📚 The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

8709526

Bloodlines #3

Description⎮Reviewed Nov. 2015

Narrator: Emily Shaffer
Length: 11h 53m
Publisher: Penguin Audio⎮2013

4 ★ Audiobook⎮By the time I made it to this installment, I was beginning to get used to the leisurely pace of the series. There are bursts of action scattered throughout, but it always seems to return to that same leisurely pace in between them. This series is shaping up to be more of a sprint than a marathon and I’m okay with that now that I know what to expect. Although, I’m still not completely satisfied with the romance. It feels extremely forced, underdeveloped, and frankly, problematic. There are times when Adrian comes off as not understanding that “No means no” and gets rewarded for it. It only bothered me a little while reading, but in retrospect, I’m having a hard time viewing this relationship as “healthy”. On the bright side, Sydney is now much more tolerable (since Adrian is the problem). I couldn’t say I loved it, but I enjoyed reading it. However, I’m not sure I would still be reading this series if I weren’t already a fan of Vampire Academy. To me, that series seems like the backbone of this one. Also, points deducted for a lack of Dimitri. ♣︎

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

📚 The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

8709523

Bloodlines #2

Description⎮Reviewed Nov. 2015

Narrator: Emily Shaffer
Length: 12h 14m
Publisher: Penguin Audio⎮2012

4 ★ Audiobook⎮This installment was better than the first on two grounds: more action and more Dimitri. Both of those things made The Golden Lily seem like Vampire Academy #8 instead of Bloodlines #2 (no complaint here). The plot thickened considerably and Sydney was given more character depth, making her a semi-tolerable protagonist. While the overall storyline is still slowly inching forward, I can vaguely see where it’s headed and I’m interested enough to continue on with the series. If this installment is any indication, the series should continue gaining speed with further installments. The fact that Richelle Mead continues her world-building process in a spinoff series by adding new factions is highly intriguing. Those who stop reading after Last Sacrifice are missing out on [potentially] key elements in the Vampire Academy world, by extension through the Bloodlines series.

Narration review: The narrator of this audiobook does a well-enough job, but nothing extraordinary. Her voice isn’t annoying to listen to for hours on end (which counts for a lot, in my book). She does a few accents (Dimitri’s, Adrian’s), but again, nothing extraordinary. From my perspective, the audiobook holds nothing substantial over the physical book. The choice between audiobook and physical book could be a toss-up, or simply left to personal preference. ♣︎

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

📚 Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

87095271

Bloodlines #1

Description⎮Reviewed Nov. 2015

Narrator: Emily Shaffer
Length: 12h 53m
Publisher: Penguin Audio⎮2011

4★ Audiobook⎮Returning to the world of Vampire Academy was like coming home again! Mead did an excellent job incorporating VA characters and plotlines into this new series. So much, that it actually helped distract from Bloodlines’ semi-significant plot weaknesses. Bloodlines in itself is very different from the Vampire Academy series. It is much less action-oriented and a lot slower-paced. In this book, Sydney Sage is a bit boring and flat, for my tastes. Her intolerance and “good girl” tendencies make her less likable as a main character, but the aforementioned distractions luckily kept me from ever wanting to stop listening. I can see the potential for character development with her and that is enough to keep me going. Not to mention the promise of more Dimitri in the next installment. ♣︎

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

📚 This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

13138734

Starbound #2

Description⎮Reviewed Dec. 2015

Narrator: Callard Harris, Donnabella MortelLincoln Hoppe
Length: 12h 42m
Publisher: Listening Library⎮2014

4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did. Mostly because I wasn’t sure how to feel about abruptly swapping protagonists in the middle of a series. I grew to love with Lilac and Tarver in Starbound #1 and was disappointed when the synopsis of Starbound #2 did not include them, but introduced two completely new main characters. Not only was I surprised to fall in love with Flynn and Jubilee (the new characters), but I was even more pleasantly surprised to find out that Lilac and Tarver played semi-significant roles in this installment as well! The new setting and characters were carefully integrated with those from These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) and did not take much effort to love. I appreciate the way this author uses dry, sarcastic humor to break up the intensity of the story, without completely changing the overall mood. This was such an intriguing story. After having read Illuminae, Starbound #1 and Starbound #2, it’s clear that Kaufman is a favorite author of mine. I ordered Starbound #3 before even finishing #2.

Narration review: These narrators are some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to and the special effects are out of this world! ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible

EOY

{Modified from The Perpetual Page Turner‘s}

Listening Stats

I listened to 91 audiobooks.

I relistened to 0 audiobooks.

I listened to the Young Adult Fantasy genre the most.

