Hi friends! In 2019, I began listening to audiobooks and learned what I like in audiobooks and what works for me. I managed to listen to eight audiobooks, four of which were the Raven Cycle series, which I reviewed here! But today, I wanted to review the other four books I read, some of which I loved and some of which were just fine (I lied, three of them were amazing and one was pretty good).
I also wanted to talk super briefly about what works for me in audiobooks, because I am always looking for recommendations.
- Third person narration: if it’s a fiction novel, third person works way better for me. Idk what it is, because when reading a physical book, first vs. third person doesn’t matter to me. But third person works much better for me in audiobooks.
- Non-fiction: before I started reading audiobooks, a few of you recommended listening to non-fiction, and I definitely endorse that recommendation. I don’t really have to pay attention to plot or character names, which is always nice.
- Real world: I haven’t attempted a dystopian or fantasy or magical realism book via audiobook yet because I just know it will not work for me. I need the books to be in our world with no fantastical or magical elements (or minimal elements).
- Driving, walking, or doing chores: I always need my hands to be busy, and the same is especially true when listening to audiobooks. I need something else to keep my brain engaged. I’ve found that driving is ideal and my perfect audiobook listening condition. But, doing chores or walking somewhere are also great. Essentially, as long as my brain is somewhat engaged in something else, I can listen to an audiobook.
In terms of how I listen to audiobooks, I use OverDrive. My library has a pretty decent selection, and it’s free! But, if you have any recommendations for books or audiobook apps, please let me know!
Anyway, without further ado, here are four audiobook reviews, in the order I listened to them!
Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher: 4 stars
I loved this book! It follows a young actress having a mental break. It starts with her in a mental hospital and progresses from there. I really enjoyed the format. It is a mixture of first person diary entries, stream of consciousness, and (I believe) third person. It really worked and I really enjoyed it. It’s also narrated by Carrie herself, which I loved. She has a great narration voice. Also, the audiobook is very short. I listened to it in about four hours, which was nice, too.
Recommended for: people who want a fast audiobook; people who like Carrie Fisher’s humour; people who want a female-centred book
The Downstairs Girl by Stacy Lee: 3.5 stars
This was a super solid YA historical fiction. I loved the main character, Jo, and her story. I really enjoyed the setting and thought it worked really well with the story. I loved the different side characters, as well, and all their complexities. I think I would have enjoyed this more, however, if I hadn’t listened to the audiobook. I’ve found that I tend to like third person better for fiction audiobooks, and this is first person. So I struggled with that a bit. I also didn’t like the tendency towards girl hate, even if it was more or less worked out in the end. Lastly, I didn’t love the ending. I thought everything was wrapped up a little too nicely, and it was a little too perfect and unbelievable for my taste. But, I still really enjoyed it and would recommend it.
Recommended for: fans of historical fiction, particularly YA
Not That Bad edited by Roxane Gay: 5 stars
I loved this essay collection!!!!!!! It’s all about rape and sexual assault, so major TW for those topics, obviously. But it was so brilliant. Gay did such an amazing job curating this collection. It was diverse and intersectional, with essays from queer and POC and QPOC, and examining rape and sexual assault through those lenses. I think the biggest complaint I’ve seen that I would agree with is that there is very little structure and organization to this collection. It didn’t particularly bother me, but maybe no that going in. In terms of the audiobook, each essay is narrated by its author, which was pretty great. Overall, I cannot recommend this book enough.
Recommended for: fans of non-fiction; people wanting to educate themselves on issues relating to rape or sexual assault
A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti: 5 stars
This was a total random pick for me. I hadn’t heard of it before I saw it on OverDrive, but it was available, so I decided to pick it up. And wow, did I end up loving it. It’s the story of a girl who has experienced a tragedy who is running across the US instead of dealing with her emotions (relatable). I loved it so much. I have not related to a main character like I related to Annabelle in a while. Particularly the things about being a girl and being angry. I also loved the plot of this book. It’s so much more than just a girl running. And, the audiobook narrator did a fantastic job. It’s in third person, which I love, and the narrator is amazing. Again, I cannot recommend this enough.
Recommended for: fans of hard-hitting YA
So those are the audiobooks I listened to in 2019! Have you read or listened to any of these? Do you plan on it? Which audiobooks would you recommend to me? Let me know!