Audiobook Review: Sorry, Wrong Number

Sorry, Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher (performed here by L.A. Theater Works) is a famous one-act play (made into a movie!) about a handicapped woman who overhears a murder being plotted and starts to FREAK OUT because she can’t get anybody to do anything about it.

This book is only 23 minutes long, and it is INTENSE. We listened to it while running errands today, and, wow, we were totally invested in the story. The voice work is fantastic. I love that the play is performed by a full cast, and the voice-only production (with a few ringing phones and busy signals thrown in) kind of adds to the mounting terror. Everything is so sparse that it’s like I was sitting trapped in the room with Mrs. Stevenson, trying to get someone to listen to me.

I think because this book is so short, it would be an excellent introduction to audiobooks for someone who wants to try them out. Not only is the action intense, but the storyline is clear, and it’s easy to keep track of all of the characters and what’s going on. Also? It’s really fun to listen to.

Audiobook Challenge: 8; Page to Screen: 7

Note: I received this book for free to review from the publisher through the Solid Gold Reviewer program over at Audiobook Jukebox.

Book Review: The Son of Neptune

Multigrain fighting is not allowed!

Oh, gosh I just loved The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. LOVED. The second book in the Heroes of Olympus series, it picks up with Percy (YAY PERCY!!!!) and the kids at Camp Jupiter.

There is nothing about this book that I didn’t like, so a few highlights of why I loved it.

– Rick Riordan wears the hat of cleverness! The Amazons run an online business that specializes in low prices and fast shipping. (Can you guess which one?)

– Love all of the characters. All! Even Ella the harpy who mostly talks in book quotes and Terminus the armless boundary god.

Also, even though these characters are just as tragic as the ones in The Lost Hero, they are more fun and less, well, annoying. I mean, I loved all three narrators whereas last time I just loved Leo.

– Loved the inclusion of Chinese mythology here with Frank’s character. Also, he’s Canadian! In fact, I’m a big fan of the diversity in this series overall. Two thumbs up.

– Oh, and Frank has a badass grandma and those are the best. THE BEST.

– The title, again, works on levels.

– Obviously, I loved seeing Camp Jupiter and all the ways it’s different from and similar to Camp Half-Blood.

– Riordan introduces his readers to The Art of War by Sun Tzu. There’s just a mention of the Tzu’s book at the end of the novel, but you know some kids are going to seek it out.

– The humor is spot on. Just so great.

Oh wait, there is one thing I hated about the book. The cliffhanger! But that’s only because I want to read the next book now, now, now.

Apparently, I’m not the only person who had that response. From Riordan’s blog:

In the meantime, sorry about the cliffhanger in The Son of Neptune . . . wait, no I’m not! I always do cliffhangers. I’m just evil that way.

Yes. Yes, you are.

I can’t believe I have to wait basically a whole year for the next book. I wonder who the narrators will be.

YA Challenge: 40; POC Reading Challenge: 25

Book Review: A Tale of Two Proms

It occurred to me that this was my first big adult decision. And I have to say if this was what it meant to be an adult–to worry that any big decision you made was the wrong one–maybe growing up was seriously overrated.

Before I even get into my review of Cara Lockwood’s fourth Bard Academy novel A Tale of Two Proms, I have to point out that this novel represents two firsts for me: (1) the first book I read on the Nook I got for Christmas and (2) the first book I am reviewing via NetGalley. Exciting stuff!

Okay, and now since I have never reviewed any of these books here before, allow me to nerd out like the big literary nerd I am. So, basically, I love this series because the books provide a big old lit nerd fest. Aside from the fact that school is called Bard Academy (after Shakespeare, of course) and that the teachers are ghosts of authors stuck in purgatory (Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Ernest Hemingway, etc.), Lockwood manages to seamlessly blend plots and characters from many classic novels. In this book alone, she uses characters/plots/settings from:

  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Jane Eyre
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Odyssey
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Like I said, that’s just in this book. The previous three include references to other classics.

Anyway, the basic premise for the series is that Miranda gets sent to Bard Academy, which is for problem teens. Once there, she falls for Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights who has somehow escaped from his book. Each book deals with the fallout from characters leaving their narratives and also some wackiness that Miranda manages to enmesh herself in.

In A Tale of Two Proms, the focus is on literary doubles–particularly Catherine from WH (who Miranda favors)–and, of course, the prom. Oh, and Heathcliff asks Miranda to marry him and she finds out that she got into one of her dream schools. Which will she choose????

The only thing I don’t care about in the books is the romance between Heathcliff and Miranda. However, that’s pretty easy for me to get past. Which..considering that’s pretty much the foundation/driving conflict for all four books is saying a lot about how fun they are.

I love the setting and the characters. (I really get a kick out of Parker taunting Miranda for being “Fictional-American or whatever.” Because why not? Hahaha. I am easily amused sometimes.) There’s lots of humor and the characters are definitely teenagers with teenage concerns even as they are trying to save their school. So I enjoy that.

Lockwood said on her blog that this is probably the last book in the series, and I think everything is wrapped up pretty nicely. I did have one plausibility issue with the end, but then I reminded myself that this is a book with a Fictional-American character, book characters that come to life, moving settings, and ghost teachers, so I let the whole plausibility thing go.

In conclusion: If you’re a fan of gothic, gothic romance, mystery, paranormal, teen lit, classic lit, or adventure stories, this book/series might be something you’d want to check out.

YA Reading Challenge: 39