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jennifer

BROOKLYN, NY, United States
  • 86
  • reviews
  • 580
  • helpful votes
  • 228
  • ratings
  • The Children

  • A Novel
  • By: Ann Leary
  • Narrated by: Gretchen Mol
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 378
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 337

Charlotte Maynard rarely leaves her mother's home, the sprawling Connecticut lake house that belonged to her late stepfather, Whit Whitman, and the generations of Whitmans before him. While Charlotte and her sister, Sally, grew up at Lakeside, their stepbrothers, Spin and Perry, were welcomed as weekend guests. Now the grown boys own the estate, which Joan occupies by their grace - and a provision in the family trust.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Even better than The Good House!

  • By NMwritergal on 06-07-16

Brilliant family comedy/drama

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-18-17

Ann Leary knows what she's doing. Take a few interesting characters with amusing flaws/quirks, put them in a challenging situation, add an interloper, money, unanswered questions, resentment and humor, and then turn the whole thing upside-down. Witty at times, dark at others. Not only is this a great character study, it's got a riveting plot too.

The level of depth takes this book from good to great. A lively story that kept me engaged, entertained and which moved me deeply.

Thank you Gretchen Mol for your superb narration. Many audiobooks suffer from narration that does not serve the book as much as the performer's ego. Overacting is such a turnoff. Finally, a narrator who gives us a book rather than a self-indulgent performance. Five stars.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Sister

  • By: Louise Jensen
  • Narrated by: Natalie Blass
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,555
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,252
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,250

Grace hasn't been the same since the death of her best friend, Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie's words the last time she saw her and, in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie's. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn't know about her best friend. When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie's father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie's sister, steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and her boyfriend Dan's home. But something isn't right.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great suspense with unsual twists, turns and spill

  • By green ice cream garden on 10-05-16

Great characters, riveting story

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-18-17

Enjoyable psychological thriller with escalating tension and mercifully devoid of a detective. The characters drew me in quickly, because characters with personality disorders often do.
Satisfying listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Everybody Rise

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephanie Clifford
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 214
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 196
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 196

Everyone yearns to belong, to be part of the "in crowd", but how far are you willing to go to be accepted? In the case of bright, funny, and socially ambitious Evelyn Beegan, the answer is much too far.... At 26, Evelyn is determined to carve her own path in life and free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto New York's glamorous Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she's forced to embrace them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A cautionary tale

  • By Nerdy Girl on 08-24-15

Good story with mismatched narration

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-18-17

Wannabe rich girl/social climber weasels her way into an elite group of friends. She makes some pretty stupid mistakes of course, which have their consequences. A fun, engaging story. But...

The narration: This is a novel about twentysomethings in modern NYC. So why does the narrator choose to voice the characters like a parody of Edith Wharton society ladies in their twilight years? Perhaps the director made her do it. Anyway, it bothered me to the point of almost returning the book. Instead, I went to the narrator's Audible page and tried to "get to know her". It helped.

(Katherine Kellgren, if you're reading this: I watched your audible studio visit video and found you incredibly likable and about two decades younger than I pictured. You're delightful. I wish you'd have been more true to the story and used a more modern, less exaggerated voice.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Inseparables

  • A Novel
  • By: Stuart Nadler
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Kelly, Lauren Fortgang, Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 36

In less than a year, Henrietta has lost her husband and nearly all of her money and is about to lose her hard-won anonymity. After a lifetime spent trying to outrun the humiliation her own book caused her, Henrietta has reluctantly agreed to a reissue of The Inseparables, the salaciously filthy and critically despised best seller she wrote decades earlier.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Boring

  • By jennifer on 12-11-16

Boring

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-11-16

You get one life. Why waste 11 hours of it on this mediocre experience? I've squandered four already and can't justify going any further. It sucks to pay for a book that's un-finishable. Definitely in the 'return' category.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Nix

  • A Novel
  • By: Nathan Hill
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 21 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,896
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,323
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,299

It's 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson - college professor, stalled writer - has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn't seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she's reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the Internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high school sweetheart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nathan Hill is an exceptional storyteller.

  • By Bonny on 09-13-16

Engrossing, transporting, intelligent

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-11-16

Novels which meander through the pasts and presents of multiple characters can be confusing in audiobook format. I find myself needing to rewind often and, in some cases, to draw diagrams of characters and timelines for reference. Not so with THE NIX.

This is a captivating story, so five stars for entertainment value alone.
Additional praise for the cultural relevance and brilliant but subtle social commentary on the author's part. It's a novel which stimulates the intellect as well as greatly entertains.

Initially I was put off by the premise, which seemed sprawling and with too many 'ingredients' (60's counterculture! Online gaming! Political injustice! Norwegian folktales! A failed author!) But surprise: these seemingly excessive plot points wove together harmonically. I was pleasantly satisfied to find myself engrossed from the start. And never once needed to compile a cheat sheet of characters' names and contexts.

Lastly, a round of applause for Ari Fliakos, a consistently excellent narrator who has become one of my absolute favorites. Narrators, like foods and wines, are subject to one's personal taste, so I can't guarantee that you will love him as much as I do. Suffice to say I appreciate his talent for conveying the subtleties of character with the appropriate tone. Never over-acts, never annoys me... and most importantly, never performs female voices in a fake, insulting falsetto like 95% of male narrators do.

A solid and exceptional listening experience. A+

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • This Is Where I Leave You

  • By: Jonathan Tropper
  • Narrated by: Ramon De Ocampo
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,015
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,459
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,475

The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family - including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister - have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose 14-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Humorous, but Flat

  • By FanB14 on 07-08-13

Solid family drama

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-20-16

This book is in the category of movies like "Dan In Real Life" and "The Family Stone".
The Family Drama.

I enjoy these family drama stories for their simple ability to entertain without challenging the intellect. A steady diet of them is humdrum, sure. But sometimes you just don't feel like doing mental acrobatics with an audiobook that requires note-taking and rewinding.
Or being on an emotional rollercoaster. Or having your blood pressure rise because the action is nuts. Yes, sometimes you just want to passively enjoy a decent narrative.

So here it is: a good story that won't bore you. If that's what you're looking for, go for it.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

  • A Novel
  • By: Dominic Smith
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,362
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,237
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,234

In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke's in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain - a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Story Definitely NOT a Forgery!

  • By KarKinz on 05-13-16

Hard to get into.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-20-16

So why did I give it such a high rating?
The novel is excellent.
I didn't quite discover that until I actually read it though.

Listening to this one is a bit of a slog. My mind wandered constantly and I missed many of the subtle points which make this story exceptional. I put it aside several times, actually, thinking I'd return it.

This is a story with a lot of nuance that builds to a quiet explosion at the end. Quite poignant. But it took me several re-listens and ultimately a reading to get there. So I can't recommend the audio format.

Edoardo Ballerini's narration doesn't really do it for me. I've listened to him countless times and appreciate his skill, but the quality of his voice just doesn't please me. I'm sorry Edoardo-- I'm sure you're a likable fellow!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Storm Sister

  • The Seven Sisters, Book 2
  • By: Lucinda Riley
  • Narrated by: Noreen Leighton, Rachel Lincoln
  • Length: 21 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 773
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 709
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 708

A talented sailor, Ally is about to compete in one of the world's most challenging yacht races when she hears the news of her adoptive father's sudden death. In the aftermath of the harrowing events that follow, Ally pursues the clues her father left her to the icy beauty of Norway. There, she begins to discover how her story is inextricably bound to that of a young unknown singer, Anna Landvik, who lived there over 100 years before.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE NARRATION! IT RUINS THE STORY

  • By Agatha Istanbul on 05-13-16

What was I thinking?

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-16

I cannot understand what made me think I would like this book.The moment a harlequin trope of a studly love interest entered the scene I knew I was doomed. I couldn't listen much beyond that point. I guess the performance was okay but also rather breathy and heavy-handed for my taste. I guess if you've got a love of sailing and enjoy romance novels this will be your thing. I'm not passionate about either.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Passenger, Book 1

  • By: Alexandra Bracken
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 528
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 485
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 489

Violin prodigy Etta Spencer had big plans for her future, but a tragedy has put her once-bright career at risk. Closely tied to her musical skill, however, is a mysterious power she doesn't even know she has. When her two talents collide during a stressful performance, Etta is drawn back hundreds of years through time.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Mixed feelings

  • By Margaret on 01-25-16

Boring

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-16

I don't think I can finish this slog of a book. I rated the story highly because it does sound clever and inventive. But the telling of the story is dull and slow. My mind could not stay focused enough to enjoy anything about this book. I couldn't feel anything for the characters, even when shocking things happened. Maybe this one is better read than listened to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Heart Goes Last

  • A Novel
  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,582
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,444
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,447

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around - and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed, and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in...for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thoughtful and intriguing

  • By Stephanie on 10-01-15

Dystopian farce

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-16

Great premise compromised by unbearable characters and execution that falls short. She could have done so much more with the concept. But she decided instead to add a level of comedy that, while clever in itself, took away from the gravity of the dystopian setup. I'm not saying tongue-in-cheek humor has no place in dystopia; in this case it felt like two different novels at times. I'd have been more interested in the day-to-day of this exceptional lifestyle, and the psychological impact it has on the characters. But this element was missing from the novel. Instead we are treated to a few intriguing developments which held great promise yet were blunted by the comedic overtones. This could have been a very differently executed novel--- had she focused on the gravity of the situation and the impact it had on the characters I'd have enjoyed it more. But her choice to seemingly amuse herself with a parody was less to my liking. That said, this book is a solid choice for fans of Atwood's oddball side. It's got a lot of clever ideas and satisfying developments. My taste hoped for more of her serious side.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful