It has been a hot minute since I last blogged. Oops. I haven’t been floating around in cyberspace though, I swear. I’ve been hard at work on something special for you guys. And while I’ve been working, I’ve been listening.
So far this year, I’ve read 40 books. Of those 40 books, 22 have been audio. That means that over 50% of the books I’ve read so far this year have been on audio. Basically audiobooks are saving my Goodreads goal (even though I’m still constantly behind).
But audiobooks can be fickle. If you don’t like the narrator, it can ruin a good story. So I thought I would round up some of my favorites for you. In case you’re just getting started in the audiobook realm.
No. 10: Partials by Dan Wells, Narrated by Julia Whelan
I really loved this narrator! And this series is awesome. I know some people are getting tired of dystopian, but this is probably in my top 5 favorite dystopians so I’m just saying you should probs read it. And get it the audiobook! Marcus will have you cracking up. You can read more about the series in my review of Partials.
No. 9: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Narrated by Cynthia Holloway and Johnathan McClain with Sarge Anton
This book is just incredible so if you haven’t read it, I’m going to yell at you to get on it. But when I re-read it via audiobook this year, I fell in love all over again. The narrators are amazing. Cynthia Holloway perfectly captures Lilac’s snark and inner strength and Johnathan McClain nailed the stoic soldier that is my sweet baby Tarver. Sarge Anton does the short interrogation snippets we get and he was perfect for that role.
I love when there are multiple narrators in audiobooks. It helps break things up so nicely and really gives us that distinct voice for each character. Especially when we have alternating POVs like in this one.
No. 8: The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, Narrated by Will Patton
Okay, so this narrator took a little getting used to for me. He has a rather gruff voice and at first I didn’t think I was going to like him. But then as the first book went one, I grew to love him. I loved all the different voices he used for each of the characters. Blue’s is a soft, feminine voice, Gansey’s is a calm, collected politician’s voice, Ronan’s voice is a constant snarl. I feel like the voices perfectly captured each character’s personality and now those voices are what I will hear when I physically reread the books. (Which is totally happening this year because they were wonderful and I want to revisit. Also I think I miss some of the finer details when I listen to audiobooks so I’m excited to experience these again reading them physically.)
No. 7: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, Narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra
Rebecca Lowman was so perfect as Eleanor!! I wasn’t quite as crazy about Sunil for Park, but he still did a great job. Once again, I really enjoyed the alternating narrators for the alternating POVs. And this book is just so squishy and adorable and perfect and I can’t even accurately describe all my feels. So maybe just read my review. Or just go read the book yourself if you haven’t already. Eleanor & Park are my YA contemporary OTP.
No. 6: Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman, Narrated by Kathleen McInerney and Daniel May
Both of these books gave me the worst wanderlust. I wanted to sell all my possessions and travel the world after finishing this companion duology. Both narrators were great. Kathleen narrates Just One Day and Daniel narrates just one year. Both are good with accents (which is a must when you’re traveling all over the world) and both just sounded like Allyson & Willem. I do have a gripe with the books though. I wasn’t super crazy about the ending. I just wanted more. I felt like there was all this build up and then…nothing. But overall I enjoyed both stories.
No. 5: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Narrated by Will Wheaton
This book was really interesting! It’s about a world where you live in a video game basically. You’re hooked into this virtual reality world 90% of the day. You go to school there and of course, you play games there. The creator of the virtual world sets up a game to find some “Easter eggs” within the game. Whoever finds them all first gets to inherit his fortune. The story is really fast-paced and entertaining and Will Wheaton does a fantastic job with the story. Although all I could think about while listening is The Big Bang Theory and Sheldon Cooper’s hate of Will Wheaton.
No. 4: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, Narrated by Tim Curry
I reread all of these on audio last year and really enjoyed them! The first one is a bit much. There’s a lot of sound effects and it got a little over the top at times, but after that first one, the rest were great. Tim Curry narrates most of them and he’s awesome so you’ll definitely enjoy the narration. It was so fun to revisit this world and these characters. Although, I’m not going to lie, I was not pleased with the way everything ended. I had actually never read the last book so this was a way for me to finally wrap the story up.
But if you’re looking to watch the Netflix show, I will say that I really loved it! And rereading these on audio in preparation for the show is a great way to go. They’re really short too, some only like 3 hours so you can fly through them. Definitely helped my Goodreads goal last year.
No. 3: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Narrated by Olivia Taylor Dudley, Lincoln Hoppe and Johnathan McClain
This is definitely the coolest audiobook I’ve listened to thus far. There’s a full cast and there are sound effects (not overbearing like Series of Unfortunate Events) and it’s amazing!! I remember reading the book physically for the first time and thinking that I felt like I was watching a movie. I could see it playing out in my head. Well that is even more true when listening to the audio. If I closed my eyes and just listened I could see the battles, the tension, the story playing out before me. Highly, highly recommend! I can’t wait to listen to Gemina as well when it gets closer to the release of the third one.
No. 2: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Narrated by Steve West and Fiona Hardingham
I am so torn between this and my #1 choice because they both are incredible audiobooks. But I think one just barely edged Scorpio Races out. You all know by now my love for The Scorpio Races. If you don’t, just take a few minutes to browse through my Instagram and see me fangirling and book-pushing at least once a week. This is one of my favorite books of all time and the audio is absolutely incredible. Steve West and Fiona Hardingham really became Sean & Puck. I think I will reread this every single November on audio.
No. 1: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, Narrated by Rebecca Soler
And finally, my #1 audio choice – The Lunar Chronicles. Can we just take a moment to stop and appreciate how absolutely incredible Rebecca Soler is??? She is probably the best narrator I’ve listened to thus far in my audio journey. She does a different voice for each character and they’re all so perfect and just fit so well. She seriously amazes me. This is one of those audiobooks I never want to pause. I don’t want to put it down, just like the physical books. I could listen to Rebecca Soler read me these books all day and never get tired of it. If you haven’t tried these on audio, please give it a try! You won’t regret it!
Let’s talk! What are some of your favorite audiobooks? And keep your eyes open for more posts on audio coming your way, including the best ways to listen and when to listen.