My average rating of an audiobook was 3.8 stars.

Best in Audiobooks

  1. Best audiobook I listened to in 2015: Illuminae
  2. Audiobook(s) I was excited about & thought I was going to love more but didn’t: A Darker Shade of MagicTrial by Fire, Fangirl, & The Mortal Instruments series
  3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) audiobook I listened to: A Girl of Fire and Thorns
  4. Best series I started in 2015: The Raven Cycle
  5. Favorite new author I discovered in 2015: Amie Kaufman
  6.  Best audiobook from a genre I don’t typically listen to: Under the Dome
  7. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable audiobook of the year: Illuminae
  8. Favorite cover of an audiobook I listened to in 2015: These Broken Stars
  9. Most memorable character of 2015: Queen Elisa from A Girl of Fire and Thorns
  10. Most beautifully written audiobook listened to in 2015:The Scorpio Races
  11. Most thought-provoking/ life-changing audiobook of 2015: The Fault in Our Stars
  12. Audiobook I can’t believe I waited UNTIL 2015 to finally listen to: The Selection
  13. Shortest & longest audiobook I listened to in 2015: FairestUnder the Dome
  14. Audiobook that shocked me the most:Illuminae
  15. OTP of the year: Diana Holland & Henry Schoonmaker from the Luxe series
  16. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year: Blue & Noah from The Raven Cycle
  17. Favorite audiobook(s) I listened to in 2015 from an author I’ve listened to previously: The Bloodlines series
  18. Best audiobook I listened to in 2015 that I listened to based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  19. Newest fictional crush from an audiobook I listened to in 2015: Tarver Merendsen from These Broken Stars
  20. Best 2015 debut I listened to: Starcrossed
    • Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting I listened to this year:Under the Dome
  21. Audiobook(s) that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to listened to: Little Altars EverywherePaper Towns
  22. Audiobook that made me cry or nearly cry in 2015: The Scorpio Races
  23. Hidden gem of the year: Time and Time Again
  24. Audiobook that crushed my soul:The Scorpio Races
  25. Most unique audiobook I listened to in 2015: Illuminae
  26. Audiobook(s) that made me the most mad: The Mara Dyer series (in a bad way); Splendor (in a good way)
  27. Audiobook(s) with the best narrator: Will Patton for The Raven Cycle series
  28. Audiobook with the worst narrator: Kate Simses for Crossed & Shatter Me
  29. Audiobook(s) with the best listening effects: Illuminae, The Starbound series & The Caster Chronicles

📚 Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

23734628Description⎮Reviewed Jan. 2016

Narrator: Euan Morton
Length: 13h 42m
Publisher: Macmillan Audio⎮2015

4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮I honestly don’t know where to start with this review because I’m not really sure what the hell I just heard. But I do know that I liked it. Throughout the entire audiobook, I kept telling myself that this story is like a mystery flavored Bertie’s Bott Flavored Bean. It’s good (as long as it’s not bogey flavored), but no one really knows what they are ingesting. Is it supposed to be fanfiction? Written by Cath? Is it supposed to be part of the original Simon Snow series from Fangirl? All of these questions (and many more) kept popping up while I was listening and I had to keep reminding myself to just go with it. The one thing I am sure of is that this story is too glaringly similar to Harry Potter to be brushed off as a coincidence. Anyone that insists otherwise is fooling themselves. But bless my Harry Potter-loving heart, I don’t even care. It’s been almost a full decade since the last Harry Potter book was released and I will take what I can get, even if it means devouring watered-down knockoffs. To me, it seems that Rowell obviously knew this book would be seen as an imitation of Rowling’s work and decided to take things a bit further by almost making it a work of satire. Certain elements of this story were so ridiculous that I felt Rowell was coming dangerously close to making fun of the reader. Now, that may be pushing it. Maybe I just didn’t “get” Rowell’s point in writing this. I did really enjoy almost every other element of this story. Rowell has something great here, but naming spells “Have a break. Have a Kit Kat” and other completely asinine things made it difficult to take seriously (yes, I know it Fantasy). At times, it seemed like she was treating the entire book as a spoof and that didn’t sit particularly well with me. But that’s my only beef and if it hadn’t bothered me so much throughout the story, I wouldn’t have mentioned it all. I enjoyed this audiobook so freaking much, that I found myself delaying it sometimes just to prolong the experience. I also came to realize that Simon and Baz happen to be the first male/male couple in one of my audiobooks (yeah, I really need more diversity on my TBR). About halfway through this audiobook, I began to ship them SO HARD. Although I liked this story way more than I liked Fangirl, I definitely think I identified more with Cath after listening to Carry On.

