Audio Book Reviews

Audio books and I have had a very tumultuous relationship.
I’ve always been interested, but I struggled with staying focused while reading.
I found that listening while cleaning, or working around the house was a bad idea, and since I didn’t drive my listening time was hampered.  I thought the problem was me.
I’m a driver now, and I drive about an hour to and from work.  Prime listening time!
My one rule is, only listen to books I’ve read!  Print will always come first!
Here are some of my recent favorites.


 

Knife

Candlewick on Brilliance Audio
Narrator: Nick Podehl

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Review:

I bought The Knife of Never Letting Go on audio years ago.  Way back when I had an actual audible account and I would get those wonderful credits.  Back then I didn’t listen to audio, but luckily they’re now in my account and ready to be listened to.

I thought this would be a good one to listen to with my daughter.  It’s a book that I’ve wanted her to read, but I struggled getting her to pick it up.  She knew one of the spoilers, and because of that she wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole, until I pulled up the audio.

While Chaos Walking is one of the best Dystopian series I’ve ever read, I was only lukewarm about the audio.  I think this is just one of those books that you need the pages to really sink into the story.  I love the way the Noise is captured in print far better than I liked it in audio.  On audio it was just noise, in print it was almost like an illustration.  It is called ‘Noise’ though, so I can see how some would disagree.

I also wasn’t crazy about the narrator.  His voice was perfect for Todd, but didn’t really work well for Violet.  It pulled me out of the story a bit.  I’m pretty sure that they go to dual narration in the sequel, so I may move on eventually just to see if I like it more.

 

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How to be a normal person

Dreamspinner Press
Narrator: Derrick McClain

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Review:

I’d been eyeing this audio book for so long, wanting to listen to it but also feeling nervous that one of my most beloved reads wouldn’t be the same on audio.  I haven’t listened to anything by TJ Klune on audio, I’ve only read him, and that’s been such a success that I wasn’t sure I wanted to mess with a good thing.

Obviously I broke down, and I really enjoyed it.  I don’t know why everything gives me such anxiety.  Obviously I’d enjoy any format this book was in.  I thought the voices and inflections were perfect.  I thought Casey was especially spot on.  I think his translation of a lovable Asexual Stoner Hipster was endearingly accurate!  And I loved the flow of the We Three Queens dialogue.  And of course, Gus was just as awkward and adorable in audio as he was in print.  The inflection nearly matched my imagination.

I think the only thing that would keep me going back to the print is that the comedy worked better.  I’m not sure why, but I found myself laughing harder when I was reading, rather than when I was listening.  The pew pew pew scene makes me laugh so hard I cry every time I’ve read it, whereas listening made me chuckle.  Either way, solid narration of a brilliant book!

Thank you to Dreamspinner Press for providing a free audio in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Him.jpgAudible Studio’s
Narrator: Teddy Hamilton & Jacob Morgan

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Review:

HIM was the first audio book I listened to from beginning to end.  I remember because prior to listening, I would always tell people that I couldn’t focus on the story without my mind wandering.  I was always so jealous though.  I wanted to love to audio.  I want to do anything that immerses me in fiction as frequently as possible.

I decided to give HIM a try because my friend Angie was listening to it on repeat at the time.  We both loved the book, and she just kept telling me over and over again how spectacular the audio was.  I finally downloaded it, thinking I could give it a shot over the summer.  When Baby Chick wasn’t in the car, obviously.  This one is a no no for 13 year olds!

She was right!  Everything about this audio is brilliant!  The dual narration is spectacular, and the heat is off the charts.  They captured the emotion perfectly, and the friendship.  I love the book.  I will always love the book.  I now also love this audio.  In fact, I can’t wait to relisten.  Even better, I can’t wait to listen to US.

 

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sea-of-tranquilityAudible
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne & Candace Thaxton

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Review:

This was another recommendation from Angie.  Another successful listen, because she’s obviously got such great taste.

This is the one case, so far, where I actually loved the audio more than I enjoyed the book!  I never thought I’d say that.  Ever.  But if there was going to be a story that made me rethink my ‘only reread audio’ rule, it would be The Sea of Tranquility.

