You no longer follow Jen

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Jen

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Jen

ravenna, OH, United States | Member Since 2007

617
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 153 reviews
  • 216 ratings
  • 682 titles in library
  • 144 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
22
FOLLOWERS
115

  • And the Mountains Echoed

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2521)
    Performance
    (2227)
    Story
    (2220)

    Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

    FanB14 says: "Does the End Justify the Means"
    "Intense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hosseini is a masterful storyteller. He seriously weaves stories that break your heart and leave you exhausted from pondering. If you have read and enjoyed his previous works, this book will not disappoint you. It’s a piece of art. I found this to be not as sorrowful as his previous works. That’s not to say that it’s upbeat. I think the area he chooses to base his stories in doesn’t allow for your average feel good stories. This reads like linked short stories when actually it's family story that spans generations and travels in circles.

    I will not spoil the beauty for you by telling way too many details.

    I immediately was hooked. There were several times that I got a bit nervous while listening that I worried that my adoration for the work was about to take a bad turn; the next narrator was difficult to acclimate to at first or a new chapter took a little while to suck me up. Those fears left soon and each chapter left me claiming that was my most favorite.

    1 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Euphoria: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Lily King
    • Narrated By Simon Vance, Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (130)

    English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband, Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery.

    David says: "Anthropologists in Love"
    "The story you think you know is never the real one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is such a powerful book. A breathtaking tale of three Anthropologists studying tribes in New Guinea, in the 1930’s, it’s history when there were still discoveries made on this planet. Based loosely on the lives of Margaret Mead and her second and third husband, the love triangle develops into an intense character study that will have you feeling for each person at more than one point. The underlying tension that the author builds within the story is outstanding. I also liked how she was able to use small antidotes and scenes to paint whole pictures. The short sex scene in the first chapter just lays out every single thing you need to know about this couple’s marriage. What an extremely talented author.

    I thought the audiobook was just a perfect means to tell this story. I enjoyed both of the narrators personally.

    I can’t imagine a better, more surprising ending. I re-listened to the last several chapters several times because I was just so surprised by it.

    If you were on MY Christmas list - you would alllll be getting this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Zevin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (787)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (717)

    The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

    B. Sorensen says: "A Tale for Booksellers"
    "A Magical Tale In the Book Business"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a wonderful soul searching book this turned out to be. For some reason the cover of this book instantly had me thinking it was a fantasy book, which doesn't appeal to me, so I never gave it a nod. Thankfully it was picked by so many for book of the year in fiction on one list. I have to agree this was one of the best books I have read this year. I am so happy I found it.

    Gabrielle Zevin does put the perfect word in the perfect place at the perfect time while laying a heartwarming story. Thankfully it leaves out details, as it spans through decades, and you realize later that you really didn’t need it. What it leaves in is the feeling of hope. There were several times Zevin’s words felt directed to me about issues I am struggling.

    I thought the book was about an independent bookstore on an island on the north east shore. Through the next several decades a host of people are brought together though chance. Each character is beautifully portrayed and we soon care deeply for each of them.

    The humor is smart and the wit is adorable. The ever loving irony of the ereader really made me chuckle.

    I personally found Scott Brick to be a seamless narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Brooke Shields
    • Narrated By Brooke Shields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    Brooke Shields never had what anyone would consider an ordinary life. She was raised by her Newark-tough single mom, Teri, a woman who loved the world of show business and was often a media sensation all by herself. Brooke's iconic modeling career began by chance when she was only 11 months old, and Teri's skills as both Brooke's mother and manager were formidable. But in private she was troubled and drinking heavily.

    Dawn F Horner says: "Wow - a heart touching listen!"
    "Edit is a Good Four Letter Word."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is disappointing and what more… in years to come, I feel that she will regret this effort. Brooke stated that she wanted to write an honest portrayal of her and her mother’s unique relationship. The media’s portrayal of her mother, back in the day, was scandalous. I was quite interested to hear the other side. It didn't get told. Yes, her mother was her greatest advocate, but it’s clear from reading this that what got them to her level of fame was a whole lot of fate. Imagine Brooke’s career had someone knowledgeable been at the helm.

    The first problem with this book is that Brooke, like her mother, thinks/thought more of Brooke. The second problem is that Brooke has a clouded vision of common and uncommon. Brook goes to painful lengths relaying each and every detail of multiple events in her life that were not uncommon from mine. Then in an offhandedly sidebar mentions something off the wall with no story about it. Everyone learned once not to let our mother chose our clothes in high school – it’s uncommon that your mother printed 200 copies of your picture to give as a party favor when you were in high school. I too know that fear each time my single mom left me. What I didn't experience though was regular bar hopping after grade school on the streets of New York City in search of my mother.