Narration review: The narrator (Euan Morton) absolutely made this audiobook. His voice was so comforting and gave me “warm fuzzies”. For the most part, he did a good job of changing his voice and/or accent to help the listener distinguish between the characters. By the way, this audiobook included a little melodic piece before and after the beginning of the audiobook (as some do). It was only after completing the audiobook that I realized how similar the Carry On melody is to the tune used in the Harry Potter films (you know, the one probably playing your head right now). ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible

📚 Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

 

84901121Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1

Description⎮Reviewed Oct. 2015

Narrator: Kristine Hvam
Length: 12h 32m
Publisher: Hachette Audio⎮2011

4.25 ★ Audiobook⎮My rating for this is somewhere between 4 and 4.5. I’m in love with this series already. If I could, I would start the next installment immediately. This is unlike anything I can remember reading. I am so tired of reading about angels, vampires, werewolves, and witches. Although there are angels in this series, they are done very uniquely and are only half of the fantastical species this trilogy focuses on. There is a slight case of what appears to be “insta-love”, but all is made up for in good time. In short: No werewolves. No vampires. No witches. And best of all, no love triangle. The writing is beautiful. This is fantasy done right and it definitely lives up to the hype. I just hope the next two installments are as great as this one!

Narration review: By the way, the narrator of this audiobook (Kristine Hvam) has instantly made it onto my favorites list. Her accents were incredible! ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible

📚 Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

79303351

Caster Chronicles #4

Description⎮Reviewed Oct. 2015

Narrator: Kevin T. Collins, Khristine Hvam
Length: 11h 21m
Publisher: Hachette Audio⎮2012

4 ★ Audiobook⎮This installment reaffirmed why I love this series so much. Don’t get me wrong, it was heart wrenching, but I loved every second of it. Other authors take note: THIS is how do you finish off a series and leave your readers happy. I was left with a feeling of closure after reading this. Closure at the end of the series is practically a luxury these days. It still left me wanting more, but only because I didn’t want the experience to the end (not in a “loose ends” sort of way). Thankfully, I remembered that there are a few novellas floating around out there!

Narration reviewI cannot say enough about the audiobook experience for this series. It has made Kevin T. Collins one of my favorite narrators and to make it even better, Khristine Hvam joins him in Beautiful Redemption to voice Lena’s POV. Hvam was already on my favorite narrator list (Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Daughter of Smoke and Bone series). But even more than the narrators, this audiobook series excelled at creating and maintaining the mood of the story through music and sound effects. Well done all around! ♣︎

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

📚 Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

107578331

Caster Chronicles #3

Description⎮Reviewed Oct. 2015

Narrator: Kevin T. Collins
Length: 16h 15m
Publisher: Hachette Audio⎮2011

3.5 ★ Audiobook⎮I’m still enjoying this series, although the ending (among other things) made the whole book seem a little bit like a bridge novel to get to number four. Book number three in a series tends to be my favorite for some reason (Eclipse, A Storm of Swords), usually because it is action-filled, but this one really wasn’t. Although you do get a lot backstory, which I appreciate.

Narration review: With that said, the audiobook experience (narration, sound effects, music) was absolutely amazing! This is a series that I believe is actually enhanced through audiobook. Awesome narrator and the music really sets the “mood” for the story. If choosing between the physical book or the audiobook, I definitely recommend the latter for this entire series. ♣︎

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

📚 A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

172346581

Firebird #1

Description⎮Reviewed Jan. 2016

Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 9h 18m
Publisher: HarperCollins⎮2014

5 ★ Audiobook⎮I picked this up thinking it would be a YA Contemporary story (based on the cover, I suppose). Boy, was I surprised! This story perfectly captured how I envision alternate universes. It was really everything I wanted A Darker Shade of Magic to be, but not nearly as slow. The pace was perfect. The writing was straightforward and to the point without being dull. There was so much action that there wasn’t a lot of time for in-depth character development or a whole lot of backstory, but I honestly didn’t mind since I was more invested in the AU storyline than the specific characters. I loved the AU descriptions and each universe was better than the last. This was an extremely easy and pretty fast read.

Narration review: The audiobook narrator (Tavia Gilbert) did an excellent job of distinguishing voices/accents between characters and between universes. This element brought an extra layer to the audiobook that the physical book just could not have. For example, having Marguerite think in an American accent and speak with a Russian accent while in the Russian AU was absolutely brilliant! I definitely think the audiobook has a leg up on the physical version. ♣︎

$ Available at The Book DepositoryAudiobooks.com and Audible