There was just something about this book that really lent itself well to narration.  Maybe it’s because hearing their voices made them feel that much more vulnerable.  All I know is that the book was enjoyable, but never made me emotional.  The audio, on the other hand, made me actually cry for Josh.  There was a rage in him that Kirby Heyborne really brought out.  His translation of Josh was so much more raw than what I imagined in my head.  It was powerful.  It made me up my rating of this one to 5 stars.  Everyone should listen.

 

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Among the Living2Audible Audio
Narrator: Gomez Pugh

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Review:

Hands DOWN PsyCop is the very best audio I’ve ever listened to.  The entire series.  I have yet to listen to a narrator as talented as Gomez Pugh, and while my scope may be limited I’m still extremely confident in that statement.

While listening to PsyCop you feel like there’s a whole cast of narrators, one for each character in the story (and there are a lot of them), but there isn’t.  It’s one man.  It’s just one man who gets the awkwardness of Vic, the smoothness of Jacob.  He gets Lisa’s Hispanic accent and flare, and Con’s laid back raspy drawl.  He nails Crash’s sarcastic flirty affection with perfection.  It’s almost like magic.

Now, it’s true that I struggled with Jacob’s voice in the first audio, but over the course of the series I realized how much it fits and I have absolutely no complaints at all.  It’s audio perfection.  In fact, while I will still continue to read these in print first, however while reading all I can think about is how excited I am to listen!  I just finished PsyCop 8, all from Crash’s POV, and I can’t wait until the audio is loaded on my phone and ready to go.

Honestly, I can’t gush about it enough.  If you listen to audio, and are interested in M/M Urban Fantasy, this series is a must listen.  I promise.

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About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

25 Responses

  1. Audiobooks definitely aren’t for everyone. My sisters, mom, and I are all big readers, but only me and my oldest sister can listen to audiobooks. My mom and other sister can’t concentrate and they hate when people read to them.

    I’ve found that I don’t have any issues concentrating when I listen to books. I listen while I’m cleaning, riding my bike, working out, driving, and even when I’m designing or doing “mindless” tasks at work. What I love is that I can “read” way more books when I incorporate audiobooks because I can multitask. The only downside of reading a regular book is that when you’re reading — that’s all you can do and I have such little time to sit down and read!

    Great post, I’m dying to read Him!

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  2. Hi! Thanks for sharing! Him and The Sea of Tranquility sound very interesting and I might give them a try 🙂
    My preference is also books but i find that audiobooks are a good way to get through a book if I don’t have time to sit down and read. I agree that it is so hard to focus sometimes. If I am anything on my mind then I often miss a minute or two and then have no clue what is going on 🙂 it also does totally depend on the narrator!

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      1. Haha that’s when you know you got a good audiobook! 🙂
        There are some audiobooks that I don’t like because of the narrator and I have a hard time reviewing them, because I don’t know if I will like it better if I had read the book instead :/ I like that you only listen to audiobooks that you’ve read the actual books of. It avoids that problem 🙂

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      2. I totally agree! That’s why I prefer print over audiobooks – because I like to imagine how the characters sound like. On the other hand, my fiancé swears by audiobooks. He thinks it takes much more effort to read a book, because he will have to use more imagination, while audiobooks takes less interpreting work 🙂 fascinating how people think differently!

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      3. For me, it is easier to focus on reading books than listening to audiobooks. I’ve been reading for a long time while my fiancé is new to reading. He loves movies and he feels that audiobooks are more similar to movies haha.. that may be why 🙂

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  3. Audiobooks are definitely not for everyone, but I feel there are certain activities that go really well with them. Anything that doesn’t involve any focus is great for me – certain types of chores, but not all, and walking. I hate wasting time so if I can multitask, I will!
    I’m glad driving does it for you 🙂 I sometimes do a mix of reading the book and listening to the audiobook, depending on where I am and if I have the book with me. It’s a bit of a pain to sync afterwards, of course, but oh well.
    Great post!

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  4. What about listening while cleaning felt like a bad idea? Just curious. 🙂
    I’m glad you’re enjoying audiobooks – with so many books to read and so little time, it makes me feel like I’m making a dent in the tbr haha.

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      1. Oh that makes sense! When I hate that feeling of missing stuff. I tend to do that more while driving then while cleaning. It seems like as soon as you miss a key detail, then nothing is enjoyable beyond that point.
        That works too, though! It’s so hard to find time to reread with a looming TBR haha. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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