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The Powell's Playlist | June 18, 2014

Daniel H. Wilson: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Daniel H. Wilson



Like many writers, I'm constantly haunting coffee shops with a laptop out and my headphones on. I listen to a lot of music while I write, and songs... Continue »

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Customer Comments

Just Jennifer has commented on (44) products.

The Obsessive Chronicles by Josh Greenfield
The Obsessive Chronicles

Just Jennifer, June 13, 2013

I like stories about people dealing with mental illness. Not because I like the idea of people suffering through mental illness, but because it lets me know that I'm not alone. It also offers a different insight into some of the things I may be going through. Even though this one is a work of fiction it is still an interesting view point.

I liked Jordan for the most part. He was a bit odd, but I think that's kind of the point of the whole story. I enjoyed looking at the world through his OCD, manic depressive, somewhat humorous personality. It was an interesting point of view to say the least. A bit of the story seemed to be sensationalized - but I think that was necessary. I know when I was going through the worst of my depression (hopefully that was the worst of it) my life was not all that interesting - so to make it something worth reading there had to be some exaggeration.

My favorite aspect of the story was the humor that was strewn throughout the book. It wasn't humor as in it was making fun of mental illness - not at all. But it took some serious situations and looked at them through the eyes of someone who is able to laugh at themselves and their situations. Mental illness isn't funny, but some of the things that happen because of mental illness can be seen as humorous when reminiscing. That's more of the feel I got from this story. Jordan was reminiscing about his life and his mental illnesses and he was able to see the humor that is involved in life.

It was an entertaining story and I enjoyed the point of view.

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for a review. This review is my truthful honest opinion.
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A Heartbeat Away (Quilts of Love) by S Dionne Moore
A Heartbeat Away (Quilts of Love)

Just Jennifer, June 3, 2013

I like historical romance, but I've never actually had the chance to read one from the Civil War. So I was interested to see how this one would play out. I also wanted to see how a quilt could be the focus of a war story. I was pretty happy with it.

Beth is a pretty good character. Like all people she has her strengths and her weaknesses. She wants to be a strong woman - physically and mentally, but in the face of so much death from the war she has to admit her weaknesses. I like when characters have both prominent strengths and weaknesses. It's refreshing to read about someone that I can connect with as being a "real" person. I liked Joe and Gerta also. They were good characters. But for some reason my favorite character in the book was Jim. Through the whole book I had a feeling that he was a lot smarter than he let on. He just seemed like such a lovable character though. I just really connected with him.

Outside of being a romance the story looks at war from the perspective of a soldier and of a civilian. It's kind of interesting to see how even though they're on different sides they still have some of the same reactions to the chaos and destruction going on around them. Beth and Joe have to get through their own personal demons before they can begin to realize what's going on in their hearts. I liked watching the progression and changes they went through as they spend more time together.

The story was very fast-paced. With all the wounded soldiers and the war itself there was rarely a "down" point in the story. It was pretty much go, go, go from the first word. Even when the chaos would calm down a little there was still everything going on with Joe and Beth and Gerta. Because there was so much going on in the story I read it so quickly. It was almost like I was reading fast because the story was so fast. But even with all the chaos it was still a very enjoyable story. I liked the quilt image on the cover and as Beth worked on the quilt I liked having a visual approximation of what it was going to look like.

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for a review. This review is my truthful honest opinion.
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Hazardous Material by Kurt Kamm
Hazardous Material

Just Jennifer, May 30, 2013

I've never known anyone who was part of a bike gang. I don't even think I know someone who's known someone who was in a bike gang. But I find them so fascinating. I like to watch anything I can find on TV and read anything I can find about them. Not sure what draws me to the subject, but it's interesting. So I was really looking forward to reading Hazardous Materials. Bike Gangs and addiction seemed like two subjects that would make for a very interesting book.

I liked the contrast between Bucky and his sister. Bucky's life went in a totally different directions and yet somehow they've kind of ended up on the same path. Both are addicted to drugs. Bucky questions himself a few times throughout the book. Just because he's one of the "Good Guys" does that make him any better than the stereotypical drug addict? Because his drug is "legal" does that make it a better addiction? Bucky's inner turmoil made the story very interesting. He was trying to take the right-side of a conflict in which he is technically an active participant in the wrong-side. Had this just been a book about a HazMat specialist trying to get to the bottom of a meth ring it would have been a good story. Add in Bucky's predicament and it becomes even more interesting. I can't say that I really liked Bucky - as a person - but he was a great character.

I liked the research that went into this story. With so many different aspects coming together in this one it was imperative that everything be as accurate as possible. Had the bikers been fake they probably wouldn't have created the same problems for Bucky. Had the HazMat team been missing a few details there's certain parts of the story that wouldn't have been possible. You can tell that Kamm did quite a bit of research to keep the story real. The writing was also pretty good. There were a few things I was unfamiliar with but was easily able to pick up what they were. Most of the HazMat gear I had never heard of and had little clue what they did - the descriptions and explanations were weaved into the story so well that it didn't stand out from the story. Everything just came together so fluidly. My only issue with this was then ending - specifically the last chapter. It just wasn't what I would have pictured for Bucky's future. It wasn't a bad ending I just wanted something a little more "exciting." But it was an enjoyable story and was pretty informative. I don't know when knowing that Percocet is a mix of oxycodone and acetaminophen but I now know :-)

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for a review. This review is my truthful honest opinion.
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New Wings by Donna Stanley
New Wings

Just Jennifer, May 22, 2013

Before I get into the book itself I have to say that I love this cover. Something about it is so soothing to me. It's so simple and yet the images that it invokes in my brain are very comforting. Why a wing has such strong emotions attached to it I'm not really sure but they're there. So needless to say that even before I started reading this one I was already in love with it. I also love the quote that's on the cover and in the book description. I think that one of the biggest failings we have with religion is that we're not fully ready to accept what can be accomplished through faith. So when our prayers are answered we figure there has to be a different reason. Most people find it hard to believe that someone is truly listening to their prayers - large and small.

Olivia has been chosen to receive a gift. She can see angels - and demons and spirits. I think she handles her new abilities very well. I know that if I were in her shoes I would be much more freaked out about things for much longer than she seems to be freaked out by it. But maybe that's part of the reason why she was given this gift - she was ready for handling it responsibly. As the story progresses and Olivia starts to use the power of prayer more often I started to relate to her a lot better. Even though I'm not a traditional "religious" person I pray regularly for all sorts of things big and small. It seems that at the beginning of the story Olivia only prays for the big things. Her realization that getting help with the small stuff is also an acceptable use of prayer is kind of refreshing for me. I think for many people prayer is seen as what you do when someone is sick, or someone is hurt, or something else big. Praying for someone to find the right words to say to someone who has been hurting isn't really something most people pray about. So out of everything about Olivia I think that realization is my favorite part of her spiritual change. I do have to admit that I didn't get a full image of who her friends and family were. Mike on the other hand is pretty well rounded. I had a good idea of what his reactions to certain situations would be, and I understood why he did the things he did - outside of protecting his charge, Olivia.

The premise of the story is great - being able to see the constant battle that is ensuing between good and evil. I think it was fairly well executed. My only issue with the story is that some things were just a little to convenient. I know that to keep the story from becoming War and Peace certain liberties have to be taken. There were just a couple of occasions where things almost felt out of place in the story because they were so obvious what was going to happen. Outside of those couple instances I can say that I really enjoyed reading this. It helped to reaffirm some of my beliefs about our lives and how we interact with the spiritual realm - or more so what kinds of affect we can have on the spiritual realm. Some of the topics dealt with are a little difficult to read about so I would have to say this is a book for older teens 15 and up. But I think that anyone who's struggling to understand our part in the battle between good vs. evil should read it. Young adults who are just starting to truly look at their faith and beliefs could also benefit from reading this one.

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for a review. This review is my truthful honest opinion.
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Just Jennifer, May 20, 2013

Before I even started reading this book I could tell there was going to be a good amount of humor in it. The acknowledgments were infused with humor (albeit an inside joke with her social media fans.) So when I started to get into the book I was happy that the humor continued. It gave the book a fanciful feeling. I knew the story was going to be a fun read and it's not meant to be a serious (as in not funny ha ha) romance novella. I tend to read lots of heavy and serious books, so I love when I get to change the pace a little bit and read something that is meant to be fun. And the humor in this one is similar to my sense of humor - a bit raunchy and sarcastic - so I was able to get into the story that much more.

The novella follows Maggie and Chaam. Maggie is a fairly well developed character - she's got a story, a purpose, and morals. She did come off as a bit of a prude (even for 1934) at the begining of the story, but as she started to warm up to Chaam I started to warm up to her. The other characters - Chaam, Cimil, and grandpa - aren't as well developed in this novella. After reading some of the excerpts from other books in the Accidentally Yours series I can tell that Chaam and Cimil's characters are developed in other stories.

This novella made me want to read the rest of the series for two major reasons. 1 - there is such a build up and the story ends as a cliffhanger, so I have a need to find out what happens next. 2 - I think I could really like these characters. I don't feel like I missed out not having fully read any of the other books, but I would like to know a bit more of the back story.

The story was humorous and it did live up to it's warning: sexual content and naughty words. This was a nice change of pace for me and I enjoyed reading it. I would pick up more of Mimi Jean's books in the future.

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for a review. This review is my truthful honest opinion.
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