Short Story Sunday: Audiobook Review: Just a Girl by Alyssa Cole

Just a Girl
Series: Obsession Collection #6
Author: Alyssa Cole

Narrator: Kimberly Woods
Published: July 25 2023
Audiobook: 1 hour 30 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: April 11, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 1 star

Short Story Description:

Social media can be a dangerous game. A young woman’s world teeters on the verge of implosion when trolls push too far in this disturbing short story from New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Cole. Tiana Carter has just started college and is determined to make the most of it. She’s thrilled to be posting videos about dorm-room cooking and campus fashion for a small but loyal band of followers. When she dips into the online dating pool, her first swipe right raises a huge red flag. Tiana’s polite rejection is met with scorn, and now a group of self-proclaimed “high-value men” are hell-bent on ruining her life.

Just a Girl is part of Obsession, a collection of compulsively readable short stories about people pushed to their extremes. They are so addictive you won’t be able to put them down—read or listen to each story in a single sitting.

Jessica’s Review:

This was a short story that focuses on social media and online toxicity (online trolls).  We have many stories and books that focus on the negativity of social media and this one didn’t work for me.  That was all this one showed (with escalation) and I actually ended up skipping close to the ending to see what happens. I was tired of hearing everything that was focused on her being trolled.  And I just can’t remember the ending, that’s how un-memorable this short story was for me.

I would say if you are interested in reading this one to listen to the short story version, the narration did enhance the story.                                                             

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

An ALC Review: Granite Harbor by Peter Nichols

Granite Harbor
Author: Peter Nichols
Narrator:
Peter Ganim

To Be Published: April 30, 2024
Audiobook: 11 hours 20 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read:  April 2-11, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

In scenic Granite Harbor, life has continued on―quiet and serene―for decades. That is until a local teenager is found brutally murdered in the Settlement, the town’s historic archaeological site. Alex Brangwen, adjusting to life as a single father with a failed career as a novelist, is the town’s sole detective. This is his first murder case and, as both a parent and detective, Alex knows the people of Granite Harbor are looking to him to catch the killer and temper the fear that has descended over the town.

Isabel, a single mother attempting to support her family while healing from her own demons, finds herself in the middle of the case when she begins working at the Settlement. Her son, Ethan, and Alex’s daughter, Sophie, were best friends with the victim. When a second body is found, both parents are terrified that their child may be next. As Alex and Isabel race to find the killer in their midst, the town’s secrets―past and present―begin bubbling to the surface, threatening to unravel the tight-knit community.

Jessica’s Review:

This one sounded right up my alley and I was interested in reading it, but it was not for me. I was sent an advanced listening copy and looked forward to listening to it. It is the ‘whodunit’ trope and a slow burn atmospheric read. 

I think this is one where the narrator did not work for me. I don’t remember much about the story other than teens being killed and toads being mentioned a lot. In fact, looking at some other reviews I was shocked that I missed many things, many which should be trigger warnings and knowing these now I would have avoided this book and maybe I am fortunate that I didn’t catch this while listening. Again, I think this was the narrator, and usually I would be interested in giving the book a try in the future, but I will skip this one.

Trigger warnings to be aware of:
Animal Abuse
Sexual Assault
Child Abuse
Teen Bullying

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me an alc, I wish I could have enjoyed it!

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

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Audiobook Review: None of This is True by Lisa Jewell


None of This is True
Author: Lisa Jewell

Narrators: Full cast narration with music and sound design
Published: July 20, 2023
Audiobook: 10 hours 20 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: March 25-31, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Audiobook Description:

Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summers crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins.

A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.

Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life—and into her home.

But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family’s lives under mortal threat.

Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?

Jessica’s Review:

Dang, I’m in a rut for my reviews! The next few are not positive reviews, this one included. 

I had heard others mentioned that the audiobook was the way to go for this novel, and I waited a few months for it. But it was not worth the wait for me.

The only reason I gave it three stars is because of the full cast narration/ music/ sound design. I don’t think I would have finished it otherwise. This is one if I had known what should have been a trigger warning I would not have picked up: Pedophilia, and there was a lot of it! 

There are mentions of podcast and a Netflix show and this is where the music and sound design definitely added to the story! 

The premise sounded like one I would be interested in, especially dealing with the ‘birthday twins’ but it just wasn’t for me. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

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