AUDIOBOOK REVIEWS

All of Tara's audiobooks
are available for purchase at:
Tara Sands audiobooks at audible.com Tara Sands audiobooks at amazon.com Tara Sands audiobooks at iTunes.com
 
The Language of Flowers voiceover by Tara Sands
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The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Tara Sands excels in her narration of this story of pain, loss, and hope. Now aged out of foster care and group homes, Victoria must try to make a new life for herself. She supports herself by designing bouquets around the meanings of flowers, arrangements that seem almost magical, while at the same time she is haunted by the life she almost had. Sands captures perfectly the struggle of leaving a lost childhood to enter adulthood, of cautiously moving forward while being seared by the pain of the past.
– AudioFile

Narrator Tara Sands was perfect for this part. For one thing, she sounded age appropriate for Victoria, which is always something that worries me in audiobooks with young protagonists. More importantly, however, she was able to capture the contradictions in Victoria’s character, the fragility under her crusty veneer. For more information on the audio, please see my review for Audiofile Magazine. This was a beautiful book and an lovely audio production. Enjoy it in print or in audio! Highly recommended.
– devourerofbooks.com

Tara Sands is a perfect narrator for this story. Not only is her voice young enough for the character, she excels at portraying the world-weariness and suspicion, not to mention the heartache and longing, that is Victoria. It is as realistic a vocalization as one can experience, making the entire audiobook pure auditory pleasure.
– thatswhatsheread.net

   
Flora & Ulysses narrated by Tara Sands
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Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Listeners will need to hold on to their headphones as author DiCamillo and narrator Tara Sands treat them to a madcap adventure that bounces between quirky human characters and a squirrel with superhero dreams who also writes poetry. Sands's narration is lively and fast paced. She takes on variety of personalities with gusto: among them, the determined Flora and her flappable mother, dramatic Tootie and her unexpected friend William Spiver, and the dreamy-voiced squirrel, Ulysses. AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner, Winner of ALSC's 2014 Notable Children's Recordings

   
Blackberry Winter narrated by Tara Sands
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Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

Tara Sands's moving performance smoothly and emotionally weaves the stories of two women in different time periods. Sands's mournful tones evoke the heartbreaking plight of the poverty-stricken Vera, who leaves her 3-year-old son at home to go to work, only to discover when she returns that Daniel is missing in a snowstorm. Sands takes on a steadier tone for Claire, a present-day journalist who discovers the story about Daniel's 1930 disappearance. Having just lost her baby at birth, Claire is moved by the story and investigates further, discovering her personal connections with Vera. Sands's dramatic narration captures the intensity of maternal love and the pain brought by the loss of a child, as well as the hope that comes with resolution. 

   
The Dead-Tossed Waves voiceover by Tara Sands
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The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Tara Sands takes over the narration in Gabry’s voice. Sands’s strength is her ability to capture everything it means to be a teenager—from the hurried pace of Gabry’s indecision and fear to the hesitation of her self-doubt and the excited tones of her romantic feelings—for two very different boys. The supporting characters help dramatize Gabry’s story of discovery, and each has a unique voice—from the childlike vulnerability of her best friend to the cool confidence of Elias, who is part of her newly discovered past.
– Audiofile, Earphones Award Winner

   
Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls voiceover by Tara Sands
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Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls 6 Book Series by Meg Cabot

Tara Sands’s perky, youthful voice is a perfect match for Cabot's preteen drama about dealing with bullies, the third installment in her Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls series. Sands’s delivery totally registers Allie's confusion and growing resentment towards Cheyenne and their eventual confrontation. A thoroughly enjoyable audio experience.
– Audible

Sands excels at conveying Allie's righteous indignation at the tumult her parents have caused, while also finding a conspiratorial tone to deliver Allie's plan for thwarting the sale of her current home. She also has fun squeaking out the dopey ideas of Allie's little brothers (one requests velvet pirate wallpaper for his new bedroom).
– Publisher's Weekly

…there are no dull moments with Allie's dramatic outlook, admirably portrayed by Sands. She articulates Allie's panics and triumphs with gusto. While the story itself is familiar, Sands’s audio performance turns it into an unfolding drama. Allie is sure to become a role model for prima donnas in training.
– Audible

