Review: The Wife Upstairs [audiobook]

Title: The Wife Upstairs
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie­ Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for. 

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?

Review:

Jane is a dog walker in the gated community Thornfield Estates. The residents are so rich, that no one notices if she steals a piece of jewelry or knickknacks when picking up the dogs. Everything changes when Jane meets the recently widowed Eddie Rochester. His wife and her best friend went missing in a boating accident, and their bodies were never found. Since Eddie is a rich, handsome man, Jane sees him as her ticket out of her thieving lifestyle. As Jane and Eddie fall for each other, the mystery around his missing wife begins to resurface. Jane soon realizes nothing in Thornfield Estates is what it seems.

As soon as I saw the title of this book, I knew it was going to be about Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is one of my favourite classic novels. Some knowledge of that book would be helpful when reading this one, to notice all of the references. However, it could also be read as a thriller on its own without reading Jane Eyre. Since I knew Jane Eyre, I had predicted what was going to happen at the end, but there was a twist I didn’t see coming.

This audiobook was great. It had three different narrators for the three different characters that narrated the novel. It made it easy to tell the characters apart since they had different voices. I sometimes find that I lose interest in an audiobook while listening to it and I get distracted doing something else. This one held my interest the whole time, and I never got distracted while listening to it.

This is such a great thriller!

Thank you Macmillan Audio for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Have you read The Wife Upstairs? What did you think of it?

Review: The Windsor Knot (Her Majesty the Queen Investigates #1)

Title: The Windsor Knot (Her Majesty the Queen Investigates #1)
Author: S.J. Bennett
Genre: Mystery, Audiobook
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: March 9, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

The first book in a highly original and delightfully clever crime series in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves crimes while carrying out her royal duties.

It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals—until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction.

Unhappy at the mishandling of the case and concerned for her staff’s morale, the monarch decides to discreetly take matters into her own hands. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian and recent officer in the Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen secretly begins making inquiries. As she carries out her royal duties with her usual aplomb, no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that the resolute Elizabeth will use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to bring a murderer to justice.

SJ Bennett captures Queen Elizabeth’s voice with skill, nuance, wit, and genuine charm in this imaginative and engaging mystery that portrays Her Majesty as she’s rarely seen: kind yet worldly, decisive, shrewd, and most importantly a great judge of character.

Review:

After a dinner party at Windsor Castle, one of the guests is found dead in his room the next morning. The immediate investigation shows that he strangled himself, but they quickly realize he was murdered and staged to look like a suicide. The Queen isn’t happy with how the murder is being investigated so she puts her own employees on the case. The Queen continues to carry out her royal duties, while also leading this investigation.

This was a fun twist on a detective mystery. No one would expect the Queen herself to be investigating a murder that happened in her own castle. Many of the characters felt nervous around her, especially when discussing the delicate nature of the murder. But, she got the job done.

This story mentioned other members of the royal family too. They were the same as the real British Royal Family, but made into fictional characters. It’s fun to imagine the Queen actually conducting her own investigations in the palaces.

I really liked the narrator of this audiobook. It was fairly short and a fun story. I’m curious to see what will happen in the next book!

Thank you Harper Audio for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Have you read The Windsor Knot? What did you think of it?

Review: The Lives of Saints [audiobook]

Title: The Lives of Saints
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Short Stories, Audiobook
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Enter the world of the Grishaverse and Shadow and Bone, soon to be a Netflix original series!

Dive into the epic world of international bestselling author Leigh Bardugo with this beautifully illustrated replica of The Lives of Saints, the Istorii Sankt’ya, featuring tales of saints drawn from the beloved novels and beyond. Out of the pages of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, from the hands of Alina Starkov to yours, the Istorii Sankt’ya is a magical keepsake from the Grishaverse.

These tales include miracles and martyrdoms from familiar saints like Sankta Lizabeta of the Roses and Sankt Ilya in Chains, to the strange and obscure stories of Sankta Ursula, Sankta Maradi, and the Starless Saint.

This beautiful collection includes stunning full-color illustrations of each story.

Review:

The Lives of Saints is a collection of short stories from the Grishaverse. Each story tells the origin story of a saint in that series. This book was actually mentioned in the Grishaverse books, so it was like reading a book that the characters have read too.

This audiobook was short at just over two hours long. The narrators were great. There were two narrators that alternated between chapters. The male narrator was Ben Barnes, who is one of the stars of the upcoming Shadow and Bone show. This is a great way to connect this new book to the upcoming show.

I’d love to see a physical copy of this book one day because it is supposed to have beautiful illustrations. I highly recommend this audiobook!

Thank you Macmillan Audio for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Lives of Saints? What did you think of it?

Review: The Shadows [audiobook]

Title: The Shadows
Author: Alex North
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again…

The haunting new thriller from Alex North, author of the New York Times bestseller The Whisper Man.

Review:

Twenty-five years ago, Charlie Crabtree murdered his friends. Crabtree inspired copycat murders years later. Paul Adams was one of his friends, who left after the murder. Now, Paul’s mother is sick and he’s had to return to his hometown. Another copycat murder has just occurred, and it has distressed his ill mother. Everyone suspects there may be a connection between this recent murder and Crabtree because he was never seen again after killing his friend twenty-five years ago. The police have to look into this possible connection.

This audiobook switched between two narrators, Detective Amanda Beck and Paul Adams. Paul’s narrative switched between the present and his experience with Crabtree as a teenager twenty-five years ago. Since the current murder and the past one were so similar, I kept getting the two situations mixed up. It was difficult to differentiate between the two murders while listening, but it probably would have made more sense if I was reading it.

I didn’t really understand the ending. Everything happened quite quickly. There were a bunch of quick explanations, including introducing some characters who played an important part in the solution, but weren’t in most of the book. The whole story talked about the murder from twenty-give years ago, yet they were trying to solve the current one. This ending wasn’t as clear and concise as I expect for a thriller.

This thriller audiobook didn’t work for me.

Thank you Macmillan Audio for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Have you read The Shadows? What did you think of it?

Review: The Switch [audiobook]

Title: The Switch
Author: Beth O’Leary
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: August 18, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some long-overdue rest. 

Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

So they decide to try a two-month swap.

Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects. 

But stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love? In Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, it’s never too late to change everything….or to find yourself.

Review:

When Leena is forced into a two month vacation from her job, she decides to switch places with her 79-year-old grandmother, Eileen. They’re both struggling to find happiness in their lives, so they agree that they need a change of pace. Leena takes over her grandmother’s place in the councils of the small town, and Eileen joins the online dating world in London. They both have to face their new gossipy friends and a different pace of life. Their lives change during those two months in ways that are irreversible.

I loved the audiobook version of this book. There were two different narrators, for the alternating chapters of Leena’s and Eileen’s perspectives. The two women had great voices that really suited the characters.

I liked that Eileen was an older character in this story. I’ve heard complaints that a lot of romantic comedies usually feature young adult characters, rather than characters who are middle aged or seniors. Eileen’s position as a senior actually made for some funny situations as she learned about online dating. Her elderly friends were also funny in the way they obsessed over little details in the small town. I’m glad to see this diversity of the age of characters in a contemporary romance.

This is a great story! I highly recommend the audiobook!

Thank you Macmillan Audio for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Have you read The Switch? What did you think of it?

Review: Keeping the Moon

Title: Keeping the Moon (audiobook)
Author: Sarah Dessen, Stina Nielsen (narrator)
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Speak
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: June 11, 2009 (first published September 1, 1999)
Rating: ★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Colie expects the worst when she’s sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast — first for being fat and then for being “easy” — Colie has no friends at home and doesn’t expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina. 

But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along. 

Review:

I was disappointed in this book.

It was more character driven than plot driven. There wasn’t much that happened to the main character, Colie. The other characters around her were so much more interesting than her. Her mother used to be overweight her whole life, but is now a fitness celebrity. Her neighbour, Morgan, was engaged to a not-so-good guy. Even Colie’s eccentric aunt seemed more developed than her. I think one of the other characters would have been a better main character than Colie.

I listened to the audiobook, which was good. The narrator’s voice was relaxing and easy to listen to. She did some great impressions for the more developed characters, such as Morgan who was a drama queen sometimes. These different voices were entertaining.

I’m glad this wasn’t the first Sarah Dessen book I’ve read. Her storytelling ability has improved a lot over the past 20 years since this book was written.

What to read next:

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

Have you read Keeping the Moon? What did you think of it?

Review: Doctor Who: The Day of the Troll

Title: Doctor Who: The Day of the Troll
Author: Simon Messingham (narrated by David Tennant)
Genre: Science Fiction, Audiobook
Publisher: BBC Books
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: October 8, 2009
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

When the Doctor arrives on Earth in the far future, he is horrified to find the planet beset by famine and starvation. England is a barren wasteland, and scientists are desperately seeding the ground to make the crops grow again. But now it seems that something even worse is happening.

Karl Baring, the owner of research facility The Grange, has been snatched away in the middle of the night. His sister Katy was with him when he vanished, but is now in catatonic shock — so it is up to the Doctor, with the help of the scientists at The Grange, to investigate. What is lurking under the old bridge, and why is it preying on people?

The Doctor must find out, before it strikes again… 

Review:

I loved this audiobook!

The Doctor Who audiobooks are so much fun, especially the ones that are read by the actors from the show. David Tennant played the tenth Doctor. He was my favourite one! I love the way he reads the audiobooks. He switches between his real accent and the voice he uses for the character of the Doctor seamlessly. It was very entertaining.

This story was creepy. A mysterious troll-like creature came up from the ground and terrorized a research facility in a futuristic Earth. The secret behind the troll becomes a bedtime story, where children were told not to go under the bridge where the troll could get them. This story plays on our childhood fears. Even though it’s science fiction, it was highly relatable.

This is a great audiobook!

What to read next:

Dead Air by James Goss (narrated by David Tennant)

Have you read Doctor Who: The Day of the Troll? What did you think of it?

Review: Doctor Who: Dead Air

7664508.jpg

Title: Doctor Who: Dead Air
Author: James Goss (narrated by David Tennant)
Genre: Science Fiction, Audiobook
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: May 11, 2010
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

At the bottom of the sea, in the wreck of a floating radio station, a lost recording has been discovered. After careful restoration, it is played for the first time – to reveal something incredible. It is the voice of the Doctor, broadcasting from Radio Bravo in 1966. He has travelled to Earth in search of the Hush – a terrible weapon that kills, silences and devours anything that makes noise.

Review:

I loved this audiobook!

The book starts out with a disclaimer that the recording was found in the sea, so there may be problems with the audio. I love this introduction!

When the narrator started speaking, I thought he was doing a great impression of the Tenth Doctor. Then I realized it is David Tennant narrating! He was awesome! He’s my favourite Doctor. He also did great different voices for the other characters.

The story was spooky and exciting. It reminded me of the episode LIving Library. The creature, he Hush, is a lot like the vashtra neurada from that episode. It captured people and used their voices as a recording. It was very creepy.

I just loved this book! I highly recommend it for all Doctor Who fans.

What to read next:

  • Doctor Who: Pest Control by Peter Anghelides (narrated by David Tennant)

    3364322.jpg

  • Doctor Who: The Day of the Troll by Simon Messingham (narrated by David Tennant)

    6741138.jpg

Have you listened to Dead Air? What did you think of it?

Review: Pest Control

Title: Doctor Who: Pest Control
Author: Peter Anghelides (narrated by David Tennant)
Genre: Science Fiction, Audiobooks
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks
Source: Purchased
Format: audiobook
Release Date: May 8, 2008
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

The TARDIS is lost in battle on a distant planet. When the Doctor sets off in pursuit, Donna is left behind, and finds herself accepting a commission in the Pioneer Corps. Something is transforming soldiers into monstrous beetles, and she could be the next victim. Meanwhile, the Doctor steals a motorbike and stages a jailbreak. Well, how hard can it be to find the TARDIS, rescue Donna, and negotiate a peace? But that’s before the arrival of a brutal and remorseless mechanical exterminator, bent on wiping out the insects. It may be that nothing can stop it, because this robot’s solution for the infestation is very simple: kill everything. Featuring the Doctor and Donna, as played by David Tennant and Catherine Tate in the hit series from BBC Television, this story has been written specially for audio, and is read by David Tennant.

Review:

I love these Doctor Who audiobooks.

This one was narrated by David Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor. He was my favourite Doctor. I was shocked at first to hear him narrating the story in his Scottish accent! I wasn’t expecting that since he has an English accent on the show.

I found the story a little confusing at times, because there were some unusual new creatures in the story. However, Tennant did a great job of giving each character a distinctive voice, which made the story very entertaining.

This was a great story for fans of the show.

What to read next:

Doctor Who: Dead Air by James Goss (narrated by David Tennant)
Doctor Who: The Forever Trap by Dan Abnett (narrated by Catherine Tate)

Have you listened to Doctor Who: Pest Control? What did you think of it?

Review: Doctor Who: The Time Machine

17792504-2.jpg

Title: Doctor Who: The Time Machine
Author: Matt Fitton (narrated by Jenna Coleman, Michael Cochrane, Nicholas Briggs)
Genre: Science Fiction, Audiobook
Publisher: Big Finish/AudioGO
Source: Library
Format: audiobook
Release Date: November 7, 2013
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

23 November 2013. In an Oxford laboratory, graduate Alice Watson helps Professor Chivers assemble the final pieces of an impossible machine. A time machine.

The scientist and his assistant believe they are making history, little suspecting that the project’s completion will threaten the existence of the entire universe. But someone has sensed the danger, and when the mysterious Doctor arrives, Alice is taken on a desperate race from libraries and dreaming spires all the way to the nightmare world of Earth’s future.

The monstrous Creevix are coming. They seek control of time itself and are certain that the Doctor is already too late to stop them. But can the key to saving the future lie in the Time Lord’s past lives?

Review:

This is another Doctor Who audiobook that was only created for audiobook form.

It is narrated by Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara on the show. She has a great storytelling voice. It was funny to hear her do an impression of the Doctor, because it sounded so much like him but it was Clara’s voice.

The ending moved very quickly and it was hard to follow. It felt rushed because things were moving along at a good pace and suddenly it was finished. I would have liked it to be explained more because it was a little confusing.

I really enjoyed this story. I’m going to keep listening to the ones narrated by the actors because they do such a good job!

What to read next:

  • Doctor Who: Night of the Whisper by Cavan Scott

    17792488-2.jpg

  • Doctor Who: Death’s Deal by Darren Jones

    17792500-2.jpg

Have you read Doctor Who: The Time Machine? What did you think of it?