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Jane

Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2010

786
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 383 reviews
  • 383 ratings
  • 653 titles in library
  • 97 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
94

  • Finding Zach

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Rowan Speedwell
    • Narrated By Paul Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (136)

    For five years, Zach Tyler, son of one of the world’s richest software moguls, was held hostage, tortured, and abused. When he is rescued at last from the Venezuelan jungle, he is physically and psychologically shattered, but he slowly begins to rebuild the life he should have had before an innocent kiss sent him into hell. His childhood best friend David has lived those years with overwhelming guilt and grief. Every relationship David has tried has fallen apart because of his feelings for a boy he thought dead.

    Jane says: "3 ½ stars. I enjoyed the relationship development"
    "3 ½ stars. I enjoyed the relationship development"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    but some parts were heavier than I was in the mood for.

    David was like a big-brother-best-friend to Zach while growing up. At age 15 Zach kisses David for the first time. Then they are separated when Zach flies to visit a relative and gets kidnaped. Now it’s several years later. Zach is alive and returns home. The best part of the story is the two of them reconnecting and beginning a love relationship. Zach has PTSD with many psychological issues. David is loving, patient, accepting, and supporting. I loved that part of the story - the relationship development. The sex scenes were well done. I liked the feel good ending and the epilogue.

    During the second half, at times I did not enjoy the drama. Too often Zach overreacted and thought he should end their relationship. Even though David told Zach he loved him and nothing about Zach’s past would ever bother him, Zach didn’t believe it or kept forgetting. Yes he had issues from his kidnaping and torture, but it was tiring to keep hearing that Zach believed no one could love him.

    There are a lot of therapy type discussions. The most common sentence in the book was “Are you ok?” Everyone is always asking everyone else that question. The answer was usually yes and a couple times crying. The parents were wonderfully supportive of both David and Zach which was a nice part of the story.

    I liked the way Zach’s five years of captivity was handled. The book starts with his rescue. Then Zach is telling or remembering what happened. Horrible things were done to him which stayed with me, but it could have been worse. I wouldn’t have wanted to be inside Zach’s head during his torture, not knowing if he would survive or be rescued. However the torture might be too much for sensitive readers.

    The author has a good writing style. It’s a good story, just a little heavier than I was in the mood for.

    The narrator Paul Morey was very good.

    Genre: gay male romance.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • When You Give a Duke a Diamond: Jewels of the Ton, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Shana Galen
    • Narrated By Lucy Rivers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (72)

    William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable-that's the way he likes it. But he's in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossips link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn't begin to describe what happens next....

    Marcheta says: "I don't like American accents for English romances"
    "I was repeatedly annoyed with the story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was also annoyed with hearing the audiobook narrator’s breaths.

    The premise of Juliette being a courtesan, the why, and her actions were ridiculous. Her actions did not fit her motivations – a violation of writing rules. I describe it in Spoilers below.

    There were some plot events that could have been interesting, but they were not developed. Instead most of the story is internal angst and pondering. She tells him something false and then is angsty and hurt because he believes it. He is angsty and hurt because he believes it.

    There is child abuse and a disturbing scene killing a puppy. I don’t mind bad parents being the bad guys, but this was too troubling for me.

    CAUTION SPOILERS:
    Juliette is married to abusive man Oliver. She pretends to have affairs with other men so Oliver will divorce her. He does. That’s the only part that made sense to me. The rest does not. Now Juliette’s dream is to fall in love, get married, and have children. But her actions don’t fit her motivations. She tells the world that she is a courtesan so that she can be free to attend parties and have fun. Then she falls in love with Wil. She wants to marry him, but she won’t be honest with him. She knows he is troubled about her being a courtesan, so why does she continue lying and telling him she is a courtesan? Then when he does not propose marriage, she is furious, angry, and angsty and runs away so he can’t find her.

    Frequently during the book he is cold and distant and calls her a whore or courtesan. And then she has all this hurt because of it, but she never corrects him.

    A man attacks Juliette. The gardener hears her screams and comes to save her. The attacker runs away. Now there is a big mystery about who the attacker was. Juliette could not describe him because he was behind her. So why didn’t they ask the gardener to describe the attacker? Soon after that, Juliette goes somewhere alone and is attacked again. I’m willing to accept occasional stupidity, but not on top of all this other stuff.
    END SPOILERS.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR - Lucy Rivers:
    I didn’t notice them at first, but later in the book I could hear the narrator’s BREATHS. They were annoying and distracting. She needs to use a different microphone, or do something in the editing process to remove the breaths. Other than that she was good.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: regency romance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (261)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Weak 3 stars."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    During the book was interesting, but depressing ending.

