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Jen

ravenna, OH, United States | Member Since 2007

ratings
184
REVIEWS
139
FOLLOWING
22
FOLLOWERS
101
HELPFUL VOTES
488

  • Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Mitchell Zuckoff
    • Narrated By Mitchell Zuckoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (131)

    On November 5, 1942, a U.S. cargo plane slammed into the Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 on the search-and-rescue mission also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. The U.S. military launched a second daring rescue operation, but the Grumman Duck amphibious plane sent to find the men vanished. In this thrilling adventure, Mitchell Zuckoff offers a spellbinding account of these harrowing crashes and the fate of the survivors and their would-be saviors.

    keasha says: "Best book I've read in a long time!"
    "WOW What a History Lesson!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    True story made a fiction by assumed conversation and thoughts of those in the initial 1942 story – I think the term now is Creative Nonfiction. Frozen In Time is essentially two stories intertwined. The first being the WWII tale of heroism as three American military planes crash in the unforgiving Greenland. Then there is the 2012 modern tale of continuing recovery resulting from those events.


    The men involved in the 1942 saga were brought to life through Mitchell Zuckoff’s writing. Their endurance and selflessness needed to be recounted as a reminder to each of us that even on our worst days, our struggles are so minimal and our sacrifices are so few. At times the numbers, dates and the large ensemble seemed to blur, but as I got involved in the individuals, their plight and their efforts – that ended. Frankly, I had to write out a score cared to help me over that hump.


    The modern day part of the book is the struggle and prostituting involved in the continuing efforts of recovery. I fear for Mitchell Zuckoff’s wife. I sure hope she didn’t find out through this book about the credit cards and the state of her home’s mortgage.


    Fans of books like Into the Wild or Into Thin Air will find this an equally, if not better read. At times I was on the edge of my seat or stayed awake just to find out what happened to one of the men. Though I enjoyed Zuckoff’s writing better than Krakauer – Zuchoff shouldn’t be narrating. Not the worst, but a professional could have brought more to this story. I try not to fault him for that though too much because I worry that he needed that royalty for a VISA payment.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Dorothy Gilman
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (792)
    Performance
    (678)
    Story
    (683)

    Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. This first in the series sends Emily on her first case after she successfully persuades a skeptical CIA recruitment officer that she is the best person for the job.

    Barbara says: "Barbara Rosenblatt: THE Voice!"
    "Past It's Prime"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a dated American Miss Marple series. We’ll never see espionage like this again. Some books are timeless and I don’t think this is one of them. Had I realized how dated this was, I would not have ordered this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Moment of Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Shelly King
    • Narrated By Kristen Sieh
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Maggie Duprès, recently "involuntarily separated from payroll" at a Silicon Valley startup, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly's Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along. When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance-even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley's Lover, a book she hasn't encountered since college, in an evening.

    Jen says: "Full of Heart and Wit"
    "Full of Heart and Wit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Moment of Everything is an adult coming of age story about everything and nothing. Shelly King's debut novel revolves around a group of friends and acquaintances that have the common bond of books. It's entertaining and witty, though at times I was unsure of the plot. Her characters are of the variety that you quickly identify with and grow to love. If you have a beloved old book store, you will immediately feel very much at home within the pages of this book. The author detailed description will have you smelling the old books and looking for the ever present cat.

    At one point I got a bit nervous for previous fictions I have read about bookstores soon become boring. There is just so far one can go when you write a book about books. The Moment of Everything worked through that well to tell a lovely tale of love and friendship.

    Protagonist, thirty four year old, Maggie Dupres is still trying to find her place in life. An unemployed techie with a library science degree, she follows her passion while finding a way to have a career working with friends.

    A nice light read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mean Streak

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (206)

    Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her. While police suspect Jeff of "instant divorce," Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won't even tell her his name.

    Carol says: "WOW"
    "Oh Sandi, You've Done It Again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With an author as prolific as Sandra Brown, you can’t hit one out of the ballpark every time. With this one she did, for this novel is exceptional. I am not a fan of her romance genre. So, with her books, I rely on the synopsis and reader reviews before purchasing.


    Mean Streak is a unique survival thriller with one twist, or surprise, after another. Dr. Emory Charbonneau is training for a marathon. While running on a remote trail things take a turn for the worse and there is the beginning of a roller coaster of events that just snow balls and melts over and over till the very end. I though the characters were interesting and their plight plausible. The secondary characters were equally as engaging.


    Narration by Jonathan Davis was an added benefit. He’s so effortless and always just spot on.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Three Wishes

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Heather Wilds
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (39)

    In this wise, witty, hilarious new novel, we follow the Kettle sisters through their 33rd year, as they struggle to survive their divorced parents' dating each other, their technologically savvy grandmother, a cheating husband, champagne hangovers, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a threesome.

    Jen says: "It's Still Moriarty!"
    "It's Still Moriarty!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    Liane Moriarty has a style that she has fine tuned to perfection. Australian character studies with wit and humor involving modern sincere people. Her characters are quirky, sharp and clever. Their problems are often a bit outlandish mixed in with those that are similar enough to our own so that we can relate.

    Fresh off her most recent novel, that I loved, I decided to purchase this re-release of her 2004 first novel. A tale of adult triplets that are closely bonded though each possessing a unique personality.

    The problem I had with this novel is that though this is a story with three heroines, none is particularity redeeming or likable. I found one to be flighty, one to be boring and the other to be sourly mean. Without the amount of humor and sharp wit that I have grown to love in Moriarty's more recent work, I soon lost interest. Towards the middle I was plodding through to the end rather than enjoying the trip along the way. Though this book has good elements, in comparison to her later work, it's dull and lacking. It left me wondering why this needed re-released.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (966)
    Performance
    (885)
    Story
    (882)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Marci says: "Great story. Genius writing"
    "Could NOT have loved more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's the whole deal. It's got intrigue. It's a deadpan humor. It's serious and scary. Then just when you think you have it figured out - you get a surprise from nowhere. As the book nears the end - you slow down so to savor it.

    If you have ever had school age children, you know there is a fine line between the parent/teacher's group and your own high school experience. This book nailed the elementary parent group phenomenon.

    The narration of this book is stellar. What a perfect combination.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Hampton Sides
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (53)

    In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: The North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever." The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship.

    Dennis Hinkamp says: "Great found story"
    "BEST Non-Fiction of the Year. Just Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story



    Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding novel written about the epic naval expedition to the North Pole taken by 33 men in the late 1800’s. It was believed that a rim of ice circled the top of the globe that, once broken, lead to an warmer “open polar sea.’” The North Pole would then be easy sailing. Their passion for adventure leads them to years and years of survival and endurance in the most extreme of conditions.

    Hampton Sides details this adventure in a thriller that had me sneak reading throughout the day and staying up late into the night. His heartfelt portraits of these heroic figures using memoirs, crew’s journals, naval records and private correspondence created unforgettable characters that I soon cared very deeply about.


    What an incredible, well told, tale.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Dollbaby: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Laura Lane McNeal
    • Narrated By January Lavoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (102)

    When Ibby Bell's father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father's urn for good measure. Fannie's New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been - and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum - is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie's black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.

    Stacy says: "Great Story"
    "A Big-Hearted Coming-of-Age Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent southern coming of age story spanning the 40's through to the early 70's, though the majority of the story takes place in the 60's. A window to the history of civil rights in New Orleans. The story takes a hold of you from the beginning with rich colorful characters and holds you throughout the book. Besides numerous story lines, there are a number of little cultural awakenings and interesting tidbits of life in the past that add to this book. I most enjoyed reading about the meals of regional foods or foods that just are not made any more.

    For a first work, this is just such a pleasant read. It could have used additional editing to pull in the dangling plots to make it a more cohesive novel. I also wish there was a clear protagonist throughout. The theme of the entire household being a united front was refreshing. What a satisfying ending!

    January LaVoy narration was a perfect choice. She enhanced the work.

    I'll be watching for Laura Lane McNeal's future works.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Mary Kubica
    • Narrated By Lindy Nettleton, Johnny Heller, Tom Taylorson, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (431)
    Performance
    (385)
    Story
    (388)

    Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, Colin Thatcher seems at first like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

    VanDelay says: "Cheap Trick"
    "Suspenseful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The ONLY comparison this book has to the book Gone Girl is the word 'girl' in the title of both. Such a shameful advertising trick will only distract from this book and should be a lesson to the publisher. Now that falsehood is taken care of, I can move ahead.

    This book has redeeming qualities. Good Girl is a suspenseful thriller in the way that an Alfred Hitchcock piece would be considered such. The bulk of the book takes place with two people alone in a remote cabin. Calling it a thriller does not mean, in this case, plenty of action. It's more akin to a Hitchcock thriller where each insecurity is cause for anxiety and the reader is suspended wondering how it will turn out. After days of wondering - the ending is still surprising.

    A good rich girl is missing. Because of her father's political clout, the police are called to investigate her disappearance. The chapters take turns weaving a tale recounting the recent, current and ancient history's of the hostage, her mother, the police detective in charge and the kidnapper.

    I was not happy with this book when I finished. There's Swiss cheese in the plot if you go looking for it. The detective is a likable stand up guy and does a great job finding leads using remote clues then totally misses a BIG one that creates the ending. I wish that would have tied up better.

    It's been days since I have completed this book and I am still thinking about it. I find myself considering each of the characters and their lot in life. The most interesting is the poor kidnapper. A lug that spends his entire life trying to keep afloat and at just the minute he allows himself a minute of personal satisfaction - that darned karma.

    A book that has you thinking about it long after it is complete is money twice spent and double the enjoyment.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Where the River Ends

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Charles Martin
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    He was a fishing guide and struggling artist from a south George trailer park. She was the beautiful only child of South Carolina's most powerful senator. Yet once Doss Michaels and Abigail Grace Coleman met by accident, they each felt they'd found their true soul mate.

    Jen says: "Perfect Ending."
    "Perfect Ending."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Charles Martin writes so eloquently and descriptively, once bitten by one of his books, it’s easy to go back for more. Often set along rivers and under trees the stories create peacefulness when reading. Also, a great choice for those readers with descriptive sexual content issues for Charles Martin can write a hot love story without that. I will admit though in this novel it did drag a bit in the ½ to ¾’s area for me before finishing better than you could imagine.

    A love story told from the middle out in a man’s prospective, it is not overly thought provoking or sentimental. This is a story about a man trying to make the last days of his wife’s life exactly how she wants it to be. I think what makes this book so enjoyable and interesting was the depth that one can love when it’s not easy. It’s not easy to see the best in people when they are not at their best, but if there is true love - it's never a burden.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Declaring Spinsterhood

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jamie Lynn Braziel
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (118)

    Emma Bailey is fed up with the dating scene, and if she hears her mother nag one more time about getting married…well, she’s had it, and she wants everyone to know it. In a moment of clarity (or insanity?), she announces to the world that she will never marry. No husband and no kids; no worries about diapers, driving lessons, or divorce. Her friends are there for her, but they’re also involved in their own lives and loves, so off she goes into a world of casual dating. But what happens when the avowed spinster, the woman who has supposedly tucked her heart into a safe little space, suddenly realizes that her best friend Brian means more to her?

    Guiselle says: "Juvenile and poorly written"
    "BAD BAD BAD"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I see no reason why this book needs to be read by anyone. Spare yourself the agony now. Frankly I feel a bit duped by Audible for even offering such malarkey and/or forcing a one star review!!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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