📚 Timebound by Rysa Walker

18108877Available purchase options for this title (via affiliate links) are located below this review. Purchasing through them helps keep The Audiobookworm going. Learn more here.

The Chronos Files #1

Description⎮Reviewed Feb. 2016

Narrator: Kate Rudd
Length: 12h 7m
Publisher: Brilliance Audio⎮2013

4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮ I picked up this audiobook during one of Audible’s $4.95 sales. I didn’t necessarily choose it because I’ve seen a lot of great reviews or heard a ton of hype about it, because I haven’t. And I was aware that my friend Dana only gave this 3.25 stars when she read it. But because of Audible’s awesome return policy, I decided to give it a shot anyway since I’m such a sucker for time travel. Timebound is the perfect example of why readers/listeners should ultimately make their own decisions about what to read and not solely rely on other people’s reviews. Dana and I usually have aligning opinions on most things, but we saw Timebound very differently. It is also great example of a shot in the dark that completely paid off. To me, there are few things more rewarding than taking a risk on an audiobook and having it pay off.

I’m a self-proclaimed “mood reader”, meaning that my moods and whims can greatly determine my choice of audiobook and my audiobook experience. I’ve finally learned to quit fighting these whims and listen to whatever my gut tells me at the moment. That usually means a spontaneous and constantly fluctuating TBR. After finishing Me Before You, I wasn’t emotionally ready to begin the sequel, so I decided to go in a completely different direction with Timebound. I liked it immediately, probably because it hit the ground running. There was no dawdling in the beginning and the pace hardly slowed throughout the entirety. This is the first time travel story I can remember that didn’t once compare Time to some sort of body of water.

Timebound has some very unique characteristics and I found the plot easy enough to understand and follow. More than that, I also found it incredibly intriguing and quickly became invested in it. I formed strong attachments to the characters and came to care about their well-being. This book consisted of a lot of action, with periodic unloadings of information that Dana saw as “dumpy” (dumping a ton of info onto the reader at once), but I didn’t mind that so much. I saw it more like “debriefing” than “dumping”, since these episodes usually happened after something very eventful. It’s true that most authors prefer to let important pieces of plot information be revealed more slowly (and subtly) throughout the plot, but I actually appreciated not being made to wait to get the whole story. This allowed me to focus on what was unfolding at the time. I think that this story’s fast pace calls for it in order to not overwhelm the reader during action scenes.

However, there were a couple points that bugged me a bit, like how quickly and easily both Charlene & Trey (I don’t know how to spell their names. #AudiobookProblems) were to accept Kate’s bizarre story of time travel. Those scenes required a little more suspension of disbelief and I felt they should have been more drawn out to be believable. Subtlety may not be one of this author’s strongest points, but she did a lot of other things exceedingly well. I really enjoyed how she used well-known historical events, like The Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, as a backdrop for the action in the story.

I also liked the inclusion of a corrupt cult-like religion run by power-hungry time travelers. That was a nice (and unexpected) addition to the plot. I’ve already learned that this author has a penchant for throwing wild curve balls. I found this story thrilling in an “edge of my seat” kind of way and I bought the second and third installments before even finishing the first.

Narration review: I was delighted to see that Kate Rudd is the narrator for this series and that is actually what tipped me in favor of purchasing this audiobook. I have heard Rudd’s performances before in The Fault in Our Stars and Snow Like Ashes. She is always pleasant to hear and I think she was a great choice to voice the protagonist of this series, also named Kate. If this main character had been voiced by someone else, there is a chance I wouldn’t have cared for her quite as much. There were a few times that I was on the fence about liking Kate (the character) due to her questionable decision-making and accute heroine complex. I think a less enjoyable narrator (one with a whiny or annoying voice) could have sent me over the edge into actively disliking the character. Choice of narrator is that important! Rudd has a considerable narration repertoire, so I encourage you to check it out! ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.comAudiobooks Now and Audible

📚 Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

15507958Available purchase options for this title (via affiliate links) are located below this review. Purchasing through them helps keep The Audiobookworm going. Learn more here.