   
Hollywood Mummy by Sammy Keyes

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Sammy Keyes 13 Book Audiobook Series by Wendelin Van Draanen

Actress Tara Sands is able to take on both Sammy’s precocity and the art community’s artificiality with her fast, lively, and totally engaging performance.
– AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner

Youthful-sounding actress Sands adroitly steps into the high-tops of smart-mouthed seventh-grade sleuth Samantha "Sammy" Keyes in this crisp adaptation of Van Draanen's fast-paced Edgar-winning mystery.
– Publishers Weekly

…actress Tara Sands brings the irrepressible Sammy to life. She gets the phrasing and timing just right, and manages to sound like a 13-year-old girl without overdoing it. She conveys the other characters' voices well, too, especially the flamboyant Gina….
– School Library Journal

Sands makes Sammy easy to get hooked on--which is good news, since there are many more volumes in the series and many more mysteries for Sammy to solve.
– J.M.D. AudioFile

Tara Sands skillfully takes the characters beyond the mundane through her impressive ability to speak in many voices--supercilious, sarcastic, and sincere. While delivering nonstop action, she underscores the notion that strength and beauty of character are more than skin deep.
– AudioFile

With just the right early-adolescent exaggerated voice, Tara Sands builds suspense as Sammy pries deeper and deeper into facts that just don't add up. Sands moves the story along well, and her Sammy is right-on, as are her friends, Marissa and Dot.
– AudioFile

…Tara Sands gives perfect voice to Sammy's character in this reading of the 1999 Edgar Award for Best Children's Mystery (Knopf, 1998). The entire novel is told in the first person voice of Sammy Keyes, so it is appropriate that the narrator uses a single voice with some varied inflections to indicate comments made by other characters.
– Library Journal

Tara Sands brings a lively voice and brisk pace to the story of a determined 13-year- old detective, her three girlfriends, and the slew of quirky characters who populate this mystery. Van Draanen has written a solid mystery with suspense, humor, and heart; Tara Sands captures all three in an enjoyable dramatization.
– AudioFile

Tara Sands's narration provides a realistically young voice for Sammy and adds emotion and shading to Van Draanen's well-rounded characters. This, Sammy's third outing, is a mystery suitable for the entire family.
– AudioFile

Tara Sands captures the youthful energy of the young sleuth and her best friend, Marissa, as they try to find the boy's mother while avoiding "Snake Eyes"...Sands maintains momentum as she shifts from Sammy and her classmates to Hispanic gang members, from the ill-tempered Officer Borsch to prying Mrs. Wedgewood, Sammy Keyes is a keeper - that is, if she survives junior high.
– AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner

Tara Sands employs an impressive vocal range that breathes life into every character. From Sammy's enthusiasm to archenemy Heather Acosta's superiority to the banter of the boys, listeners will recognize these kids. Sands's voice ages, and she becomes wise Grams, snooty "council queen" Cora Lee Lyons, and the elderly Mrs. Willawago. The ride to the dance in a Hummer limo, spiced up with the boys' pirate banter, is, by itself, worth a listen.
– AudioFile

Actress Tara Sands is able to take on both Sammy's precocity and the art community's artificiality with her fast, lively, and totally engaging performance. Tara Sands has an uncanny ability to slip into the voice of each character, from the teenaged Sammy and her classmates to the gruff Officer Borsch to the elderly Hudson Graham and the psycho Miss Kitty. Listeners will cheer Sammy as she outwits Heather and her gang, busts the cat burglar ring, and saves the cats.
– AudioFile

   
A Nutty Tale by Barry M. Putt

This adorable story is the perfect way to introduce young listeners to audiobooks. It's short but has enough of a story line to engage listener interest. Narrator Tara Sands is charming as she introduces the squirrel family: Hazel is big sister to brothers Hickory and Pistachio. As the trio helps Mom by gathering nuts, Sands perfectly executes the sibling rivalry and harmless name calling (“toadstool!”) between the boys, as well as the attempts of all three to convince themselves their adventure is solely for the purpose of helping Mom.
- AudioFile

