Tag: 3 stars

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

 

Memoir Review: That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Jay Masters

That Bird Has My Wings: The Autobiography of an Innocent Man on Death Row
Author: Jarvis Jay Masters

Narrator: Korey Jackson
Published: September 22, 2009
Audiobook:
9 hours 48 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: March 18-23, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Audiobook Description:

That Bird Has My Wings is the astounding memoir of death row inmate Jarvis Masters and a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit and the talent of a fine writer. Offering scenes from his life that are at times poignant, revelatory, frightening, soul-stirring, painful, funny, and uplifting, That Bird Has My Wings tells the story of the author’s childhood with parents addicted to heroin, an abusive foster family, a life of crime and imprisonment, and the eventual embracing of Buddhism.

Jessica’s Review:

This was our book club read for March and I think I went in expecting another The Sun Does Shine, which it wasn’t. This was just a depressing book for me. It wasn’t uplifting at all. So many examples of Masters life which was always negative and only a few chapters focused on when he went to prison. He is still on death row for the murder of a prison guard. Is he an innocent man? No, he actually did commit assault and theft. But he is also a casualty of his family upbringing and a broken foster care system.I can’t say much more than this, because this is someone’s actual life, but it was just too much for me. Masters can write well for someone with limited schooling and can tell his story in his own way. His memoir just was not for me.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Audiobook Review: First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston

First Lie Wins
Author: Ashley Elston

Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld        
Published: January 2, 2024
Audiobook: 9 hours 16 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 5-11, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars      

Book Description:

Evie Porter has everything a nice, Southern girl could want: a perfect, doting boyfriend, a house with a white picket fence and a garden, a fancy group of friends. The only catch: Evie Porter doesn’t exist.

The identity comes first: Evie Porter. Once she’s given a name and location by her mysterious boss Mr. Smith, she learns everything there is to know about the town and the people in it. Then the mark: Ryan Sumner. The last piece of the puzzle is the job.

Evie isn’t privy to Mr. Smith’s real identity, but she knows this job will be different. Ryan has gotten under her skin, and she’s starting to envision a different sort of life for herself. But Evie can’t make any mistakes—especially after what happened last time.

Because the one thing she’s worked her entire life to keep clean, the one identity she could always go back to—her real identity—just walked right into this town. Evie Porter must stay one step ahead of her past while making sure there’s still a future in front of her. The stakes couldn’t be higher—but then, Evie has always liked a challenge… 

Jessica’s Review:

First Lie Wins came out at the beginning of the year to a lot of positive feedback, but this is just one that did not work for me.

We have a female con artist who has seemingly met her match with someone pretending to be her actual self! And we have the creepy “Mr. Smith” that lurks.  The ending had a big twist for me that I actually liked.

The narrator did a good job for me portraying our con woman. We have chapters that take place in the past with her former jobs, which I just wasn’t interested in. But these chapters ended up being necessary to the story.

This one just wasn’t for me, but maybe you will like it! It’s a debut novel, so I would be willing to give the author another try in the future. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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