Me Before You #1

Description⎮Reviewed Feb. 2016

Narrator: Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, Alex Tregear, Andrew Wincott, Owen Lindsay
Length: 14h 40m
Publisher: Penguin Audio⎮2012

❤Buddy Listen with Dana!

5 ★ Audiobook⎮ I feel sort of rotten putting a “numerical label of worth” (rating) on this particular piece because it had such an indescribable effect on me. I will admit that the main thing that motivated me to start Me Before You was learning through the movie trailer that it contained a character with a severe disability (quadriplegia). I’m sure that could be a major turn off for others because disability isn’t something that is often spoken about in the open, much less written about!

There has been a major push recently for authors to write more diverse books and I could make the argument that disability should be a primary topic in that discussion because it is something that affects all orientations, races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds. It is indeed the largest minority on the planet. I’m not trying to take anything away from other minorities, but disability is frequently glossed over in those discussions and deserves to be addressed.

Speaking of “glossing over”, I was fully expecting the more realistic aspects of Will’s disability to go unmentioned completely or be merely hinted at in a “fade to black” way. I give Jojo Moyes so much respect and admiration for not romanticizing the disability. Given that Me Before You is technically classified as a romance novel, she could have very easily done so. But I am so glad she didn’t. She wrote about Will’s physical discomfort, the daily medical issues he faced, and his frustrations at being stripped of his dignity and free will. She described his hesitance to eat in public (or even go in public) because of the reactions he got from other people and the physical barriers that prevented him from enjoying public events. She showcased how difficult it is for the caregiver/family member to watch a loved one with a disability endure all of this and be able to do very little about it. Most of all, she shined a bright spotlight on the way society still (indirectly) shuns those with disabilities. The characters in this story were more than characters to me because I know that there are millions of people experiencing these same obstacles right now (literally, millions). This story needed to be told. 

Slightly Spoiler-y ⬇︎

I think the thing I love most about Me Before You is that we hear from almost everyone’s point-of-view except Will’s. His story is told exclusively through the perspectives of those around him. It’s possible I’m reading too much into this, but I think this could have been Moyes’ subtle way of making the point that Will’s voice largely went unheard after his paralysis. As he said, everyone thought they knew what was best for him, but no one ever actually listened to him. Thus, the reader never gets to listen to him either. I’ve seen reviews that complained about this, but I think it’s a powerful way to make Will’s point. I’ve also seen some readers/listeners lower this book’s rating based on their dissatisfaction with the way it ended. Those readers were likely looking for a swoon-worthy romance where Will and Louisa live happily ever after. Some of them may have even been expecting Will to eventually walk again. Not to sound snarky, but those people really should have watched a Disney film instead. Jojo Moyes’ book was more realistic than that. I have so much respect for Moyes for not sending Will and Louisa off into the sunset together and tying everything up with a pretty ribbon (therefore potentially dishonoring the genuine struggles and sacrifices of those with disabilities).

What Will wanted more than anything was the power to take his life into his own hands. This is something that the non-disabled often take for granted. He wanted to make a choice for himself and for it to be honored. Ultimately, he wanted that even more than he wanted Louisa. This didn’t please many readers because it’s not the choice they wanted Will to make. But that’s the point! Will’s decision wasn’t about what anyone else wanted, readers included. I think part of the point Moyes was trying to make was that we should respect someone’s decision, even if we wholeheartedly do not agree with it. The other part was that everyone has the right to make their own choices in life. Just because someone’s physical abilities have been taken away does not give others the right to take away their free will. My point is: It’s not pretty, but it’s real. To me, that’s worth a lot more.

Narration review: According to Audible, this audiobook had six narrators, although I only remember hearing five. It was told from the perspective of Louisa, Camilla, Nathan, Stephen, and Katrina (and possibly a sixth I’m forgetting). This audiobook perfectly exemplified how to do multiple POVs correctly: Few, far between, and with multiple narrators for maximum character distinction. Aside from Louisa, we only heard from the other character POVs once each, so there wasn’t a lot of flip-flopping to cause confusion. Having multiple narrators, although probably expensive, goes a long way toward ensuring the listener doesn’t confuse character voices. Each of the narrators did a wonderful job of inserting an appropriate amount of emotion into their performances. Well done! ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible

Tabled Audiobooks: What’s on my table?

