal just released from prison, King is someone you don't want to cross unless you're prepared to pay him back in blood, sweat, sex, or a combination of all three. King's future hangs in the balance. Doe's is written in her past. When they come crashing together, they will have to learn that sometimes in order to hold on, you have to first let go.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome. Loved it x

  • By LilleyLoohLah on 19-12-15

Great to lose yourself in

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-11-17

This book was recommended by a friend who has similar tastes in books, she's been pushing me to read some of these for ages but I just haven't had time to read any between review books. So when she sent me a copy via audible I knew I had no excuse. Its taken me a little while to get though this one, not through any fault of the author, just life getting in the way.. and whilst I didn't feel the need to hurry back to it during the first half of the book, the second half really grabbed my attention and I listened to it in one afternoon completely hooked.

Honestly, for the most part I didn't like King, then I warmed to him and then, while I understand some of his reasonings towards the end of the book I really didn't like him then, although I did feel sorry for him. And I felt Doe was far too forgiving of him, it seems the minute she got horny she forget all about how much of an A-hole he was to her just to satisfy her needs... but then she would pull back and say she owed it to her other self to wait... And all that being said, I rather liked them together.

And that ending..... someone pass me the next book in the series I need it now.

  • Am I Normal Yet?

  • By: Holly Bourne
  • Narrated by: Charlie Sanderson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

All Evie wants is to be normal. And now that she's almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as 'the girl who went nuts', there's only one thing left to tick off her list...a boyfriend. But relationships can mess with anyone's head - something Evie's new friends, Amber and Lottie, know only too well. The trouble is, if Evie won't tell them her secrets, how can they stop her making a huge mistake?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • mental health brought to life

  • By Lori Murdie on 18-09-17

Fantastic read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-11-17

If you are going to read this book, or perhaps you have already read it once and thinking of a second read, I'd seriously recommend giving the audible version a go. Bourne has done a fantastic job of writing this book, and Charlie Sanderson has done an amazing job at bring Evie's story to life. There are several scenes, filled with emotion and tension and I dont doubt that they would eevoke strong feelings from the author, but when you can hear Sandersons emotion behind Evies words it tugs at the heart more and gives the scene an extra depth.

This is a fantastic look in to mental health and the way we perceive people and their illnesses, and whilst this is a serious subject which Bourne handles fantastically, she softens the seriousness with humour without dismissing the message.

This is one of my favourite passages from the book and I feel it gives you an idea of Bourne's approach.

“Mental illnesses have gone too far the other way. Because now mental health disorders have gone “mainstream”. And for all the good it’s brought people like me who have been given therapy and stuff, there’s a lot of bad it’s brought too. Because now people use the phrase OCD to describe minor personality quirks .

“Oooh, I like my pens in a line, I’m so OCD.
NO YOU’RE FUCKING NOT!

Oh my God, I was so nervous about that presentation. I literally had a panic attack.
NO YOU FUCKING DIDN’T!

I’m so hormonal today. I just feel totally bipolar.
SHUT UP, YOU IGNORANT BUMFACE!"

My biggest worry about this book was that after dealing with all her ups and downs, the author would allow Evie to become miraculously cured because she had found some great friends and a boy who liked her. Because that is just not how it works. Thankfully that wasn't the case. You don't suddenly become normal, the way Evie wanted to be because as her therapist Sarah says
“Everyone’s on the cliff edge of normal. Everyone finds life an utter nightmare sometimes, and there’s no “normal” way of dealing with it. There’s only what’s normal to you.”

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Werewolves of Shade

  • Beautiful Immortals, Book 1
  • By: Tim O'Rourke
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle Byrne
  • Length: 1 hr and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

When the entire population of Shade goes missing, investigative reporter Mila Watson knows this could be the big break she has been waiting for. Setting off into the mountains to the village of Shade, Mila soon learns that the village isn't as deserted as she first believed it to be, and that creatures lurk in the shades...

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • narration very poor

  • By Trinire on 09-07-17

great introduction to a series.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-04-15

This may be less than 2 hours long but O'Rourke manages to pack an awful lot of back story as well as current story into this book. The book does end on a cliffhanger, which if you read the blurb you will know about, if like me you didn't read the blurb then you may be left shouting at your listening device for the way it ended. Thankfully I have book 2 ready to go.
This book is mostly an I troduction to the rest of the series, but it does have its own fair share of story and mystery, not to mention a fairly violent scene that Mila is pretty lucky to survive. Considering g this you'd be forgiven for thinking that Mila would want to slink away back to the house she shares with her uncle and hide away allowing him to protect her, but instead she packs up her. bags and heads on out on her very own adventure. All by herself. Into the unknown.

  • November Lake: Teenage Detective

  • The November Lake Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Jamie Drew
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle Byrne
  • Length: 2 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

When 18-year-old police recruit November Lake joins training college, her curiosity and desire to solve mysteries soon has her investigating a series of creepy and chilling crimes. With the help of her friend and colleague, Kale Creed, November is soon caught up in a dark world of strange and inexplicable mysteries, each with a deadly twist.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining tales of mystery

  • By Shona Booky Ramblings Lawrence on 11-04-15

Entertaining tales of mystery

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-04-15

Any additional comments?

November Lake book 1 is a collection of 3 novella length stories, that take place over the course of a week, with each story taking place just a few days after each other.

The three novellas are connected by the main Characters, November and Kale, who are young police recruits. And each of the stories is its own self contained whodunnit.

The stories are entertaining enough but the time frame feels a little unrealistic. What are the chances that 2 young recruits would find themselves caught up in the middle of 3 crimes in the space of a week... especially when they aren't 'on the job'

It wont stop me reading November Lake book 2 though.

  • Vampire Shift

  • Kiera Hudson Series, Book One
  • By: Tim O'Rourke
  • Narrated by: Keely Beresford
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 112

When 20-year-old police recruit Kiera Hudson is posted to the remote town of The Ragged Cove, her life is changed forever. Investigating a series of horrific murders, grave desecrations, and missing persons, with her unique ability of "seeing", Kiera soon realizes her life is in danger. But when Kiera falls in love with police officer Luke Bishop, not only is her mind and her heart opened to a terrifying new world, she comes to suspect that Luke might be involved in the killings.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible narration

  • By Debra on 26-11-15

Great introduction to Kiera's world

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-01-15

Would you listen to Vampire Shift again? Why?

I probably would listen to this again, Keely Beresford has a rather nice voice which makes it easy to just sit back and enjoy. But i always find I don't fully absorb everything when someone reads to me (and even when reading myself) I will pick up on something new on a re-read.

Any additional comments?

This is the first time in a long time I have read a book where we have met traditional vampires... aversion to sunlight, crucifixes and holy water and have a predilection for human blood. Add in to the mix a Sherlock-esque main character (Kiera has an amazing ability to pick up on all the little things that most people would not notice) and you have yourself a nifty little mystery story begging to be read. Or in my case listened to as i had the audio version.

My only reason for not giving this the full 5 stars was the narrator irked me. There was no discernible difference in the tone of her voice between hushed or shouted speech which made certain scenes difficult to understand immediately... and im not sure if it was again the narrators tone of voice or the way O'Rourke has written the character but Kiera at times seemed incredibly whiny and that irked me because it seemed the complete opposite of everything else about her.

O'Rourke does a marvellous job of weaving his tale of mystery and builds the atmosphere without it ever feeling like a spoof of a Hammer Horror. There are some truly awful (for Kiera) scenes and it is something that the vampire/paranormal genre has been lacking most recently. The actual mystery of the story is slowly unveiled and i can guarantee that fairly early on you will have a good idea as to what/who is responsible for what. I can also guarantee that you will be wrong. And you will be wrong with your next idea. There are a few twists and turns in this book that will leave you guessing right to the very last page.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • More Fool Me

  • By: Stephen Fry
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,816
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,659
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,649

Following on from his hugely successful books, Moab is My Washpot and The Fry Chronicles, comes the third chapter in Stephen Fry's life. This unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of More Fool Me is performed by Stephen Fry himself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A defense of More Fool Me

  • By Ben on 10-10-14

A frank and honest insight into Stephen's life.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-09-14

Would you consider the audio edition of More Fool Me to be better than the print version?

Yes, without a doubt. With biographical books I have to be honest and admit that I quite often skim passages, but having them read by the author of the book makes the whole book more interesting. It feels like an actual conversation with the author.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Stephen obviously...

What does Stephen Fry bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

There are certain passages of the book that have more impact hearing them read rather than reading the printed word.
Hearing Stephen swearing was one of the funniest parts for me. My husband assures me I have heard him swear before but there was something utterly differnt about hearing his utter some of those curse words. I personally loved it.

Any additional comments?

Stephen has given us a great glimpse into his life, the ups and the downs. Those funny anecdotes mixed in with the touching and poignant insight into the lives of living with HIV and Aids in the early years of the diseases. His story is written so well, and I have to be honest, the diary entries near the end of the book have left me truly wanting more.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful