2019 mini audiobook reviews + what works for me in audiobooks

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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

Ally xx

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9 thoughts on “2019 mini audiobook reviews + what works for me in audiobooks

  1. I haven’t listened to these, but Postcards From the Edge is on my TBR. I’ve listened to other audiobooks by Carrie Fisher, and enjoyed them all, so that one is a no-brainer for me.

    For myself, I’ve found that I can do fiction or non-fiction, but I can’t do romance. I just can’t take sex scenes seriously when I’m listening to them. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh I hope you like Postcards! Her narration is just so great for her stories.

      SAME! I listened to a sample for a romance book and couldn’t even get through two minutes. It was just so awkward and comical? Maybe it was the narrator, but it was like listening to a robot read a sex scene


  2. I use my library for audiobooks too!! It is great because it is free, haha!! I was going to recommend The Starless Sea as that was one of my favourite audiobooks but it is a fantasy so maybe not ahha!! I love audiobooks which feature different voices, like the Markus Zusak ones had Australian narrators, haha!
    I agree about non-fiction books being great in audiobooks!!
    I like walking whilst listening, I need my hands to be busy. Drawing is always great with an audiobook!!
    I’m glad you found some books you loved, I loved hearing your thoughts on them!! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I don’t have to pay for the audiobooks, which is such a bonus haha. Oooh thank you for the recommendations! I can always try them out and see how it goes šŸ™‚

      I like drawing as well! I can just turn my brain off and colour things it!

      Thank you! šŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

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