    Jamie is telling us (in first person narrative) about his life from age 6 to old age. He met Reverend Charles at age 6 and their paths crossed several times during Jamie’s life. Charles is a minister who invents electricity that heals people. Jamie and Charles like each other and have a connection. When Jamie is sad about his brother’s injury, Charles cures the brother. Later, Charles becomes famous healing people in religious gatherings.

    Because I saw the Horror label, I thought I’d see an evil creature doing bad things during the book. That did not happen. Instead for about 98% of the book there are suspicions but no obvious horror.

    Most of the book is watching Jamie’s life – who he meets, how he lives, things he does. It was good because Stephen King writes good characters and dialogue and events. Frequent topics are aging, disease, death, and religion. My favorite part was Jamie’s early years, his first love, learning to play guitar, and joining a band. Less interesting was Jamie’s heroin addiction.

    My feeling at the end of the book? What a depressing story. This is not for me. Something awful is revealed -- but it is creative. Would I recommend this book? I don’t know. I enjoyed watching Jamie’s life, but the ending ruined it. I’d want a different ending.

    I don’t like 1st person narratives. It feels like I have to politely listen to somebody talk. I would have preferred close 3rd person.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    David Morse sounded like he was tired and depressed. He does good voices and good emotional interpretations, but the overall feel was monotone. But maybe he was trying to sound depressed to fit the depressing ending.

    Narrative mode: 1st person Jamie.
    Genre: fiction with some horror.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Flat-Out Love

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jessica Park
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (801)
    Story
    (805)

    He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read Nietzsche Is My Homeboy. So, that was Matt. Who Julie Seagles likes. A lot. But there is also Finn. Who she flat out loves. Complicated? Awkward? Completely. But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother’s? This was all supposed to be temporary.

    Patricia says: "I Loved this book!"
    "Really fun first half."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But I wanted more relationship time together.

    Julie moves in with a dysfunctional family during her first year at college. I loved how she improved their lives and they were good for her. I wanted to be in her shoes. This is my nerdiness showing but I was so excited when Erin the mother gave her user name and password to Julie, so Julie could have access to the Harvard Library! (Erin taught at Harvard.) I love libraries! Back to the story. I loved the Flat Finn cardboard idea and the things happening with that. (Creative) I liked the dialogue. I liked the mix of characters.

    I’m not sure I can put my finger on it, but the last half was a little draggy. Then, the big separation was a downer with angsty stuff. At that point I did not care for Julie’s actions. She was too rigid and unforgiving. I wish the author skipped the separation and spent that time developing the romantic relationship. I would have loved seeing the couple spend time together as a couple and hold each other and kiss each other on purpose. Because their relationship didn’t develop much, the ending felt too quick. I wanted fuller feelings at the end. But overall it was a good story.

    I’m so happy that this was written in 3rd person. Thank you author. I don’t like 1st person.

    Some reviewers complained that they guessed the secret before Julie did. That didn’t bother me. It’s not mandatory to keep readers in the dark. Another thought: You’ll need to suspend disbelief the way everyone lied about something. But it made the story better so I was ok with it.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Julia Whelan was excellent.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: contemporary romance, less angst New Adult.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1742)
    Performance
    (1581)
    Story
    (1594)

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Janice says: "Do you believe in miracles??"
    "The entire book - captivating!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I was reading this book I thought reading books like this is what makes life worth living. Oh I wish I could find more books like this -- exciting, inspirational, struggles, pain, perseverance, heroes.

    My favorite quote: Joe’s girlfriend was angry about something done to Joe and said to him “I just don’t understand why you don’t get angry.” Joe said “It takes energy to get angry. It eats you up inside. I can’t waste my energy like that and expect to get ahead. When they left, it took everything I had in me just to survive. Now I have to stay focused. I’ve just got to take care of it myself.”

    MY ONE COMPLAINT:
    There are pictures in the physical book, but NO PICTURES for audiobook buyers. To the author and publisher: Please include pictures in a PDF file for audio buyers to download.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Fred Hermann was fabulous – clear voice, good interpretations. He reads like he’s interested in what he’s reading. He should do more books.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: nonfiction, sports history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Woody Allen Interview

    • ORIGINAL (31 mins)
    • By Woody Allen
    • Narrated By Doug McGrath
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (160)

    An exclusive interview with Woody Allen, conducted by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Doug McGrath. Allen discusses the process, challenges, and rewards of recording his books for the first time.