 

Tabled2

 

Ta·ble (verb) to postpone consideration of

I hate not completing something. It’s like I have this is compulsive need to finish what I’ve started. I see people DNF-ing books (labeling as Did Not Finish) all the time and I think “Dang, I wish I could be that carefree.” I’ve even tried it a few times, but it only takes a matter of hours for me to feel guilty about “giving up” on an audiobook. Indeed, there have been a few times when my persistence paid off and I ended up loving something I almost gave up on. Those few lucky times tickle at the back of my mind whenever I try to DNF. It’s like when a parent tells a child “Maybe” instead of flat out saying “No.” It leaves a little room for hope! That’s why I started “tabling” audiobooks. Because sometimes the problem is actually with me and not the book itself. I’m very much a “mood reader” and it often happens that I’m not in the right place (mentally) for a particular story. Yet, when I come back a few weeks or months later, I have an entirely different perspective on the same story. If I’m still not feeling it after a few tries and retries, then I know the problem (most likely) doesn’t lie with me and would probably consider DNF-ing. But that has yet to happen. In those situations, I usually try to power through and leave a negative honest review.

Semi-specific reasons I table an audiobook:

  1. Not connecting with characters
  2. Strongly disliking the narration
  3. Being lured away by shinier things
  4. Wanting to save it for a specific time
  5. Disinteresting/formulaic plot
  6. Loss of interest (sometimes due to too much time between installments in a series)
  7. Disliking the writing
  8. Need time to process

⬇︎ Currently tabled ⬇︎

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 11.26.29 AM

Audiobooks: Reasons for tabling

  • The Truth About Alice: 8
  • The 5th Wave: 1
  • Vicious: 2, 7
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: 2
  • Linger: 1, 5
  • Dreams of Gods & Monsters: 3, 6
  • The Martian: 3
  • Outlander: 1, 5, 6
  • Half-Blood: 2, 5, 7
  • Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief: 2, 7
  • An Abundance of Katherines: 3
  • Attachments: 3
  • Obsidian: 2, 5, 7
  • Under the Never Sky: 1, 3
  • The Lady of the Rivers: 3, 4, 6
  • The Other Queen: 3, 4
  • Reached: 3, 6
  • Compulsion: 2, 4, 5

Most to least likely to complete

  • Dreams of Gods & Monsters
  • The 5th Wave
  • The Truth About Alice
  • The Lady of the Rivers
  • The Other Queen
  • An Abundance of Katherines
  • Under the Never Sky
  • Attachments
  • Vicious
  • Compulsion
  • Reached
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Outlander
  • The Martian
  • Linger
  • Half-Blood
  • Obsidian
  • Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief

I’m sure most of you will take a look at this list and think I’m absolutely bonkers. My Tabled list probably looks very similar to a lot of other people’s “Favorites” lists. I’ll admit that kind of hype gets to me and is probably what motivated me to try several of these to begin with. For the most part, I’d say I am a pretty average fan. More often than not, I will like what the majority likes (at least enough to finish). But there are times when my tastes and opinions vary considerably. A great example is anything written by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I find zero appeal in her writing style. None. Zip. Nada. It’s generic and extremely bland. Couple that with a nasally, irritating narrator and I don’t even make it more than a few chapters in. I’m not holding out much hope that my opinion of her work will change, so if I ever were to DNF something, it would probably be something written by her. Another example is the Percy Jackson series. I’ve tried to complete The Lightning Thief on multiple occasions, but can never get over its immaturity. I’m just not someone who can listen to the middle grade genre. Sometimes I wonder if it would be more tolerable with a different narrator (one that doesn’t sound so juvenile). He’s also the narrator for the Miss Peregrine series, which probably has a lot to do with my struggles with it as well (although I like the writing much better). The Martian was a little too technical/scientific for my tastes, but I see myself getting in the mood for that kind of thing one day. Vicious was something I tried listening to in January because it had a really intriguing plot and really great reviews. But, as I said in my January Rewind, the writing and the narration fell a little flat and it wasn’t nearly as interesting to me as I think it could have been. I also mentioned the rather complex reason I tabled The Truth About Alice. Long story short, it was taking an emotional toll on me, but I hope to finish it in the future because it was really great. I think I could enjoy Outlander, if I gave it a long enough chance to really get into it. I was really into Philippa Gregory novels a few years ago, but my immediate interest has definitely waned recently. I still plan on finishing all of her series since I have already put so much time into previous installments and I do really enjoy them.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters is the final installment in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and I am almost halfway finished with it. My interest in that series has steadily declined with each installment. I suspect that I am largely to blame because I remember really enjoying the first installment. My plan is to wait a while before returning to the series and see if time can renew my interest. Finishing a series is even more rewarding than finishing a single installment and that promise of fulfillment is what keeps me hanging on to the Matched series finisher Reached. That was one of the first audiobook series I ever heard and looking back, it was just “Meh” compared to those I would hear later. Still, it wasn’t a terrible series and I would like to complete it, especially with only one installment left. Linger, however, is only the third installment in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series and I don’t think I have what it takes to make it through to the end. Especially now that I know the type of work Maggie Stiefvater is capable of producing (The Raven Cycle, Scorpio Races). I try never to write off and author just based on one disliked story or series, and Maggie Stiefvater is the perfect example of why. The 5th Wave is another audiobook that I have started a couple times but I have never been motivated enough to finish it. I am hoping that the recent release of the movie well solve that. I started An Abundance of Katherines and Attachments around same time because I had just finished very enjoyable stories from both authors, but halfway into each of these, I lost interest. Neither one was terrible and I am already a ways into them both, so these are definite future finishes. I rented Under the Never Sky back in the fall and wasn’t able to finish it before the due date, so I made a mental note to return to it in the future, but it’s not a priority. Compulsion is an audiobook I stop listening to because of a “droning” narrator and semi-predictable plot. I am planning to binge on Southern Gothic this summer so I will probably end up finishing it then, since there aren’t a lot of other choices in that sub-genre.

All of this is as of early February 2016. I think it will be interesting to do a follow-up post in a few months to see how this list has changed (or not changed). ♣︎

📚 ☞ Buddy Listen: Me Before You ☜

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I’ve seen Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You floating around on Goodreads, but was never especially motivated to start it, mainly because I wasn’t fully aware of the plot premise. That is, until this trailer changed all of that. Have a look:

Yep, that’s Daenerys Targaryen and Finnick Odair!

Several minutes later, Dana (from Dana and the Books) and I are doing our first ever “Buddy Listen”! It’s like a “Buddy Read” but with audiobooks. Basically, we are listening to the same audiobook together…an ocean apart… It’s more fun than it sounds. Well, I think it will be. I’ve never done it before. I’ll let you know how it turns out when I review the audiobook. Hint: I’m 30 minutes in and it’s going fantastically! This is my first Jojo Moyes story, so unless she pulls a fast one and decides to break my heart along the way, I think it’ll be a pretty positive review. Stay tuned! ♣︎

📚 Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

251876401Available purchase options for this title (via affiliate links) are located below this review. Purchasing through them helps keep The Audiobookworm going. Learn more here.

Witchlands #1

Description⎮Reviewed Feb. 2016

Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 14h 41m
Published: Listening Library⎮2016

3.25 ★ Audiobook⎮ I could lie to myself and say that it wasn’t so bad. In fact, I tried denying that through most of the book because I really wanted to like it as much as everyone else. I didn’t want to be the only “Negative Nelly” out there harping and complaining. But putting a sugary spin on this wouldn’t be an honest review. The truth is that Truthwitch gave me more grief than enjoyment.

At first, it was hard to put a finger on my issue with it and then I realized that was because I had multiple issues with it. It was like the entire Throne of Glass series combined into one installment and put on steroids. Beginning installments for high fantasy series usually start out slowly, with lots of descriptions, character backgrounds, and world-building. Truthwitch had very little of of any of that. I was shocked at the lack of imagery. In a fantasy world such as this, I want vivid descriptions of everything. In my opinion, Dennard’s descriptive writing could be called “minimalistic”, to say the least.