    The adult ramblings are especially painful. There is an extremely agonizing in depth reminiscence involving her daughter’s ear piecing that served no purpose other than to waste the reader's time. She finished with a lengthy open letter to her mother that is basically 69 ways of saying the same thing over and over and over.

    One last comment - shameless Lazyboy product plug in a book? Can you spell T.A.C.K.Y?

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Landline

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (229)

    Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply - but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point. Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her - Neal is always a little upset with Georgie - but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go without her.

    Judi says: "Its not Eleanor and Park or Fangirl but its good"
    "Hits You Where You Live"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I saw that this had been chosen by one source as the best fiction of the year, I was stunned since this wasn't even a shadow of my list. I had multiple times deemed this book unworthy of a credit based on lackluster synopsis and reviews. I was convinced that this year’s best book decision was based on the author’s large young adult fan base or the attractiveness of the cover. I immediately ordered the book, moved it up to the top of my pile and dared this book to be any good.

    This is NOT a young adult book. This is the story of a typical marriage told from the point of view of Georgie McCool, the wife. Georgie is devoted to her career and her phone. Her husband is devoted to their children and their home. She is the go getter. Her husband, Neal, takes care of the left overs. Between marriage and children they have exchanged happiness for getting through. Setting the storyline was one long gripe-fest. Admittedly, it’s hard to be completely objective with a tongue in your cheek. At one point I said to myself, “I just can’t believe I have to listen to another seven hours of this women whining.” The author does spend a great amount of time looking up dead horses asses.

    Using a time traveling yellow rotary phone, the author allows Georgie to have the, not uncommon in fiction, “ghosts of Christmas pasts” moment. I am not convinced that she tied up that transformation seamlessly.

    The end of this book is what sold this book and redeemed it for me. The author was very crafty in building momentum and anticipation. Creatively using the love affair that most of us now have with our phones to move her readers through a variety of emotions. It’s been a long time since I have saved the last hour of a book for a time when I could listen with undivided attention because I had no clue how it was going to end and didn't want to miss a word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Crossroad: A Novel of Midnight Texas

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (287)

    From Charlaine Harris, the best-selling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale - populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that's how the locals prefer it. Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It' s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

    Felicia The Geeky Blogger says: "Rocky Start but Good Mystery"
    "More Mr Snuggly Please!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked Midnight Crossroads, the introductory book to a new series by Charlaine Harris. I wanted to love her previous series heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, as much as the rest of the world. I tried, really I did. I just cannot enjoy reading about mythical beings, so caring enough about a flying reappearing French vampire was way out of my comfort zone.

    Why a mystery in a small town that hosts a vampire, a witch and a psychic worked for me, I am not sure but, it did. I think what I liked best about the book is that the psychic is basically a shop owner that sells whatever her clients are into purchasing. The psychic is half con man which I get. The people that think that they are vampires in this book, so far, are odd, keep to themselves and no one is having hot crazy sex with them – which is tolerable place for vampires.

    I anxiously anticipating future installments in this series.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Marilynne Robinson
    • Narrated By Maggie Hoffman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (65)

    Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church - the only available shelter from the rain - and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security. Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood.

    Jen says: "Beautifully Written To A Fault"
    "Beautifully Written To A Fault"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lila is an exquisite book. It’s so well written. The prose is poetic. It’s religious and spiritual. I am sure that some book society somewhere is waiting with bated breath to give it a critical award. Is it a timely book written for the modern reader? I am not so sure.

    This is the third of a trilogy written by the legendary Marilynne Robinson. All of these books take place in the town of Gilead, Iowa. In the first book, Gilead, Robinson writes about faith and Christianity using stories about the town and its minister as characters in her parables. In Home, the same minister is near death, writes a letter about his life to help his son with his struggles with alcoholism. Lila, a prequel, is a story about the unlikely marriage of a very elderly minister and a young drifter. Do not be mistaken in thinking that since this is a prequel you will be able to start this novel then go on to the other two. I was clearly lost for the first few chapters of Lila. I am not fond of books that throw the reader in the deep end, expecting them to figure out how they got here and how to save themselves at the same time.

    Lila is a feral child born in the depression. Unloved by her natural family for no given reason, she is taken and cared for by a drifter, with little means of support, named Doll. Eventually, Lila crosses paths with the elderly generous minister whom saves her from her profound loneliness and they share a depth of love and faith that few see in their lifetime. At times each is the more learned, the needier and the more giving.

    You will not read a better written book. Will this slow moving somber character study keep your interest is a question that I am feeling was the least important consideration of the author when writing this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Runner: A Sam Dryden Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patrick Lee
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (151)

    Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she's running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal - to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the 11-year-old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn't know much beyond her own name, Rachel.

    TR Jensen says: "Wow!!! Great Story and Performance"
    "Title correction: SPRINTER"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This thriller takes off before the second paragraph and goes blistering speed all the way through . With two strong lead characters, one being a child, and a just smattering of secondary cast makes for an intense read with a deep emotional investment. Heavy with technology, with the basic story being about memory and mind control, this book isn't for everyone. If you allow yourself to think outside your box and certainly out of your comfort zone, you will be in for a wild ride.

    I will be checking out Patrick Lee, to see what else he has to offer. This is one fresh thriller – so glad to see that this is number one in a series. I certainly can get into numerous returns of Sam Dryden .

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • An Untamed State

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Roxane Gay
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (45)

    Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom.

    Jen says: "Not for the Faint of Heart"
    "Not for the Faint of Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It’s extremely well written. It’s fluid, strong and its voice is loud and clear. What it spoke to me was the violence against women,violence’s lasting trauma while also addressing the difference of the sexes.

    Some will read this book and come away with it being a story about a lawyer vacationing with her husband in Haiti who is kidnapped and abused. Others will come away with the survival of a woman who was violently stripped of her self-worth. The core of this book is in the eye of reader.

    It’s a hard book to read for the violent incident is brutal and takes up better than one third of the book. Call me Pollyanna, if you must, but I read for entertainment. This book was not enjoyable - nor should it be. One does not have to look far to see unrestrained assaults happening on a variety of levels.Paying to listen to an extra eleven and an a half hours of turbulence, no matter how well written, was not the entertainment I was looking for. I don't feel that I am enlightened from reading it, nor will this story be in my thoughts for a long time.

    Now how does one rate a book like this?

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Pearl That Broke Its Shell

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Nadia Hashimi
    • Narrated By Gin Hammond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    Nadia Hashimi's literary debut is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lisa See. In Kabul, 2007, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age.

    Jen says: "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"
    "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    I found this gem in a list of suggestions for the best books of the year. I couldn't agree more, for this is one of the best books I have listened to in a very long time. Do not be intimidated with the faraway names of the cast. You will easily be able to follow the stories of these women and feel blessed for having heard them.

    The story begins with nine year old Rahima, the middle of five daughters in a family living in Kabul Afghanistan in 2009. To enable the family, her mother makes her a bache posh (to live and dress as a boy through adolescence). Rahima life is overnight vastly elevated. The freedom of being male permits her to perform chores outside the home. But imagine the inevitable reverse transformation. During visits their beloved disabled aunt shares tales of the life of their ancestor, Khala Shaima that also lived in Kabul, but in the early 1900’s. In alternating chapters we follow the women through twenty years of remarkable struggles of endurance and survival. The voice of the great, great grandmother’s gives hope and encouragement to push her granddaughter through her similar strife, a century later.

    Each woman’s story is the depth of emotional highs and lows. You will hold your breath and your heart will beat faster repeatedly for their lives are constantly in peril. Reading this work puts ones ‘personal stresses’ in perspective. It is amazing that in the one hundred years separating these women the oppression is relatively unchanged. Further interesting, to me, is regardless of the land or the century, the ruthless disregard for compassion that women have for one another.

    Nadia Hashimi is just masterful at weaving unimaginable tales in a clear manner while detailing an immense amount of tradition and rules. Hard to believe this is a debut novel. Gin Hammond’s narration is flawless in transparent execution.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Lake: The Lake Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By AnnaLisa Grant
    • Narrated By Em Eldridge
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    At 17, Layla Weston is already starting over. Having lost both her parents and grandparents, and with nowhere else to go, Layla is moving from Florida to a small town in North Carolina to live with the only family she has left: her estranged uncle and aunt. The last five years of Layla’s life were spent appeasing her lessthan-loving grandmother, followed by being her grandfather’s caretaker. Growing old before her time, Layla lost her identity. Now she must learn how to allow herself to be the one who is cared for and loved.

    Jen says: "It Is What It Is"
    "It Is What It Is"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I chose this book because of the high reviews on several other book review sites. I am going to give the audible review that would have made a difference in my purchase. Notice this is currently a trilogy that audible only has one segment of. This is not because it has not been written yet. Secondly, the book was actually released, in the written version, a year and a half prior to the audio version.

    If you are a fan of Nicholas Sparks - you will be a fan of this book.

    A love story trilogy that begins with Layla at 17 years old. The previous five years of her life have been an emotional roller coaster and she is off on a promising different life in a new town with a distant aunt and uncle,

    The plot is interesting and well thought out. What this book lacked, for me, was in the shallowness of the main characters and the female lead's repetitive thoughts. The teenage characters were way more mature and civil than I think are possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.