    Jane says: "I enjoyed it."
    "I enjoyed it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It’s short. 31 minutes. I liked learning about Woody’s past. He was not a good student. He did not like to read books. But he read some solely for the purpose of dating - because the women he dated liked to talk about books. I would have liked a longer interview.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mere Anarchy

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Woody Allen
    • Narrated By Woody Allen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (344)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (199)

    For the first time ever, hear Woody Allen’s Mere Anarchy in the author’s own distinctive and hilarious voice. Here, in his first short-story collection since his three classics Getting Even, Without Feathers, and Side Effects, Allen has managed to write a book that answers the most profound questions of human existence.

    Diane says: "What can I say…?"
    "2 ½ stars. Ok but not as funny as I expected."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had a few chuckles but no laugh-out-louds. Sometimes my mind wandered. I like his weird mind. Woody Allen has a strange relationship with food. Several times he mentioned something odd with food. Many of the vignettes did not have endings. He just sort of stopped.

    Woody Allen narrated this. It was better than his narration of some of his earlier works. In those he spoke too fast, not pausing enough for ideas to settle and for a laugh.

    Genre: humorous thoughts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aftershock

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Jill Sorenson
    • Narrated By Piper Goodeve
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    As an emergency paramedic, Lauren Boyer is dedicated and highly capable. Until an earthquake strikes, trapping her beneath the freeway with a group of strangers - including Iraq war veteran Garrett Wright.… Handsome and take-charge Garrett aids Lauren in her rescue efforts, even as the steely look in his eyes seems to hide dark secrets. When a gang of escaped convicts goes on the attack, Garrett's bravery makes him more than a courageous bystander to Lauren. If they can save the others before time runs out, maybe, just maybe, they can explore the fire igniting between them.

    Diva says: "A bit disappointing - not Jill Sorenson's Best"
    "2 ½ stars."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It’s no fun to root for good guys who keep losing.

    Nine people are trapped in a closed area. Escaped prisoner Jeb has a gun and uses it to take food and water from the others for himself and Mickey. Garrett and the good guys try to ambush and fight Jeb and Mickey, but they repeatedly lose until the end. The reasons they lost were bad luck, incompetence, lack of smart planning, and some heroine stupidity. Some of these are mentioned in Spoilers below.

    CAUTION SPOILERS:
    Garrett sneaks up on Jeb but his crowbar accidentally makes a noise which alerts Jeb, who starts shooting. Garrett sets a trap, but it’s not well done. Lauren screams in surprise, but Garrett thinks she’s in danger so he abandons his ambush to go to her. Garrett tells Lauren to tie Mickey. She uses tape. Garrett says Mickey will get out of the tape, but he does not tell her to redo it with rope. Mickey gets out. Lauren is stupid and gets too close to Mickey and he grabs her.
    END SPOILERS.

    I was also frustrated with Owen. He is helping the good guys, but they don’t like him because they think he is a hate monger. He should have told them one sentence. “He got his Nazi tattoos because it was the only way to survive in prison.” But no. He lets the good guys think he’s a white supremacist. And he’s not. I felt this was an excuse for conflict and it did not fit Owen’s motivations. Owen was my favorite character. He had been a victim of his environment. He was a good guy. He did good things for others even when against his own interest.

    The set up was good for some exciting suspense. The character definitions were good. But what the author had the characters do was not. I’d prefer my hero have better skills.

    There were a few brief sex scenes, not much detail. There was one attempted rape, stopped before he unzipped.

    There’s not much relationship development between Garrett and Lauren. It was sexual lust amidst survival disaster. I thought Lauren got mad at Garrett for unfair reasons, so I didn’t like her as much. There was a happy ending for them.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Piper Goodeve was good.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: romantic suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (694)
    Performance
    (628)
    Story
    (638)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Marci says: "So Disappointing"
    "Not the entertainment I was expecting."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Story lines were not finished.

    I felt like Grisham wanted to educate people about problems in Appalachia - maybe to get support to change laws and get help for problems. So he wrote a novel about a lawyer who goes to Appalachia to work in a free legal aid clinic. Most of the book is sad stories about people who are hurting and come to the lawyers for help. The worst problems are black lung disease caused by coal mining. Coal companies won’t pay workers’ claims. The companies drag things out in the legal system for years before paying any benefits to sick workers. There are also cancers from coal related pollution. Instead of traditional underground mining, coal companies do strip mining which is like a rape of the land and destroys water sources.

    I love Grisham because he makes characters so alive, and he does that here. But it was not a fun read. One main character gets killed but the rest are ok at the end, which made the ending sort of happy. There were two major court cases that were not finished, in Spoiler below.

    CAUTION SPOILERS:
    One case finished, but it was going to be appealed. The other case had important evidence that caused a lot of suspense with bad guys trying to get it. That trial had not begun when the book was finished.
    END SPOILERS.

    I was disappointed that a murder was not solved. Was the author in a rush to finish this book? The only reason I did not give it 2 stars was because I did not wish it would be over. I just wanted more so it would be complete.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Catherine Taber did a good job. She had a quiet serious tone to her voice which fit the sad serious material. She did men well. Some female narrators lower their voice in a way that makes men sound weird. This narrator did not do that.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: legal fiction with a little suspense.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hot Springs

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen Hunter
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (130)

    Earl Swagger is tough as hell. But even tough guys have their secrets. Plagued by the memory of his abusive father, apprehensive about his own impending parenthood, Earl is a decorated ex-Marine of absolute integrity — and overwhelming melancholy. Now he’s about to face his biggest, bloodiest challenge yet. It is the summer of 1946, organized crime’s garish golden age, when American justice seems to have gone to seed for good.

    Jonathan says: "Good start to a series"
    "3 ½ stars for the story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A lot of good action and suspense. But audiobook narrator’s BREATHS hurt the book.

    Neat characters. I loved the Earl Swagger tough-guy-soldier fighting mobsters. He uses automatic guns and rifles. Great use of land around him during fights. I had some problems with it, but I still enjoyed it.

    One part made me mad. I kind of don’t want to trust this author. Becker the prosecuting attorney hires a dozen soldiers headed by Earl and D.A. Becker wants them to raid gambling casinos owned by the mob. The first two raids are a success. A bunch of mobsters get killed plus three innocent bystanders. So Becker now says keep doing what you are doing but you can’t use automatic weapons or wear bullet proof vests. WHAT??? The mobsters use automatic weapons. In my opinion Earl should have walked away. It was a stupid request. If Becker doesn’t want them to raid anymore, just stop. Don’t ask these guys to fight with their hands tied and get killed. It reminded me of the Vietnam War - same thing happened to our soldiers there.

    Some readers might be sensitive to the child abuse. Earl’s dad severely and repeatedly beat Earl’s younger brother who killed himself. There’s some back story about this.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Eric G. Dove was fantastic. He did all voices well. Even women. They did not sound like effeminate gay guys. How can a man do women so well? I’d love to give him a 5 for performance, but I’m trying to get some attention for the microphone problem below which is why I gave it a low rating.

    Mr. Dove used a microphone that picked up his BREATHS. They were annoying and distracting. Many times I had to tell myself “try not to listen to the breaths.” Narrators: PLEASE listen to the recording of yourself and if you hear your breaths, use a different microphone - or stand farther away from it.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: action suspense thriller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All I Need Is You

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Johanna Lindsey
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    In the American Wild West the law is young, and men and women must make their own justice. Casey Stratton has left behind an unbearable situation at home and set off on her own, relying on her courage and inventiveness to survive where most women could not. Damien Rutledge III is a society man from New York, thrusting aside his life of refinement and sophistication in favor of a more basic need - revenge.

    Elizabeth says: "All I Need Is You"
    "Narrator hurt the story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Parts were fun, but I was annoyed with the no-one-says-how-they-feel-big-misunderstanding.

    The first half was fun watching Casey, age 17, as a bounty hunter. Men think she’s a boy because she’s tall and wears men’s clothes. They call her Kid. She’s a fast draw. We don’t watch her hunt and catch outlaws, but we are told that she caught several. Most of the danger is when bad guys come to rob or kill her and she has to deal with them. And then the main part of the story is she and Damian travel together to find Henry who killed Damian’s father. During this journey they fall in love. But it lacked passion and chemistry.

    I feel like the author was following a recipe. Put in a bunch of things that sounded good and called it done. There was no depth. Nothing special. But I enjoyed a lot of it. It was an ok way to pass time - until the separation. They both love each other, but each one thinks the other does not. No one says how they feel. They have sex twice, yet they each thinks the other doesn’t want them. There’s a lot of internal pondering and anguish about he/she doesn’t love me. They separate and are miserable.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR - Sandra Burr.
    She reads like she’s in a hurry. She doesn’t pause when she should. The worst thing was her voice for Damian. She lowered her voice in a way that made him sound weird, wooden, and constipated – and the emotional interpretations were off. It did not feel like Damian had interest or desire for Casey. His voice was monotone. This was not a sexy sound. Some female narrators can do a sexy man, but not Ms. Burr.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: western historical romance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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