High fantasy series also normally start out slowly to give the reader/listener time to process this new world and develop opinions about the characters (opinions that will probably change later, but still). Imagine if you accidentally started the Throne of Glass series with Heir of Fire. You were just thrown in with very little help and expected to keep up during all of the action. You may be alright with that scenario, but I’m certainly not. And that’s exactly how listening to Truthwitch was for me. It was very demanding on the reader/listener.

There were several key concepts in story that I was never given ample time to grasp and I still have no clue what they mean, even after finishing the story. That, friends, is not how it should be done. This story was also extremely unbalanced with entirely too much action and too little processing time. In my opinion, Dennard should have spread the action in this book out through at least one or two more installments and filled the rest of this with character development. In an earlier post, I said listening to Truthwitch was like chewing a tough piece of meat and I stand by that analogy.

Obviously, I am in the minority here. But this is a bandwagon I simply cannot jump onto. Susan Dennard had some really great, original ideas with Truthwitch, but I feel they were executed poorly. For example, I love the idea of two badass best friend protagonists who would do anything to protect each other. That was the driving relationship in the story, not the romance. Again, that was a really great idea that wasn’t given proper development and that is so frustrating to me because this could have been really very good. But it’s hard to enjoy swimming when you can barely keep your head above water.

Narration reviewCassandra Campbell was an excellent narrator. I enjoyed her accents and I appreciated the character voice distinction. That made the multiple POVs easier to handle. Her voice had a very nice and mature tone to it. It somehow managed to be soothing and quietly intense simultaneously. ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.comAudiobooks Now and Audible

Presenting The Fantasy Word Challenge

FWC

As a fiction fanatic, I’ve noticed that several words are frequently recycled in book titles, particularly in the Fantasy genre (and crossovers).

➜Tally up the number of appearances each of these 25 words make in your list of past reads (or listens) & TBR. Feel free to tag anyone! #FantasyWordChallenge

  1. Ashes
  2. Beauty/Beautiful
  3. Bone
  4. City
  5. Crown
  6. Darkness
  7. Daughter
  8. Elements/Elemental
  9. Embers
  10. Fire
  11. Glass
  12. Ice
  13. Ink
  14. Iron
  15. King
  16. Midnight
  17. Night
  18. Queen
  19. Shadows
  20. Smoke
  21. Snow
  22. Star
  23. Thorns
  24. Time
  25. Wicked

Have fun!

*Disclaimer: I apologize if this challenge (or something very like it) has been done before. No idea infringement was intended!

January Rewind

Jan Rewind

 

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10

Over the past month, I have heard and reviewed ten audiobooks, listed here:

AoM

It’s hard for me to ever just pick one of anything (shopping is a real struggle), especially when each of these three audiobooks are so deserving. These are the audiobooks that were most savored in my mind and my opinions of them have only increased with time. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is my most recent completion (along with its sequel), and is therefore weighing very heavily on my mind (I can’t stop thinking about it!). I have surprised myself (and probably some readers) by not selecting Passenger as a January favorite. I enjoyed Passenger very much while listening to it but, unlike the three above, it doesn’t stick out in my mind weeks after completion. I remember liking it, but I’d really have to concentrate (or read my previous review) to tell you exactly why I liked it so much. January was pretty equally divided between the Fantasy and YA Contemporary genres, which was a first for me, as I usually tend to lean more towards Fantasy. So it is very surprising to me that two of my three favorite audiobooks for the month are contemporary. Not only have I found a passion for a new genre, but I also discovered several new (to me) authors (Jenny Han, Jasmine Warga, April White, & Alexandra Bracken), a new Fantasy series to obsess over (The Immortal Descendants), and a couple of new narrators that I really enjoy (more on that below).