   
No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko

Tara Sands's lilting high pitch convinces listeners of Mouse’s happy acceptance when an hour’s plane trip brings the siblings to Falling Bird, an unsettling place that appeals to each of their individual sensibilities—at first. Because all three narrators establish a strong sense of character, the tensions that divide the three heroes add a chilling quality to an action-packed puzzle.
- AudioFile, Earphone Award Winner

   
Olivia Kidney voiceover by Tara Sands Olivia Kidney 2 book series by Ellen Potter

With a clear voice and steady pace, Tara Sands leads the listener through Olivia's discoveries and developing friendships. Sands narrates Olivia as the young lady she is--with all the squeals, awe, and disbelief of a young person, while also providing distinguishing vocal traits for the supporting cast.
- AudioFile

Tara Sands is a youthful and heartfelt Olivia--feisty and stubborn as a skateboarder, sad as she reminisces about her family's past, and plucky as she schemes to solve her latest mystery. Sands's accents for supporting characters are outstanding--whether precocious student, shoe-shopper, salsa dancer, or window-washer, she does it all!
- AudioFile

   
Lucy Rose voiceover by Tara Sands Lucy Rose by Katy Kelly

Tara Sands captures Lucy's determined and urgent first-person point of view in delivering Lucy's every thought and plan as she shares art activities at the playground, navigates summer friendships, wages battle with squirrels who would like to eat her grandparents' apricots, counts down to her birthday, and goes on a special outing with her dad. Sands is a convincing, invincible, and egocentric charmer. Tenderly she helps Lucy acknowledge the one thing she would like most to plan--the reconciliation of her parents.
– Audiofile

   
Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Narrator Tara Sands throws herself into this story's first-person point of view. She sounds fully credible as 16-year-old Mila, a high school student who is often on the edge of hysteria. Sands reads the story's early scenes with a touch of Valley girl, nicely conveying Mila and her flighty, giggly group of friends, who have boys on their minds and cliquishness in their souls. But soon Mila begins to suspect that she's not a real girl at all--and being a real girl is her heart's desire. As an android, though, she is one tough cookie, going from crisis to crisis, mostly chase scenes, in surprising ways. Sands's high-pitched voice never stumbles. The theme is classic--the story "Pinocchio," circa 1883, comes to mind. Young audiences will be engaged.
– Audiofile

   
The Case Of The Deadly Desperadoes by Caroline Lawrence The Case Of The Deadly Desperadoes by Caroline Lawrence

Twelve-year-old P.K. Pinkerton is on the run from ruthless (what else?) desperadoes in this delightfully down-and-dirty Western, the first in a series. Voiced by T. Sands, P.K. is a plucky and relatable tween who runs through disguises in an 1862 silver-mining town that is notable for its steep, muddy streets; bars; Chinese laundries; and opium dens. As she did in her Roman mystery series, Lawrence keeps the history gritty and real. Sands is a female reader who does justice to everyone from gruff outlaw Whittlin' Walt to a pre-Mark Twain Samuel Clemens, She even lends sympathy to P.K.'s frenemy, “Soiled Dove.” Sands gives P.K. the humor, curiosity, and spunk to survive in a cutthroat world. This is a perfect marriage of narrator and book.
– Audiofile, Earphones Award Winner

   
PK Pinkerton and the Petrified Man by Caroline Lawrence PK Pinkerton and the Petrified Man by Caroline Lawrence

Lawrence returns to the Wild West for Pinkerton's second adventure. In spite of several foibles and eccentricities, newly orphaned 12-year-old PK has opened a detective agency, confident that clients will soon be clamoring for their cases to be solved. But there's also a thorn in her side: People are confounding and impossible to read. Today, we call it Asperger's, but back in the Wild West it had no name. T. Sands narrates PK's story with a precise delivery that includes meticulous attention to punctuation, vocabulary, and detail. Sands draws in the listener, maintaining a careful balance between PK's dedication to solving her case and her offbeat comic relief. Listeners will admire PK's confidence and spunk even as they chuckle at the obvious missed clues.
– AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner