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Jennifer

BERKELEY, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 36 purchased in 2014
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11

  • Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (925)
    Performance
    (834)
    Story
    (828)

    August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

    Jay says: "A Beautiful Story"
    "Everyone Should Read This"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Going to a new school is always hard, especially if you have to be the new kid in a middle school, but for Augie it is even more difficult than that. August has never attended school before; he has been home-schooled because he could not attend consistently since he was busy having so many surgeries.

    He had to have surgeries because he was born with several different facial malformations. His face does not look like everyone else’s; he is used to being around people who know him and love him, but to suddenly find himself in a school with a bunch of adolescents he doesn’t know is pretty scary. He is not sure if he will find a place to fit in, and if everyone will get to know who he is beyond his outward appearance.

    Who is the real Augie and can he manage to get known for something other than his unusual face?

    If you enjoy reading books about kids who overcome obstacles, you might also enjoy Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erksine, Anything But Typical, by Nora Raleigh Baskin, or Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A World Away

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Nancy Grossman
    • Narrated By Jessica Lawshe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Sixteen-year-old Eliza Miller has never made a phone call, never tried on a pair of jeans, never sat in a darkened theater waiting for a movie to start. She’s never even talked to someone her age who isn’t Amish, like her. When she leaves her close-knit family to spend the summer as a nanny in suburban Chicago, a part of her can’t wait to leave behind everything she knows. She can’t imagine the secrets she will uncover, the friends she will make, the surprises and temptations of a way of life so different from her own.

    Jennifer says: "Amish Girl Take a Trial Run in the 21st Century"
    "Amish Girl Take a Trial Run in the 21st Century"
    Overall
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    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Eliza has lived her whole life sheltered from modern technology, and she has also lived a life free of modern problems like materialism, consumerism and deceit. Eliza and her family are Amish and she has never left the Amish community where they do not have telephones, movie theatres, or shopping malls. They do not listen to music, and the girls do not wear pants.

    Once in their lives Amish adolescents are offered an opportunity to see what it is like to live among “the English” – as they call people living outside the Amish community. During this important year, called Rumspringa, Amish teens are allowed to explore the world outside and decide which life they prefer. Once they promise themselves to the Amish, they cannot leave without shame, so the decision is made very thoughtfully.

    A World Away is the story of Eliza’s Rumspringa year. The magic of technology in all its forms is exciting, but there are things about her home she misses terribly. Which life will she choose?

    If you enjoy reading about adolescents challenged to make difficult decisions, you might also like reading: The Year of Impossible Goodbyes, by Sook Nyul Chol, or Small Acts of Amazing Courage, by Gloria Whelan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Creatures: Beautiful Creatures, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    Overall
    (3217)
    Performance
    (2706)
    Story
    (2720)

    Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

    FanB14 says: "Adequate for Adults"
    "Now A Movie"
    Overall
    Performance
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    Any additional comments?

    Everything always stays the same in Gaitlin County, so when new girl – and not just any new girl, but someone really dark and different – comes to school, Ethan notices. Of course, there is also the fact that she has been in his dreams all summer, and that he can hear her voice in his head, even when they are not in the same room.

    Turns out the new girl, Lena, is not just different, she is a caster; people in her family all have extraordinary talents like the ability to change the weather, or spy on people through the eyes of your dog. In the south, the worlds of darkness and light have always lived closely together, but it is not something the good people of Gaitlin County talk about aloud. Until the day that one of their people (Ethan) befriends one of the people of the night (Lena). These two worlds are about to collide and Ethan and Lena are right in the middle of it.

    If you enjoy stories about other worlds, or enchanted love stories or ghost stories, you might also like Everlost, by Neal Shusterman, or Beastly, by Alex Flinn, or A Greyhound of a Girl, by Roddy Doyle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Things

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Clay Carmichael
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Morton
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Following the death of her mentally ill mother, 11-year-old Zoë moves to North Carolina to live with her uncle, a metal sculptor named Henry. It doesn’t take long for the sharp-tongued Zoë to warm to some of the town’s eccentric residents, including a woods dwelling teenager, who helps Zoë in unexpected ways.

    Jennifer says: "Nominated for California Young Reader Medal"
    "Nominated for California Young Reader Medal"
    Overall
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    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Zoe, who is eleven years old, has had a hard life already. She hasn’t grown up with a lot of motherly affection or concern, and she has had to deal with a number of her mother’s boyfriends stealing her mother’s attention over the years as well.

    When Zoe’s mother dies, her Uncle Henry takes her in, but Zoe is not sure what she thinks about the arrangement. Having been left to her own devices all her life has made Zoe very independent and capable; she knows how to take care of herself, but she is not sure if she can ever bring herself to trust anyone else.

    Adults in her life have not really panned out, is Uncle Henry up for the challenge of a wild thing like Zoe?

    If you enjoy books with characters facing a challenging family situation, you might also like Waiting for Normal, by Leslie Connor, or Guitar Boy, by M.J. Auch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Name Is Mina

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By David Almond
    • Narrated By Charlie Sanderson
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    'There's an empty notebook lying on the table in the moonlight. It's been there for an age. I keep on saying that I'll write a journal. So I'll start right here, right now. I open the book and write the very first words: My name is Mina and I love the night. Then what shall I write? I can't just write that this happened then this happened then this happened to boring infinitum. I'll let my journal grow just like the mind does, just like a tree or a beast does, just like life does. Why should a book tell a tale in a dull straight line?'

    Mike says: "A Delightful Study of Words and Character"
    "Skellig Sequel Stands Alone"
    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    Mina lives with her mother and she loves sitting in the tree in her front yard. The view from her tree is “extra-ordinary”! Sometimes there are baby birds and other beautiful and amazing things she can see from the tree, but most of all, Mina loves the night.

    Even though Mina bubbles with optimism and joy, her life has not been easy. Her grandfather who used to send her treasures from his travels has given her his last gift, she has a lot of trouble fitting in at school; finding friends and living up to teachers’ expectations, and she misses her dear dad who died. Mina is trying to figure out how to be herself and still find a place in the world around her; luckily her surroundings are brimming with surprising possibilities.

    If you like books about young people who have trouble fitting in, you might also enjoy Deliver Us From Normal, by Kate Klise, or Anything but Typical, by Nora Raleigh Baskin, or Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli.

    This is the companion book to Skellig, by David Almond, if you are home you can watch this youtube book trailer about Skellig.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Incarceron: Incarceron Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Catherine Fisher
    • Narrated By Kim Mai Guest
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (318)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (141)

    Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a 17-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible.

    Laurene says: "Exciting and imaginative"
    "Another Take on Dystopia"
    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    Claudia is living a nobel life, like a princess in a castle, but to her home feels like a prison.

    Finn’s home really is a prison, but a prison like no other. This place is so vast it feels like a kingdom full of villages, and cities, forests, and swamps, beggars, thieves and people with power and influence; this is Incarceron. The place itself seems to have a mind of its own, it shifts and transforms itself to make life difficult for its inmates; escape feels so impossible that most are making the best of their life within the walls.

    Finn is new to Incarceron; most believe he was born there, but he has glimpses of another life, another place, that make him wonder, and so he seeks to escape this dark metalic world.

    A crystal key brings Claudia and Finn together, but the prison does not give up its people easily, even if it is to the warden’s daughter.

    If you enjoy books about dystopian future world, or fantasy kingdoms, you might also enjoy: Maze Runner, by James Dashner, or Graceling, by Kristin Cashore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Wes Moore, Tavis Smiley (afterword)
    • Narrated By Wes Moore
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (118)

    Two kids with the same name lived in the same decaying city. One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.

    Jennifer says: "Biography and Autobiography in One"
    "Biography and Autobiography in One"
    Overall
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    What other book might you compare The Other Wes Moore to and why?

    If you enjoy reading biographies of contemporary people, you might also enjoy The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba, or Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different, by Karen Blumenthal, or Aung San Suu Kyi, by Sherry O'Keefe.


    Any additional comments?

    The author Wes Moore had a challenging childhood. His father died when he was very young, his mom had to work multiple jobs to support their family after his death, and they had to live in neighborhoods plagued with drugs and gangs.

    Moore survived his turbulent youth, however, and went on to become a decorated war veteran, college graduate, and Rhodes scholar. It was when he was in South Africa on his Rhodes fellowship that his mother told him about another young man, about his age, and from his home town, who had just been arrested for robbing a jewelry store; the robbers had killed a security guard. This young man’s name was also Wes Moore, and this Wes Moore was convicted to a life sentence in prison.

    The shock that there could be another person, with his identical name, growing up in a very similar situation who ended up in such a different place made the author want to understand the other Wes Moore, and how their lives had diverged so significantly. This is the biography and autobiography of the two Wes Moores.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pathfinder: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Kirby Heyborne, Don Leslie, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2733)
    Performance
    (2057)
    Story
    (2073)

    Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg’s strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him - secrets about Rigg’s own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.

    Paul says: "Story OK, Narration Mixed"
    "Science Fiction Master Does it Again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What other book might you compare Pathfinder to and why?

    If you enjoy science fiction stories about other worlds or alternate realities you will also enjoy the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card. You might also like Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher, or Insignia, by S.J. Kincaid.


    Any additional comments?

    Rigg is a pathfinder; he sees the paths of all living creatures. To him these paths look like signature brush strokes left on the ground where people walked, and these paths stretch back through time for thousands of years. His father has helped him cultivate this unique ability his whole life; his father also made sure he was skilled in logic and reasoning. Rigg cannot see a use for some of his education; he and his father are hunters and trappers in the forest after all, when will he ever need to know the language of the nobility?

    When Rigg’s father dies in an accident on one of their hunting trips, his life suddenly changes. Rigg’s past is not as simple as he believed, in fact the world itself might not be what everyone thinks. Rigg and a friend from the village find themselves on a journey full of danger and mystery where time does not always behave the way we are accustomed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Unexpected

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Sharon Creech
    • Narrated By Heather O' Neill, Erin Moon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (13)

    I had big thoughts to match the big wind. I wondered if we find the people we need when we need them. I wondered if we attract our future by some sort of invisible force, or if we are drawn to it by a similar force. I felt I was turning a corner and that change was afoot. In the little town of Blackbird Tree live two orphan girls: one Naomi Deane, brimming with curiosity, and her best friend, Lizzie Scatterding, who could talk the ears off a cornfield. Naomi has a knack for being around when trouble happens.

    Jennifer says: "Adolescent Fairy Tale"
    "Adolescent Fairy Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Naomi and Lizzie are two orphan girls living in a small American town with many albeit distant connections to Ireland. One day boy called Finn falls out of a tree practically onto Naomi’s head, and this begins the magical mystery. Who is “this Finn boy” and who is the Dingle Dangle man who has been seen around town, and what do they have to do with the orphan girls? The girls’ story is told alternating with a tale of others who live across the ocean in the old country, and, of course, they are somehow all connected.

    The Great Unexpected reads like a modern Irish fairy tale; if you enjoy fairy tales, or realistic fantasy you might also like: A Dog For Life, by L.S. Matthews or My Name is Mina and I Love the Night, by David Almond.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Mighty Miss Malone

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Christopher Paul Curtis
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    "We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men.

    C. Theimer says: "Christopher Paul Curtis has done it again"
    "Christopher Paul Curtis is Awesome"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Mighty Miss Malone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    ten!


    What other book might you compare The Mighty Miss Malone to and why?

    If you like historical fiction you might like other titles by Christopher Paul Curtis such as: Bud Not Buddy, Elijah of Buxton, or The Watson's Go To Birmingham.


    Any additional comments?

    Deza lives with her parents and her older brother, Jimmie, in Gary, Indiana. It is 1936, and even though her parents are both hardworking people, the Depression has taken its toll on their family. Her father lost his job a while back and even though he is always looking for work there is just nothing to be found.

    Deza makes her family proud because she is the gets the highest marks in her class and does her best to keep her brother in line as well; this is how she earns her nickname, “the Mighty Miss Malone.” It is a good thing she is mighty, because their family is put through the wringer; it seems like whatever can go wrong does go wrong, and the question is can Deza tough enough to help her family make through the terrible trials of the Depression?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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