NoM

January was really a great month for narration! Ron Herczig and Laura Knight Keating stood out the most (for positive reasons) and I’ve added both of them to my list of favorite narrators. I’ve also had the opportunity to learn that, in addition to being an exceptional voice actor, Ron is also a really down-to-earth guy and is completely open to chatting with audiobook fans on Twitter!

Honorable mention goes to Euan Morton (narrator of Carry On) for having a voice like warm cider and Saskia Maarleveld (narrator of Passenger) for best accents.

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Tabling an audiobook is something I do when it becomes apparent that I won’t be finishing it in the near future. I table for many different reasons, as demonstrated by the four above. I was slated to finish Dreams of Gods and Monsters in December to round out Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, but I seem to have lost interest somewhere during the second installment. Vicious was something I was really looking forward to hearing, both because of the synopsis and the positive reviews. I got a pretty good way through it before realizing I wasn’t into it at all. The premise is really enticing, but the writing and narration both fall a little flat for me.

The Truth About Alice is really, really good. It has multiple narrators (which I love) who all do excellent jobs of embracing their characters. The writing is meant to put a spotlight on the devastating effects of high school gossip, cliques, and slut-shaming. It’s meant to evoke powerful feelings from the reader/listener. The thing is, it did all of those things too well. I was enjoying the audiobook up to the point when it started to really hit home with me and began bringing back all of the terrible feelings and memories from high school that I’ve tried so hard to leave in the past. Seriously, it’s like I was right back there, even though it’s been 10 years since I graduated. Job well done on the part of the author and narrators, but I had to table this because listening to it wasn’t fun for me anymore. I do plan on going back to it in the future, but I will definitely keep a closer watch on my emotions as I finish it. Truthwitch should have a little asterisk by its picture up here, because I haven’t technically tabled it…yet. I might not ever have to table it. I might get this sudden burst of energy and determination and knock out the remaining 25% (yes, I’m that close). I should have reasonably finished it already but this audiobook takes so much effort to get through. It’s like chewing a really tough piece of me. I’m trying to take it a little bit at a time, but I don’t know how much longer I’ll have the patience.

 

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LA AC2

The Listen Along Audiobook Club (LAAC) was just founded two days ago (January 30), some no audiobooks were heard as a group for the month of January. But we did begin getting to know one another, exchange social media links, and vote on which audiobooks we wanted to hear in February. At the end of January, we have 25 wonderful members!

➜The February selections are I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, The Young Elites by Marie Lu, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, & The Siren by Keira Cass.

 

 

 

 

📚 P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

20698530Available purchase options for this title (via affiliate links) are located below this review. Purchasing through them helps keep The Audiobookworm going. Learn more here.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2

Description⎮Reviewed Jan. 2016

Narrator: Laura Knight Keating
Length: 8h 59m
Published: Recorded Books⎮2015

5 ★ Audiobook⎮ Oh, y’all! I’m so sad that this series is over! I’m telling you, for the few days it took me to listen to it, this series was absolutely everything to me. I was so consumed. It’s just precious and so hilarious. This series is the audiobook equivalent of a “happy place” for me now. I think about it and get this exuberant feeling of joy in my chest and a goofy grin on my face. Great audiobooks do that to a person, you know.

I can’t even be mad with Jenny Han for not making it a trilogy because the way it ended was so… right. Although, I wouldn’t exactly discourage another installment…Maybe just a novella? Pretty please? The thought of an epilogue makes my heart flutter! But no, I respect Jenny Han’s decision to leave things as they are because you really shouldn’t mess with perfection. And that’s what P.S. I Still Love You was: Perfection. She had me there for a minute, though. Threatening to sink my ship and all. But this wasn’t that kind of story. P.S. I Still Love You is the kind of story that makes you just plain happy.

This series will always be special to me, like a first love. There really isn’t anything left to say that hasn’t already been covered in my review of the first installment or in the sugar-fueled gush session that happened on Goodreads last night when I finished it. I’m already working Han’s other stories into my audiobook budget (I ration my credits!), so you definitely haven’t seen the last of her on The Audiobookworm, that’s for sure! I just hope her other work is as utterly charming as this series.

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Narration reviewLaura Knight Keating‘s narration skills absolutely blew me away. Particularly, her ability to give each character an incredibly distinct voice. The voice distinction between characters was so significant that there were a couple of times I wondered if she was sharing narration duties with another voice actor. I also appreciate the tone she used to voice the 16-year-old protagonist, Lara Jean. It was youthful, upbeat, and innocent, without being juvenile, whiny, or annoying. A narrator really has to have a solid grasp on a character’s personality in order to convey it through voice alone. I felt that Laura Knight Keating excelled at accomplishing this feat, which instantly makes her one of my favorite narrators. As excellent as Jenny Han’s writing is, Keating’s narration brings so much more to the audiobook than could ever be available in written format. Final verdict, choose the audiobook! ♣︎

$ Available at The Book Depository (paperback), Audiobooks.comAudiobooks Now and Audible

📚 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

15749186Available purchase options for this title (via affiliate links) are located below this review. Purchasing through them helps keep The Audiobookworm going. Learn more here.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1

Description⎮Reviewed Jan. 2016

Narrator: Laura Knight Keating
Length: 8h 22m
Published: Recorded Books⎮2014

5 ★ Audiobook⎮ This audiobook. This freaking audiobook. It’s 8 hours and 22 minutes of sheer and utter delight. Funny story, I accidentally listened to half of this story’s sequel (P.S. I Still Love You) before realizing that it wasn’t the first in the series. Normally, that would make me flip out. I hate listening to a series out of order. But you know what? It wasn’t a huge setback like I would have anticipated. It’s really a credit to Jenny Han’s writing ability that I was able to [inadvertently] jump into the middle of the story and not even notice for several hours.

Han has described this series as “two halves of a heart” and that’s exactly what it feels like. The two blend so seamlessly that I couldn’t tell the middle of the story from the beginning. Once I finally realized my mistake and started this⬆︎ story, I was able to get more details regarding the background of events that I heard in the first half of the sequel. Am I confusing you?

Suffice it to say that this series is so incredible that not even I could flub it up by hearing it out of order. Never have I ever wanted to give an audiobook more than five stars (on a five star scale) until this one. It’s just so cute! It’s fluffy without being obnoxious and had me giggling every five minutes. Sometimes I’m in the mood for something serious and thought-provoking, but other times I just want something that will make me smile. This is definitely the latter. It definitely fell under the category of “Daytime Listens” (something I can listen to during the day, without requiring much concentration). It was a super easy listen and I don’t think I’ve ever quite enjoyed something this much.

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Narration reviewLaura Knight Keating‘s narration skills absolutely blew me away. Particularly, her ability to give each character an incredibly distinct voice. The voice distinction between characters was so significant that there were a couple of times I wondered if she was sharing narration duties with another voice actor. I also appreciate the tone she used to voice the 16-year-old protagonist, Lara Jean. It was youthful, upbeat, and innocent, without being juvenile, whiny, or annoying. A narrator really has to have a solid grasp on a character’s personality in order to convey it through voice alone. I felt that Laura Knight Keating excelled at accomplishing this feat, which instantly makes her one of my favorite narrators. As excellent as Jenny Han’s writing is, Keating’s narration brings so much more to the audiobook than could ever be available in written format. Final verdict, choose the audiobook! ♣︎

$ Available at The Book Depository (paperback), Audiobooks.com and Audible

Introducing the Listen Along Audiobook Club

There are so many regular ol’ book club groups out there, but what about us self-proclaimed “audiobook addicts”?

The Listen Along Audiobook Club is designed especially for avid audiobook listeners. It operates just like a normal book club, but with all the extra benefits that audiobook lovers regularly enjoy.

The primary genres featured include, but aren’t limited to, Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, & Science Fiction.

You can officially join LAAC on Goodreads (and friend me, while you’re at it!) and [officially/unofficially] participate through The Audiobookworm’s other platforms, as well: here, Twitter, Tumblr.

*Please note that you don’t have to strictly be an audiobook listener to participate, but it is encouraged in order to foster audiobook-related discussion about the narration, etc. But again, it’s not mandatory. Booklovers of any format are always welcome!