Tag Archive: text-to-speech-enabled



The Mother's PromiseThe Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe if I don’t write a review, I can hang onto the charms and lessons of this book. No. That’s not right. Others need to read it and the only way to hang on to the knowledge in this book is to read it again.

I finished this book four days ago. That’s how long I had the above conversation with myself.

There is a nice blurb about this book on GoodReads. And the one on NetGalley had me seeking it out. I’m glad they let me read it. But here’s my blurb: A young teen with severe social anxiety only child of a single mother dying of cancer, a social worker who is a victim of abuse, a nurse who is finished with IVF unsuccessfully.

Sally Hepworth pulls these four females into a book that is hard to put down and hard to leave behind. And not only is it a great story, it is full of real life answers to some of the problems these fems deal with.

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this, again. I do plan on a second read. Please read it, especially if you have social anxiety, there are some good ideas in here and the author shows she knows how we feel who have it. There are triggers for cancer patients and abuse victims but they are handled well and give each of the other characters more depth.

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Open Minds (Mindjack Trilogy, #1)Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This had a brilliant concept. But I am disappointed. What ruined it most? The Audible narrator: Kelli Shane. Her voice sounded like she was on the last story to ADHD kids at bedtime. How do I know that? Yep, been there had that voice. It works well at putting the reader to sleep. ADHD kid just laughs and takes the book to read to themselves as mom falls to sleep.

I would have been better off just using the text-to-speech. But chose to continue. The story line was interesting. I even sort of liked the main character.

On the other hand, really, if a person can read another’s mind and be read what is to stop intrusion? And possible mind jacking? I don’t see how the jacker can’t read first and the reader not jack. After all, we are talking teens. They are already in each others’ heads. So a lot of this seemed to not ring true.

It was a nice diversion. But I just wasn’t that into it, and I really wanted to be. Maybe others will love it. I hope so. I doubt I will seek out the next in the series. I do have the German version so I might try it again just to practice my German reading skills.

By the way, the Kindle version is free right now. I hope you enjoy it.

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A Thief in Time: A Time Travel NovelA Thief in Time: A Time Travel Novel by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so excited to get A Flight In Time to review. Cidney Swanson is one of my favorite Young Adult writers. Come to find out she lives in a nearby Oregon town. She’s lucky I don’t have a car! And that I have social anxiety that keeps me from seeking out people I don’t know. Still, her Saving Mars series is my favorite series for young adults and up. I wish she could write more of those as it really helps the me I was as a pre-teen/teen. There was very little out there in the sci-fi realm that had strong female leads. Please read the series if you get the chance. Her Rippler series is good, too.

But back to A Flight in Time (book 2). Here is a comment I made under A Thief in Time (book 1):

Oops, somehow I am reading book two that isn’t on GoodReads yet. Maybe I should see if I got it? I am 37% into A Flight in Time. Now I feel confused as to what to do.

Then I realized that at one point or another I did get book 1. It was $.99 at the time. Somehow it got marked “Read” so I never saw it in my “Currently Reading” shelf. So I stopped reading book 2 and started reading book 1. This series may soon rival Mars in favorites!

A Thief In Time is very exciting. The main character, Halley, is quite the character. I love the depth of spirit she shows in spite of a less than ideal upbringing. Ms. Swanson built her so well that I felt she was real. I love her friends and how it is they found themselves in the enviable position of having access to a time machine.

By the way, I love the names of the characters. Good nods to science!

I want to put more here but I don’t want anything to spoil a future reader’s experience with that book or the next.

So, those who follow my reviews know how I hate cliffhangers. This was not that. But awfully close. No one was left in danger. But I was so in love with the characters and the time travel adventures that I was so happy I had the next book downloaded and ready to go.

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Since I can’t find the place to review book 2, A Flight in Time, I will put it here and move this part to that book when it is live on GoodReads. Right now it is $.99 on Amazon whereas book 1 is $3.99. Both are well worth the money!

I will give this five stars also. My biggest problem was the names when I read #2 first. After getting to know everyone in #1 I still had that problem. I expected to see a little more about Halley and her life. So it was a bit of a shock to start reading about her friend, Jillian. Her life wasn’t as interesting or as full of challenges, as far as I was concerned, but she has a sciencey mind and is working towards her own goals. That warmed me to her.

I must admit that I couldn’t quit reading this book–another 4 AM sleep time. The book was full of anxious moments, ‘how were they going to get out of this?’ kinds of questions sailed through my head. And lots of time travel!

AND that ending!!!! I can’t wait to find out the resolve for that. Still, not a cliffhanger. Just a little something to have Cidney Swanson fans waiting with bated breath!!!

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The Last Chance Matinee (The Hudson Sisters #1)The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I noticed as I wished this story hadn’t ended was that it has a series name: The Hudson Sisters #1. Yay! I don’t have to leave my new friends forever! And while I am talking about the ending, relax, it isn’t a cliff-hanger. Everyone is safe. I just miss them.

You can look up the blurb to see what the book is about. I try to concentrate on my feelings about the story. What I noticed most of all, was the lack of conflict and yet I kept wanting to read more. I suppose the conflict is the undertone of how the characters ended up owning a theater. They had to spend the time getting to know each other and see how they fit into the scheme of things. But there was no great adventure, no one is in grave danger. Yet through each of their perspectives, you see their birth order and history.

It was because of the description of the story on the blurb on NetGalley dot com that I picked this up to review. I am so glad I did. It is quite an interesting story. I look forward to book two so I can see these women and watch them remake a theater together.

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The Shadow LandThe Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THIS is my kind of book! Okay, it isn’t fantasy or sci-fi but the elements I love in those stories are here. Adventure, new horizons, philosophies, some things to learn and think about. Those are all present in this book. I am sad that it has ended and think I may have to read it again sometime with Audible version. The text-to-speech was great but with this taking place in Bulgaria, I needed someone to pronounce words better than the British female robot. Which usually works quite well for me, but there were some names that when I was reading with my eyes too, I could see they were not pronounced anywhere NEAR right.

The main character is well developed, the secondaries not as deeply but the story wasn’t about them so that was okay by me. With the person so developed and the world so real I felt I was watching a movie. In fact, this would make a marvelous movie, there is just so much depth here!

The time of the book moves back and forth from about WWII and now. The political themes presented seem very poignant, and apropos warnings to our current system and how delicate it is.

But my favorite part of the book, though the saddest, was how music played a part in the day to day survival of the musician. I don’t want to expound on this as it would be a spoiler. Needless to say, it gave me the unavoidable courage to face the cold of my studio and play the piano for as long as my fingers could move, and then left me with a fire to get back in there as soon and as often as I can as Spring brings warmer weather.

Oh, how I wish there were a book two. I don’t know how it could be done as none of the situations or people remain in the right places for that. But I did want to see what happens now that the main character has made friends with the musician’s son. What could they give each other? Will they become more than friends? And what about the taxi driver? Is there happiness in his future? What a cool guy he was! Like I said, I am left wanting more and that may have to happen by re-reading with audio.

By the way, I was given this version for review by NetGalley dot com. Please, if you get the chance to read this, do. I hope you love it as I did.

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Greenglass HouseGreenglass House by Kate Milford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Please check out my friend, Cheryl’s, review on this book as it was what prompted me to go find this at my public e-library.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

That is by far a better-written review than I expect to write today. Fibro has me in its grips so I barely have a brain.

Even so, here are my thoughts. I loved that the parents were a part of this story and adventures still happened. I loved the mixture of very fantasy games and real (though fantasy) life. The book kept me wondering what was happening, what would happen next, how could they solve this or that problem. And I loved the vocabulary, invented or real there was a stretch for the reader to work on. I even had to stop the text-to-speech for a moment to highlight a word or two that were easily found in the online dictionary. (Oh, what a modern miracle that I don’t have to pick up a tome of a book to find a word that sends me on a dictionary search for hours! Online dictionaries start with the most logical definitions and don’t stop the story for long.)

I do want to warn the parents of the future readers to read this first themselves. I can see that an inn that is there for thieves and other not-so-law-abiding customers might not be the greatest of settings. And there is a bit of danger for the family involved that the young reader might need their own guidance understanding. For that, I might recommend late middle grades or young adult. But adults will find this a delight and just as exciting as a child reader.

Now I miss the characters and the story. It ended very nicely, yet I wish we could go back and visit again sometime. I couldn’t sleep after finishing last night. It left me wondering about how this author did that. How did she pull me in so thoroughly? Great writing!

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Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the WorldFluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World by Benny Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished reading this a couple days ago. No, I was not in the haze of wanting to stay with the story or characters. This is a non-fiction about learning other languages. I didn’t want to leave this one because it helped me so much and I want to re-read it a lot more times.

As many of you know, I have been working with Duolingo learning Spanish and German. I have taken two levels of both in school but would like to be fluent in both of them. Right now I can read a bit but I feel so very elementary in both of them.

There are so many good ideas on how to learn a language and get to the point of fluency! And I read this using the Audible with the author’s voice. What a delight to hear his accent and enthusiasm! And he is a polyglot. For those of you like I was, who don’t know, that means he is fluent in many languages, all learned since he was an adult.

The best part is that there are web-links to study certain aspects of each chapter. I didn’t follow those with the first reading, but I will with the next. And I will take notes and make flashcards.

This is the best book about languages I have ever read. If you are thinking about studying another language, this should be your first book to read to give you the best start.

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Painted Doll (Only In Tokyo Mystery, #4)Painted Doll by Jonelle Patrick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this author’s work. Though I am not a fan of mysteries, I do find that I love how she presents her stories. I always feel like I have been to Japan and visiting with old friends when I read this series. There is just enough education of the culture and a few words to make you feel like you are there. Yet it isn’t over done.

When I finished this book, I didn’t want it to be over so I just left my text-to-speech going as it read all the glossary of Japanese terms and English definitions and then the first chapter of Jonelle’s first book of the series. That made it worse because I already read that and knew how it would turn out. Yet I got to stay with my friends in Japan just a little longer.

Please, if you get the chance, try this series. There is a lot to learn about Japan and about writing from Ms. Patrick.

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This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This may be my favorite book of the series. I love watching the development of the main character, Miranda. I think the author did a good job giving us a picture of how life could get if anything happened to our neighbor the moon. With tides and volcanic action, the world becomes one that is trying to survive. But with volcanic ash in the sky messing with the weather, and lack of warm sunshine, food, and clean water are a constant struggle to find. Miranda has long since given up on the life of a teen with proms and homework. Now she is just trying to help her family survive.

Though this is my shortest review of the series, you can see what I think of the rest in a bulk review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

I do wish there were more books to this series!

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The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, #2)The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to follow when I’ve finished #4

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Okay. Due to what I learned as I wrote the review for #4, this was my least favorite book of the series, with Alex being my least favorite main character. But through his point of view, we learn more about how the world, at least that part of the country is dealing with the problems brought about through the meteor hitting the moon and the changes in gravitational forces on the earth.

Though this book centers on the faith that Alex and his family are devoted to, it was okay as there are a lot of people in the world and how they choose to believe affects how they see the world. But that and the misogynistic viewpoint of this faith and cultural leanings leads us to see a male who feels he must be in charge and has no compunction of hitting his sisters whose only reason to be on this earth was to cook and clean for the male. I just couldn’t abide by how he treated his sisters. I never got to where I liked him much at all. But, it is through his eyes we see what happens to the world as endures more disasters and recovery.

I had to return the Audible version of this book as the narrator’s acting was horrible. The deep gravelly voice didn’t fit the teen, either. I felt my text-to-speech did a better job. I didn’t even attempt to buy the one for #4 for it is the same voice. A younger sounding voice with more pep would have been better.

Even still, this is a great series and I want it to continue from other points of view.

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