Tag: 2.5 Stars

Audiobook Review: The Only Girl in Town by Ally Condie

The Only Girl in Town
Author: Ally Condie

Narrator: Elena Ray
Published: September 19, 2023
Audiobook: 6 hours 36 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To:  October 2-5, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 2.5 stars

Book Description:

What would you do if everyone you love disappeared? What if it was your fault?

For July Fielding, nothing has been the same since that summer before senior year.

Once, she had Alex, her loyal best friend, the one who always had her back. She had Sydney, who pushed her during every cross-country run, and who sometimes seemed to know July better than she knew herself. And she had Sam. Sam, who told her she was everything and left her breathless with his touch.

Now, July is alone. Every single person in her small town of Lithia has disappeared. No family. No Alex or Sydney. No Sam. July’s only chance at unraveling the mystery of their disappearance is a series of objects, each a reminder of the people she loved most. And a mysterious GET TH3M BACK.

Jessica’s Review:

 This book was not what I thought it would be: When I finished it my reaction was “That was depressing”….. 

The Only Girl in Town seemed like a YA contemporary with a mystery to it.  It is actually a novel that deals with and is also a metaphor for loneliness, detachment, and depression. I really wish I had known that as I wouldn’t have chosen it to listen to. Trigger warnings if you deal with any of those issues: I would stay away from this book because it really brings about those feelings.

I did like that the book had extremely short chapters which kept my interest… Just one more chapter! The writing is verse-like in nature despite the heavy content.  I was intrigued as why did everyone disappear and who is leaving the sign up for July to read? But the end result just did not work for me.

We have July as our narrator and the story goes back and forth in time from the here and now and the events that lead up to everyone disappearing.  The best part of the novel was her unexpected sidekick Yolo. Yolo is a typical cat and if you love cats like I do then you will adore Yolo!  My adoration of Yolo had me giving the book and extra .5 star.

The narrator Elena Ray did a good job portraying July. But there were a few times where there is singing and that was painful for me! 

Overall, if you are prepared for the trigger warnings and how you might end up feeling with this book, go for it.  You might actually enjoy it.  For me the book was all about Yolo!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US 
Amazon UK

Book Review: Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty

Stoker’s Manuscript
Royce Prouty

Published: June 13, 2013
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2.5 stars

Book Description:

When rare-manuscript expert Joseph Barkeley is hired to authenticate and purchase the original draft and notes for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, little does he know that the reclusive buyer is a member of the oldest family in Transylvania.

After delivering the manuscript to the legendary Bran Castle in Romania, Barkeley—a Romanian orphan himself—realizes to his horror that he’s become a prisoner to the son of Vlad Dracul. To earn his freedom, Barkeley must decipher cryptic messages hidden in the text of the original Dracula that reveal the burial sites of certain Dracul family members. Barkeley’s only hope is to ensure that he does not exhaust his usefulness to his captor until he’s able to escape. Soon he discovers secrets about his own lineage that suggest his selection for the task was more than coincidence. In this knowledge may lie Barkeley’s salvation—or his doom. For now he must choose between a coward’s flight and a mortal conflict against an ancient foe.

Building on actual international events surrounding the publication of Bram Stoker’s original novel, Royce Prouty has written a spellbinding debut novel that ranges from 1890s Chicago, London, and Transylvania to the perilous present.

Kim’s Review:

The poor man’s Historian is the best I can say. The first half had some major potential band I was really excited … but then the second half was such a let down! There was no real mystery, there wasn’t a quest, it just all felt so silly and inconsequential! And you’d think that having more vampires, some weird rituals, and a global conspiracy would make the story better! They didn’t. By the time I got 2/3s of the way through, I just didn’t care anymore and turned the pages in order to finish quickly.

Maybe if I hadn’t read The Historian, I would have liked it better. But I kept comparing them, and Stoker’s Manuscript didn’t even come close! Honestly, I can’t even say I’m glad I read it or recommend it to anyone. Just go read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and you’ll have everything and much more than what this book could give you.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Audio ARC Review: The Prisoner by B.A. Paris

The Prisoner
Author: B.A. Paris

Narrator: Georgia Maguire
To Be Published: November 1, 2022

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: September 12-16, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2.5 stars

Book Description:

Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a life for herself, she is swept up into a glamorous lifestyle where she married the handsome billionaire Ned Hawthorne.

But then, Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?

Jessica’s Review:

I have enjoyed most of B.A. Paris’ novels, but last year’s The Therapist didn’t work for me and now The Prisoner failed me.  And she started so strong with her debut of Behind Closed Doors.

We have Amelie who is our narrator for both past and present. And we get to know her and what has happened in her past to make her who she is today. The premise was intriguing for me: Amelie locked in a dark room alone, what’s she to do?  Why is she being held there?  Just what is going on?

The novel just became a muddled mess and I thought it was going in one direction, but it wasn’t. As it progressed and we started figuring things out at the end I found myself just not caring anymore. I felt this is a novel that had a lot of potential that just wasn’t for me.  I did like that it shows how knowing some basic math and doing some quick figures can be important! I also liked how the chapters were short and that made the novel go by quicker. If the chapters had been longer, I don’t know if I would have completed it.

I listened to the audiobook and Georgia Maguire is the narrator. She is a new narrator for me and she portrayed Amelie very well. I felt the tension and fear that Amelie had when she was first in that room.  I would be interested in listening to more from her. 

Many thanks to the publisher Macmillian Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review. I just wish my review had been favorable. 

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK