Tag Archive: text-to-speech-enabled



The Believers (Breeders, #2)The Believers by Katie French
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished this book a couple of days ago. Snow, elections, NaNoWriMo, and other distractions got in the way of my review. Sorry.

This is the second book of the Breeder series. The story of the girl looking for her mother and aunt continues. It is far from an easy feat. But Riley and her boyfriend and her brother try to find a way to them.

The story kept me interested. Often I found it nauseating. I think that was the author’s intent. Still, I couldn’t put it down. Maybe it was the train accident effect? You can’t just let it go. You have to look. That is the very reason I just ordered the Kindle Unlimited version. I think the first and second are KU also. So what is there to lose? Find Aunty and Mom!

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The Breeders (Breeders, #1)The Breeders by Katie French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend and I discovered this book and decided to make it a book we both would read somewhat together. I got to it a few days ago and finished two days ago. And just a hint, I have already ordered book 2 of the series.

Now there are bad reviews for this book. I liked it. Not loved. Just liked. But enough to find out what happens next with the characters.

Yes, there are things that stop me while reading. One of the things is that it is written in the present tense. That is hard to pull off. And sometimes I don’t notice it. Other times the characters and plot put me back into the story.

Some have pointed out the problems of the characters being shallow or not living up to the situations they find themselves in. I can’t get that picky about it. I accept what the author has set them up to be and so I just hope for the best for them and try not to prejudge their behaviors. Though there is violence it isn’t gratuitous. It seems necessary for the moment.

This story is a bit different than other post-apocalyptic tales and is therefore fun to read without feeling the terror I felt in previous reads. I couldn’t put it down to sleep because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.

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Cut by Annelie Wendeberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I can’t remember how it was I picked up this book and its sequels. Sorry. Even so, this is a fun apocalyptic read about a young woman trying to survive in a dystopian world with pandemics popping up here and there.

Maybe it is a bit more adventure than a person should read just before sleep. But it didn’t affect me too much.

This was a different take on the post-apocalypse world. A young woman finding her way in a world with few rules that all follow. Micka is a well-developed character with a few quirks of her own. She has lexical-gustatory synesthesia. That on top of learning about menstruation and sexual preference while trying to survive makes her a very interesting person to get to know. Just as she is getting to know herself.

Here is Wikipedia’s definition:
Lexical-gustatory synesthesia is a rare form of synesthesia in which spoken and written … Tip of tongue studies have shown that a word’s lemma may be responsible for eliciting a taste sensation, not its phonologic sound or spelling. Further … development and lead to the over-representation of the flavors of childhood foods.

I have known a couple of people who have variations of this. I know I have a mild case and it often helps me remember or recognize certain words or names that might slip my mind otherwise.

This book was a quick read. Now I have committed the second book because one isn’t enough. Give it a try. You might like it, too.



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So Bright the Stars (Shadow of Mars Book 2)So Bright the Stars by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yay! Another well-done sci-fi/Mars book! I would have loved to read this as a teen but love just as much as a septuagenarian. This is the second book in this series. The main character is now on Mars and is trying to fit in with the society that is already there.

Cidney Swanson has researched well to keep the story believable. Without making the story drab. She digs deep into her characters to bring them to life. As I am reading/listening to text-to-speech I find Ms. Swanson has me questioning ‘would I have done that? thought that?’ and the answers are sometimes obvious to the reader but not so much the main character, Penney. Other times the reader is in as much dark as Penney is.

I can’t wait for book three! Meanwhile, I hope you all get a chance to read the first series of Mars, Saving Mars which is more for the young adult, and then this series for adults as the character is an adult. But I see nothing that should keep a younger person from reading anything by Cidney. Enjoy!

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The ForetellingThe Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun mythological story to read before bed. I always love an Alice Hoffman tale. I wonder if this could be made into a movie like Practical Magic? A tribe of women living their truth in their own time. And HORSES. Yep! All the fun things a fem could want to read about.

I may have to read this again sometime when escape isn’t my only intent. Or even if it is. I could jump into this world again. Maybe take it slower and absorb it more.

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The Jems and Jamz Series: Books 1-2The Jems and Jamz Series: Books 1-2 by Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a find on Kindle Unlimited. It was a fun light-read. I was a little bored at first, just couldn’t get into the story. I adjusted my expectations to my high school or new adult self and the story rang bells for me. It especially touched my former stage-singing self. The author captured that fear/excited feeling of performance arts. The main characters were in pop-bands. That reminded me of stories I wrote as a teen about Meeting the Beatles or other stars. Unavailable then were stories of a different kind of love than boy and girl. This treats everything the same. Love is love. There are a couple of erotic scenes that may not be appropriate for immature young adults, but other than that, I think it is a love story with many lessons, even for older folks about forgiveness and love.

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Spirit ElfenSpirit Elfen by Ella J. Smyth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another fantasy for the end of summer. I breezed right through it and started the next. So last night I tried to read the book I thought I was in, and it turned out to be this one that I already read. I thought maybe it all sounded familiar because it was the intro presented after the first book. No. Even as far as the last chapter it was familiar. But I enjoyed getting the review before realizing I was actually finished and ready for book 3 (in fact, I was 12% into it). I almost think this set is short enough to be one larger book.

I think the above paragraph is my example of the review. It was a fun read with characters from book 1 with the fae. Oh, my favorite part, it was set in Germany. Wish there would have been more of a feeling of the land. Yeah. It won’t go into my favorite books. But a good distraction. Definitely not for preteens or younger teens.

But try it. You might love it!

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Seed to Harvest: The Complete Patternist Series (Patternist, #1-4)Seed to Harvest: The Complete Patternist Series by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have loved other books by Octavia E. Butler, but this set of four books just didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t figure out the characters, who was who. Maybe it was because I had to listen to it on text-to-speech, though I did try to follow with my eyes. Still, I did stay with it. A lot of times if something doesn’t make sense it comes together in the end. But I didn’t find that. I found four different stories about similar things.

But don’t take my word for it. Others have loved these books so maybe it is just me and this time in my life. Heck, toothache from infection, smoky-hot summer, Covid19, and its craziness could have flavored how I took the books in. So maybe I’ll read them again later. I see that many people read these in publication order rather than chronological and get a lot more out of all of this combo. Ms. Butler writes well and keeps the reader interested, even when the story itself doesn’t go in the flow I think it should.

Try it. You might like it!

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This is my second reading of the first book of this box-set Find my first review here.

This reading, I was surprised at how current this dystopian story feels. It was only a year ago that I read the first book. Yet now, this seems so scarily close. The author died in 2009, so it was before all of this. How prescient!

As I mentioned in the previous review, I didn’t know what happened after the end of the first book. The second fills in the holes of what happened with the daughter.

At the same time, I wasn’t happy with how the story goes back and forth in person and times, beginning with that second book. I think it is more noticeable when you listen to your books on text-to-speech. I think my eyes might have noticed subtle changes. But that was such a little thing that it didn’t lower my rating.

I cried at the end of the book. I felt I wanted more. I wanted to be with Lauren and everyone in the story longer. The author was excellent in how she created a religion and gave us the ways it grew. How she drew the reader in to know the main character so profoundly was amazing. Now I want to read all her books! I am a fan!!!!


Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I want to thank my friend Tania for highly recommending this to me. I read it with text-to-speech and I just couldn’t stop reading it. I think it will be even more fun on Audible where Wil Wheaton is the narrator, so I plan to order it next month and reread again soon.

I already miss being in the cyber world with Wade. This book isn’t for my generation. It is for my offspring’s generation. The list of games and early computers, the list of movies and music brings excitement for me vicariously mostly because I remember my children getting so excited about their games. Sure I was lucky to learn as I watched them absorb computereze. Commadore64 and Tandy Sensation were my first chances to go beyond snail mail and long-distance. I wrote to a friend on the BBs. Met many more online friends. My kids played game systems. This book brings the 80s and 90s back with a huge adventure!

If you get the chance read the book!

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